HBAC is a community-based nonprofit arts organization.

We are an independent registered 501(c)(3) with a core leadership team of eight volunteers, plus two advisors. As a relatively new organization, we balance grass roots initiatives with structured approaches.

We focus on leveraging the passion, creativity, and perspective of local artists, art enthusiasts and local businesses to co-create and manage diverse events and programs accessible to all.

HBAC has a broad interpretation of art and we embrace both classically trained and self-taught artists of all ages.

Our mission

We aim to improve the quality of life in Highlands, NJ, by helping the arts to flourish.

Our History

The Highlands Borough Arts Council was founded in August 2013 as the result of FEMA-sponsored Hurricane Sandy Recovery Committees. Initially we worked cooperatively with Monmouth County Arts Council, and still do.

From 2014-2015, we were managed as a committee under the Atlantic Highlands Arts Council, a registered 501c3.

Camera Club Program

Joan Bruno

Joan holds a doctorate in Speech-Language Pathology and has dedicated her professional career to working with severely speech-impaired children who rely on the use of technology to communicate. In her spare time, Joan pursues two passions - travel and photography.

She has journeyed across the seven continents, visiting the Arctic on several occasions. She seeks out destinations where she can explore and experience unique cultures, remote environments and amazing wildlife. Photography provides her the challenge of capturing some of the incredible sights she sees and to create images that spark a range of emotions in others.

In addition to being a member of HBAC, Joan is also a member of the Guild of Creative Arts, Monmouth Arts, and Belmar Arts Council. 



Anya Jodziewicz

Anya moved to the US from London in 2007. A global HR professional, she initially moved to New Jersey with work to gain experience in US Employee Relations; she soon met her now husband and the move became permanent.

In London, Anya had always lived by the Thames and her love of living by water led Anya and her husband to move to Highlands in 2010. An amateur painter, she draws much of her inspiration from the shoreline. Having spent very little time on her creative passions as a result of a busy corporate work schedule, Anya decided to set up her own Executive Coaching and Leadership Development consultancy in 2015. Now the master of her own calendar, she tries to spend at least one day a week in her art studio. 

Marketing and Events

Miranda Nash

Miranda is a multidisciplinary designer from New York City who fell in love with Highlands and relocated to the borough after her first visit.  

She comes to HBAC with over 10 years of experience as a communications designer and art director, working with businesses in the financial services, consumer behavioral research, nonprofit, and professional services sectors. Miranda is also an accomplished dressmaker and creates custom, vintage-inspired clothing for women across the country.

Miranda holds a Master’s degree in Communications Design from Pratt Institute and a Bachelor’s degree in Digital Media from New York University.

Film program

Russell J. Terlecki

Russ grew up in Hamilton, NJ and graduated from The College of New Jersey. Thereafter, he moved to Manhattan and excelled on Wall Street for a decade under three brokerage firms. Following Wall Street, Russ had a successful career as an entrepreneur in the film and television industries as well as with his own New York events company.

He partnered with a number of New York City bars/restaurants and was President/Partner of East Coast Operations for a tequila brand, Alma de Agave Tequila.

Currently, Russ runs his film company, Wideye Films, and is CEO of Move+ Sportswear, a start-up clothing brand. Russ is also a real estate professional with Heritage House Sotheby’s International Realty, serving Monmouth and Ocean counties. 

HBAC Advisor

Valerie Browning

Valerie was born and raised in Worcester, Massachusetts spending her summers on Cape Cod where her affinity for small town Oceanside living began.

Val left Massachusetts to attend Fordham University where she attained a Bachelor of Arts in Music Theory and Music History. A few years later, Val went on to achieve a Master’s in Education from Saint Peter's University in Jersey City.

Her education, love for the arts, and affinity for the ocean are neatly wrapped into Browning's cafe, Water Witch Coffee in Highlands, NJ. Through Water Witch, Val has had the opportunity to bring the arts to the community through art exhibits, music performances, writing workshops and other events.

HBAC Transition Lead

Arnie Fuog

Arnie has been part of the HBAC Leadership Team since 2014 and was instrumental in lobbying Atlantic Highlands Arts Council to partner with HBAC in 2014-2015.

As a gallery owner and operator in Santa Fe’s famed Canyon Road for 20 years, Arnie focused on “Santa Fe Style” furniture where natural twigs are inlaid into doors, cabinets, shutters and tables. His furniture has been featured in magazines such as Su Casa, House Beautiful, Architectural Digest, and Family Circle and he has shipped his work all over the world.

Now an avid recycler and highly appreciative of old wood, Arnie often incorporates reclaimed wood and stone into many of his pieces. In addition to furniture, Arnie has an interest in restoring historic properties and just completed the renovation of a 1790s farmhouse and an 1850s rectory in Virginia.

PTAK Program

Christine Little

Christine is an entomology major at Brookdale Community College, working towards a minor in visual arts.

She began drawing at a young age and discovered a love for painting in high school. She was part of the Henry Hudson Regional High School team that painted a historic mural on Bay Avenue depicting the original A&P Grocery Store. Christine currently paints in acrylic but hopes to learn how to oil paint in the near future.



Kim Skorka

Kim is Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with over 10 years of accounting and financial analysis experience across several industries.

Highly organized and detail oriented, Kim is proficient in multiple software applications and systems. A graduate of Seton Hall University with a BS in Accounting, Kim was instrumental in filing HBAC’s 501(c)(3) paperwork required for HBAC’s non-profit status. She manages the overall finances and the tax submissions for the HBAC organization and has introduced the organization to enabling tools such as Quickbooks and Square.

She is an avid arts appreciator and has a special fondness for the culinary arts.

HBAC Transition Lead

Maureen Welch

Maureen has been part of the HBAC Leadership Team since 2014 performing operations and program functions and is currently focused on supporting the HBAC Leadership and Advisory Team to further develop and expand the HBAC offering.

Maureen is a management consultant and program manager and the founder of CREate the Solution, LLC. She has over 30 years of strategy, operations, and change management experience in senior-level positions with large corporations, start-up organizations, and premier management consulting firms. Professionally, she focuses on assisting large global organizations in leveraging and managing their real estate, facilities and capital projects and assets more strategically and effectively.

Maureen has a BS in Marketing from Boston College and an MBA from the University of Massachusetts; she received her Interior Design certification from The Design School in London and holds an MCR (Master of Corporate Real Estate) from CoreNet Global. Maureen has a passion for restoring historic homes and highlighting their intrinsic soul.

HBAC Advisor

Gerald Manwah

Gerald holds the position of US Head of Financial Crime Executive Office at HSBC. Prior to joining HSBC, Gerald was at Barclays where he held Financial Crime and Regulatory Compliance positions including the Interim Global Head of Financial Crime Compliance.

Prior to joining Barclays, Gerald was the Global Head of Financial Crime Compliance for Credit Suisse and held legal and compliance positions at American Express, ABN Amro and Citigroup. Gerald is also an adjunct professor of law at Fordham Law School and teaches a course in International Financial Crime. Gerald is admitted to practice law in New York State and completed a Master's degree at Harvard Law School.

Gerald is an art enthusiast who has a growing collection of artwork from local artists.