Scarecrow Exhibit in the Gardens

The Montclair Foundation Awards $42,000 in Grants to Montclair Nonprofits

The Montclair Foundation has awarded $42,000 in grants to seven nonprofits that serve the Montclair community and beyond. The Montclair Foundation nurtures growth in our community through support and grant giving to local nonprofits and the preservation of the historic Van Vleck House & Gardens. Grants are awarded twice annually

Montclair Foundation Grant Allows Expanded Free Programming for Military Veterans at Yogi Berra Museum

The Montclair Foundation has made a $5,000 grant in support of the Yogi Berra Museum’s 2018 Veterans’ Outreach initiatives. The funding will allow the Museum to continue to extend admission to all exhibits and programs to active and former military service people free of charge, as well as to expand existing programming to veterans groups […]

Montclair Ambulance Unit

The Montclair Foundation/Van Vleck House & Gardens is celebrating! We’re being recognized by Montclair Ambulance Unit at their eighth annual St Patrick’s Day Benefit on March 3, 2018 at the Commonwealth Club in Upper Montclair.

Pushcart Players Receive Montclair Foundation Grant

Pushcart Players, New Jersey’s Emmy nominated and award winning touring theater for young audiences has received a generous grant from The Montclair Foundation to support performances of their latest productions and in-school theater education programs in and around Montclair, NJ.

A social profit organization founded in 1974, Pushcart brings substantive musical theater, workshops, and residencies to young people and their families in schools and theaters nationwide. The company has traveled more than 2 million miles nationally and abroad, from the little red schoolhouse to the White House. This dynamic company receives numerous state and private awards for excellence and innovation. A cast of professional Actors’ Equity Association performers and stage managers tour productions with complete scenery, lighting, and sound systems, making every performance adaptable to any location.

The Montclair Foundation is a nonprofit that awards grants to charitable organizations in the greater Montclair area. With giving in the areas of Family and Social Services, Community, and Arts and Education, The Foundation has supported more than seventy community organizations since its inception in 1979. Equally important is the Foundation’s strong commitment to the historic preservation of Montclair’s Van Vleck House and Gardens for the education, cultural enrichment, and enjoyment of the region.

“The Foundation’s grant program is intended to support a broad range of activities that contribute to the quality of life in Montclair and its environs,” said Tina Jordan, Grants Chair. “We are delighted to be a part of the important work Pushcart does in our community.”

“Montclair Foundation’s generosity is a terrific endorsement that we truly appreciate,” said Paul Whelihan, Pushcart’s producing artistic director. “Social profit organizations like Pushcart rely on support from the enlightened foundation, government, and corporate sectors. It is through their involvement that we are able to reach out to facilities whose young people could not otherwise benefit from our programming.”

Pushcart Players will be bringing six different productions to schools and theaters throughout 2018:

New to Pushcart’s repertoire is “The Velveteen Rabbit” (book by Paul Whelihan, music & lyrics by Paul Farinella, orchestrations by Larry Hochman). A young boy’s love and a little nursery magic help transform the Velveteen Rabbit from a favorite plaything into a real rabbit. Boy and Velveteen embark on exciting imaginary adventures, from deep dark caves to the wide open sea, and together they learn the true meaning of friendship in this musical re-telling of one of America’s favorite storybooks.

“Ellis Island: Gateway to America” takes a loving look at a small group of immigrants. They came to America in the early 1900’s, seeking freedom, opportunity and a better life for themselves, their children, and their children’s children. A combination of original and traditional American music, the play explores the ordinary people and extraordinary events in the nation’s history through the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960’s.

“Stone Soup and Other Stories” features short literary favorites from Africa, India, Eastern Europe, and the United States of America. Filled with exuberant music, fantasy, and comic plot lines, each tale introduces the spirit and customs of these unique cultures; the production provides a springboard for reading and subsequent literacy-related activities.

In “Peter and the Wolf,” Pushcart puts its’ trademark spin on a beloved Eastern European folk tale. Classical music, story-telling, puppetry, and the ageless adventure of growing up comprise this masterpiece. Set to the resplendent music by composer Sergei Prokofiev, each character is represented by a different musical motif in this story of a spirited young boy who confronts the dangers of the forest with courage, creativity, and leadership.

“The Last…Butterfly” is a touching, informative and provocative multi-media play with music, based on the poems, drawings, and experiences of children of the Holocaust. While dealing with a particular episode in history, the production brings relevance to current human rights issues. Pushcart celebrates the twentieth year of presenting this exceptional theater experience.

“A Cinderella Tale…happily ever after” is Pushcart’s whimsical comic version of the well-known fairy tale. The story’s origins are informed by the universal longing to overcome adversity. Certainly it speaks to everyone who has a vision or a dream yet to be fulfilled, with central themes of goodness, generosity, and compassion.

offers sensory friendly performances of all our productions,” said Whelihan, “wherein the plays are adapted to be accessible to children on the Autism spectrum and with other cognitive disabilities.” In adapting the performance, music is kept at a consistent level, avoiding any sudden or jarring bursts of sound. Audience space remains well-lit and adjustments are made to script and prop use to avoid innuendo and complicated mime.

Pushcart has a substantive theater education program, providing in-school workshops, direction of student productions, and curriculum development for elementary and middle schools. Pushcart cast members are experienced teaching artists, and provide workshops, acting classes and residency programs to schools, community centers and summer session programs.

For further information on this or any of Pushcart’s programs and services visit

PHOTO: Pushcart Players in “VELVETEEN RABBIT”

PHOTO BY: Gerry Goodstein

Montclair Film Announces Grants Totaling More Than $150,000

(MONTCLAIR, NJ) — Montclair Film has announced grant awards totaling more than $150,000 in recent months from a wide range of philanthropic entities for programs ranging from celebrity fundraisers to general operating support.

The programs include:

    • The Montclair Film’s 7th annual Celebrity Fundraiser, Sad! A Happy Evening with Stephen Colbert and Samantha Bee was made possible with support from
    • New Jersey State Council on the Arts awarded a $30,000 General Operating Support grant, including a Citation of Excellence.
    • The American Express Foundation made a grant of $25,000 to support Montclair Film’s robust Volunteer, Intern and Mentor Programs, initiatives that provide the foundation for all we do here at Montclair Film.
    • Montclair Film received a $22,000 grant from the New Jersey Division of Travel and Tourism to help market our programs to cultural enthusiasts from across the State, helping to use the arts to build the local economy.
    • The Coolidge Corner Theater Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation made an $8,500 Science on Screen grant award for Montclair Film to participate in this national initiative that builds science education through movie screenings and community conversations moderated by notable experts from the world of science and technology. Please stay tuned for more information on our Science on Screen Series to kick off on March 27, 2018.
    • The Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation made a grant of $25,000, and the Montclair Foundation made a grant of $10,000 over three years, towards our Capital Campaign to Build A Home for Montclair Film in downtown Montclair. These leadership grants joins hundreds of other gifts totaling more than $2.2 million towards our $2.6 million goal.

To learn more about ways you can help them finish this important campaign, click here.

“We’re incredibly grateful to all of these partners and institutions for their support of and belief in Montclair Film,” said Development Director Aran Roche. “This support is vital to our ability to deliver the world class programs to our community and our patrons.”


Montclair Film, a non-profit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization, nurtures and showcases the talents of filmmakers from around the region and world. Montclair Film unites, empowers, educates, and celebrates our region’s diverse cultural heritage and robust artistic community by presenting engaging programs and events all year long. The seventh annual Montclair Film Festival will take place from April 26 through May 6, 2018. Montclair Film’s year-round and festival programming is made possible through generous support from Investors Bank; Audible; Hackensack Meridian Health; the Horizon Foundation for New Jersey; Ashenfelter, Slous, McDonough, Golia & Trevenen, LLP; Chubb; Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage; and William H. Connolly & Co., and others.  Our programs are made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey Department of State, Division of Travel and Tourism and New Jersey State Council on the Arts. For information about Montclair Film, visit

Military Vets Can Visit Yogi Berra Museum For Free

A grant from the Montclair Foundation will allow military veterans to visit the Yogi Berra Museum for free.

The following article comes courtesy of the Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center. 

The Montclair Foundation has made a grant in support of the Yogi Berra Museum’s 2018 Veterans’ Outreach Program. The funding will allow the museum to extend admission to all exhibits and programs to active and former military service people free of charge, as well as offer free tours to veterans groups.

“We’re happy to support the Yogi Berra Museum which is doing such great work to support veterans in our Montclair community and throughout New Jersey,” Tina Jordan, the Montclair Foundation’s Grant Committee Chair said.

“We’ve been working hard to deepen our relationship with the local veteran community,” said Eve Schaenen, the museum’s executive director. “Just this past October we hosted our inaugural Yogi Berra Museum Veterans Resources Fair, which coordinated community resources for the collective benefit of local veterans and their families.”

Schaenen continued:

“Before Yogi ever wore pinstripes as a New York Yankee, he was a Seaman Second Class in the U.S. Navy, serving at D-Day. The museum is incredibly grateful to the Montclair Foundation for their generous support, which allows us to leverage this remarkable piece of Yogi’s biography, his military service, both as a vehicle for sustaining the values his service embodied – loyalty, grit, courage, selflessness, teamwork – and as a means to address needs among our current population of military veterans.”

The free access for current and former military will take effect at the start of 2018. The second Yogi Berra Museum Veterans Resources Fair is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018.

Photo: Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center

OTM Presents “The Magic Flute” at Van Vleck

It takes a village…

The Montclair Foundation awarded a $3,500 grant to Laptop Upcycle, which runs a program that provides free laptops to underserved students in Montclair.

The Montclair Foundation awarded a $3,500 grant to Laptop Upcycle, which runs a program that provides free laptops to underserved students in Montclair. The organization uses funding to refurbish laptops donated by local businesses and families.

In Montclair, homework at the middle and high school levels is distributed and graded using computer programs. Though reducing the use of paper, this model puts students without access to a home computer at a disadvantage. The program has already distributed more than 60 laptops to Montclair High School, Buzz Aldrin Middle School and Renaissance Middle School students.

Learn more at


Laptop Upcycle Receives Grant from TMF


Laptop Upcycle Receives Grant from TMF to Underwrite Free Laptop Program for Montclair Students in Need

(May 1, 2017) Laptop Upcycle, a division of HackNCraftNJ, announces a $3500 grant from The Montclair Foundation that will support the organization’s free laptop program created for underserved kids in Montclair. Laptop Upcycle was formed Fall 2016 by Jon Bonesteel, Sarah Damaskos, and John Wisniewski, and has already distributed over 60 laptops and free wifi to to Montclair High School, Buzz Aldrin Middle School and Renaissance Middle School students who do not have home computer access.

Currently, Montclair middle school and high school homework is distributed, and graded completed primarily via Google Classroom. While reducing paper and waste, this type of computer-based learning model unintentionally penalizes students who don’t have home computer access.

To bridge the technology-family income gap, Laptop Upcycle delivers donated, used laptops to Montclair students at risk. The laptops are donated by local businesses and families who have working, but no longer needed, hardware. The Montclair Foundation’s grant will purchase replacement batteries and missing power supplies for otherwise functional laptops.

Founding member John Wisniewski is thrilled, “With a waiting list of students, we’re constantly seeking usable, working laptops from the greater Montclair community. Many times, older donated laptops that are in good working shape are missing a power supply or their battery is just shot. The Montclair Foundation grant provides the critical gap funding so that Laptop Upcycle can replace these essential components and ensure that the laptop is 100% usable by the student.”

Laptop Upcycle’s process is straightforward and entirely volunteer-powered. As Mac or PC computers are donated, each is securely wiped to ensure that all data is thoroughly removed. Then, each computer is loaded with an open source Operating System and educational software to provide students with the technology they need for homework and academic success. For families without home internet access, a wifi router with 5 years of free service can also be provided. Laptop Upcycle provides drop-in support and Q&A for students and their family at the HackNCraftNJ Makerspace, located in the United Way building, during scheduled open hours.

To volunteer or donate laptops or funds, go to Donors receive a tax-deductible receipt of $300 for each usable, donated computer. For middle school or high school students without home computer access, students and families should contact their school guidance counselor or go to to apply for a laptop and/or wifi.

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Laptop Upcycle’s mission is to eliminate technology impediments contributing to Montclair’s academic achievement gap. Program volunteers provide outreach, collect, refresh and distribute donated private and corporate laptop donations to low-income middle and high school students who do not have home computer access. Laptop Upcycle is a program of HackNCraftNJ, Inc (Montclair, NJ), a 501c(3) not-for-profit organization. Visit for more information or follow us on for announcements and success stories.

The Montclair Foundation is a nonprofit that awards grants to charitable organizations in the greater Montclair area. It was established to support not-for-profit organizations that meet health, educational, cultural, social service and quality of life needs in the greater Montclair community.


Press Contact: Jon Bonesteel, email:, phone: 973-573-1668