Newark Arts Education Roundtable


End of Year Celebration Tuesday, June 18th 4-6pm at Newark Symphony Hall

The Newark Arts Education Roundtable (NAER) is a strategic alliance of 50+ arts education stakeholders, including public, charter, and private schools; artists; arts and cultural organizations; youth and community development entities; businesses; funders; and state and local government agencies. Our mission is to collaborate to ensure that all children in grades PreK-12 in the city of Newark have equitable access to high quality, sequential arts education opportunities, both in and out of school.


Newark Arts Education Roundtable to Receive $84,000 Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts

Newark, NJ —National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $80 million in grants as part of the NEA’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2018.  Included in this announcement is an Art Works grant of $84,000 to the Newark Arts Council on behalf of the Newark Arts Education Roundtable for its planned trauma-informed care work. NAER will be partnering with the Greater Newark Healthcare Coalition and My Brother’s Keeper Newark. The Art Works category is the NEA’s largest funding category and supports projects that focus on the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and/or the strengthening of communities through the arts.

“The variety and quality of these projects speaks to the wealth of creativity and diversity in our country,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Through the work of organizations such as Newark Arts Education Roundtable in Newark, NJ, NEA funding invests in local communities, helping people celebrate the arts wherever they are.”

“We have been looking for ways to engage the best practices of what we know arts education provides for young people with the recent advances in trauma-informed care. This grant will marry those efforts, already ongoing in Newark,” says NAER Director Lauren Meehan.

The initiative will, over two years, create a shared learning community of both arts education and healthcare professionals, encouraging cross-sector partnerships, widening the reach of the arts into another collective impact initiative that also endeavors to improve the lives of children, and share best practices that exist in both sectors.

For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, visit





Celebrating Five Years of Summer Plus

Each summer Newark students receive summer enrichment that includes African drumming, hip-hop dance, improv, mosaic-making and more!

SummerPlus 2016 students learning African drumming with Arts Horizons.

Newark, NJ— July 2018 will commemorate the sixth year of a successful partnership between Newark Public Schools’ Office of Expanded Learning Time  (ELT) and The Newark Arts Education Roundtable (NAER) in providing over 9,000 Newark students with meaningful summer arts enrichment during SummerPlus, the city’s summer learning program. This partnership is an important example of how collective action can elevate positive impacts for Newark youth.
Serving 250 students at Camden Street School in grades six to eight during its pilot year, Project Plus—a summer learning program of the Newark Public Schools (NPS)—was launched in 2013 with the support of Victoria Foundation and Prudential Foundation. Summer learning loss, which more heavily impacts low-income youth, is recognized as a factor in widening the achievement gap. The pilot program was implemented with the goal of increasing summer school attendance, by developing and presenting a fun and engaging summer learning experience.
In its first year Project Plus provided students with morning academic programs, followed by enrichment activities led by Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey, Project USE and New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC). In 2014, the NAER lobbied funders and NPS to increase financial support for the continuation of summer arts enrichment, extending the summer pilot program to nine additional sites. NAER is a cross sector collaborative whose mission is to ensure that all Newark children in grades Pre K-12, have equitable access to and participation in, high quality and sequential arts education opportunities both in and out of school.
The success of Project Plus led to a second year roll out of the newly-named SummerPlus to 10 school sites. Each day students received three hours of academic enrichment in the morning, followed by two additional enrichments in the afternoon. Afternoon enrichments, including the arts, were connected to the morning curriculum and the overall summer themes designed by each school. The summer culminated with performances, project display and carnival activities for families to attend. Since 2013 SummerPlus has served nearly 10,000 Newark Public Schools students through partners including: Arts Horizons; Changing Perceptions Theatre; Dramatic Impact; GlassRoots; Music Ascension; Writer’s Theatre of New Jersey (formerly Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey); NJPAC; Yendor Productions; and the YMCA Newark. Meeting its primary mission to provide students entering grades one through eight, SummerPlus provided high quality summer learning experiences that focused on academic enrichment along with enrichment in the areas of STEM, the arts, recreation, and social emotional learning.
Over a short period of time we have been able to measure the impact of this partnership on our young people. Data from NAER’s survey of SummerPlus 2017 measuring Social Emotional Learning, reveals that students who participated in SummerPlus arts programming, showed overall positive growth in attitude toward student confidence, interest in trying new experiences, an increase in cultural competency, empathy and perseverance. Summer 2018 ushers in enrichment for 3,600 students as NPS and NAER continue to provide arts experiences to help fight summer slide. Newark students can register for SummerPlus 2018 until May 4, 2018 at:












Check out FREE family programs at!



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The NAER is made possible by the generous support of:
Turrell Fund, The Prudential Foundation, The Horizon Foundation of New Jersey,
The Victoria Foundation, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, & The National Endowment for the Arts

NAER is under the umbrella of    which serves as a fiscal sponsor.

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