Arts Ed NJ Will Pause the 2024 Governor’s Awards in Arts Education Ceremony for a Strategic Review

A Note from the Executive Director:

Since 1980, the New Jersey Governor’s Awards in Arts Education has been a beacon of recognition for outstanding arts achievements among students and educators in the state. The program, managed and produced by Arts Ed NJ, has served to elevate the arts and culture sector as a public endeavor, an economic asset, and a source of state pride. However, this year, Arts Ed NJ has made the decision to pause the awards ceremony for the 2024 NJ Governor’s Awards in Arts Education. Instead, the awardees will be announced in May, without a traditional celebration event.

In June 2023, the 43rd Annual Governor’s Awards were a resounding success. Arts Ed NJ, together with their partners and supporters, made remarkable efforts to switch venues and hold the event on a college campus. The student artwork was displayed in a real art gallery, inspiring alumni served as emcees and presenters, and the event drew an expanded audience. Throughout the occasion, the focus remained firmly on advocating for increased arts education opportunities for all.

Amidst this success, Arts Ed NJ is currently embarking on an important 8-month organizational strategic planning process and will pause the Governor’s Awards in Arts Education Ceremony for the year 2024. This decision reflects a commitment to undertake an inclusive evaluation of the program's purpose, goals, and priorities. The organization, along with its partners who select the awardees, seeks to establish equity policies and practices to ensure that the awards are accessible and meaningful to all deserving individuals. Additionally, they will explore how the current iteration of the program aligns with Arts Ed NJ’s mission and evolving strategic priorities.

It is essential to note that while there will be no in-person or live-streamed virtual event this year, Arts Ed NJ remains open to exploring other avenues for delivering the awards in collaboration with their partners. The commitment to recognize and celebrate the 2024 awardees, including students, educators, and advocates, remains steadfast.

Wendy Liscow, Executive Director of Arts Ed NJ, expressed the organization's determination to ensure that these awards reach their full potential. “This decision is not a step backward but a deliberate pause to reflect, assess, and strengthen the program for the future. This pause represents an opportunity for growth, introspection, and positive change, enabling the Governor’s Awards in Arts Education to emerge even more impactful and empowering for the New Jersey arts education community.”

For further questions and information

Contact Priscilla Hopkins-Smith

Priscilla @

About Arts Ed NJ

Arts Ed NJ was founded in 2007 with the mission to provide a unified voice for a diverse group of constituents who agree on the educational benefits and impact of the arts, specifically the contribution they make to student achievement and a civilized, sustainable society. A major component of Arts Ed NJ’s work is the Arts Ed Now campaign which offers customizable grassroot tools to increase participation in arts education at a local level and garners public support to ensure every NJ child receives the quality arts education mandated by the state. Arts Ed NJ’s Arts Education and Social Emotional Learning Center supports the advancement of practices that are healing centered, culturally responsive, and grounded in the best practices offered by our social emotional learning framework.

Additional information is available at and

Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  Linkedin  Youtube