By DEBORAH ANN TRIPOLDI
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
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.
For information on the Montclair Art Museum, visit montclairartmuseum.org.