Diane Genco, is the founder and Executive Director of NJSACC, the Statewide Network for New Jersey’s Afterschool Communities. NJSACC promotes and supports the development, continuity, and expansion of out-of-school time programs for youth.

Diane envisions a future where all children have access to the arts and high quality art education. Beginning in 1994, she served as Chair for Children’s Cultural Arts Committee at her children’s public school in Westfield , NJ for 12 years, coordinating countless school assemblies featuring performances from Young Audiences of NJ.

Statewide, she has promoted the inclusion of the arts in afterschool and summer learning programs.  NJSACC regularly features performers from Young Audiences and other arts groups at the Annual Conference and other virtual/in person events.  She believes if the afterschool workforce experiences the joy, awe and excitement of a performance, they will be more likely to weave the arts into their programs for youth.  She also serves on the Steering Committee of Arts Ed NJ.

Lastly, she is an Ambassador for Premiere Stages at Kean University. Premiere Stages is committed to serving the cultural needs of New Jersey through the development and production of high-quality Equity theatre premieres, professional development and educational initiatives for the local and campus communities, and the support and cultivation of emerging playwrights and theatre artists.

The Governor’s Awards in Arts Education began in 1980 to promote awareness and appreciation of the arts, recognizing the creativity, talent and leadership of the award winners. Each year, awards are presented to approximately 20 educators and 80 students. National and statewide organizations select the students for their exemplary work in creative writing, speech, dance, music, theatre and visual arts and the leaders for their exceptional commitment and contribution to arts education. The program also recognizes arts educators and arts education advocates, whose leadership has helped nurture the development of students in the arts across the state.

16 Mount Bethel Road Suite 202, Warren, NJ 07059
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The Governor’s Awards event is a partnership of the Arts Ed NJ, the Department of Education, Art Pride New Jersey Foundation, the Department of State and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Additional support is provided by: the Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics; Art Educators of New Jersey; Art Administrators of New Jersey; Dance New Jersey; New Jersey Council of Teachers of English; New Jersey Speech and Debate League; New Jersey Music Educators Association; New Jersey Performing Arts Center; Writer's Theatre of New Jersey; Speech and Theatre Association of New Jersey; New Jersey Thespians and Young Audiences of New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania. The cooperating organizations, award sponsors and individual members of the planning council dedicate their time to make sure that excellence in the arts is rewarded, and work tirelessly throughout the year to plan this special event. The Governor's Awards in Arts Education ceremony are a major collaborative effort of the arts, education and state government.