Arts & Entertainment

Press Releases

Montclair Art Museum Launches Vance Wall Art Education Center

With a recent gift totaling $5 million from Carol and Terry Wall/The Vance Wall Foundation, the Montclair Art Museum is proud to announce the creation of the Vance Wall Art Education Center at MAM, establishing the footing for enhanced educational outreach and accessible programs for people of all ages. The Center encompasses all the Museum’s educational efforts, from the established Yard School of Art to the new mobile MAM Art Truck, and marks the public phase of the Museum’s endowment campaign, MAM Centennial Campaign: Arts and Learning.

            “Since its founding over 100 years ago, MAM has stayed true to its two-fold mission of arts and learning. The Vance Wall Foundation’s gift is an acknowledgment of MAM’s strength in education and has provided a rare opportunity to reach even higher,” said MAM’s director Lora Urbanelli. In the past year, MAM’s education programs served over 95 schools in 54 school districts, 4 institutions of higher learning, and 140 community and business organizations ranging from the Cub Scouts to Hadassah, and senior groups and town arts councils from Sussex to Trenton, Yonkers to Allentown. The new Center will fully refine and deepen these partnerships, meet additional community needs, and explore comprehensive creative programming for every demographic.

“Over 2,000 students of all ages are enrolled in the Museum's Yard School of Art. That extraordinarily high number indicates the resounding enthusiasm for arts education in the Montclair area and was the impetus for the creation of the Vance Wall Arts Education Center,” said Carol Wall. “My dream is the Center will expand and unify our program to provide an even richer and more comprehensive arts education for everyone from toddlers to seniors.” The new Center will seek academic excellence and outfit the Museum as a teaching laboratory for higher education, make the MAM family experience an engaging and easy habit any day of the week, establish a center for lifelong learning in the arts for active adults and seniors, and target teens as an essential age group for the future of museums. Its resulting programs will become national models for arts education. Heading this initiative will be the recently named first Director of the Vance Wall Art Education Center, Leah Fox.

Sign Up for E-News

            In the months ahead, the construction of the Vance Wall Art Education Center will begin, providing a new Museum Education entry with offices and studio space for art activities. The design by Montclair architect John Reimnitz highlights education, putting it on a par with MAM’s renowned exhibitions. Upon entering the Museum at the existing side entry, there will be a clear visual distinction between the left side entrance to the Museum and the right side entrance to the Center. A new education classroom placed at the entry will open the art-making experience to MAM visitors. The entrance will be named after former Museum president Nathaniel C. Harris, who oversaw the building’s 2001 expansion. Harris took art classes at the Montclair Art Museum as a child and rose to become president of the Museum; a Yard School of Art scholarship program is named in his honor.

            Raising the Museum’s educational profile through The Vance Wall Art Education Center is a key component of MAM’s endowment campaign. The Centennial Campaign: Arts and Learning will leverage and interweave the Museum’s two core strengths: arts and education. It aims to raise $15 million to help ensure a vibrant future for the Museum. Nearly $10 million has already been raised as MAM enters the public phase. In addition to The Vance Wall Art Education Center, key objectives include revitalizing displays for Native American materials, strengthening the contemporary art program, creating an outdoor sculpture garden and community gathering spaces, and broadening access for the region’s lively and diverse communities.

            “Based on the generosity and leadership of many individuals, MAM is reaching out to an expanding community to open eyes, hearts, and minds to art, and thereby create windows of possibilities,” said Frank Walter, MAM president. “These gifts will help preserve MAM for future generations.”

            For more information about the Campaign, please contact Susan Wall, director of development, at 973-259-5117 or

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Roselle/Roselle Park

Wastewater Sewerage Authority Looking for Treatment Plant Operator

March 12, 2018

LINDEN/ROSELLE, NJ - The Linden/Roselle Sewerage Authority is seeking to fill a position for a Wastewater Sewerage Treatment Plant Operator.  

This is a full-time position that entails shift work, 7 days a week. Candidate must have a High School diploma or obtained equivalency; possession of a valid S-1 New Jersey Wastewater Operators License is preferred but not ...

Teacher Training at Trailside

MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ  - Teacher Training programs at Trailside will be offered this spring for teachers of students in Kindergarten through grade twelve starting March 15.

Project WET, a teacher training program for teachers K – 12 will be offered on Thurs. March 15 from 9 a.m.. to 3 p.m.  This workshop will provide the necessary tools, resources, and lessons for teachers ...

Daylight Savings Time Begins this Weekend - Remember to Turn Your Clocks Forward

ROSELLE/ROSELLE PARK, NJ - The winter months are about to come to an end. You know spring is definitely around the corner when Daylight Savings Time begins. A reminder to everyone to turn your clocks forward one hour tonight when you go to bed. Daylight Savings time officially begins at 2 a.m. Sunday morning. 

While many will dread losing that hour of sleep, that extra hour of daylight ...

Roselle Park to Hold Third Annual St. Patrick’s Day Event

ROSELLE PARK, NJ - The Borough of Roselle Park will hold their third annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration on Sat., March 17 from 12 p.m. to 3 the Casano Community Center.

Starting at noon, Joe Carosalli’s Masterpiece Orchestra will perform authentic Irish music. Lunch will be served and will consist of corned beef and cabbage, boiled potatoes, carrots, Irish soda bread, and ...

Mountain Biking in Watchung Reservation Revisited at Freeholders Meeting

March 9, 2018

ELIZABETH, NJ - Mountain biking in Watchung Reservation was revisited in the public comment session at the Union County Freeholders meeting on Thursday.  The board had voted not to approve building bike trails in May 2017 after a months-long debate.

Jamie Meiselman of Westfield, and co-leader of the Union County Chapter of the Jersey Off Road Bicycling Association (JORBA), raised the ...

Totowa Rapper Accused of Trying to Bring Loaded Gun Through Security at Newark Airport

March 12, 2018

NEWARK, N.J. – Rapper Juelz Santana, a resident of Totowa, faces weapon charges after allegedly trying to get a loaded firearm through security at Newark Liberty International Airport, according to U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito.

The rapper, whose real name is LaRon L. James, 36, surrendered to police this morning. He has been charged with  one count of possession of a firearm by a ...

Union County 4-H Club Reaches Out to Help after Hurricane Maria

March 16, 2018

Student members of the Union County 4-H Variety Club reached across local and state borders to help displaced pets earlier this year. Through their “4-H for our 4 Pawed Friends” community service project, they collected donations to help St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in Madison after the organization sheltered more than 700 pets in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

A ...

Still Searching - A Follow Up on the Boxer Found in Roselle

March 5, 2018

ROSELLE, NJ - The search continues for the owners of a female boxer found on East 7th Ave. near Chandler Ave. and given to Roselle police on Feb. 16. The dog was transported to the Newark Humane Society and was put on hold for the owner to claim. 

The hold time has expired and the dog has not been claimed. She was transferred to the Montclair Animal Shelter and will be fostered in ...

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (Random House, 1965)


In Cold Blood is, quite simply, the grand-daddy of true crime writing, dubbed by Capote, himself, as the first non-fiction novel (although Norman Mailer argued the point when he published The Executioner's Song in 1979.) The conditions under which I read In Cold Blood for the first time were pretty weird, which was another ...

Ian Hockley Visits New Jersey to Introduce Program to Empower Youth

This week I am taking a departure from book reviewing to share an important program that has been introduced to New Jersey this week by Mr. Ian Hockley, founder of the Dylan's Wings of Change Foundation. On December 14, 2012, Hockley's five year old son, an autistic child named Dylan, was gunned down in his classroom in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Dylan, a shy and adorable ...