June 7, 2021

Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission Holds Virtual Teen Arts Festival

Professional Artists Critiqued Student Artwork through Personalized Videos and Chose Entrants for State Festival

SOMERVILLE, NJ – Due to the pandemic, the Somerset County 2021 Teen Arts Festival was held virtually this year. Local student artists submitted videos, digital images and written pieces for critiques by professional artists who evaluated the students’ artwork and provided personalized videos for each performance, art piece and creative writing submission. Fifty-four student submissions out of 282 were selected for submission and adjudication at the New Jersey State Teen Arts Festival on June 1, 2 and 3.

“This is such a worthwhile program for teens,” said Somerset County Commissioner Melonie Marano. “Not only does creating art help reduce stress levels, but it helps develop lifelong skills such as persistence, collaboration, creative thinking, problem-solving, and motivation.”

Artwork in the following categories was accepted: Creative Writing, Dance, Film, Instrumental Music, Non-Musical Theater, Visual Arts, Vocal Music and Musical Theater.  The festival was open to all student artists aged 13 to 19-years who attend school in Somerset County.

Students from the following local schools participated in the festival: Alexander Batcho Intermediate School, Manville; Bernards High School; Bound Brook High School; Branchburg Central Middle School; Central Jersey College Prep Charter School, Somerset; Franklin High School and Franklin Middle School; Hillsborough High School and Hillsborough Middle School; Manville High School; Montgomery High School; Purnell School, Bedminster; Sampson G. Smith School, Somerset; and Watchung Hills Regional High School.

To view artwork and the 2021 Teen Arts Creative Writing Anthology,  visit

The Somerset County Teen Arts Festival is a participatory Arts-in-Education Program that is coordinated by the Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission where Somerset County students and teachers gather with guest-artists to celebrate the arts in a safe and welcoming space. This event provides a forum for students to showcase their talents, view their peers’ artwork and receive constructive feedback from professional artists. 

The Somerset County Cultural and Heritage Commission is committed to facilitating equal access to arts and history programs, services and resources for all people without regard to age, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, or physical disability.


The Somerset County Teen Arts Festival was made possible with funds from the Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission, a partner of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

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