Will having a representative from South Jersey on the New Jersey State Council on the Arts (NJSCA) really help South Jersey artists and arts organizations? The short answer is ‘No’.
Just having someone who has ties to South Jersey means nothing. Will having effective representation help? Absolutely. Someone who not only hails from South Jersey but actually cares and understands our unique needs. Someone who will stand up for us, all of us. Someone who is not self-serving. Someone who is honest and possesses common sense. That’s why I’ve been recommending Cheryl Broschard for the Council.
It’s been almost seven years since the heart of South Jersey has had a representative on the NJSCA. It’s been over three years since Cheryl was recommended and approved as a candidate.
During those seven years, many decisions have been made that directly affect the arts and artists of South Jersey without a true voice speaking up for us. It’s not about more money, it’s about spending that money where it will do the most good. It’s about recognition and support for all the artists, galleries and organizations in South Jersey who are doing great work and not just a handful of organizations. We need real representation on the Council, not just someone on the Council.
It’s not a paying position. And, like ArtC, Cheryl’s organization, the Healing Arts Program at AtlantiCare, does not receive Council funding. She can make a difference without being self-serving. She wants to do this. And her organization has promised to give her the time to do it right.
It’s been over two and a half years since she was endorsed by politicians including then Senator James Whelan; and just recently by Senator Chris Brown and Senator Jeff Van Drew: organizations such as the African American Heritage Museum of Southern NJ; the Perkins Center for the Arts; the Salem County Economic Development, Cultural Affairs & Tourism; Bay Atlantic Symphony; ArtPride; South Jersey Cultural Alliance; Millville’s Riverfront Renaissance Center; Chora Leone Gallery and more. Just as importantly, if not more, almost one hundred working South Jersey artists took the time to write endorsements and call the Governor’s Appointment Office to show their support for her. Still, nothing happened.
Meanwhile we lose good galleries, artists and organizations in South Jersey while money is being wasted with no accountability or understanding of the unique needs of the arts and artists here. Now we have a new Governor. It’s time to make this happen.
Placing all the blame on the previous governor is no longer the answer. It never was.
One fourth of the State’s population lives in South Jersey. One North Jersey County has five representatives. The Council is funded by a room tax, much of that comes from South Jersey. Anytime you stay in a hotel, motel, B&B or other accommodation in New Jersey, you pay that tax. It’s taxation without representation.
Contact Carly Gruenberg in the Governor’s Appointment Office and voice your support for Cheryl Broschard. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Title it: Appointment to Council on the Arts. Her phone number is 609 777-0251
Someone needs to listen. Thanks for your support.