The Twin Lights Historical Society has received a $9,600 grant from the New Jersey Arts and Culture Recovery Fund, Society president Jeffrey Tyler announced this week. The non-profit historical society is one of more than 100 nonprofits across the state, and one of nine in Monmouth County to receive grants from $2.6 million allocated in the Fund’s initial rounds of grant-making. Each year through its employment of an Operations Manager/Historian, the Society assists The New Jersey State Park Service with various projects including exhibitions at the site as well as staffing the Society’s Museum Store. While the site’s Historian, Nicholas Wood, leads the way for new exhibitions the contributions and assistance made by the Society are an integral part of the site’s success.
“For over a year, our society has been without our two largest sources of income, namely sales from our Museum Store on site and cash donations placed into the donation boxes located inside the State Historic Site,” Tyler said. “In order to make up the income shortfall, our society successfully obtained over $6,000 in PPP loans to offset some payroll expenses, and a $5,000 New Jersey Council on the Humanities grant that enabled the society to build a new website with an online Museum Store last December.” Tyler added the online Museum Store has many unique items for gift purchases or personal use and encouraged readers to visit the new online Museum Store.
Tyler said the latest grant award will help offset payroll expenses for the Society, but noted there is still a large budget gap to fill. “When New Jersey State Parks reopens their site at the end of the month, we urge our visitors to be very generous when they can once again provide us with cash donations and Museum Store purchases that help keep us in business,” the Society president said, “While we have an entire year of losses we still have to make up, we ask the public to check out our new website where they can donate and purchase items from our Museum Store.
Tyler pointed out that the pandemic resulted in the Twin Lights Historical Society, one of many non-profit organizations in the arts industry, reporting significant losses. The Princeton Area Community Foundation hosted the State’s Arts and Culture Recovery Fund in 2020 to ensure the strength and survival of the non-profit arts, cultural and historical sector statewide. Since then, the NJACRF has raised more than $3.7 million to meet the growing financial need. Chaired by representatives of the Grunin and Geraldine R. Dodge Foundations, fund members include Prudential Foundation, Stone Foundation of New Jersey, E. J. Grassmann Trust, New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and the New Jersey Historical Commission.
Tyler applied for the grant citing the needs of the Society with the loss of contributions due to mandated closures of the historic museum.
“The support from the New Jersey Arts and Culture Recovery Fund and its donors will make so much of what this museum offers to the public possible again,’’ Tyler said.