Public Info

Union County Awards 54 “HEART” Grants

ELIZABETH, NJ – The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders announces that 54 artists, historians and local non-profit organizations will receive funding through the 2015 Union County HEART (History, Education, Arts Reaching Thousands) Grant Program.

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 it demonstrates a commitment to the artists and community organizations of Union County. Total funding for this year’s grants is $100,000.

“The recipients of HEART Grants are a wonderful mix of creative individuals – composers and writers, historians, visual artists, musicians and dancers – plus arts, history and other cultural organizations and civic groups,” said Freeholder Chairman Mohamed S. Jalloh. “The response to the program has been exciting ever since its inception.”

“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 Jalloh added. “These cultural assets are a vital part of community life, well being, economic development and cultural heritage tourism in Union County.”

Artists, educators, civic and historical non-profit 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, NJ 07202. Telephone: (908) 558-2550. NJ Relay users dial 711, or send E-mail:


Union County HEART Grants Awarded 2015 (Total $100,000)

  • Brian Beste, Fanwood, $1,000, presenting art and photography workshops;
  • Candace Waller, Fanwood, $900, providing free dance classes;
  • Danielle Linares Hale, Fanwood, $1,000, presenting a community arts festival;
  • Kenneth Sack, Summit, $800, providing an arts-in-education program for Summit;
  • Lesl Harker, New Providence, $1,000, presenting Irish music workshop and concert;
  • Lowell Schantz, Westfield, $1,000, presenting two free jazz concerts in Senior facilities;
  • Marjan Nirou Saniee, New Providence, $750, providing a series of paintings and exhibits;
  • Michelle Nelson, Elizabeth, $800, providing entrepreneurial talks for at risk youth & adults;
  • Paula Borenstein, Elizabeth, $1,000, producing a historic survey of Elizabeth;
  • Valerie Graham, Roselle, $1,000, presenting free crafts workshops for children and seniors;
  • Arts Guild New Jersey, Rahway, $2,300, presenting arts education for children and adults;
  • Borough of Fanwood, $2,500, presenting a Fanwood Cultural Arts Performance Series;
  • Borough of Roselle Park, Casano Community Center, $1,000, presenting a free concert;
  • Brand New Day, Elizabeth, $2,000, presenting traditional Caribbean music and dance workshops;
  • Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company, Union, $2,000, presenting a performance with UCAPA at the Vo-Tech black box theater;
  • CASA of Union County, Elizabeth, $2,500, presenting arts workshops for child advocates;
  • Central Presbyterian Church, Summit, $1,800, providing classical music performances;
  • City of Rahway, $2,500, presenting a collaborative community art project;
  • Cranford Housing Board, Cranford, $1,000, presenting “Three Po’ Tenors” concert for senior housing residents;
  • Dreamcatchers Repertory Theatre, Summit, $2,350  presenting NJ premiere of “Sister Play”;
  • duCret School of Art, Plainfield, $1,000, presenting a performing arts program for children grades K-12;
  • Elizabeth Avenue Partnership, Elizabeth, $2,000, presenting Hispanic Heritage Month concert;
  • Frontiers International Plainfield Area Club, Plainfield, $750, presenting intergenerational lecture series;
  • Groundwork Elizabeth, Inc., Elizabeth, $2,500, presenting 13th Annual Tour de Elizabeth bicycle tour;
  • Historical Society of Plainfield, Plainfield, $2,280, providing history education programs;
  • Institute of Music for Children, Elizabeth, $2,500, providing arts and culture classes to young children;
  • Josephine’s Place, Elizabeth, $2,500, presenting arts programs for immigrant women;
  • Kenilworth Historical Society, Kenilworth, $2,000, preparations for interpretive signage;
  • Language & Enrichment Center INC, Scotch Plains, $1,500, presenting performances by preschool children of Italian winter songs;
  • Life Drawing Studio Group, Fanwood, $2,000, providing visual arts workshops;
  • Mother Seton Regional High School, Clark, $1,500, providing theatrical programs for children;
  • Music for All Seasons, Scotch Plains, $2,500, presenting music programs for U.C. Juvenile Detention Center;
  • Musical Club of Westfield, Scotch Plains, $2,000, presenting an original composition in concert;
  • National Council of Jewish Women, U.C. Section, Elizabeth, $2,500, providing two intergenerational programs: a big band swing dance and a jazz band;
  • New Jersey Festival Orchestra, Westfield, $2,000, presenting live concert “Home for the Holidays”;
  • New Jersey Intergenerational Orchestra, Berkeley Heights, $2,500, presenting a community concert;
  • New Jersey Workshop for the Arts, Westfield, $2,000, presenting event for “Music Connection” for special needs children;
  • Occupational Center of U.C., Roselle, $2,500, presenting art education classes for people with disabilities;
  • Overlook Hospital Foundation, Summit, $2,500, presenting “Paint Your Pain” healing arts program;
  • Plainfield Division of Parks and Recreation, $2,000, presenting a historical Kwanza celebration with speakers, music and dance;
  • Premiere Stages at Kean University, Union, $2,500, presenting the play “Liberty Live”;
  • Restore Ministries, Inc., Elizabeth, $2,500, providing classes for youth literary and multimedia study;
  • SAGE Eldercare, Inc., Summit, $2,500, presenting free musical performances to older adults;
  • Saint Theresa School, Kenilworth, $1,520, providing two student theatrical productions;
  • Springfield Free Public Library, Springfield, $2,500, producing two museum exhibits;
  • Temple Beth O’r/Beth Torah, Clark, $1,250, presenting a free Jewish humor program;
  • The Theater Project, Union, $2,500, presenting theatrical performances in Union;
  • Union Township Community Action Organization, Inc., Union $2,500, presenting Senior Choral performances in nursing homes;
  • Union Township Historical Society, $1,000, presenting history programs for students;
  • United Youth of NJ, Elizabeth, $2,500, presenting a play about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.;
  • Visual Arts Center of NJ, Summit $2,500, presenting a visual arts program for older adults;
  • Westfield Neighborhood Council, Westfield, $1,000, presenting dance workshops;
  • Women in Conversation, Plainfield, $2,500, presenting reading groups for students and seniors;
  • YM-YWHA of Union County, Union, $2,500, presenting the “Y Sunday Brunch Series”.