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The Watchung Arts Center

Watchung Arts Center, photo by Stacy Gannon

The Watchung Arts Center (WAC) thrives in historic Watchung in Somerset County, NJ. The nonprofit, volunteer-run Center excels in cultivating an eclectic mix of professional and emerging artists in the performing and visual arts. Quality works in fine arts, exciting music, and comedy events are presented to enthusiastic audiences.

Appreciation of painting, photography, and music from classical to folk to jazz to coffee house, comedy, theater, and mind/body arts is fostered through classes, workshops, and performances. All are structured to catch and expand the interest of youngsters of an early age to seniors of any age.

We, at the WAC, encourage active membership, community involvement, and inspirational discussions that only a multidisciplinary arts organization can achieve. The WAC is unique in New Jersey due to the depth and variety of art experiences and educational opportunities that it offers.

The Watchung Arts Council was founded in 1978. It operates in a charming, 125-year-old building, part of which was the original schoolhouse for the village of Watchung.

Heinz W. Otto Gallery, photo by Stacy Gannon

The Heinz W. Otto Gallery on the second floor, with its 12-foot ceilings, superb acoustics, and a seating capacity of 100, represents the “heart and soul” of the WAC’s many activities. The first floor houses the lobby, the smaller Lower Gallery, kitchen, and a large classroom/studio.

Here is a link to a 1998 article on the history of the Watchung Arts Center.

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Parties and Rentals

The Watchung Arts Center is available for rental. If you would like to hold an event at WAC, call 908-753-0190 or e-mail us.

If you’d like to have an art party for your child or for an adult at WAC, see the Parties page for more information.

Contact Us

Mail: 18 Stirling Road, Watchung, NJ 07069

Phone: 908-753-0190


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The Watchung Arts Center offers new art exhibitions each month, performances in music, comedy, and improv, and adult and youth classes in drawing, photography, dance, and yoga.

Gallery and Office Hours

Sunday & Monday: closed
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, & Friday: noon – 5 p.m.
Saturday: 10 - 3 p.m.

Summer Office Hours (July 5- Sept 1): 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Monday - Friday, closed Saturday and Sunday.
Closed July 3-4, 20, 27-28

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Board and Staff

Office Manager

  • Joseph Higgins

Board of Trustees

  • Joan Plasner, President
  • Vonnie Mott, VP of Performing Arts
  • Paul Pinkman, VP of Visual Arts
  • Pamela Singh, Secretary
  • Roger Seidel, Treasurer
  • Florence Larkin
  • Jim Longo
  • Cynthia Lubeck
  • Ruth Rovtar


  • Joseph Higgins

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Watchung Arts Center sign, photo by Stacy Gannon

Located on the Watchung Circle between the Rescue Squad and Valley Furniture, this historic building is just a mile south of Interstate 78 (take exit 40) or north of Route 22 (take Plainfield overpass). See map.

Free parking is adjacent to the building and at the nearby municipal lots.

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