The New Jersey State Council on the Arts Funds Programs for Artists with Disabilities

September 16, 2021, Peapack, NJ — Matheny has been awarded $62,694.00 in grants from The New Jersey State Council on the Arts. The money is part of more than $35.6 million in grants made by NJSCA to support over  700 of New Jersey’s arts organizations, projects, and artists  and also included $7.5 million in Coronavirus Relief Funds – part of Governor Murphy’s economic recovery efforts.

Eileen Murray, Director of the Arts Access Program, said “NJSCA’s tremendous generosity greatly assists Arts Access in our mission to bring the fine arts experience to people with disabilities. New Jersey is fortunate to have such a vibrant and dynamic arts council, and I am personally grateful for their unflagging support.”

Arts Access’ multidisciplinary program offers specialized systems of communication and assistance for individuals with disabilities that enable them to freely express themselves in the arts. Instead of defining those participating in Arts Access by their disabilities, Arts Access enables participants to define themselves by their accomplishments.

The basis for all Arts Access programming is an established method of art facilitation through which individuals with disabilities are enabled to create and perform dramatic and literary works, dance, paintings, digital art, and sculpture. Facilitators are professional NJ artists who receive extensive, ongoing training in Arts Access methodology, program philosophy, and assistive technologies. Matheny’s Arts Access program empowers individuals with disabilities, regardless of economic or other disadvantages, to participate in the arts using innovative facilitation techniques. A wide variety of artistic choices in the visual, literary and performing arts is made available. Virtual facilitation was developed during the pandemic and had become an important component of the program.

Arts Access, now in its 28th year, gives people with developmental disabilities the tools necessary to create fine art. Assisted by professional artist-facilitators, the artists use specialized systems and methodologies that have been designed to enable individuals across the full spectrum of disability to clearly communicate their ideas. The fruits of their creativity – acrylic paintings, digital art, choreography, poetry, plays, essays and more – have been showcased in many venues throughout the tri-state area.  To learn more, go to


The New Jersey State Council on the Arts, created in 1966, is a division of the NJ Department of State. The Council was established to encourage and foster public interest in the arts; enlarge public and private resources devoted to the arts; promote freedom of expression in the arts; and facilitate the inclusion of art in every public building in New Jersey. The Council receives direct appropriations from the State of New Jersey through a dedicated, renewable Hotel/Motel Occupancy fee, as well as competitive grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. To learn more about the Council, please visit
About Matheny – Matheny’s mission is to provide exceptional care and an optimal quality of life for children and adults with special needs and medically complex developmental disabilities. Matheny is a 501c3 nonprofit organization and is headquartered in Somerset County.  It was founded in 1946 after Walter and Marguerite Matheny’s son, Chuck, was born with cerebral palsy (CP) into a world ill-equipped to care for children with special needs. Matheny patients have a diverse range of medical conditions such as Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida, Lesch-Nyhan Disease (LND) and a wide range of rare diseases. Matheny is comprised of a special hospital, five community group homes, an adult day center, a non-profit private special school, and outpatient clinics serving the community. To learn more about Matheny, visit us at or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram: @mathenymedical.