The arts enrich our lives on a daily basis. In addition there is much to be learned about Mercer County's great contribution to the growth of its Art Community.

The Board of Chosen Freeholders created the Mercer County Cultural and Heritage Commission on March 17, 1970 to serve as an Advisory Board to the Division of Culture and Heritage. The Statutes enabled the Division and Advisory Board to develop County programs to promote public interest in local and county history, in the visual and performing arts, and in the cultural values, goals and traditions of the community. In 1976 the County adopted a County Executive form of government. The Division of Culture and Heritage was then moved to serve under the Mercer County Office of Economic Development and Sustainability.

The Commission is presently composed of eight volunteer citizens appointed for five-year terms by the County Executive. The Commission and the Division share in the responsibility of reviewing and making funding decisions on theĀ Local Arts Program Grants.

Programs and services offered through the Cultural and Heritage Commission are designed for the benefit of every resident who lives, works or attends school in all of Mercer County's 13 municipalities. The Commission partners and works with local area arts groups, civic and governmental organizations and public and private educational institutions in order to reach the greatest possible number of residents. Through past and present efforts of the Mercer County Cultural and Heritage Commission, school children have participated in live theater and dance programs or have gone to a museum for the first time, senior citizens have had an opportunity to stay active, and local arts organizations and colleges have had the opportunity to present challenging and creative works to appreciative audiences throughout Mercer County. Individual artistic expression has been encouraged in county residents of all ages.

The Commission actively sponsors musical performances as well as annual art and photography exhibitions. It supports a wide range of artistic activities and projects within the county through financial grants to local arts agencies and organizations.