Public Info

Union County Awards 66 “HEART” Grants Bringing the Arts to the Community

group dance routine
The annual Union County HEART grant program provides funding for programs that connect artists with their community (photo credit: Jo Hayes via Institute of Music for Children).

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

Union County, NJ — The Union County Board of County Commissioners announces that 66 artists, historians and local non-profit 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 Board of Commissioners Chair 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 non-profit organizations can contact the Union County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs at (908) 558-2550 or by email at NJ Relay users can dial 711.

Union County HEART Grants Awarded 2022:


  • Candace Waller, Fanwood, $1,000, providing free dance classes
  • Brian Beste, Fanwood, $1,000, presenting photography workshops
  • Daphnie Manzione, Elizabeth, $1,000, providing a Peace Garden at Elizabeth Public Library
  • Judy England-McCarthy, Linden, $1,000, providing historical story videos for libraries
  • Lesl Harker, New Providence, $1,000, presenting Irish music workshop and concert
  • Lowell Schantz, Westfield, $1,000, presenting two free jazz concerts in 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 U.C. historic sites,
  • Valerie Graham, Roselle, $1,000, presenting free crafts workshops for seniors

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 Company, Union, $2,300, presenting a dance festival
  • Catalyst Theater Company 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 concerts
  • Elizabeth Renaissance Foundation, Elizabeth, $2,400, provide self-guided walking tours
  • Fanwood-Scotch Plains Rotary Frazee House, Inc., Scotch Plains, $2,000, presenting 3 October outdoor events
  • Friends of Summit Public Art, $2,300 providing a public art installation
  • Groundwork Elizabeth, Inc., Elizabeth, $2,200, presenting 18th Annual Tour de Elizabeth bicycle tour
  • Hanson Park Conservancy, Cranford, $1,600, providing an Educational Volunteer Day
  • Historical Society of Elizabeth NJ, $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 fund raising concert
  • Institute of Music for Children, Elizabeth, $2,500, providing arts and culture classes for Teens
  • Ivy Visions, Charitable Arm/Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Plainfield, $1,800,  presenting first-hand account historical series
  • Jefferson Parks Ministries, Elizabeth, $2,200, providing a Haitian storytelling event,
  • Jewish Community Center of Central NJ, Scotch Plains, $2,200, presenting 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,  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 & Drovers Tavern Museum, Rahway, $2,000, presenting a historic hearth cooking program
  • Music for All Seasons, Scotch Plains, $2,500, presenting music programs for “The Real House” residents
  • New Jersey Intergenerational Orchestra, New Providence, $2,500, presenting a community concert
  • New Jersey Workshop for the Arts, Westfield, $1,000, provide 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” healing arts 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 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, provide 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, $2,400, Elizabeth, 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 NJ, Elizabeth, $2,400, presenting Ghana live webinars
  • Visual Arts Center of NJ, 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 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 youth

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 innovative 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.

The Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs is a division of the Union County Department of Parks and Recreation. For more information about all programs and activities of the Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs visit online at

For information and updates on all Union County services during the COVID-19 outbreak, including free vaccination, free testing, emergency food distribution and other support services, visit General information about COVID-19 is available through the New Jersey Department of Health at

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For all Union County programs and services visit, call the Public Info Line, 877-424-1234, email or use the online Contact Form.

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