CONTACT: Sebastian D’Elia, 908-527-4419
Tom Plante, 908-527-4746


Union County Awards 45 “HEART” Grants


The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders has announced that 45 local groups and artists will receive a total of $75,000 through the 2008 Union County HEART Grant Program (History, Education, Arts Reaching Thousands).

Recognizing the importance of culture and the arts to our economy and quality of life, the Union County Freeholders established the HEART Grant Program in 1998. This innovative program supports projects related to history, the arts and humanities, and demonstrates a commitment to the artists and community organizations of Union County. The total funding for 2008 is $75,000.

“The response to the HEART Grant Program has been exciting since its inception,” said Freeholder Chairman Angel G. Estrada. “The recipients are a wonderful mix of creative individuals – composers and writers, historians, painters, photographers, musicians and dancers – plus arts, history and other cultural organizations and civic groups.”

“The services provided by these artists, scholars and organizations directly benefit the residents of our county and increase appreciation for the arts, our history, and the humanities,” Freeholder Estrada added. “These cultural assets are a vital part of community life, well being, economic development and cultural heritage tourism in Union County.”

Artists, educators and organizations that want information about next year’s HEART Grant Program can contact the Union County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs, 633 Pearl Street, Elizabeth, New Jersey 07202. Telephone: (908) 558-2550. NJ Relay users dial 711, or E-mail:

HEART Grants Approved 2008 (Total $75,000)

  • Mario Lombardo, Cranford ($1000) composing and performing “Scherzo”
  • Keesha Moore, Plainfield ($1000) presenting a youth production of “Annie Jr.”
  • Joseph Patrick, Elizabeth ($1000) presenting an exhibit of recent Haitian photographs
  • Joseph Stuczynski, Plainfield ($1000) an exhibit of historical Plainfield photographs
  • Lydia Watson, Scotch Plains ($1000) create and present artwork of Plainfield scenes
  • Abraham Clark House, Roselle ($400) hiring an historian for Four Centuries in a Weekend (Oct. 18-19)
  • Arts Guild of Rahway, Rahway ($2500) an arts education program for pre-K students
  • Borough of New Providence Community Activities ($1000) live music at the New Providence Music & Art Street Festival
  • Briant Park Olmstead Conservancy, Summit ($2500) supporting development of Briant Park restoration master plans
  • Center for Hope Hospice & Palliative Care, Scotch Plains ($2500) musical performances for hospice residents
  • Chinese American Music Ensemble, Westfield ($2500) choral and instrumental concerts
  • Cranford Historical Society ($500) presenting a 19th century village fair for Four Centuries in a Weekend (Oct. 18-19)
  • Cranford Historical Society ($1000) hiring an historic costume consultant
  • Cranford Housing Board, Inc. ($2500) concerts for Cranford Senior Housing residents
  • Early Childhood Advisory Council, Scotch Plains ($2000) assisting families of pre-school children to understand cognitive development
  • Elizabeth Avenue Partnership, Elizabeth ($2500) dance and music events during Hispanic Heritage Month
  • Elizabethport Presbyterian Center, Inc., Elizabeth ($2500) intergenerational visual arts
  • Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside ($500) supporting a history project at Evergreen Cemetery
  • Hillside Historical Society ($360) hiring an historian and antique car for Four Centuries in a Weekend (Oct. 18-19)
  • Historical Society of Plainfield ($400) hiring an actor to portray Sojourner Truth for Four Centuries in a Weekend (Oct. 18-19)
  • Historical Society of Plainfield ($2500) hiring a curriculum writer
  • Institute of Music for Children, Elizabeth ($2500) dance instruction for 12 at-risk girls
  • Kenilworth Historical Society ($500) hiring a horticulture history expert for Four Centuries in a Weekend (Oct. 18-19)
  • Literacy Volunteers of Union County, Plainfield ($2500) publish student literary work
  • Merchants and Drovers Tavern Museum, Rahway ($500) hiring an historian to lecture on Abraham Lincoln for Four Centuries in a Weekend (Oct. 18-19)
  • Mother Seton Regional High School, Clark ($1000) producing a student musical
  • National Council of Jewish Women, U.C. Section, Elizabeth ($1500) providing two afternoon big band dance programs
  • Occupational Center of U.C., Roselle ($2500) arts and education program for people with disabilities
  • Old First Presbyterian Trust, Elizabeth ($500) hiring an historian to lecture on early New Jersey government for Four Centuries in a Weekend (Oct. 18-19)
  • Plainfield Division of Parks & Recreation ($2500) presenting a speaker on Native American and African American connections
  • Plainfield Public Library ($2000) transcribing oral history recordings
  • Queen City Academy Charter School, Inc., Plainfield ($2500) providing 8th grade students a mural arts tour program
  • Reeves-Reed Arboretum, Summit ($2500) create a brochure about Summit’s historical sites
  • Reeves Reed Arboretum, Summit ($300) hiring a musician to perform turn-of-the-century songs for Four Centuries in a Weekend (Oct. 18-19)
  • Restore Ministries, Inc., Union ($2500) presenting “Harmony: Promoting the Peace” a visual art drama program for youth
  • Rutgers Cooperative Extension 4-H Youth Development, Westfield ($1,000) presenting a Saturday history club colonial crafts program
  • Second Street Youth Center, Plainfield ($1050) presenting a clay animation and computer editing program for children
  • St. John’s Baptist Church, Scotch Plains ($1000) African American dance workshop and performance
  • Stony Hill Players, New Providence ($2500) operetta performances of “Babes in Toyland”
  • The Theater Project/Union County College, Cranford ($2250) presenting “A Few Steps in a Stranger’s Shoes” by the college’s professional theater company
  • Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, Summit ($2500) a visual arts program for older adults
  • Westfield Historical Society ($2000) publishing and publicizing “A History of the Medical Profession in Westfield”
  • Westfield Symphony Orchestra ($2500) performing live symphonic accompaniment to the 1931 film “Frankenstein”
  • Women in Conversation, Plainfield ($2500) reading groups for children and senior citizens
  • Art in the Gardens, Elizabeth, through the Union County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs ($2,740) individual and group performances during Arts & Humanities Month.