The People:

Jeremy Grunin, Executive Director became the first Ocean County resident on the Red Bank (Monmouth County) based Count Basie Board of Directors in 2015.  In his first meeting, Jeremy was excited to hear Adam Philipson, Executive Director of the Count Basie Theatre,  talk about their work in creative teaching, or as it is sometimes called Arts Integration. This approach to teaching integrates fine and performing arts as a pathway for learning.

The Grunin Foundation brought their NJ Arts partners to the table and Adam brought in Brent Hasty, from Mindpop out of Austin, Texas who, in partnership with the ISD of Austin, has implemented creative teaching strategies in their schools to get the entire state working on this pilot.

The Idea:

Creating Arts Rich Schools and Creative Learning Communities was formed.  The beauty of this program is our collective desire to create a truly collaborative experience, and through that knowing the individual needs of a district, school, principal, teachers etc.  Three pilot schools from Ocean and Monmouth counties are designing the pilot implementation to build the program to best fit each individual school district’s needs.

The Impact:

As of October 2016, we are only a few months into this pilot program.  We have the interest and buy in from the New Jersey Department of Education, The New Jersey Department of Arts and Culture, the National Endowment for the Arts, Arts and Education Partnerships, Arts & Education Center, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, individual arts groups and the support of many elected officials.  Six school districts are working to create a pilot to test creative teaching instructional models, transparently!

The Check In:  

The JLGF is working closely with Adam, Brent and the schools teams to ensure they have the support they need to create the instructional program.

The Promise:

It is our combined goal to make creative teaching instruction a tested and successful methodology to aid student’s learning.  Our Foundation wishes to create an arts rich community in Ocean and Monmouth counties to serve as a template for all schools wishing to increase their student’s learning outcomes.


On September 20, 2017, the Count Basie broke ground on their new expansion project. We are proud to announce that this includes The Jay and Linda Grunin Arts and Education Building which will house classrooms, studios, collaboration space for teaching artists, performance space and a place for educational conferences. This facility will be the central location for all of Basie’s educational, outreach and public programming. This will also include the collective impact initiative which is now called mindAligned.

“Creating this building—this important anchor—is what will elevate the Basie’s mission-based work and ultimately help the theater realize its vision of becoming a true center for arts education and cultural enrichment.” Adam Philipson, President/CEO, Count Basie Theatre

We are excited to see the progression of this project and will post updates as they come in.  Stay tuned for more!