Culture and Heritage

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Idamis Perez-Margicin, Division Chief

Tricia Fagan, program development specialist
Cheryl Reed, graphic artist
Lisa Tramo, administrative secretary
Phone:   609-278-2712 
Fax:   609-278-6672
Mail:   640 S. Broad St., P.O. Box 8068

  Trenton, NJ 08650-0068

Mercer County's Cultural and Heritage Commission works to enrich the lives of County residents and visitors through the promotion of art, cultural and historic activities and sites by supporting County-based arts and history organizations, as well as by offering special cultural events for the public and opportunities for local artists.

Programs and services are offered through the Mercer County Division of Culture & Heritage, the government arm of the Commission. The Division offers two grant programs for local non-profits: a Local Arts Program Grant, offered through a State/County Block Grant Partnership from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts (NJSCA) with funding from the National Endowment of the Arts; and a Mercer County History Regrant program, offered in partnership with the New Jersey Historical Commission.

The Division hosts two annual cultural festivals: Teen Arts and the County's Cultural Festival. It also sponsors an annual Mercer County Artists exhibition and a biennial Mercer County Photo exhibition. It partners with the County's Office on Aging in offering the annual Mercer County Senior Art Show, and administers the statewide New Jersey Senior Citizen Art Show as a co-sponsor with the NJSCA. "Purchase Award Winners" from the Mercer County Artists and Photo shows become a part of the County's Permanent Art Collection, on display at the McDade Administration Building in Trenton. The Division also distributes a free quarterly newsletter highlighting local events, opportunities and cultural news, and also assists with many of the County's Special Projects involving Mercer County's arts, history and cultural offerings.

Contacts for annual/biennial events:

Cultural Festival:
Teen Arts Festival:
Mercer County Artist or Mercer County Photography Show:
Mercer County Senior Art Show:
New Jersey Statewide Senior Citizen Art Show:

Special Projects

Mercer County Criminal Courthouse

Phase 1 Selected Artists Announced!!

The Mercer County Courthouse Public Art Committee reviewed artwork and qualifications submitted by 23 artists and artists teams. Overall, the Committee had an outstanding pool of submissions to review, making its deliberations all the more difficult. After completing an exhaustive review of the submissions, members of the Committee individually ranked entries based on professional experience, overall qualifications of key artists, artistic merit, appropriateness to the Courthouse site, and proposal narrative. Congratulations! Based on those cumulative rankings, the following five artists/artist teams have been invited to submit full proposals for the Mercer County Courthouse Public Art project.

Joan Benefiel & Jeremy Leichman
Tim Gaydos
Maria Mijares & Steven Miotto
Alastair Noble & Kathy Bruce

Kyle Schumann & Kate McDonald

Our many thanks to all artists and artist teams who took the time to submit their work for our consideration.

CALL FOR ARTISTS: Mercer County Courthouse Public Art

Round 1 Entry Deadline: 1/10/18

The County of Mercer County, NJ, looks to identify a pool of qualified artists or artist teams for consideration for an outdoor art installation. Qualified artists will be invited to submit proposals to design, fabricate and install permanent site-specific public art for the new Mercer County Courthouse (Trenton, NJ). (Qualifications from artists, only, are sought in this RFQ).
Specifically, artists are sought to create five (5) low-relief works/elements to be permanently installed on an exterior, Warren St., Trenton, wall of the Courthouse.  In particular, designs will be sought that have a general theme reflecting the rich history of the Mercer County Court system, the County of Mercer, and/or the city of Trenton. This RFQ is open to artists/artist teams residing or working within 50 miles of Mercer County, NJ. Selection of artists to submit full proposals (up to 5 artists or artist teams will be selected) as well as the final art selection process will be determined by jury. The process is to be managed by the County’s Division of Culture & Heritage.

Artists may ONLY apply through the free CaFÉ (Call For Entries) website. Click HERE to access the full Request for Qualifications (RFQ). 

For photos and elevation schematic:  Site Plan/Details

For map of 50-mile eligibility radius: 50 miles to Mercer

Arts & Economic Prosperity 5

In 2016, the Division - with the County's Office on Economic Opportunity - partnered with ArtPride New Jersey and the the Americans for the Arts on the Mercer County portion of Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 (AEP5), a national survey studying the economic impact of the nonprofit arts and culture industry. Twenty-five of the County's non-profit arts and cultural organizations responded to the detailed survey and many more participated in audience intercept surveys during the year. We are extremely grateful to those organizations for their time and commitment. A list of those organizations may be found here.

The customized snapshot provided for Mercer County demonstrates that the County's cultural industry is an important engine for local economy. These non-profits generate thousands of jobs, leverage many millions of dollars annually, and drive the local tourism engine so integral to this region. The study also underscores the generosity of citizens involved with the local cultural community: the 25 organizations, alone, reported that more than 1,700 volunteers contributed close to 89,000 hours to help cultural programs that year.

The links below provide additional information on the Mercer County survey results, as well as results for the State of New Jersey, overall and the national AEP5 study.

 Mercer County AEP5 summary
 ArtPride NJ (statewide) AEP5 information
 Americans for the Arts AEP5




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