Maplewood Rec announces partnership with Denise Hayden

Photo Courtesy of Melissa Mancuso
Maplewood Community Services Director Melissa Mancuso and Funky Fun Art owner Denise Hayden announce a new partnership that will bring more art opportunities to township residents.

MAPLEWOOD, NJ — Maplewood Recreation and Cultural Affairs recently announced a new partnership with Funky Fun Art. Maplewood Community Services Director Melissa Mancuso met Funky Fun Art owner Denise Hayden at a senior event in South Orange last year. In December, the two women sat down to discuss offering new art programming in Maplewood. They found space on the now accessible third floor of The Woodland, and Hayden has transformed it into a brand new studio space for Funky Fun Art. With the addition of the ADA-compliant elevator to The Woodland, the third floor will soon be accessible to all and will finally be used again, as it has remained untouched for many years.

“Immediately upon meeting Denise I found her vibrant and interesting, and I loved the programming she offers,” Mancuso said. “Denise will be facilitating some senior art initiatives to add to our already robust senior art programming, along with many youth classes and camps. We are especially excited for the new summer camp offerings for our residents from first through sixth grade. As a mom, I’m thinking, who doesn’t want to send their kid to a messy art camp outside of the home? We welcome Denise and Funky Fun Art, and look forward to her energy and talent joining the Maplewood Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department.”

Funky Fun Art began in South Orange in 2014, though Hayden, a Columbia High School alumna, has been offering unique art classes to the community for more than 15 years. In the new studio she will continue to offer these fun, trendy classes and will be adding new programming seasonally. Hayden has just released her summer camp offerings; some of those weeks are: black light camp, YouTube camp and slime camp. She is taking a new approach to a more modern studio space and will embrace traditional art while moving forward into a tech-friendly atmosphere. The studio is set up with multiple art stations to allow children to choose what they would like to work on

“While we do focus on group projects and activities, there is a lot of free time and it allows kids to explore different projects at their leisure,” Hayden said.

Fall programming will expand the offerings and will include children’s classes, adult classes, workshops, and some fun evening and weekend events. For more information, visit or To register for Maplewood Recreation and Cultural Affairs summer camps, including Funky Fun Art, go to Call Maplewood Recreation at 973-763-4202 with any questions or to register for classes.