ELIZABETH, NJ - The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, Fortnightly Club of Summit and Reeves-Reed Arboretum are included among the 16 groups and organizations that will receive a total of $22,000 via the 2017 Union County History Grants Program, made possible from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State.

The grants will be used to support special projects or general operating expenses for the County-based, non-profit history organizations and units of local government, including libraries and schools.

The Art Center will receive $2,000 to produce a walking guild of the Watchung Reservation, the Fortnightly Club of Summit $500 for operating devices, while Reeves-Reed Arboretum of Summit will use $2,000 for operating costs, marketing and public outreach for programming.

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“This grant program gives us the opportunity to help local non-profit groups develop and present important history programs or projects to a wide-ranging audience,’’ said Freeholder Chairman Bruce H. Bergen. 

in addition to the Summit organizations, a variety of programs and projects are being developed and presented by the 2017 grant recipients, including:

- The Clark Library will receive $1,400 for digitization of historic newspapers.
- Fanwood-Scotch Plains will use $1,000 for the development and design of print marketing materials for the Frazel House.
- The Garwood Historical Committee will use $250 for digitization of a World War II newsletter “Gar-words.”
- The Hillside Public Library will use $1,000 to transfer Hillside Times microfilm to web portal access.
- The Historical Society of Elizabeth will use $2,000 for research and media production staffed by students from Kean University and NJIT.
- The Historical Society of Plainfield will use $2,000 for administrative assistance and grounds upkeep.
- Merchants and Drovers Tavern in Rahway will use $1,600 for staffing cost and to keep the facility up and running four days a week.
- The Mountainside Historical Preservation Committee will use $1,000 for monthly costs, including phone, insurance, and cleaning artifacts.
- The New Providence Historical Society will use $1,000 for a Community Lecture Series and workshops.
- The Old First Historic Trust will use $2,000 to develop public tour programs.
- The African-American Heritage and Learning Center in Rahway will use $1,250 for office furniture, a computer and a scanner.
- The Union County Historical Society will use $1,000 for conservation and preservation of Military and Wedding clothing as well as Quilts.
- The Westfield Historical Society will use $2,000 for administrative and operational costs.

Organizations interested in learning more about the History Grant Program are directed to contact the Division of Cultural and Heritage Affairs, located at 633 Pearl Street in Elizabeth, which can be reached by calling 908-558-2550. Relay users can dial 711 or contact culturalinfo@ucnj.org.