The creation of a permanent Cultural Trust in New Jersey will reap profound benefits for Hudson County's interests involving arts and historic preservation.I was proud to sponsor the legislation, S-1328, which created the Cultural Trust because it will generate $200 million over the next 10 years to fund capital projects for the arts and humanities throughout New Jersey.
The legislation, signed into law last month by Governor Whitman, provides a permanent source of capital funding for our State's cultural treasures. There will no longer be a slipshod, piecemeal approach to funding our creative endeavors nor will there be a need for political scrambling to get a slice of what was a tiny State arts funding pie. State funding of $10 million annually over the next 10 years is to be matched by private sector donations. Hudson County's commitment to build on its historic role in the development of this country as a nation of immigrants will only be enhanced by the Cultural Trust. Capital projects for our theaters, our museums and our many forms of cultural expression will help us tell Hudson County's evolving story of ethnic diversity.
The new law will require the Cultural Trust's 15-member board of trustees to establish an interest-bearing investment trust fund to serve as a repository for both public and private donations.
Our nation has good reason to celebrate its heritage and Hudson County is extremely well placed to benefit from that celebration. This new law moves us beyond individuals to a collective pride we share in New Jersey as a state and in Hudson County as our home. The Cultural Trust's board of trustees will consist of the Secretary of State, the State Treasurer and the Chairs of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the New Jersey Historic Trust and the New Jersey Historical Commission. In addition, six public members will be recommended on a bipartisan basis by the Governor, the Senate President and the Assembly Speaker and will be subject to Senate confirmation.
This new law represents a good-faith- bipartisan effort to provide permanent help so our best creative minds in New Jersey can express themselves.
Thank you for helping me share this important information with your readers.
Bernard F. Kenny, Jr. Senator, 33rd District