Arts Programs Inspire Students in Newark

March 30, 2016

GFP9341.jpgOf the more than 44,000 students served by the Newark School of the Arts (NSA) since its 1968 founding are accomplished musicians, vocalists, dancers, painters, sculptors, photographers, and even cartoonists who have continued their studies at conservatories around the world.

This gem of an institution has long had the attention of New Jersey’s philanthropic community, largely due to its acclaimed faculty and their remarkable penchant for inspiring people to pursue a life in the arts.

The Community Foundation of New Jersey has recently supported NSA in two specific ways and we were pleased to learn of our giving’s true impact.

  • The Alkemade Fund, a legacy fund at the Community Foundation established by George and Yvonne Alkemade to perpetuate their good works for people with poor vision, helped NSA extend its reach to more visually impaired students. Some of NSA’s most talented students have, in fact, had visual or other physical or mental challenges; the school attributes their success to the one-to-one student-teacher ratio for private lessons and small group classes. According to NSA, one student with a visual impairment and other challenges, “studied the recorder at the school for over 20 years and has recently taken up the clarinet. He gets great pleasure performing alone and with a small ensemble, as does the audience. The School is a home away from home for him where he receives well-deserved appreciation and support from all who know him.”
  • The Community Foundation’s Leadership Committee last year provided seed money for a new pilot program, “Gateway to the Arts” that enabled the School to reach new immigrants residing in Newark and surrounding areas. Specific work supported by the grant included translating the School’s course catalogue from English to Spanish, placing advertisements in Spanish-language media, reaching out to students at several public and private schools in Newark, and coordinating with the Office of Immigration in Newark. The program has since served 40 students in subject matters ranging from acrylics and ballet to drums and violin.

We are pleased to share the below videos of NSA students, some of whom participated in the Gateway to the Arts program and all of whom have immeasurably brighter futures.

To support or learn more about the Newark School of the Arts, visit or contact Margarethe Laurenzi at