Old Trenton Neighborhood Arts & Community Grants Program

This grant program supports grassroots revitalization and creative projects in the Old Trenton neighborhood. It was set up in partnership with Isles, Inc., a nonprofit that has worked to improve Old Trenton for over 30 years. Funds for this program come from the New Jersey Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit Program, which supports resident-led revitalization plans.

The Arts & Community Grants program builds on the priorities of the original Old Trenton neighborhood plan (2007), as well as the 2016 Creek to Canal (C2C) Creative District plan, which includes the Old Trenton neighborhood (available at www.creektocanalcreative.org). These two plans aim to make Old Trenton a safe, active, and vibrant community, with a particular focus on reclaiming underused buildings and spaces, and supporting the arts as an agent of social change.

The Old Trenton Neighborhood

The boundaries of the neighborhood are North Broad Street, East State Street, Perry Street, and Rte. 1. Both sides of State, Broad, and Perry Streets are considered to be in the Old Trenton neighborhood, but the other side of Route 1 is not. Please note that the borders do not extend to Warren St., Front St., etc. Projects located elsewhere in Trenton should consider I Am Trenton’s upcoming citywide grant round.


Eligible Projects

This program supports projects that will be physically located in the Old Trenton neighborhood (see map), and that will take place between March 28, 2018 and December 31, 2018. For this round, there are three project categories. Applicants should pick the one that BEST matches the project:

1. Visual Arts, Design, and Beautification

This category may include murals, sculptural installations, gardens, streetscape improvements (benches, planters, etc.), lighting installations, and similar physical improvements in the neighborhood. Work in this category must be “in public”, ie visible from the street. Basic improvements to private properties (repainting, fixing a fence, replacing windows, installing lights, etc.) are eligible IF at least three property owners on the same block work together and submit one joint application.

2. Culture and Performing Arts

This category may include festivals, oral history projects, public concerts or performances, theatre, dance, a culinary contest, etc. Work in this category must be “public”, meaning that it must take place in a location accessible to anyone in the neighborhood, and may not charge an admission fee to participants or visitors. We encourage and prioritize projects that take place outdoors, in public spaces, and/or activate under-utilized spaces such as vacant lots.

3. Community Investment

This category may include projects that invest in the civic, social, or economic well-being of Old Trenton residents, such as training, education, youth development, sports, etc. Such projects do not have to have an artistic or cultural component (though they may). Please note that all projects in this category must take place in the Old Trenton Neighborhood, and at least 75% of the project’s beneficiaries must be residents of the Old Trenton Neighborhood.

Additionally, all projects must be for community benefit rather than public gain, and must be non-discriminatory and open to all.


Who can apply?

This grant program is open to anyone willing to do or make something good in Old Trenton, regardless of incorporation status. However, please note that grant funds are considered taxable income by the State of New Jersey and the IRS, unless the recipient is tax-exempt. If you do not have tax exempt status, we encourage you to partner with a 501(c)3 fiscal sponsor. Grant recipients are responsible for all income reporting and all associated tax payments, so please plan accordingly.

  • Mandatory workshops: All prospective applicants must attend one of the two mandatory workshops on January 13, 2018 at 1:00 PM or January 17, 2018 at 6:30 PM.
  • One project per applicant: Applicants may only submit one project.  An organization that has agreed to serve as a fiscal sponsor to an applicant may also apply for one project of its own.

I Am Trenton Community Foundation reserves the right to disqualify any applicant that has not submitted satisfactory reports or complied with grant requirements in our other grant cycles.


Grant amounts

Applicants may apply for up to $8,000 for their project. Applications will be reviewed by a team of reviewers that includes I Am Trenton board members, Old Trenton community representatives, and persons familiar with the arts in Trenton. Reviewers will consider all projects in the pool, and recommend each project for full, partial, or no funding.


Monday, February 12, 2018, 12 p.m. (noon)



You can only apply online for the Old Trenton Neighborhood Arts & Community Grants Program. Community members who are unable to access the online application should contact the I Am Trenton Community Grants team at (515) 674-2127 well in advance of the application deadline to discuss their situation.

Full Guidelines and Application Questions

The application packet linked above provides detailed rules, as well as the application questions for your reference. Please do not send the application part of this document to us. Use the link here to submit your application online.


Mandatory workshop

You must attend ONE of the following two technical assistance workshops if you plan to apply.  This is to go over the application questions and the process:

1. January 13, 2018, 1:00 PM
2. January 17, 2018, 6:30 PM

The Trenton Free Public Library
(Community Room, 1st floor)
120 Academy Street, Trenton, NJ 08608

Ideas workshop (optional)

If you’d like to discuss an idea you have for a possible project and make sure it fits with the program, come to the ideas workshop:

January 11, 2018, 5:30 PM

The Orchid House
134 East Hanover Street, Trenton, NJ 08608

Project period

This round will support projects that run from March 28, 2018 and December 31, 2018. If your project falls outside this period,  see I Am Trenton’s upcoming citywide grant round.

To apply

If you plan to apply, please plan to attend one of the mandatory technical assistance workshops (see above).

We are now accepting applications. You can apply here online.

Community members who are unable to access the online application should contact the I Am Trenton Community Grants team at (515) 674-2127 well in advance of the application deadline to explain their situation. We may exceptionally make alternative accommodations, but please plan to apply using the online link above if at all possible.

If you have any questions, please email grants@iamtrenton.org or call (515) 674-2127.

Background pattern
Layout style