Count Basie Center to receive $100,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts


NEA[RED BANK | FEB. 4 2021] The Count Basie Center for the Arts has been approved for a $100,000 Grants for Arts Projects award to support mindALIGNED, the organization’s collective impact initiative in the areas of professional development for educators, creative teaching strategies, artist residencies and arts experiences. The Basie Center’s project is among 1,073 projects across America totaling nearly $25 million that were selected during this first round of fiscal year 2021 funding in the Grants for Arts Projects funding category.

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support this project from the Count Basie Center for the Arts,” said Arts Endowment Acting Chairman Ann Eilers. “The Basie Center is among the arts organizations across the country that have demonstrated creativity, excellence, and resilience during this very challenging year.”

“We are thrilled to be recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts again, and in the company of the many amazing projects in this category,” said Samantha Giustiniani, Senior Director of Education & Outreach, Count Basie Center for the Arts. “As a collective impact initiative, mindALIGNED is a reflection of the continued commitment and dedication of so many in our region to bringing the arts to schools and communities.”

mindALIGNED’s goal is for every school district and community in Monmouth and Ocean Counties to become designated as engaged in the arts and creative learning by 2030. Under the leadership of the Count Basie Center, mindALIGNED partners – including 17 public schools, 20 arts organizations, 350 educators and more than 3,500 students – have made significant progress since 2016 in tackling this ambitious but attainable goal. Since its launch in 2017, participating schools have reported mindALIGNED’s creative teaching strategies to be effective, and that the program strengthened their teaching strategies and tools as a whole. Data collection and classrooms observations continue, and changes in students’ attitudes, engagement and growth will be measured over time to gauge the success of creative teaching and the impact of increased arts education.

For more information on projects included in the Arts Endowment grant announcement, visit

For information on mindALIGNED, visit