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Solomon Receives New Jersey’s Heartland Hero Award for August

Cori Solomon of Williamstown, executive director of Appel Farm Arts & Music Center for the last seven years, is New Jersey’s Heartland Hero Award winner for August 2021. Through her creative leadership, Appel Farm recently partnered with Meals on Wheels of Salem County in an innovative collaboration that supports the sustainability of both organizations. Over the past year, Appel Farm served over 9,000 meals to families in need and because of Cori’s vision their organic garden and culinary arts education programs are on track to expand as well.

Solomon has led the organization to launch dozens of new initiatives over the past decade including social service partnerships like the Families to College program, the South Jersey Arts Fest, STEAM Labs afterschool programs, and several overnight arts retreats for families and youth.

She is also the lead founder of Creative CoLaboratory Charter School (C3), which opened in 2019 as the state’s first STEAM-focused middle school serving children in 5th through 8th grades. Creative CoLaboratory Charter School had a successful 2020 school year using Appel Farm’s open campus to provide in-person education during most of the year, while many schools shut down due to Covid. In addition to the on-site public charter school, Cori has overseen dozens of arts education programs in the surrounding school districts.

Solomon recently made the decision to move on from Appel Farm but will continue to serve our region through her work as Board president of the South Jersey Cultural Alliance, and member of Rowan University’s Fine and Performing Arts Advisory Board, and ArtPride’s Board of Trustees.

To nominate your Heartland Hero, visit