MILLVILLE, NJ (May 16, 2016)  – National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $82 million to fund local arts projects and partnerships in the NEA’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2016.  Included in this announcement is an Art Works award of $20,000 to Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center to support the Shades of the Past, Colors of Present: Preserving Caribbean Cultural Heritage in New Jersey project, an initiative of the Down Jersey Folklife Center.

“The arts are all around us, enhancing our lives in ways both subtle and obvious, expected and unexpected,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Supporting projects like the one from Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center offers more opportunities to engage in the arts every day.”  The Art Works category supports the creation of work and presentation of both new and existing work, lifelong learning in the arts, and public engagement with the arts through 13 arts disciplines or fields.

In partnership with the Cumberland County Cultural and Heritage Commission and Cumberland County College, the Caribbean project will address the history and cultural heritage of New Jersey’s residents of Caribbean descent through a multi-faceted project that includes research, documentation, exhibition, educational programs and public presentations of Caribbean arts and culture.  Shades of Past, Colors of Present is the sixth program in the Creative Community Connections initiative that began at WheatonArts in 2004.  More information about Caribbean exhibitions, events, classes and workshops, and professional development opportunities can be found at

WheatonArts is open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Open Memorial Day, July 4 and Labor Day. For more information about WheatonArts, call 1-800-998-4552 or 856-825-6800, or visit online at Please submit requests for press images to

WheatonArts strives to ensure the accessibility of its exhibitions, events and programs to all persons with disabilities. Please provide two weeks notice for additional needs. Patrons with hearing and speech disabilities may contact WheatonArts through the New Jersey Relay Service (TRS) 800-852-7899 or by dialing 711.

Funding has been made possible in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and the New Jersey Cultural Trust. WheatonArts receives general operating support from the New Jersey Historical Commission, Division of Cultural Affairs in the New Jersey Department of State, and is supported in part by the New Jersey Department of State, Division of Travel and Tourism.


Click for a PDF of the NEA Announcement news release.