NJ Assembly Panel Advances Art In Storefronts Initiative

Jun 12, 2017

New Jersey Statehouse

New Jersey lawmakers are considering a new initiative to promote local art and help towns reinvigorate their business districts.

A bill advanced by an Assembly committee would encourage the state Commissioner of Community Affairs to help towns deal with the selection process and liability issues of having artists display work in the windows of vacant stores.

Ann Marie Miller with ArtPride New Jersey says that would show art galleries and gift shops the potential for opening there and also helps the artists.

"It provides another opportunity to display their work. When there's information about the artist also in the window, there's a potential for sale of the artwork. It also allows the town to look a lot better than just a bunch of empty storefronts."

Assemblyman Anthony Bucco likes the idea, saying it can stimulate local economic development.

"In my hometown they have really transformed Main Street which had a number of vacant storefronts into now a number of art galleries. The first Friday of every month they have music and they open the galleries, and it brings a tremendous amount of people out to the restaurants."

Supporters are hoping the state can come up with the money to fund the program.