Union County awards 66 HEART grants, bringing the arts to the community

The Union County HEART grants provide funding for programs that connect artists, historians and nonprofits with their communities.

UNION COUNTY, NJ — The Union County Board of County Commissioners has announced that 66 artists, historians and local nonprofit organizations will receive funding through the 2022 Union County HEART — History, Education, Arts Reaching Thousands — grant program.

“The board of commissioners is very proud to support the HEART grant program, which continues to bring artistic and educational experiences to Union County residents under difficult and unprecedented circumstances during the pandemic,” said Union County Board of County Commissioners Chairperson Rebecca Williams. “On behalf of the board, I congratulate our 2022 awardees and thank them for their dedication to creativity and enrichment in our community.”

In addition to meeting ongoing grant qualifications, the 2022 awardees demonstrated a willingness to modify their plans and activities during the COVID-19 pandemic, including the mastery of new tools and technology for virtual events, and an ability to conduct in-person events in accordance with COVID-19 safety guidelines.

For information about next year’s HEART grant program, artists, educators, civic groups and historical nonprofit organizations can contact the Union County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs at 908-558-2550 or by email at [email protected]. NJ Relay users can dial 7-1-1.

2022 Union County HEART grant awardees:

• Brian Beste, Fanwood, $1,000, presenting photography workshops.
• Judy England-McCarthy, Linden, $1,000, providing historical story videos for libraries.
• Valerie Graham, Roselle, $1,000, presenting free crafts workshops for seniors.
• Lesl Harker, New Providence, $1,000, presenting Irish music workshop and concert.
• Daphnie Manzione, Elizabeth, $1,000, providing a Peace Garden at the Elizabeth Public Library.
• Nancy Ori, Berkeley Heights, $1,000, providing photographs and a presentation of Union County historic sites.
• Lowell Schantz, Westfield, $1,000, presenting two free jazz concerts in Union County libraries.
• Margaret Smith, Westfield, $1,000, providing free workshops using the Creative Journal Expressive Arts method.
• Candace Waller, Fanwood, $1,000, providing free dance classes.

Organizations/community groups
• Borough of Fanwood, Fanwood, $2,300, presenting a cultural arts performance series.
• Borough of Roselle Park, Casano Community Center, $1,000, presenting a free concert.
• Carolyn Dorfman Dance Co., Union, $2,300, presenting a dance festival.
• Catalyst Theater Co. Productions, Plainfield, $2,300, providing a musical theater production.
• Central Presbyterian Church, Summit, $2,000, presenting a children’s musical.
• Community Access Unlimited, Elizabeth, $1,000, providing Arts in the Park activities.
• Continuo Arts Foundation, Summit, $2,300, presenting a choral music concert.
• Cranford Housing Board, Cranford, $1,000, presenting a Valentine’s Day concert for senior residents.
• DuCret School of Art, Plainfield, $2,400, presenting outdoor plays.
• Elizabeth Avenue Partnership, Elizabeth, $2,200, presenting a Hispanic Heritage Month concert.
• Elizabeth Renaissance Foundation Inc., Elizabeth, $2,400, providing self-guided walking tours.
• Fanwood–Scotch Plains Rotary Frazee House Inc., Scotch Plains, $2,000, presenting three outdoor events in October.
• Friends of Summit Public Art, $2,300, providing a public art installation.
• Groundwork Elizabeth Inc., Elizabeth, $2,200, presenting the 18th annual Tour de Elizabeth bicycle tour.
• Hanson Park Conservancy, Cranford, $1,600, providing an educational volunteer day.
• Historical Society of Elizabeth, $1,000, presenting a history panel discussion.
• Historical Society of Plainfield, Plainfield, $2,500, providing virtual history programming.
• Inspiration Audio, Rahway, $1,000, providing a fundraising concert.
• Institute of Music for Children, Elizabeth, $2,500, providing arts and culture classes for teens.
• Ivy Visions, the charitable arm of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, Plainfield, $1,800, presenting a firsthand-account historical series.
• Jefferson Park Ministries Inc., Elizabeth, $2,200, providing a Haitian storytelling event.
• Jewish Community Center of Central New Jersey, Scotch Plains, $2,200, presenting a cultural appreciation series for seniors.
• Jewish Family Services of Central New Jersey, Elizabeth, $2,400, presenting a virtual concert program.
• Josephine’s Place, Elizabeth, $2,500, presenting arts programs for immigrant women.
• Kenilworth Historical Society, Kenilworth, $1,000, presenting living-history programs.
• Liberty Hall Museum, Union, $2,400, presenting a dance festival.
• Life Drawing Studio Group, Fanwood, $2,200, providing visual arts workshops.
• Merchants and Drovers Tavern Museum, Rahway, $2,000, presenting a historic hearth-cooking program.
• Music for All Seasons, Scotch Plains, $2,500, presenting music programs for residents of The Real House in Elizabeth.
• New Jersey Intergenerational Orchestra, New Providence, $2,500, presenting a community concert.
• New Jersey Workshop for the Arts, Westfield, $1,000, providing outdoor musical performances.
• New Providence Public Art, $2,300, providing an interactive sculpture park.
• Occupational Center of Union County Inc., Roselle, $2,500, presenting art education classes for people with disabilities.
• Overlook Foundation, Summit, $2,200, presenting “Healing Caregivers” program.
• Peruvians for Progress Inc., Rahway, $2,200 presenting a free traditional Peruvian Christmas celebration.
• Plainfield Symphony Society, Plainfield, $2,300, presenting a free symphony concert.
• Portuguese Instructive Social Club, Elizabeth, $2,500, providing a 100-year commemorative mural.
• Premiere Stages at Kean University, Union, $2,300, presenting an original play.
• Preserve Shady Rest Committee, Scotch Plains, $1,000, providing a recorded oral history of Shady Rest.
• Roselle Board of Education, Roselle, $2,300, presenting a high school performing arts program.
• Roselle Park Loves Arts Inc., Roselle Park, $2,300, providing an arts festival.
• SAGE Eldercare Inc., Summit, $2,100, presenting free arts programs for older adults.
• Social Justice Matters Inc., Scotch Plains, $2,500, providing a Juneteenth celebration.
• Stony Hill Players, Summit, $2,400, presenting children’s theatrical productions.
• The Gateway Family YMCA, Elizabeth, $2,400, presenting “Cognitive Creation” arts program.
• The Theater Project, Union, $2,400, presenting theatrical performances in Union.
• Town of Westfield, Westfield, $2,200, providing a photography exhibit.
• Union Township Historical Society, Union, $1,000, presenting a history program.
• United Youth of New Jersey, Elizabeth, $2,400, presenting live webinars about Ghana.
• Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, Summit $2,300, presenting a visual arts program for older adults.
• Vivid Stage, Summit, $2,400, producing a theatrical workshop of “Twirl.”
• Westfield Arts Collective Inc., Westfield, $2,300, presenting a “Local Luminaries” live event.
• Westfield Coalition for the Arts, Westfield, $2,300, providing art exhibits for Westfield schools.
• Westfield Community Center, Westfield, $1,000, providing black history programs.
• Westfield Neighborhood Council, Westfield, $2,000, presenting dance classes.
• Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts, Berkeley Heights, $1,000, presenting free arts-education workshops.
• YM-YWHA of Union County, Union, $2,400, presenting arts programs for seniors and youths.
The HEART grant program was created by the board of commissioners in 1998, in recognition of the importance of culture and the arts to the Union County economy and quality of life. The program supports projects related to history, the arts and humanities, and demonstrates a commitment to the artists and community organizations of Union County. Total funding for this year’s grants is $125,000.

Photo Courtesy of Jo Hayes