Ying Fang To Perform With Montclair Orchestra

BY  |  Wednesday, Sep 20, 2017 10:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

The Montclair Orchestra will present soprano Ying Fang as featured soloist for its inaugural concert on October 22nd. Ms. Fang will sing the solo vocal role in the finale of Mahler’s 4th symphony on the program.

Ms. Fang is a rising star in the opera world, having performed with th Metropolitan Opera, Opera Philadelphia, and at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland, the Ravinia Festival in Italy, and at the Aix-en-Provence Festival in France. She most recently performed the soprano solo in Mahler’s 4th symphony this summer with the New York Philharmonic. Ms. Fang will be joining the Montclair Orchestra between performances at the MET Opera in New York, and National Opera at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC.

“Ying Fang is an incredibly talented singer, and brings a caliber of performance to Montclair that will set high standards for our organization from the very start” says Montclair Orchestra President Andre Weker. “Combined with the level of talent presented by our professional orchestra members, student fellows, and avocational musicians, the organization is poised to provide an incredible level of artistry in the inaugural concert, as well as throughout the season.” Continue Reading

Montclair Council: Edgemont Park Improvements, Waste Receptacles, Private Streets, Mitochondrial Disease Awareness

BY  |  Wednesday, Sep 20, 2017 8:06am  |  COMMENTS (0)

The Montclair Township Council had a light agenda for its September 19 meeting, passing eight pending ordinances and six resolutions, as well as the bill list.  One resolution that got much commentary from members of the council was the one awarding a contract to Abraham General Construction for improvements to Edgemont Park.

The Montclair Township Council

Fourth Ward Councilor Renée Baskerville said the improvements that members of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee proposed for the park were “outstanding,” and she said that committee members hope to be more involved with the council in all issues regarding parks and open spaces.  Deputy Mayor / Second Ward Councilor Robin Schlager said that the Friends of Edgemont park group was also supportive.  But Dr. Baskerville asked if the money was left over from a previous source for park spending, or “reprogrammed.”

Acting Township Manager Tim Stafford explained that funds were in fact reprogrammed from Green Acres funding for Edgemont Park. He said there was more funding possible through the state Green Acres program, and he added that Montclair has sent a letter to the state asking to be kept informed of such funding.  Mayor Robert Jackson has a sent a letter to the state endorsing such funding. Continue Reading

Montclair Film Launches 505 Film + Friends Program

BY  |  Tuesday, Sep 19, 2017 4:27pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Montclair Film

Montclair Film today announced the launch of 505 FILM + FRIENDS, a new, inclusive sensory-friendly screening and socializing group for young people. The program will feature film screenings, discussions for small groups, and opportunities to socialize and meet new friends in the warm, welcoming environment of Montclair Film’s Cinema505. The groups meet twice monthly, with Teens aged 14-18 meeting on Fridays from 4:00pm – 7:00pm, and Young Adults aged 18-26 meeting on Sundays from 6:00pm – 9:00 pm.

Using the medium of film, students will be provided with the opportunity to explore their own real-life challenges and begin to learn about film and filmmaking. Discussions will integrate film vocabulary such as narrative, theme, main and supporting characters, set design, costume design, continuity, careers, genres, as well as storytelling techniques.

Montclair Film + Education is partnering with Dr. David Steinke, PhD, School Psychologist & Private Practice, Melissa Schaffer, Arts Educator, BFA Theatre Arts, Theatre, Music, Certified Movement Specialist, Playwright, and Dr. Priya Lalvani, Advisor, PhD, Associate Professor of Disability Studies, Montclair State University, who will be providing facilitation and advisory services for all 505 Film + Friends programs.

“Montclair Film always seeks to reach a broad range of audiences through the power of film,” said Montclair Film Education Director Sue Hollenberg. “505 Film + Friends provides a positive, thought-provoking, and welcoming environment for people with and without disabilities to leverage the magic of movies to inspire creativity, develop social skills, build confidence, and make connections.”

To see a complete schedule and register for 505 Film + Friends, visit
http://montclairfilm.org/education/505-film-friends/ and select the appropriate age group for your needs.

Scholarships are Available for Qualified Students. To apply, visithttp://montclairFilmFest.org/education/scholarship-application/

Montclair’s S.O.F.I.A. Raises Over $13,000 At 7th Annual Walk Against Domestic Violence

BY  |  Tuesday, Sep 19, 2017 1:15pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

On Saturday, September 9, 2017, Start Out Fresh Intervention Advocates (S.O.F.I.A.) held its 7th Annual Walk Against Domestic Violence in Montclair’s beautiful Canterbury Park. Walk participants and sponsorships raised over $13,000 to support S.O.F.I.A.’s programs. This year’s Grand Marshall was Lena Cohen, a domestic violence survivor, speaker, life coach, author, and CEO of You’re Beautiful Honie, LLC. Ms. Cohen gave an inspirational and uplifting speech and led the Walk in style.

S.O.F.I.A. is grateful to this year’s PLATINUM sponsor The Allstate Foundation and especially the office of Neil Greco in Roseland, NJ. The Allstate agents who attended presented S.O.F.I.A. with a check representing an additional grant of $11, 000 (photo attached), over and above their sponsorship of the 7th Annual Walk Against Domestic Violence. This generous support will directly impact our community with services, education, and awareness raising events. SOFIA also thanks our GOLD Sponsor, Supreme Energy, Inc., which has been a longtime sponsor over the years.  

Continue Reading

Montclair BOE: After-School Initiatives, Healthy School Lunches, Homework Policy

BY  |  Tuesday, Sep 19, 2017 10:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

The Montclair Board of Education

With the days of school kids hanging out in ice cream parlors like the old Gruning’s in Montclair or malt shops like the fictional Pop’s Choklit Shoppe frequented by Archie Andrews and his pals at Riverdale High long gone, The Side Door has been providing a place for middle-school students to go after school and have a good time every Friday. Susan Johnson of Side Door went to the Montclair Board of Education’s September 18 meeting to promote the initiative.

Side Door is a drop-in center for middle-school students located a block away from Buzz Aldrin Middle School, at the Union Congregational Church on Cooper Avenue.  Available for free, the center offers activities such as basketball, touch football, table tennis, and video games, with help for homework also offered.  The activities also include live music and there are snacks for sale.  There is no registration required, and the activities are at no cost.  Volunteers from the high school, Montclair State University, and elsewhere in town serve as mentors and chaperones.

Board member Joseph Kavesh offered his verbal support for the side door program.  He said that the time after school is an important time to engage students in positive activities and when they are most susceptible to being disengaged.  Johnson noted that most of the students involved in Side Door are boys, because girls after school like to get their nails done, go to friends’ houses, or the like, “and the boys get out of school and go, ‘I don’t know, what do you want to do?’  So they end up at Side Door.” Continue Reading

Merchant of Venice Comes to Montclair State’s Peak Performances

BY  |  Tuesday, Sep 19, 2017 9:06am  |  COMMENTS (0)

weekend

With five different actors playing the infamous character of Shylock, director Karin Coonrod is excited to bring her Compagnia de Colombari in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice to Peak Performances at Montclair State University’s Alexander Kasser Theatre, opening today (Tuesday, Sept. 19) through Sunday, Oct. 1.

Coonrod brings The Merchant of Venice to Montclair after her company performed it in Venice, Italy last year on the stones of the Jewish Ghetto of Venice to coincide with the 500th anniversary of the ghetto’s founding in conjunction with the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.

“Now we’re coming into a theatre with all of what we did in the ghetto, but we did not build a set, so our set in the Peak Performances is very very simple,” Coonrod said. “So we’ve really opened up the theatre to show just certain things… for instance we don’t have projections of the ghetto or things like that, so it’s very anti-romantic. I think the play is anti-romantic and so our production is anti-romantic, there’s no piece of romance in it.”

Coonrod describes The Merchant of Venice as a play with an incendiary reputation in which everybody has a dark heart while showing the mendacity of the mainstream culture.

“So the play has a lot of different themes in it and wants to be about love and that sort of thing and in fact it kind of gets derailed from that because everybody has so much self-interest and greed in a way,” Coonrod said.

Coonrod’s interpretation of the play is unique in her decision to have five different actors of different races, nationalities and genders to play Shylock, the Jewish moneylender and the play’s main antagonist.

“I have chosen to have that role played by five actors and they’re five very different actors who each play one of the five scenes and they come together at two moments in the play,” Coonrod said. “One is the sort of pivotal point that unhinges the play in a way and the other is a surprise towards the end.

“First of all the variety gives us a community of Shylock, we see an older black woman, we see an older man from Urugay, we see a Jewish middle-aged man, we see a middle-aged man from India, we see a man from Trinidad,” she said. “The five Shylock’s, the first one is a businessman, the second one is a father, the third one is the mother – a single parent, the fourth one is the widower and the fifth one is the killer, that’s how I’ve divided them up so that you can see all these different aspects of the character.”

The five different Shylock’s in the play can be identified with a gold sash that will be around the actor’s core.

“It is really a joy to see it not interpreted by one person,” Coonrod said. “We need to shake things up and we’re entering into this play in a way that is surprising and will have the most pay off, I think.”

The play will run two hours with no intermission and is free to all Montclair State undergraduates and $20 for all others.
Click here for more information on The Merchant of Venice at Montclair State University’s Peak Performances.

Bloomfield & Newark Mayors to Help Bag For Hunger at Shoprite

BY  |  Monday, Sep 18, 2017 12:15pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Bloomfield and Newark Mayors will partner with ShopRite to help bag hunger this Wednesday, September 20. In recognition of September’s National Hunger Action Month, ShopRite hosts an annual ShopRite Partners In Caring “Help Bag Hunger” day. Local dignitaries, community leaders and athletes help raise awareness for the issue of hunger by bagging groceries at their local ShopRite stores.

Nearly 50 million Americans, including more than 16 million children, suffering from food insecurity, ShopRite is helping to raise awareness and inspire action within their local communities through its hunger-fighting initiative, ShopRite Partners In Caring, a year-round, community based program that provides funds to local food banks.

To recognize this special day, Mayor Michael Venezia will bag groceries for customers at the Brookdale ShopRite, on Wednesday, from 1-2 p.m.

Mayor Ras J. Baraka will bag groceries to “Help Bag Hunger” on Wednesday, Sept. 20, at 10 a.m., at the ShopRite of Newark, located at 206 Springfield Ave., in Newark’s Central Ward. Continue Reading

Montclair Public Library & Foundation’s Open Book/Open Mind Series Presents Katy Tur in Conversation with Tom Johnson, 10/13

BY  |  Monday, Sep 18, 2017 10:30am  |  COMMENTS (0)

On Friday, Oct. 13th, 2017, Katy Tur will discuss current political events and her latest book Unbelievable: My Front Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in History with executive news editor Tom Johnson.

Katy Tur is a correspondent for NBC News and an anchor for MSNBC. She was the recipient of a 2017 Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism. Unbelievable is her darkly comic, fascinatingly bizarre, and often scary story of being on the campaign trail. She details what it was like to be there as it all happened; inside a no-rules world where reporters were spat on, demeaned, and discredited.  Continue Reading

Montclair Animal Shelter Pet of The Week: Bert & Ernie

BY  |  Monday, Sep 18, 2017 9:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Introducing…BERT & ERNIE!!! Totally adorable! They will be available for adoption in 2 weeks, so get your applications in now. They are the cutest little lab/bulldog/pitt mixes ever! Contact the Montclair Township Animal Shelter at 973-744-8600 for more information.

Bloomfield Township Raising Funds to Assist Hurricane Harvey Relief Effort

BY  |  Sunday, Sep 17, 2017 11:02am  |  COMMENTS (0)

The Township of Bloomfield is helping to raise funds for the victims of Hurricane Harvey. In conjunction with the Bloomfield Police Department, Bloomfield Fire Department, Department of Health and Human Services, Bloomfield has partnered with the Neighbor to Neighbor Network (NTNN) to raise funds for the Greater Houston Community Foundation (GHCF). A letter (attached) has been disseminated to all municipal Department Directors, and the Department of Health and Human Services has sent the letter to local faith based organizations and daycare centers, while Bloomfield Police Officers have distributed the letter to all local schools.

“Bloomfield has, and always will be a community of civic minded people who want to assist areas in need, whether local or far away,” said Bloomfield Mayor Michael Venezia. “We have identified the Greater Houston Community Fund as one of the organizations making a big difference due to their assistance after previous natural disasters, and we are encouraging Bloomfield residents to consider making tax deductible contributions to the Hurricane Harvey relief effort.” Continue Reading

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