Arts & Entertainment

Press Releases

Local Organizations Turn Passions Into A Profession For Artists With Disabilities

Cindy is a CSA Art Garden Year 1 artist. She's seen here with Heather Williams, Performing Arts Coordinator, Matheny Arts Access
Kevin is a current CSA Art Garden artist and participates in the Arts Access Program in the Hillsborough facility.
Josh is a current CSA Art Garden Artist who participates in the Arts Access Program in the Hillsborough facility.

News from Matheny

Community based vocational programs are helping emerging artists launch their professional art careers

Two forward-thinking NJ non-profits, the Matheny Arts Access Program and Arts Unbound, are proud to announce the start of the second season of Art Garden CSA (Community Supported Art). Both organizations support and serve artists with disabilities, and have collaborated to bring this unique project to reality. The innovative Art Garden connects these artists with the local community, and works to further the professional art careers of the talented artists who participate.

Sign Up for E-News

Art CSAs are based on the traditional agriculture CSA model, in which a farmer offers a certain number of "shares" to the public. The “shareholder” receives a box of seasonal produce at pickup events throughout the year.

Substitute “art” for “agriculture,” and you have Art Garden CSA, with shareholders receiving original artwork instead of farm produce. This program is unique in that it is the only CSA which serves and supports artists with disabilities, enabling them to cultivate relationships with art buyers, whose purchases help support and sustain the artist’s career.

"Our Art Garden CSA will help local artists with disabilities launch their professional careers with the hope that they could become self-supporting through the sale of their art,” said

Celene Ryan, Director of Artist Development at Arts Unbound.  “It’s a powerful dynamic because when the buyers meet the artists and receive their artwork, it dispels any misperceptions about the range, sophistication and quality of art created by people with disabilities.” 

Following a successful, sold out first season, 10 new local artists with disabilities have been selected and will receive a stipend of $2,000 to create 50 pieces of original or limited edition fine art for the Art Garden. Last year, the work ranged from paintings, jewelry, wearable art, and photography. This year’s group of artists promises to deliver equally exciting, innovative work to their shareholder community. The “community” is comprised of any individual or group that purchases one of the 50 available shares. New this year, both half and full shares are available at an affordable price of $225 and $450 respectively. The shareholders will receive their art at two "pick-up" events during the year where they can meet and mingle with the artists.

Eileen Murray, Director of the Arts Access Program, says, “This program puts us at the forefront of an entirely new way of connecting artists with patrons and making original art accessible to first-time buyers. What makes Art Garden CSA so special though, is that not only are you buying outstanding art, every share purchased helps a talented artist with a disability move one step closer towards making a living as a professional artist. Your purchase also goes towards providing training to help our artists develop the entrepreneurial skills, like building a website, promoting their art and nurturing relationships, that will help them succeed in their careers.””

Year one artist Cindy Shanks said, "I was excited and happy to have my work as part of the Art Garden. It meant that people bought my art." The Art Garden CSA team works to help artists like Cindy turn their passion into a profession one share at a time.

Art Garden CSA is made possible by a generous Community Employment Grant from the Kessler Foundation.

For more information about the Art Garden and to purchase shares, please visit the website:

Matheny Arts Access empowers individuals with disabilities to create art without boundaries. Through the use of innovative systems and techniques, participants can fully participate in the visual, performing and literary arts. Regardless of their disability, clients are provided with the tools and materials needed to take full creative control over their artistic journey. 

Arts Access provides clients with a nurturing environment for expression; a chance to interact with other artists; and an opportunity for performance and exhibition. This program is a vehicle through which disabled individuals can have their ideas; imagination and creativity come to life.

Arts Unbound is a 501c(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the artistic achievement of people living with disabilities and seniors. They provide visual arts education and professional development to help emerging artists compete on the retail market.  They work with learning and emerging artists with disabilities and seniors through the two core programs: visual arts education and artist development. By promoting the work of artists with disabilities and seniors, Arts Unbound centers on their art-making rather than any impairments, and by doing so, challenges the stigma associated with disability and aging.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

Berkeley Heights’ Women of the Week (WoW) Series features Beth Ferris Sale

March 18, 2018

In honor of the women who are driving change, blazing trails and nurturing society, the Berkeley Heights Diversity Council is pleased to announce an exciting initiative called, Women of the Week (WoW) Series. In the spirit of community, we wanted to honor the women right here in Berkeley Heights who are impacting the world in their own way for the remaining weeks of Women’s History ...

UC Tech Student Volunteers Put Fun and Games to Work for Special Needs Learners

March 20, 2018

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Earlier this month, a group of 51 students in grades 9 to 11 from the Teacher Education Academy at UC TECH staged an indoor carnival for special needs learners. More than 140 participants from the community attended the event and enjoyed plinko, corn hole, dance revolution, hula hoop activities, a DJ, prizes and more.

UC TECH is part of the Union County ...

Soprano Anita Lyons Featured Soloist at Summit Symphony Concert March 25

The music of Grieg, Schumann ad Strauss will form the centerpiece of the next Summit Symphony Orchestra concert of the 2017-18 season, a performance which will take place March 25, beginning at 2 p.m., in the Summit High School Auditorium. Admission to all Summit Symphony concerts is free, with donations gratefully accepted. 

American Soprano Anita Lyons will ...

Host the Ultimate Party -- Extreme Foot Dart at the YMCA

Host the coolest, most unusual party EVER where kids will have a blast running and kicking balls around a gym trying to hit a ginormous inflatable target.   A variety of games and activities will be sure to keep your guests engaged and having fun followed by 45 minutes in our private party room.

 Party Times: April - October
Saturdays: 3:30pm-5:00pm

Members / ...

Fanwood-Scotch Plains Rotary Pancake Breakfast on Sun, March 25

SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- The Scotch Plains-Fanwood Rotary Club will host its first Pancake Breakfast at the newly renovated Scotch Hills Country Club in Scotch Plains. 

The event will take place on Sunday, March 25, 2018 from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and the price will be $10 per person. Pancakes, eggs, ham, turkey sausage, coffee, tea, and juice will be served. Additionally, ...

NPHS Student's Response to After School Walk-out Plan at NPHS

March 14, 2018

A group of students file into a science classroom amid a nervous din of chatter, the air is electric with excitement and nervousness. This small group of approximately 30 students are a studious bunch, largely members of the sophomore class with squeaky clean administrative histories. They are currently preparing to defy authority and stand up for what they believe in, even though they had been ...

New Providence's Allen W. Roberts School Gets Security Walk Through by Police Department after Bomb Threat

March 12, 2018

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - The New Providence Police Department sent a letter to parents and guardians of students at Allen W. Roberts Elementary School after a non-specific bomb threat was reported on Monday afternoon.

It's the second threat  reported at a New Providence school in March. The first threat was reported on March 5th at New Providence High School.

Emergency ...

Hillsborough: Suspended HS Athletic Director Charged with Theft

March 20, 2018

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ - Suspended Hillsborough High School Athletic Director Michael Fanizzi has been arrested and charged with the theft of $10,704 in athletic event receipts over a four-year period from 2013-2017, according to Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson.

Fanizzi, 53, a resident of Conover Way in Hillsborough who had been athletics director for 14 years,, had been suspended ...

Upcoming Events

Tue, March 20, 7:30 PM

Mountain Park School, Berkeley Heights

Boy Scout Open House - Troop 368

Education Giving Back

Wed, March 21, 5:30 PM

Great Swamp Watershed Association, Morristown

Coffee & Tea Tasting - FREE GSWA Event

Arts & Entertainment Education Food & Drink

Wed, March 21, 7:00 PM

Summit Free Public Library, Summit

increase your networking and interviewing iq

Business & Finance Other

Thu, March 22, 7:00 PM

Summit Free Public Library, Summit

The Long march home: An American Soldier's Life ...

Education Other


Fri, March 23, 9:30 AM

Dunkin Donuts, Berkeley Heights

Let’s Meet Up to Clean Up! BH Walks, a New ...


JCP&L Representative Describes Utility’s Actions During Storm Quinn, Answers Residents' Questions

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – The format of this week’s  Berkeley Heights 'Here and Now' was turned on its head this week. Mayor Bob Woodruff reviewed what happened in the township following Storm Quinn and its predecessor Storm Riley, complete with statistics. He then asked a representative of JCP&L questions about the utility’s response, and how it was ...

Berkeley Heights, Here and Now: Redevelopment Updates

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - The Mayor's Round Table has been rebranded to "Berkeley Heights, Here and Now." This new format will continue to provide updates from Mayor Bob Woodruff, municipal offices and the Communications Committee want to hear from citizens, businesses and community organizations.

Included in this episode, Mayor Bob Woodruff addresses the status of the ...

Dear Susan: Beauty Tips from a Beauty Expert, Spring Edition

SUSAN BARBAGLIA, owner of Skin Deep Salon and Spa in New Providence, offers a wealth of knowledge and expertise as a leader in the beauty industry. With over thirty years experience in skin care, Susan can answer your most challenging beauty questions. Email your ...

You Want a Check for How Much!

 My first admissions gig was working for a small liberal arts college with a pretty hefty price tag.  Picture me at a college fair: name tag in place, pile of brochures ready to go.  An eager family would walk up and we’d start a conversation.  One of the first questions I’d get from parents was about cost and the moment that $50,000-plus figure left my mouth I ...

Now That The Dust Has Settled…Smart Tax Moves In 2018

Now that the dust has settled, here are some smart tax moves to lower your taxes and/or avoid higher taxes/penalties in 2018. These steps may be especially helpful if you live in high property and high income tax states (e.g. New Jersey, New York, California) since state and local tax deductions are capped.  Unfortunately all these changes mean you’ll need more time and energy to ...