Union County Awards 66 “HEART” Grants Bringing the Arts to the Community – Union County, New Jersey

The annual Union County HEART Grant Program funds programs that connect artists to their community (photo credit: Jo Hayes via Institute of Music for Children).

The annual program provides funding for workshops, performances, festivals, exhibitions and more.

Union County, NJ – The Union County Board of Commissioners announces that 66 artists, historians, and local nonprofit organizations will receive funding through the 2022 Union County HEART (History, Education, Arts Reaching Thousands ).

“The Board of Commissioners is very proud to support the HEART Grants Program, which continues to bring artistic and educational experiences to residents of Union County under difficult and unprecedented circumstances during the pandemic,” said the Chair of the Board of Commissioners. Board of Commissioners, Rebecca Williams. “On behalf of the Board of Directors, I congratulate our 2022 winners and thank them for their dedication to creativity and enriching our community.”

In addition to meeting ongoing grant qualification criteria, 2022 awardees have demonstrated a willingness to change their plans and activities during the COVID-19 pandemic, including mastering new tools and technologies for virtual events, and an ability to host in-person events in accordance with COVID-19 safety guidelines.

For more information about next year’s HEART grant program, artists, educators, civic groups and nonprofit historical organizations can contact the Union County Office of Cultural Affairs and Heritage at (908) 558-2550 or by email at [email protected] NJ Relay users can dial 711.

Union County HEART Grants Awarded in 2022:


  • Candace Waller, Fanwood, $1,000, offering free dance lessons
  • Brian Beste, Fanwood, $1,000, presenting photography workshops
  • Daphnie Manzione, Elizabeth, $1,000, donating a peace garden to the Elizabeth Public Library
  • Judy England-McCarthy, Linden, $1,000, provides historical story videos to libraries
  • Lesl Harker, New Providence, $1,000, presentation of a workshop and a concert of Irish music
  • Lowell Schantz, Westfield, $1,000, presenting two free jazz concerts at Union County Libraries
  • Margaret Smith, Westfield, $1,000, providing free Creative Journal Expressive Arts workshops
  • Nancy Ori, Berkeley Heights, $1,000, providing photographs and presentation of UC historic sites,
  • Valerie Graham, Roselle, $1,000, presenting free craft workshops for seniors

Community Organizations/Groups

  • Borough of Fanwood, Fanwood, $2,300, presenting a series of cultural arts performances
  • Borough of Roselle Park, Casano Community Center, $1,000, featuring a free concert
  • Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company, Union, $2,300, presenting a dance festival
  • Catalyst Theater Company Productions, Plainfield, $2,300, offering a musical theater production
  • Central Presbyterian Church, Summit, $2,000, featuring a children’s musical
  • Community Access Unlimited, Elizabeth, $1,000, providing Arts in the Park activities
  • Continuo Arts Foundation, Summit, $2,300, presenting a concert of choral music
  • Cranford Housing Board, Cranford, $1,000, presenting a Valentine’s Day concert for elderly residents
  • duCret School of Art, Plainfield, $2,400, presenting outdoor plays
  • Elizabeth Avenue Partnership, Elizabeth, $2,200, presenting Hispanic Heritage Month concerts
  • Elizabeth Renaissance Foundation, Elizabeth, $2,400, offers self-guided walking tours
  • Fanwood-Scotch Plains Rotary Frazee House, Inc., Scotch Plains, $2,000, featuring outdoor events Oct. 3
  • Friends of Summit Public Art, $2,300 for a public art installation
  • Groundwork Elizabeth, Inc., Elizabeth, $2,200, featuring 18and Tour d’Elizabeth Annual Bike Tour
  • Hanson Park Conservancy, Cranford, $1,600, providing a day of educational volunteering
  • Elizabeth NJ Historical Society, $1,000, History Roundtable Presentation
  • Historical Society of Plainfield, Plainfield, $2,500, offering virtual history programming
  • Inspiration Audio, Rahway, $1,000, offering a fundraising concert
  • Institute of Music for Children, Elizabeth, $2,500, offering arts and culture classes for teens
  • Ivy Visions, Charitable Arm/Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Plainfield, $1,800, presenting a historical series of first-hand accounts
  • Jefferson Parks Ministries, Elizabeth, $2,200, providing a Haitian storytelling event,
  • Jewish Community Center of Central NJ, Scotch Plains, $2,200, featuring a cultural appreciation series for seniors
  • Jewish Family Services of Central NJ, Elizabeth, $2,400, presenting a virtual concert program
  • Josephine’s Place, Elizabeth, $2,500, featuring arts programs for immigrant women
  • Kenilworth Historical Society, Kenilworth, $1,000, presenting living history programs
  • Liberty Hall Museum, Union, $2,400 featuring a dance festival
  • Life Drawing Studio Group, Fanwood, $2,200, offering visual arts workshops
  • Merchants & Drovers Tavern Museum, Rahway, $2,000, featuring a historic home cooking program
  • Music for All Seasons, Scotch Plains, $2,500, featuring music programs for residents of “The Real House”
  • New Jersey Intergenerational Orchestra, New Providence, $2,500, presenting a community concert
  • New Jersey Workshop for the Arts, Westfield, $1,000, offers outdoor musical performances
  • New Providence Public Art, $2,300, featuring an interactive sculpture park
  • Occupational Center of Union County, Inc., Roselle, $2,500, featuring arts education classes for people with disabilities
  • Overlook Foundation, Summit, $2,200, presenting the Healing Caregivers healing arts program
  • Peruvians for Progress, Inc., Rahway, $2,200 featuring a free traditional Peruvian Christmas celebration,
  • Plainfield Symphony Society, Plainfield, $2,300, presenting a free symphony concert
  • Portuguese Instructive Social Club, Elizabeth, $2,500, donating 100-year commemorative mural
  • Premiere Stages at Kean University, Union, $2,300, featuring an original piece
  • Preserve Shady Rest Committee, Scotch Plains, $1,000, providing recorded oral history of Shady Rest
  • Roselle Board of Education, Roselle, $2,300, featuring a high school performing arts program
  • Roselle Park Loves Arts, Inc., Roselle Park, $2,300, offers arts festival
  • SAGE Eldercare, Inc., Summit, $2,100, featuring free art programs for seniors,
  • Social Justice Matters, Inc., Scotch Plains, $2,500, offering a June 19 celebration,
  • Stony Hill Players, Summit, $2,400, featuring children’s theater productions
  • The Gateway Family YMCA, $2,400, Elizabeth, featuring the 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 NJ, Elizabeth, $2,400, presenting live webinars on Ghana
  • Visual Arts Center of NJ, Summit $2,300, presenting a visual arts program for seniors
  • Vivid Stage, Summit, $2,400, producing a theatrical workshop of “Twirl”
  • Westfield Arts Collective, Inc., Westfield, $2,300, Presenting Local Luminaries Live Event
  • Westfield Coalition for the Arts, Westfield, $2,300, providing art exhibits to Westfield schools
  • Westfield Community Center, Westfield, $1,000, offering Black History programs
  • Westfield Neighborhood Council, Westfield, $2,000, featuring 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, featuring arts programs for seniors and youth

The HEART Grant Program was established by the Board of Commissioners in 1998, in recognition of the importance of culture and the arts to Union County’s economy and quality of life. The innovative program supports projects related to history, arts and humanities, and demonstrates a commitment to artists and community organizations in Union County. Total grant funding for this year is $125,000.

The Bureau of Cultural Affairs and Heritage is a division of the Union County Department of Parks and Recreation. For more information on all of the Office of Cultural Affairs and Heritage’s programs and activities, visit online at ucnj.org/cultural.

For information and updates on all Union County services during the COVID-19 outbreak, including free vaccination, free testing, emergency food distribution, and other emergency services. support, visit ucnj.org/covid19. General information about COVID-19 is available from the New Jersey Department of Health at nj.gov/health.

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For all Union County programs and services, visit ucnj.org, call the public information line at 877-424-1234, email [email protected], or use the online contact form .

Connect with Union County on social media.

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