Montclair Design Week: 10 Days, More Than 30 Events, 100% Montclair – Oct. 16-25

Parties, walks, workshops, talks — Montclair Design Week, October 16-25, has something for everyone. Now in its third year, Montclair Design Week’s 10-day lineup will include over 30 events inspired by its 2020 theme – “100% Montclair.”

Montclair Design Week was born out of a curiosity to inspire and activate community engagement with the belief that we are all designers of a better, bolder future.

This year, Montclair Design Week’s panels, workshops, walking and biking tours, film screenings, culinary festivities and celebrations, will be pandemic-friendly. All events will be socially-distanced, with almost all either located outdoors or online over Radio Free Montclair, our new media platform.

“MDW’s mission is to use the power of curiosity, innovation, and engagement to celebrate our community’s creative capacities, and to mobilize them into equitable outcomes. While only in our third year, the reception that MDW has received so far has been overwhelmingly positive. In a time when all community organizations are hard hit by this pandemic, we are so proud to have endured through the collective support of our community,” says Petia Morozov, Founder of Montclair Design Week and DesignShed

Here are just some of the events below; take a look and then design your own week of Montclair moments and experiences.

MDW20 Opening Party (all ages)
October 16, 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM
MADLAB Parking Lot, 7 Oak Pl, Montclair
Block Party, MDW style! Held outdoors under October skies and socially distanced protocols, sample all that’s in store with this year’s line-up. Tunes will be spinning by BlissedOut Beats, food vendors will be delighting your senses, fire pits will be roaring and the MDW crew will be cranking out hot-pressed T-shirts!

A Guide to Urban Foraging (ages 8+, accompanied by adult)
October 17, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Nishuane Park, Montclair
Take a walk into the biodiversity of Montclair starting in Nishuane Park! Learn to decode the history of this place by discovering the plants growing underfoot, and then learn how you can support that biodiversity and your own well being through urban foraging. Participants will complete their own guide books.

Afrofuturist Zine Workshops (ages 10-18)
October 17, 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
October 21, 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Montclair Innovation Lab,10 Lackawanna Plaza, Montclair
Explore an Afrofutures Montclair through zine-making and mapping! Participants will re-imagine the narratives of Black youth that consider how we live in an inclusive future, and will create zines from start to finish that capture “The City (of Montclair) We Became.” Basic zine making supplies will be provided.

Montclair in 100 Seconds! Film Screening (all ages welcome)
October 17, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
MADLAB Parking Lot, 7 Oak Place, Montclair
Opening film screening of MADFlash Film Fest, featuring all 100-second short films submitted to a public call for filmmakers of an inclusive future! From animators, TikTokers, and guerrilla journalists to visual storytellers and documentarians, filmmakers will take you through their journeys of what “100% Montclair” means for our community and our futures. The audience will join us in a public voting process that awards prizes to winning filmmakers!

Along Toney’s Brook: Two Mini-Expeditions (ages 12+, accompanied by adult)
October 18, 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM
PART 1: 12:00 PM, Anderson Park, Montclair
PART 2: 2:00 PM, Rand Park, Montclair
Grab your walking boots and follow Toney’s Brook, Montclair’s fabled waterway that courses north to south through diverse neighborhoods. There’s no other perspective on our town like it! Join us for this first segment, or for both along this unique adventure – you will get wet and do some spelunking! Must wear appropriate dress and footwear.

Broadening Black Space: Afrofuturism in Montclair (ages 16+)
October 18, 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
Online: Radio Free Montclair
What does the future of Black Life in our region look like? The global movement of Afrofuturism combines artistic and cultural practices with technology to intentionally design Black people into the future. Our panelists will explore these practices and speculate on strategies that preserve and expand the future of our region’s Black cultural community – through the lenses of urban design, housing, architecture, public art, cultural education and economic development.

Please Explain! (all ages)
October 19 – 23, 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM
Online: Radio Free Montclair
Tune into MDW’s new show “Please Explain!” to go deep on the everyday and overlooked in our community, and come up with some surprising finds. Hosts will be joined by special guests to answer your questions about the things that have you stumped.
Hosts: Scott Gurian, with David Ayllon, Krystal Persaud, Nahin Shah and Rich Tu.

For(a)ging Connections (ages 12+)
October 19, 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
Walnut Street & Depot Square, Montclair
Food insecurity is right under our noses, but if we look closer, we’ll also find an edible landscape! How can we retune our relationships with our abundant environment, and see the possibilities of a town-wide edible landscape? In this walk, learn how to identify and harvest the five most prolific and important plants that are rich in nutrients and grow spontaneously without human consent or aid. Participants will also receive SPURSE’s “Eat Your Sidewalk” Codebook.

Race & Ecology Radio
October 19, 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Online: Radio Free Montclair
How did the modern environmental movement in the West emerge, and what relation does this have to race? How do we get to an anti-racist environmentalism? Helping us to unpack these questions is Prakash Kashwan, a leading voice in the field of political economy of institutions, environmental politics, and global climate governance. Join for a lively discussion connecting a local and global context towards new ecologies.

Pecha Kucha Night: Inclusion and Data
October 20 and 22, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM
Online: Radio Free Montclair
Did you know 90% of the world’s digital universe was created in the last two years? Have you wondered how your local data is used and by whom? Join our presenters in a virtual Pecha Kucha session to engage in understanding data equity and how we can change Montclair, and the world, one byte at a time. The format is a brisk 20 images with 20 seconds of voice-over per image. Breakout rooms will follow the presentations to enable dialogue, questioning, and immediate action.

The Improbably Designed Awards Show
October 21, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Online: Radio Free Montclair
This is not your typical design awards show! When most awards praise designs for their grace, their attention to detail and their overall sense of purpose, MDW be giving props to designs that veered off their intended path, and managed to come out way more radical and transformative. Most times, designs like these emerge out of completely unforeseen circumstances, blindsiding our expectations and catapulting us into new territory. Join members of SPURSE, a quirky research and design collective, as they ween us off of recent design fads, and challenge all of the sacred fish of creativity, design and human exceptionalism.

The Future of Our Main Streets
October 22, 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM
MADLAB, 7 Oak Place, Montclair
Stroll down Walnut and Grove Streets to consider the role of Main Streets in fostering inclusion and community. Our walk will be guided by a “score” created by the University of Orange, in conjunction with their launch of the “Main Street” reading group and urbanism series.

People-Powered Budgeting (all ages)
October 23, 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Online: Radio Free Montclair
When was the last time you cracked open a municipal budget, and did it reflect the priorities and values of your town? Thanks to powerful digital platforms, more democratic models of budgeting are including citizens into the process and advancing smart spending where each community needs it. In this conversation with Lily Cui and special guests, we’ll learn what participatory budgeting is, how cities around the world are moving to this democratic model, and what it could look like in Montclair.

Pop Up N’ Dance (ages 21+)
October 23, 8:00 PM – 10:30 PM
MADLAB Parking Lot, 7 Oak Place, Montclair
Hit the floor at Montclair’s coolest dance scene! Two deejays and two music channels to choose from. DJ Butta and BlissedOut Beats will be playing the dance tunes to keep you on the floor all night long! Everything from Hip Hop to Deep House. Grab your headphones. Choose your DJ. Wear a mask, keep a safe distance from others and move those happy feet!

Decked Out Workshop
October 24, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Skate Park at Rand Park, Montclair
Skateboarders of all ages! Deck out your deck with your own unique design! In this two-hour workshop, you get to design and adorn a brand new wood deck and give it your signature street style! (Includes wood deck and grip tape. All other components not included).

Sister2Sister Teleport Machine
October 24, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Clerestory Fine Art, 40 Church Street, Montclair
Montclair and Graz (Austria) have been sister cities since World War II, when we opened our doors to those fleeing Hitler’s fascism. Nearly 80 years later, we’re opening a digital door for a heart-to-heart, thanks to our partners Clerestory Fine Art (Montclair) and Creative Industries (Graz). On the eve of America’s most decisive election, there’s no better time to take in new perspectives than now!

Give Me 10! Film Screening
October 24, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
MADLAB Parking Lot, 7 Oak Place, Montclair
Final film screening of MADFlash Film Fest, featuring all 10-minute short films made in just one week! Local filmmakers took on the challenge of creating 10-minute films during Montclair Design Week, sourcing footage from a library of 100-second clips submitted to our Public Call. Watch as filmmakers compel us to consider and reimagine what inclusion looks like in Montclair and its future. Our audience will join us in a public voting process that awards prizes to our winning filmmakers!

Montclair-Newark Cycle-rama (ages 16+)
October 25, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Brookdale Park, in front of Rose Garden
Did you know that Montclair was once part of Newark? On this socially distanced bike excursion, we’ll trek between these two cities in search of clues that weave our histories, parks and infrastructures together. Our 25-mile circuit will include a few stops to take in those stories and share our reflections. We begin and end in Brookdale Park, and we’ll be joined by special guests along the way. Bring a water bottle and dress comfortably. Snacks and reflective drawstring sack included!

The complete MDW events schedule and online registration can be found at

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