Garden State Arts  Foundation

Thomas H. Kean Scholarship Awards

The Honorable Thomas H. Kean has consistently demonstrated a deep commitment to the arts in New Jersey. It is our honor to award this scholarship, bearing his name to assist talented young New Jersey students. Each recipient is awarded $2,500.

Anyone interested in additional information about the Thomas H. Kean Scholarship should call us Monday through Friday 9:00a.m. to 4:00p.m. at (732) 442-9200.

The 2015 Winners

Gabriella Bisconti
Drew University

Kerry Borowski
Kean University
Darius Jordan Lee
Montclair State University
Quiara Polanco
New Jersey City University
Estaban Robalino
Ramapo College of New Jersey
Margaret Sorge
Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
Stephen Fleming
Rowan University
Maximo Granodero
Rutgers University/Mason Gross School of the Arts
Jason Verblaauw
The College of New Jersey

All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

I don't pity any man who does hard work worth doing. I admire him. I pity the creature who does not work, at whichever end of the social scale he may regard himself as being.
~ Theodore Roosevelt

The only way to do great work is to love what you do.
~ Steve Jobs

Donor Information

Help the Garden State Arts Foundation keep the stars shining brightly in the state of New Jersey.

  • We need you. We receive no Federal, State or Turnpike funding for our activities.
  • We need you to help us educate more of New Jersey's children
  • We need you to bring more live classical and jazz programs to New Jerseyans free of charge.

Donations of any amount are welcome and can be mailed to:

Garden State Arts Foundation, Inc.
P.O. Box 5013
Woodbridge, NJ 07095-5013

The Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. Donations are deductible to the fullest extent allowable by law.

For additional information on making an outright contribution to support the Foundation or to support a specific event, please contact the Foundation Office Monday through Friday 9:00a.m. to 4:00p.m. at (732) 442-9200.


Board Of Members

  • Mr. DuPont is a partner in the law firm McKenna, DuPont, Higgins & Stone. He serves as a member of the Borough Council in Red Bank, Monmouth County, and is president of the Garden State Arts Foundation. He served on the transition teams of former Governors John S. Corzine and James E. McGreevey. Mr. DuPont has a B.A. in political science and business administration from Loyola University and a J.D. from the John Marshall School of Law.
  • Mr. Gravino is vice president for finance and human resources at Invidi Technologies Corp. in Princeton, which he joined after many years as a financial/turnaround consultant. He serves as chairman of the Newark Liberty International Airport Advisory Board and on the boards of the Transportation Finance Review Commission and the Garden State Arts Foundation. He served for six years as a commissioner of the former New Jersey Highway Authority. Mr. Gravino lives in Edison, Middlesex County.
  • Mr. Diaz is employed at Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey as director of enterprise government affairs. Mr. Diaz previously worked for Verizon Communications Inc., where he was responsible for the development of the company’s government affairs activities and its legislative program for New Jersey. He also worked for United Water New Jersey, where he was responsible for external affairs activities, including government and public affairs, communications and business development. Mr. Diaz has a B.A. in business administration from Rutgers University. He is a resident of Rutherford, Bergen County.
  • Mr. Becht is executive director of the Jersey City Municipal Utilities Authority and counsel to the Newark Planning Board. He previously served as vice chairman of the New Jersey Lottery, chairman of the Passaic Valley Sewerage Authority and as a commissioner of the New Law Revision Commission and the NJ Public Broadcasting Authority. Mr. Becht holds a B.S. in business from St. John’s University and a J.D. from New York Law School. He resides in Wall Township, Monmouth County.
  • Mr. Pocino is a 50-year member of the Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA) and is president emeritus of Construction & General Laborers Local 172. He has been manager of the Eastern Region Office of LIUNA since 1995. Mr. Pocino serves on the boards of the New Jersey AFL-CIO and the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. He is serving his fifth term on the Turnpike Authority. Mr. Pocino resides in Lawrenceville, Mercer County.
  • Mr. Minella is Executive Director of the Hudson County Democratic Organization. He retired from the NJTA as Assistant Superintendent of Garden State Parkway Roadway Maintenance in 2011 after more than 25 years of service. A graduate of St. Peters College in Jersey City, Mr. Minella is a trustee of the Madeline Fiadini LoRe Foundation for Cancer Prevention and 1st vice president of the Bayonne Chapter of UNICO National. He resides in Bayonne, Hudson County.


Carolyn Santiago

Executive Director

Louis Polise

Assistant Treasurer

Mariann Zach, Esq.

Assistant Secretary

Scholarship Information

In October 2000 a new chapter in the history of the Foundation occurred with the establishment of an annual Scholarship Program, named in honor of former New Jersey Governor, Thomas H. Kean, Honorary Foundation Trustee. The Foundation awards annual scholarships to one undergraduate student pursuing a degree in the performing arts at each of the ten four-year New Jersey colleges and universities. The amount of the individual stipend is $2,500. Candidates for the Thomas H. Kean Scholarship must:

  • Be chosen and recommended by their respective college/university.
  • Be a New Jersey resident and full-time student, working toward an undergraduate (Bachelor) degree in the performing arts, e.g. theater, music, dance.
  • Have completed 60 credits and declared a major.
  • Be registered for a minimum of 6 credits for the semester immediately following the award.

A total of $25,000 was awarded in 2015 to ten qualifying students. For additional information on the Thomas H. Kean Scholarship Program, please call the Foundation office Monday through Friday 9:00a.m. to 4:00p.m. at (732) 442-9200 or write to us at:

Thomas H. Kean Scholarship
c/o Garden State Arts Foundation, Inc.
P.O. Box 5013
Woodbridge, NJ 07095-5013


Volunteer services are an important part of this organization. We rely on our volunteers to provide assistance at events that take place at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, New Jersey, as well as provide assistance with office tasks.

Some examples of Garden State Arts Foundation (GSAF) events are:

  • Free daytime programs for NJ senior citizens
  • Free daytime programs for children
  • Free evening cultural / classical performances

Volunteers are assigned responsibilities based on their availability and GSAF requirements. Some of the jobs are as follows, but not limited to:

  • Manning turnstiles at performances
  • Distributing program books
  • Processing ticket orders for performances
  • Garden State Arts Foundation mailings and other clerical duties

You will always have complete instructions describing the responsibilities of your assignment.

Volunteering with the Garden State Arts Foundation can be both a fun and rewarding experience. There is always an opportunity to meet new people, and it is a great way for retired individuals to remain active. If you are interested in participating, please contact us at:

Garden State Arts Foundation, Inc.
P.O. Box 5013
Woodbridge, NJ 07095-5013

Who We Are

The Garden State Arts Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, was established in 1984. The Foundation provides free programs for school children, senior citizens and families at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel and at various outreach locations throughout the state. The Foundation, endeavoring to maintain a classical/cultural/popular performance presence at the Arts Center, also annually underwrites traditional musical programs free-of-charge and open to all.

Through its Thomas H. Kean Scholarship Program, the Foundation annually awards scholarships to students attending New Jersey colleges/universities and pursuing performing arts undergraduate degrees.

Contact Us

If you would like additional information on the Garden State Arts Foundation you may call us Monday through Friday 9:00a.m. to 4:00p.m. at (732) 442-9200 or write to us at:

Garden State Arts Foundation, Inc.
P.O. Box 5013
Woodbridge, NJ 07095-5013

Back to Top