ELIZABETH, NJ - Seven Summit-based nonprofit organizations -- including the Overlook Foundation, SAGE Eldercare and Reeves-Reed Arboretum -- are among the 75 artists, historians and entities that will receive funding through the 2019 Union County History, Education, Arts Reaching Thousands (HEART) Grant Program.

The Freeholder Board established the HEART Grant Program in 1998, with the initiative supporting projects related to history, the arts and humanities. Total funding for this year’s grants is $125,000. Other Hilltop City-based organizations receiving grants include Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre, Stony Hill Players, the Continuo Arts Foundation and the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey.

“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 Chair Bette Jane Kowalski. “The response to the program has been enthusiastic since its inception.”

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“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,” said Freeholder Chair Bette Jane Kowalski. “These cultural assets are a vital part of community life, economic development, and cultural heritage tourism in Union County.”

Union County 2019 HEART Grant recipients include:

Organizations / Community Groups

  • Black Women’s History Conference, Plainfield, $2,000,  providing a History Conference
  • Borough of Fanwood, Fanwood, $2,000,  presenting a Cultural Arts Performance Series
  • Borough of Kenilworth, $1,800,  provide a fall music and art festival
  • Borough of Roselle Park, Casano Community Center, $1,000,  presenting a free St. Patrick’s Day concert
  • Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company, Union, $2,200,  presenting a dance festival
  • City of Rahway/Department of Recreation, $2,000, providing studio art classes for children and adults
  • Community Access Unlimited, Elizabeth, $1,000,  providing a choral concert of students
  • Continuo Arts Foundation, Summit, $2,000,  presenting a holiday concert
  • Cranford Housing Board, Cranford, $1,000,  presenting “Three Po' Tenors” in concert for senior residents
  • Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre, Summit, $1,800,  presenting the premiere of "The lucky Ones”
  • duCret School of Art, Plainfield, $2,300,  presenting an art lecture series
  • Elizabeth Avenue Partnership, Elizabeth, $1,600,  presenting Hispanic Heritage Month concerts
  • Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless, $1,000,  providing art education for homeless
  • Elizabeth Shines Foundation, Elizabeth, $2,100,  providing public murals
  • Groundwork Elizabeth, Inc., Elizabeth, $2,000, presenting 17th Annual Tour de Elizabeth bicycle tour
  • Hanson Park Conservancy, Cranford, $600,  presenting a garden history lecture series
  • Hillcrest Academy North, UCESC, Scotch Plains, $2,000. providing interactive music programs to students
  • Historical Society of Elizabeth NJ, $1,000,  presenting a history panel discussion
  • Historical Society of Plainfield, Plainfield, $2,200,  providing a lecture series and exhibit
  • Institute of Music for Children, Elizabeth, $2,300,  providing arts and culture classes to young children
  • Jefferson Parks Ministries, Elizabeth, $2,000,  presenting a performance and lecture series
  • Jewish Community Center of Central NJ, Scotch Plains, $2,000,  presenting a cultural appreciation series for Seniors
  • Jewish Family Services of Central NJ, Elizabeth, $2,000,  presenting a Memory Café Program
  • Josephine’s Place, Elizabeth, $2,500,  presenting a performing arts program for immigrant women
  • Kenilworth Historical Society, Kenilworth, $1,000,  presenting a Living History exhibition
  • Liberty Hall Museum, Union, $1,900,  presenting a dance festival
  • Life Drawing Studio Group, Fanwood, $2,000,  providing visual arts workshops
  • Merchants & Drovers Tavern Museum, Rahway, $1,000,  presenting a history tour and presentation
  • Mothers’ Center of Central NJ, Cranford, $1,000,  providing Books for Babies program
  • Music for All Seasons, Scotch Plains, $2,500,  presenting music programs for U.C. Detention Center
  • Musical Club of Westfield, Scotch Plains, $2,000, presenting a benefit concert
  • National Council of Jewish Women, U.C. Section, Elizabeth, $2,300,  providing two programs: a big band swing dance and a jazz band
  • New Jersey Festival Orchestra, Westfield, $1,700,  presenting live concert “Return of the Three Holiday Tenors”
  • New Jersey Intergenerational Orchestra, Berkeley Heights, $2,300,  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 Medical Center Foundation, Summit, $2,000,  presenting "Healing Caregivers" healing arts program
  • Peruvians for Progress, Elizabeth, $1,800,  presenting a free traditional Peruvian Christmas celebration
  • Plainfield Symphony Society, Plainfield, $2,000,  presenting a free symphony concert
  • Premiere Stages at Kean University, Union, $2,000,  presenting the play “Robey”
  • Rahway River Watershed Association, Rahway, $2,400,  providing nature photography workshop and exhibit
  • Reeves-Reed Arboretum, Summit, $2,000,  presenting concert with jazz vocalist Cyrille Aimee
  • Roselle Board of Education, Roselle, $2,000,  presenting a high school performing arts program
  • Roselle Park Loves Arts, Inc., Roselle Park, $1,800, provide an arts festival
  • SAGE Eldercare, Inc., Summit, $2,100,  presenting free musical performances to older adults
  • Second Westfield Senior Citizens Housing, Westfield, $1,000,  providing an interactive music program for Seniors
  • Someone’s Daughter, Elizabeth, $2,200,  providing film making classes for youth
  • Springfield Free Public Library, $600,  producing a museum exhibit
  • Springfield Historical Society, Springfield, $2,000,  producing a book on the battle of Springfield
  • Stony Hill Players, Summit, $2,000,  presenting children’s theatrical productions
  • Temple Beth O’r/Beth Torah, Clark, $1,200,  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
  • Town of Westfield, Westfield, $2,000,  providing a public mural
  • Union County College, Cranford, $2,000,  providing a theatrical production
  • Union Township Community Action Organization, Inc., Union $2,500,  presenting Senior Choral performances in nursing homes
  • Union Township Dept. of Recreation, Union, $1,000,  providing art classes for young children
  • Union Township Historical Society, Union, $1,000,  presenting history programs for students 
  • United Youth of NJ, Elizabeth, $2,500,  presenting an historical play “New Jersey’s Only Surviving Black Wall Street”
  • Visual Arts Center of NJ, Summit $2,000,  presenting a visual arts program for older adults
  • Westfield Community Center, Westfield, $1,000,  providing creative writing classes for youth and seniors
  • Westfield Neighborhood Council, Westfield, $2,000,  presenting dance classes
  • Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts, Berkeley Heights, $1,800,  presenting an older adult choral program
  • YM-YWHA of Union County, Union, $2,000,  presenting the “Y Sunday Brunch Art Series”


  • Brian Beste, Fanwood, $1,000,  presenting photography workshops
  • Paula Borenstein, Elizabeth, $1,000,  providing a historic walking tour of Elizabeth
  • Catherine Brennan, Westfield, $870,  presenting a film and discussion series
  • Valerie Graham, Roselle, $1,000,  presenting free crafts workshops for children and seniors
  • Lesl Harker, New Providence, $1,000,  presenting Irish music workshop and concert
  • Richard Palmatier, Scotch plains, $330,  providing a history map game
  • Lowell Schantz, Westfield, $1,000,  presenting two free jazz concerts in Union County libraries
  • Dario Scholis, Elizabeth, $1,000,  presenting free painting workshops
  • Renaee Smith, Roselle, $800,  providing Writers Café workshops
  • Shannon Spaziani, Linden, $1,000,  providing activity books for children
  • Candace Waller, Fanwood, $1,000,  providing free dance classes

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 -- located at 633 Pearl Street, Elizabeth, NJ 07202 -- by calling 908-558-2550 (NJ Relay users may dial 711) or contact culturalinfo@ucnj.org.