About Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs/Tourism Development
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY & MISSION STATEMENT
The Hudson County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs/Tourism Development (HCOCHA/TD) is a unit of the Office of the Hudson County Executive and is proud to play an instrumental role in making the county an ever greater place to live, work and visit. The HCOCHA/TD strives to create an environment in which the local arts constituency can flourish, by providing advisory services, technical assistance, grant programs, audience development initiatives, artist round tables and networking opportunities, tourism and related economic development projects. The Office also fosters pride in community by sponsoring tours and lectures on local heritage, promoting historic preservation, and presenting culturally diverse celebrations throughout the year.
Hudson County, New Jersey is a thriving bastion of arts and culture. One can find virtually everything here; history, the visual arts, dance, drama, film, all varieties of music, architecture and literature are all abundant in Hudson County’s 12 municipalities. Hudson County is also a burgeoning destination for tourists from all points near and far. We boast world-class hotels and restaurants, the Statue of Liberty, the aforementioned arts and culture, myriad sporting and special events and attractions, and yes, the best views of New York City. The office maintains a dedicated tourism website – www.visithudson.org.
Here are the key functions of the Hudson County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs/Tourism Development:
- PROMOTION OF THE ARTS – HCOCHA/TD is the major promoter and funder of arts and cultural organizations in Hudson County. With resources from the county and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the office administers the Local Arts Program (LAP), which each year provides funds to many of the county’s non-profit groups via a competitive process. LAP is indispensable in helping Hudson County’s arts and culture scene flourish. (Click here for more information on LAP.) In addition, HCOCHA/TD offers technical assistance workshops to arts organizations and individual artists. The office funds the Hudson County Alliance for Teen Artists annual Teen Arts Festival, as well as numerous film, music, arts and cultural festivals.
- TOURISM DEVELOPMENT – HCOCHA/TD is the main facilitator of tourism development and promotional services in Hudson County. The office maintains a dedicated tourism website – www.visithudson.org – which is a comprehensive source of information for visitors and locals alike. HCOCHA/TD also produces a monthly e-newsletter and promotes the county on all social media platforms. (Click here to sign up and register.) The office participates in key national travel trade associations and works with tour operators to develop customized local itineraries. In addition, we work with the local hospitality industry to develop products for the packaged travel industry. HCOCHA/TD manages a Destination Marketing Organization grant from the New Jersey Division of Travel & Tourism and acts as a host and state liaison for major visitor events.
- PROMOTION OF LOCAL HISTORY – Hudson County has an incredibly rich history, spanning from the pre-colonial era, through the Revolutionary War, the mass migration to America of people from every corner of the Earth, World Wars I and II to the post-war era and the 21st Century. HCOCHA/TD works to promote local history through its Hudson County History Partnership Program (HCHPP), which with the backing of the New Jersey Historical Commission, provides grants to local historical organizations and arts non-profits that present historical programming. (Click here for more information on HCHPP.) The office also offers tours of the majestic Justice William J. Brennan Hudson County Court House in Jersey City, which was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970. The building features murals by renowned artists including Francis Millet, Edwin Blashfield, Howard Pyle and Kenyon Cox.
- CULTURAL EVENTS / HERITAGE – People of nearly every ethnicity from all over the world have been migrating to Hudson County for innumerable years. Many of them came to the shores of America through Ellis Island, which sits just off the coast of Jersey City. Today, Hudson County is one of the most diverse locales in the entire United States. HCOCHA/TD plans and facilitates official county civic and commemorative programs that celebrate the all-inclusive beautiful tapestry of ethnicities and communities that make up our populace. In addition to cultural celebrations, HCOCHA/TD hosts and curates art shows the Brennan Gallery, located in rotunda of the historic Hudson County Court House. The Brennan Hudson County Music Series treats residents to live concerts in the Court House Rotunda. (Click here to see our Calendar of Events.)
- FILM AND TELEVISION – Hudson County has the best vistas of the Manhattan skyline. It also has some of the most scenic public county parks in the Garden State. As a consequence, many professional still photographers, as well as film and television producers, are keen to shoot on property owned by Hudson County. HCOCHA/TD facilitates the process for requests to shoot film, television and Internet programs, movies and commercials on county property. The Office also works closely with the New Jersey Motion Picture and Television Commission to promote Hudson County as an ideal location in which to film. The Hudson County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs/Tourism Development additionally is a sponsor of the renowned Black Maria Film Festival and Movies under the Stars, in which feature films are exhibited outdoors during the summer months.
- ARTS IN EDUCATION – The HCOCHA/TD is in the process of rolling out its “Arts in Education” pilot program which will provide funds to non-profit arts organizations that will give art instruction to students at participating schools in the County. The educational partnerships program vision is to develop, pilot, and maintain partnerships that further arts learning K-12, that enhance the current curriculum with Hudson County-specific content, and that create internships and other opportunities for students for meaningful arts career development. The development of a pilot program has begun for school year 2021/2022 by connecting local non-profit art organizations with all Hudson County School districts. The organizations provide integrated arts education aligned with curriculum of the schools. The program mission is to provide leadership, planning facilitation, and support for enhanced arts and history learning throughout Hudson County.