Barbara Farber greets guests at the top of the staircase. “Many visitors stand here and talk about the work,” she said.


Barbara Farber of Montclair volunteers her time at the Montclair Art Museum, 3 South Mountain Ave. She works part-time in retail in the sales department. Farber managed sales showrooms full time for many years in New York City.

In this series, we highlight a hometown person who has given time and effort to help people, animals or the environment. To suggest a person or an organization for this series, email tripoldi@montclairlocal.news and culture@montclairlocal.news.

How did you get involved?

About three and a half years ago, I needed to start a new life, and volunteering was the way to do it. I was volunteering at the Montclair Public Library and the Montclair Film Festival. I went to a workshop Montclair Film was holding at the festival office, and discovered volunteering opportunities at the museum.

Why do you volunteer at MAM?
I do it to give back to the community, for my own pleasure, to meet interesting people and make friends.

How much time do you spend volunteering?
I spend about three to four hours a month volunteering at MAM. They work around my schedule.

What are some of your volunteering duties?
I’m a membership ambassador. I sign up people on a free [First Thursdays] night and tell them about the perks and benefits of becoming a member; what the museum is special for. There is something for everyone. I like to educate the community. I volunteer at different events and sign-in people or count people. I also volunteer on Free First Thursdays. Once a month I stuff envelopes.

What have you discovered or learned while volunteering?
I have the opportunity to come to private exhibitions. I get to meet various artists, some local artists. I learned about the history of the museum and the ongoing of it in the community.

What’s your favorite part of volunteering?
I love the place, I get out of it as much as I give into it. I meet really nice people. I like socializing and greeting people. It gives you a nice feeling that you are doing something positive. It makes me feel more part of the community. Free First Thursdays — on Free First Thursdays you can just stand there and people will talk. It’s very inclusive, a nice atmosphere; very welcoming. It’s a nice sense of community. Last year I went almost every month. It’s a fun night and you meet all kinds of people. [The next Free First Thursday is June 6, 5-9 p.m.]

How do your family/friends feel about your volunteering service?
My son thinks it’s great.

What do you do on your free time outside of volunteering?
I have great friends for many years and we get together for lunch. I exercise at the municipal pool in the summer and take walks.


Read: Volunteer Spotlight: Behind the scenes at Montclair Film Festival with Sheila Cole


For information on the Montclair Art Museum, visit montclairartmuseum.org.

KEEP LOCAL JOURNALISM ALIVE: MontclairLocal.news is free, but it takes consistent financial support from a community that believes local journalism matters to make it and our weekly print paper possible. Your sustaining contribution of $10 per month (or more) makes you a member, and gets you our print edition. Visit MontclairLocal.news/donations for details and to become a member today.