Middlesex County Cultural & Heritage
CELEBRATING the DIVERSITY OF MANY NATIONS....
Anna Aschkenes is the Executive Director of Middlesex County Cultural & Heritage Commission, the largest and most comprehensive arts and humanities public body in New Jersey. As such, Ms. Aschkenes oversees a coalition of arts groups through which funding and technical assistance is provided. She developed the State's first Folklife Program in 1990, and in 2000, began an effort to provide history grants on a local level.
The Cultural and Heritage Commission is responsible for two museum sites: the East Jersey Olde Towne Village and the Cornelius Low House/Middlesex County Museum which has been awarded 8 national and State honors for educational excellence.
Ms. Aschkenes is the author of the recently published, Crossroads of History, and was a contributing editor to Design for Accessibility, published by National Endowment for the Arts.
In 2000, Ms. Aschkenes' agency received the highest recognition possible when it was designated a Local Legacy by the Congress of the United States.
MIDDLESEX COUNTY CULTURAL & HERITAGE COMMISSION
History of East Jersey Olde Towne (EJOT)
Located on River Road in Piscataway, East Jersey Olde Towne is one of the largest collections of original and replica structures in the state. Situated on twelve acres of Johnson Park, Olde Towne, founded in 1971, is comprised of 12 structures, many of which were transported from their original sites in New Jersey.
The Middlesex County Cultural and Heritage Commission assumed responsibility of the Village in May of 1989. An extensive renovation and restoration project was begun on the site, to repair damage caused by time and the elements. Structure by structure, the buildings that comprise EJOT are being renovated for use as a village devoted to New Jersey’s rich heritage.
Student workshops, folklife presentations, storytelling, outdoor concerts, a resource library and archives, lectures, film and other educational activities take place, on a year round basis, at the village. (See Map)
Dr. Joseph Kler, who helped found the Village, loved American history with a passion and was fired with the spirit of preserving the tangible aspects of our country’s past so that future generations. A monograph chronicling his life, as well as brochures on the entire village is available, free of charge.