Public Info

Union County Awards 63 “HEART” Grants

The Plainfield Symphony Society is one of 63 recipients of the 2018 “HEART” grants from the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders. HEART grants are designed to help organizations and individuals provide enriching programs and activities for Union County residents in the arts, history and the humanities.

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders announces that 63 artists, historians and local non-profit organizations will receive funding through the 2018 Union County HEART (History, Education, Arts Reaching Thousands) Grant Program.

“The recipients of HEART Grants are a wonderful mix of creative individuals – composers and writers, historians, visual artists, musicians and dancers – along with arts, history and cultural organizations and civic groups,” said Freeholder Chairman Sergio Granados. “The response to the program has been exciting ever since its inception, and we are looking forward to another season of enriching outreach to thousands of Union County residents.”

The Freeholder Board established the HEART Grant Program in 1998, in recognition of the importance of culture and the arts to the Union County economy and quality of life.

The innovative program supports projects that directly benefit the residents of Union County, that enhance appreciation for the arts, history, and the humanities, and raise awareness that cultural assets are a vital part of community well being, economic development and cultural heritage tourism in Union County.

Total funding for this year’s grants is $100,000.00. The following individuals and groups received awards:

  • Brian Beste, Fanwood, $1,000,  presenting photography workshops
  • Candace Waller, Fanwood, $1,000,  providing free dance classes
  • Dario Scholis, Elizabeth, $1,000,  presenting free painting workshops
  • Lesl Harker, New Providence, $1,000,  presenting Irish music workshop and concert
  • Lluana Jones, Plainfield, $1,000,  providing theatrical classes for K-12
  • Lowell Schantz, Westfield, $1,000,  presenting two free jazz concerts in Union County libraries
  • Renaee Smith, Roselle, $800,  providing Writers Café workshops
  • Valerie Graham, Roselle, $1,000,  presenting free crafts workshops for children and seniors
  • Borough of Fanwood, Fanwood, $1,800,  presenting a Fanwood Cultural Arts Performance Series
  • Borough of Kenilworth, $1,500,  provide a fall music and art festival
  • Borough of Roselle Park, Casano Community Center, $1,000,  presenting a free Halloween concert
  • Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company, Union, $2,000,  presenting a dance festival
  • City of Rahway/Department of Recreation, $1,500, providing studio art classes for children and adults
  • Community Access Unlimited, Elizabeth, $1,000,  providing a choral concert of students
  • Continuo Arts Foundation, Summit, $1,500,  presenting a holiday concert
  • Cranford Housing Board, Cranford, $1,000,  presenting “Three Po’ Tenors” in concert for senior residents
  • Cresthaven Academy Foundation, Plainfield, $1,500,  providing an after school music program for children
  • Dreamcatchers Repertory Theatre, Summit, $1,700,  presenting the premiere of “Psychodrama”
  • duCret School of Art, Plainfield, $2,300,  presenting an art lecture series
  • Elizabeth Avenue Partnership, Elizabeth, $1,500,  presenting Hispanic Heritage Month concerts
  • Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless, $1,000,  providing art education for homeless
  • Elizabeth Public Library, $500,  presenting free haiku writing workshops
  • Fair Moon Stages, Rahway, $1,500,  providing musical theater productions
  • Groundwork Elizabeth, Inc., Elizabeth, $2,000, presenting 16th Annual Tour de Elizabeth bicycle tour
  • Hanson Park Conservancy, Cranford, $600,  presenting “John Bartram Lives” program
  • Historical Society of Elizabeth NJ, $1,000,  presenting a history panel discussion
  • Historical Society of Plainfield, Plainfield, $1,725,  providing a lecture series
  • Institute of Music for Children, Elizabeth, $2,200,  providing arts and culture classes to young children
  • Jefferson Parks Ministries, Elizabeth, $2,000,  presenting an art education program for children
  • Jewish Community Center of Central NJ, Scotch Plains, $2,000,  presenting a cultural appreciation series for Seniors
  • Josephine’s Place, Elizabeth, $2,500,  presenting history programs for immigrant women
  • Kenilworth Historical Society, Kenilworth, $1,000,  presenting a Living History exhibition
  • Liberty Hall Museum, Union, $1,800,  presenting a dance festival
  • Life Drawing Studio Group, Fanwood, $1,800,  providing visual arts workshops
  • Music for All Seasons, Scotch Plains, $2,500,  presenting music programs for U.C. Juvenile Detention Center
  • National Council of Jewish Women, U.C. Section, Elizabeth, $2,300,  providing two intergenerational programs: a big band swing dance and a jazz band
  • New Jersey Festival Orchestra, Westfield, $1,700,  presenting live concert “Home for the Holidays”
  • New Jersey Intergenerational Orchestra, Berkeley Heights, $2,200,  presenting a community concert
  • New Jersey Workshop for the Arts, Westfield, $1,000,  provide chamber ensemble concerts
  • Occupational Center of Union County, Inc., Roselle, $2,500,  presenting art education classes for people with disabilities
  • Overlook Hospital Foundation, Summit, $2,000,  presenting “Healing Caregivers” healing arts program
  • Peruvians for Progress, Elizabeth, $2,000,  presenting a free traditional Peruvian Christmas celebration
  • Plainfield Symphony Society, Plainfield, $1,600,  presenting a free symphony concert
  • Premiere Stages at Kean University, Union, $2,000,  presenting the play “Black Tom Island”
  • Reeves-Reed Arboretum, Summit, $1,600,  presenting concert with jazz vocalist Cyrille Aimee
  • Roselle 24/7, Roselle, $1,000,  providing community-based arts festival
  • Roselle Park Historical Society, $1,000,  presenting an historical music concert
  • SAGE Eldercare, Inc., Summit, $2,100,  presenting free musical performances to older adults
  • Saint Theresa School, Kenilworth, $1,800,  providing two student theatrical productions
  • Second Westfield Senior Citizens Housing, Westfield, $1,000,  providing an interactive education program for Seniors
  • Springfield Free Public Library, $850,  producing a museum exhibit
  • Stony Hill Players, Summit, $2,000,  presenting children’s theatrical productions
  • Temple Beth O’r/Beth Torah, Clark, $1,100,  presenting a free comedy performance
  • The ARC of Union County, Springfield, $2,500  presenting an interactive concert series
  • The Theater Project, Union, $2,000,  presenting theatrical performances in Union
  • Union County Educational Services Commission, Scotch Plains, $2,025,  providing interactive music programs to students
  • Union Township Community Action Organization, Inc., Union $2,500,  presenting Senior Choral performances in nursing homes
  • Union Township Historical Society, Union, $1,000,  presenting history programs for students 
  • United Youth of NJ, Elizabeth, $2,500,  presenting an historical play about the Harlem Renaissance
  • Visual Arts Center of NJ, Summit $2,000,  presenting a visual arts program for older adults
  • Westfield Neighborhood Council, Westfield, $2,000,  presenting dance workshops
  • Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts, Berkeley Heights, $1,500,  presenting an older adult choral program
  • YM-YWHA of Union County, Union, $2,000,  presenting the “Y Sunday Brunch Art Series”

Artists, educators, civic and historical non-profit organizations seeking 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 e-mail