SOMERVILLE, NJ – The Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders recently presented ceremonial checks to 17 organizations receiving funds through the Local Arts Program (LAP) Grant. The total amount of grants awarded was $54,262. 

Monies were awarded to organizations for general operating support, special projects and creative placemaking – an evolving field that promotes arts, culture and creativity to serve a community's interest while also promoting its growth. Grants were approved by the Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission and the Board of Chosen Freeholders and were presented as part of the county’s celebration of Arts and Humanities Month in October.

The following organizations received LAP grants:

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Adult Day Center of Somerset County - $500

Special project funding will aid in implementing hands-on visual art programing and participatory music programing. 

The Arc of Somerset County - $500

Special project funding will assist in providing a variety of music experiences and programs to ARC patrons and partnering with a local nursing home for music education classes.                                                            

Bernardsville Special Events – $5,000

Creative placemaking funds will be utilized to produce a mural on the Mount Airy Road overpass that will be a more welcoming entrance to the heart of town.

Bernards Township Parks & Recreation – $2,000

Special project funding will be utilized to assist with the production of the award winning Plays in the Park program for its 33rd season.

Bound Brook Cultural Arts Committee – $1,762

Special project funding will support visual and performing arts components for Riverfest, an annual free street fair held in downtown Bound Brook.

Central Jersey Symphony Orchestra – $5,000

General operating support funds will allow the CJSO to continue to provide music programming through the engagement of professional New Jersey artists.

Friends of Kennedy Martin Stelle Farmstead – $8,500

General operating support funds will be used for the continuation and expansion of arts programming, special events and a 10-year celebration of the Farmstead Arts Center.

Jersey Harmony Chorus – $500.00

General operating support funds will go toward the purchase of new music for performances.

Light Opera of New Jersey Inc. – $5,500

General operating support funds will help produce three fully-staged public performances and provide sign language interpretation services.

Middle Earth – $2,500

Special project funding will support the Middle Earth Art House Initiative Program, which is open to all Somerset County youth through four community youth centers located in Franklin, Somerville, Bound Brook and Manville.

The New School for Music Study – $500

General operating support funds will help launch monthly community engagement activities.

Raag-Rang – $3,500

Special project funding will support two key programs for 2020 – Kal-Ke-Kalakar (Artists of the Future) and a summer concert and lecture demonstration.

Raritan Valley Symphonic Band – $3,500.00

General operating support funds will be utilized to produce a series of free public concerts.

Somerset County Park Commission – $4,000

Special project funding will help expand performances for the Summer Concert Series in the Park.

Somerset Valley Players – $5,500

General operating support funds will be utilized to improve the quality of performances.

Ukrainian History and Education Center – $3,500

General operating support funds will expand the arts programs at the Ukrainian History and Education Center.

Villagers Theatre – $2,000

General operating grant funds will support 17 productions, three theater programs, three workshops and a festival, as well as several special events.

About the Local Arts Program Grant

The State/County Partnership Local Arts Program Grant enables the New Jersey State Council on the Arts (NJSCA) to support local arts development within each of New Jersey’s 21 counties through a competitive grant application process by awarding funds to the designated county arts agencies (CAAs).

The Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission (SCC&HC) is the official agency designated in the county to apply for, receive and administer the Local Arts Program Grant program. The grant applications are approved through an independent panel of peers who evaluate and provide recommendations for the allocation of funding. Recommendations are submitted to the Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission for approval and are approved by the Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders.