For Immediate Release
January 11, 2023





Basking Ridge, NJ – Light Opera of New Jersey (LONJ) is pleased to announce it has been approved by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to receive a Challenge America award of $10,000. This grant will support LONJ’s new initiative to  provide 10% of our total tickets at no cost to traditionally underserved communities in Central and Northern New Jersey. The grant will enable us to diversify our audience with a dedicated effort to remove the price barrier for those who may otherwise be unable to attend. We are well-poised to offer this solution addressing disparities in income and access in our region. This grant is one of 262 Challenge America awards totaling $2.62 million that were announced by the NEA as part of its first round of fiscal year 2023 grants.

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support arts projects in communities nationwide,” said NEA Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD. “Projects such as this one with Light Opera of New Jersey strengthen arts and cultural ecosystems, provide equitable opportunities for arts participation and practice, and contribute to the health of our communities and our economy.”

“Light Opera of New Jersey is thrilled to receive this grant and launch our Opera for All initiative. This funding will allow us to reach underserved audiences in rural and low-income communities in New Jersey,” said Board Chairman Heath Weisberg.

LONJ’s primary programming in 2023 includes the fully staged opera, Don Giovanni, presented at the Sieminski Theater in Basking Ridge on February 24 and 26; and a fully staged version of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, presented at the South Orange Performing Arts Center in South Orange on July 14, 16, 21 and 23.  Additionally, in October, a concert-style production will be presented.

Agencies interested in receiving grant-funded tickets for the production of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder should complete this form.  Click Here.  Individuals interested in receiving grant-funded tickets for this show should complete this form instead.  Click Here.

For more information on Light Opera of New Jersey, visit   For other projects included in the NEA’s grant announcement, visit


Light Opera of NJ
POB 402
Basking Ridge, NJ

Lois Buesser
Director of Outreach and Community Engagement