We asked local cultural and community figures what they were looking forward to in 2018: 1) something they are doing, and 2) something others are doing. What about you, Montclair? What are you looking forward to here in town that you’re doing, and that you’re not? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we may print it in a coming issue!
Pheeroan Aklaff, exectuive director, Seed Artists: 1) I am looking forward to our 2018 Percussion Festival in a yet to be determined performance space in Montclair. 2) I am looking forward to seredipitously meet the honorable Jeh Johnson in some artisic setting of Montclair.
Jonathan Alter, author, journalist, political analyst: 1) I’ve teamed up with fellow Montclairians Steve McCarthy and John Block, who made the acclaimed 2015 documentary “The One Who Got Away” about a Glenfield student convicted of murder. The three of us are producing and directing a new HBO documentary called “DEADLINE ARTISTS: Fifty Years on the Streets with Jimmy Breslin and Pete Hamill” that will air in 2018. 2) My fondest hope for the arts in Montclair in 2018 is that someone buys the Bellevue Theater and keeps it as a movie house. Keep your fingers crossed and let the owner, Jesse Sayegh, know you will be deeply disappointed if the building is converted for other use.
Maggie Borgen, MHS student and director, In Harmony Montclair: 1) In Harmony Montclair plans to organize more small events (in addition to our annual Harmony Concert), to give teens a creative outlet throughout the year, such as how we held two performances at the Montclair Pop-Up this past month. In addition, we hope to expand our outreach so that more teens will have the opportunity to share and develop their performance and organizational skills while raising funds to help local charities. 2) 2018 promises to bring many opportunities for teens to connect with the broader arts community in Montclair. Programs through groups such as the Montclair Literary Festival and Montclair Film allow local teens to contribute to the community by sharing their talents. I look forward to seeing further creative connections between youth, nonprofits, and local businesses. I believe that the New Year has the potential to give teens a greater voice in the community through its many creative outlets.
Clark Scott Carmichael, actor: 1) I’m looking forward to auditioning. I’m also watching
for the release of Martin Scorsese’s film “The Irishman.” I played the pilot and one scene with Robert De Niro. I’m curious to see if I will make it to the screen.) 2) I love the Montclair Jazz Festival in August. Melissa Walker and Christian McBride have put together a wonderful event and training program for kids in the area. Full disclosure — my son has played with them for the last few years. It’s a real summertime treat in Nishuane Park.
Israel Cronk, director, Montclair BID: 1) We are excited to host our this Annual Downtown Oktoberfest this year, Sept 22, 2018. We welcomed 4,000+ visitors this year to Lackawanna Plaza! What will 2018 bring?! 2) I’m also excited to partner up with MFEE on their “Life After High School” conference on Jan. 6 at Montclair State University. I will be speaking to kids about fostering good relationships, building connections and staying true to their passions.
Fran DePalma-Iozzi, president, Montclair Women’s Club: 1) At least twice a month: a program open to the public for a low fee… authors, musicians, concerts, is held at the Montclair Womens Club, 82 Union St. A Big Band Bash will be held April 20, and a follow-up to the recent Opioid Awareness Conference will be held in the spring. WomanSONG CHORUS will perform at the May 3 “Free First Thursday” at the Montclair Art Museum. 2) Mia Riker-Norrie and the Opera Theatre of Montclair.
Dagmara Dominczyk, actress; author, “The Lullaby of Polish Girls”: 1) 2017 was a “heavy” year, and although there were lovely personal moments, I found the atmosphere – for good reason – to be tightly wound. So I’m looking forward to “unspooling.” To allowing myself to relax. I want to finish writing my second novel. I’m looking forward to taking part in both the Montclair Literary and Montclair Film festivals. I believe that the arts make the world go round and want to use them – whether via writing, acting or teaching theatre – as an outlet and a reminder that there is still goodness in the world. And family time. Always family time.
Richard Fulco, writer, “There Is no end to this Slope”: 1)Presently, I’ve been working toward completing a novel. Its working title is “Fade Into Obscurity.” 2) In 2018, I’m looking forward to reading Susan Tepper’s “Monte Carlo Days and Nights.” Susan is a well-established writer and Montclair resident.
Dorothea Benton Frank, author, “Same Beach, Next Year,” “All the Single Ladies,” “The Last Original Wife” and others: 1) I’m looking forward to a trip with my sweet husband to the Galápagos Islands. 2) I’m looking forward to seeing Harvey Weinstein ‘s mug shot. Ha!
Ghana Imani Hylton, poet, activist, social media /event management; producer, Adinkra House: 1) I’m *really* amped about the Montclair Literary Festival the weekend of St. Patrick’s Day. I’ll be moderating a panel on Art as Activism particularly around poetry as a medium for social justice. 2) I can’t wait to be a part of the MFEE Life After High School program Jan. 6 where I moderate a panel of highlighted speakers and their best take-away advice. It’s open to any Montclair kid in eighth through twelfth grade and it’s free! Basically everything I believe in; the arts, social justice, education, community & creativity converge in my favorite town in 2018! I’m SO looking forward to it!
Peter Jacobs, visual artist: 1) I will be entering my 14th year of The Collage Journal. 4,653 uninterrupted days. 2) Watch for Ai Weiwei’s documentary film “Human Flow” coming out in January.
Elizabeth Smith Jacobs, artist and educator: 1) offering an assortment of mixed media workshops in collaboration with the Creativity Caravan. 2) When in the Baltimore/DC area, checking out my favorite museum, the American Visionary Art Museum, near the inner harbor in Baltimore. The museum is dedicated to showing outsider art and does a very unique kinetic sculpture race, which will take place on May 6th this year.
Jennifer Levine, artist: 1) Art Park Montclair — developing a movable art park with a puppet theatre for Montclair residents to enjoy summer 2018. In my studio, I am working with breast cancer survivors creating collage paintings to honor their choice not to reconstruct. 2) Shout out to Amy and Maya from The Creativity Caravan for supporting local artists with a gallery, inspiration, and great food at openings!
Ann Lippel, chair, Montclair Senior Citizens Advisory Committee (SCAC): 1) Taking the high quality and free M.I.L.L. (Montclair Institute for Lifelong Learning ) classes, part of the Township’s Lifelong Montclair Aging in Place initiative and funded by Partners for Health. 2) Attending one of the Opera Theater of Montclair performances.
Elaine Molinaro, president, Montclair Arts Alliance; artistic director, Culture Connection Theatre: 1) directing theater that makes connections between people and
opens minds. 2) organizing more actively with Alicia Garza, Tamika Mallory, Bob Bland and others to continue the fight for a just society.
Steven M. Moore, author, “Rembrandt Angel”: 1) Giving a talk on publishing and my writing, featuring “Rembrandt’s Angel,” at the Montclair Women’s Club on Jan. 26. 2) Catching as many musical events as possible at Montclair State University—these kids are fantastic!
Diane Moser, pianist; leader, Diane Moser’s Composers Big Band: 1) I have a new CD releasing March 1st, with a new trio. The CD is called “Diane Moser-Birdsongs,” and it features Anton Denner on flute and piccolo, Ken Filiano on bass and yours truly on piano. 2) Looking forward to a new year of exciting events and a percussion festival produced by Seed Artists, here in Montclair.
Erin Carlisle Norton, artistic director, female-centric dance company The Moving Architects: 1) “The Recollection” is the newest work developed through the ongoing collaboration between myself and visual artist gwen charles. “The Recollection” uses dance, multi-media projections, and original music to explore the tenuous and distorted threads between memory and reality. This will be the third live performance work they have collaborated on together, alongside “Americana” which was performed in April in Manhattan and Jersey City, and “America Dawn” which premiered in Brooklyn in November after beginning the project through a creative residency at Wilson College (PA) in August. The work is set to premiere in Montclair in 2018. 2) I am interested in the ongoing visual arts projects of gwen charles. Her studio is in Montclair and her work was recently featured on banners throughout Montclair as part of the Studio Montclair banner series.
Jamie Pagliaro, BARD, St. James Players: 1) I am super pumped to play an evening of Renaissance Rock music with BARD at Tierney’s on Feb. 3 at 8:30 p.m.!! A portion of the proceeds will go to support the St. James Players. 2) I am psyched to see my friend and fellow SJP member Gary Koseyan in Theatre League Of Clifton’s dinner theatre production of “Trouble at the Tropicabana” in late Feb/early March. Who doesn’t love a fun night of dinner theatre!?!
Greg Pason, founder and organizer, Montclair Make Music Day: 1) I look forward to
more grassroots arts and music projects in Montclair in 2018, including a full Make Music weekend in June. In June we will have events starting on June 21st and extending into the weekend of the 23rd. We’ve built so many new partnerships with local businesses and organizations, especially the newly founded Indie Arts Montclair! 2) I also love the work being done by Montclair Arts Alliance, the volunteers working to bring the pollinator garden and cultural events in Crane Park and everything being done to promote bicycling by Bike&Walk Montclair and VELO. Let’s bring more community focused art and music to our community next year and be more inclusive. Art is an integral part of daily life. We need to create opportunities for participation in art and cultural activities.
Catherine Platt, co-director, Montclair Literary Festival: 1) I’m looking forward to
the second Montclair Literary Festival, March 15-18, presented by Succeed2gether. Highlights will include our high-energy poetry slam, this year to include Montclair High School as well as Middle School students; our headline event at 7 pm on March 16 when author Tom Perrotta will speak with Patrick Wilson and Dagmara Dominczyk about transferring fiction to film and television; and panels on wide-ranging topics from sexual harassment to rock and roll biography. Our popular children’s program is back as well, and art and literature workshops at MAM. 2) In other events, I’m looking forward to hearing Garth Hallberg and Estep Nagy in conversation about crafting fiction at the Open Book/Open Mind event at Montclair Public Library on January 28th, and to finding out which authors Watchung Booksellers will bring to town in 2018 — always a wide and interesting range of speakers!
Gail Prusslin, promotions and publicity, The Outpost in the Burbs: 1) the first show of the new year at Outpost in the Burbs on Jan. 5th: Light of Day Foundation North Jersey “Songwriters in the Round” benefit concert and 2) Montclair Film Festival ’70’s Mixtape Dance Party with The Loser’s Lounge on Feb. 25th!
Mia Riker-Norrie, general director, Opera Theatre of Montclair: 1) Opera Theatre of Montclair is looking forward to expanding its family-friendly offerings in 2018 by producing Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel. 2) I’m looking forward to supporting the young artists at the Cali School of Music as they perform Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia on Jan. 27 and 28.
Nancy Star, author, “Sisters One, Two, Three”: 1) I’m excited to be reading at the Half-way There series on Jan. 22nd! 2) And I’m excited for the second annual Montclair Literary Festival!
Bruce Tyler, Black Lace Blues: 1) Well…I am working on my drumming technique and reviewing some of my old drumming ideas! Also..writing some material with my band Black Lace Blues. Looking forward to putting together a bead exhibit at the new Trend Gallery. 2) My harmonica player in my band is playing with the legandary Michael Powers at Terra Blues in New York.
Charmaine Warren, producer/artistic director, Dance on the Lawn: 1) Celebrating our fifth year of presenting free dance performances to our community and beyond! 2) Looking forward to seeing what and supporting the very new Montclair Arts Alliance in their second year.