Arts and Culture in Montclair, New Jersey

  • African-American Heritage Festival: For nearly 30 years, this annual festival features various events, as well as national and locally recognized talent. It is organized by the Montclair African-American Heritage Foundation, which serves as an outreach to broaden minds and spirits, preserve history and culture, and to recognize and promote cultural resources as an essential element of Montclair's economic and social well-being.
  • Art e Vino: Offers BYOB art classes, events, and walk in arts space; (862) 500-1165; 51 Upper Montclair Plaza, Montclair, NJ 07043. 
  • Bass Arts Studio: Art classes throughout the year for children as young as 4 years to adults; (973) 509-7588; 202 Park Street, Montclair, NJ 07042.
  • Charles Shultz House: Often referred to as the Evergreens because of the vast evergreens on the premises, this Victorian home built in 1896 by Hoboken Bank President Charles S. Shultz, is now on the National Register of Historic Places and is operated as a historic house museum by the Montclair Historical Society;  (973) 744-1796; 30 North Mountain Avenue, Montclair, NJ 07042.
  • Clark House Library: Dr. James Henry Clark, Jr. (1853-1945) and his wife Carrie Schenck (1859-1901) built the two and a half story Queen Anne style house at 108 Orange Road in 1894. Members of the Clark family occupied the home until 1962, when Dr. and Mrs. M. C. Sampson purchased it. In 1985, the Montclair Historical Society purchased the house, which it presently uses it as the Society’s educational, research, and administrative complex, including exhibits and the Albert Payson Terhune Library;  (973) 744-1796; 108 Orange Street, Montclair, NJ 07042.
  • Gallery 51: This gallery offers private and corporate clients a wide range of art. It also hosts various workshops and events; (973) 744-4484; 51 Church Street, Montclair, NJ 07042.
  • Israel Crane House and Historic YWCA: Israel Crane (1774-1858), a descendant of the founding family of Cranetown (now Montclair), and his wife Fanny Pierson (1773-1828), built the Israel Crane House in 1796 on 159 Glen Ridge Avenue. The Federal-style mansion was remodeled around 1840 with Greek-Revival details. It was home to three generations of the Crane family until about 1902. In 1920, the YWCA of Montclair-North Essex purchased it to use as offices, dormitories, and as a social center for African American women. In 1965, the Montclair Historical Society saved the Israel Crane House from demolition and moved it to 110 Orange Road. Since then, it has been part of MHS’ museum collection of historic houses; (973) 744-1796; 110 Orange Rd, Montclair, NJ 07042.
  • L. Fox Howard Theatre: This intimate flexible black box theatre recently underwent renovations including new carpeting and seating, and a state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems. The theatre hosts everything from  "Conversations" to large cast musicals. It is also used as a classroom for acting, directing, lectures and the Department's "Theatre in the Raw." The theatre is part of Montclair State University, which is home to six main facilities that hosts various arts events. The other facilities include: Alexander Kasser Theater, Memorial Auditorium, University Dance Theatre, Jed Leshowitz Recital Hall, and the Amphitheater; for audience services, box office, addresses and directions, call (973) 655-5112.
  •  Montclair Art Museum: The Montclair Art Museum (MAM), along with its Yard School of Art, engages a diverse community through its collection of American and Native American art, exhibitions, and educational programs; (973) 746-5555; 3 South Mountain Avenue, Montclair, NJ 07042.
  • Montclair Bird Club: Learn about wildlife, listen to members discuss types of birds, or join one of the bird-watching field trips offered throughout the year. Check the website for meeting dates and times -- usually meets at 7:30 pm the second Wednesday of the month at the Union Congregational Church, which is at 176 Cooper Avenue, Montclair NJ 07043; for more details email montclairbirdclub [at] gmail.com.
  • Montclair Historical Society: MHS is dedicated to preserving its four historic buildings, grounds and collections. The Society believes that by preserving the area's historical assets, they are afforded the opportunity to interpret the Montclair history, utilizing its four houses that span three centuries as tangible examples. MHS holds various events throughout the year; (973) 744-1796; 108 Orange Street, Montclair, NJ 07042. 
  • Montclair State University Art Gallery: The university offers many opportunities to view art. The outdoor Sculpture Garden is a collection of more than 20 sculptures that may be seen across the campus. The George Segal Gallery, named after the renowned sculptor, is an important destination in New Jersey. It's the only gallery in the world in George Segal's name, providing a lasting legacy to the seminal 20th century artist. It also serves as the flagship if the University Art Galleries and boasts more than 3,000 square feet of exhibition space and 3,300 square feet of office, classroom, and storage space. The gallery presents a minimum of six changing, contemporary exhibitions each year that feature major American, international and regionally acclaimed artists including the works of the University's faculty. It also features an annual exhibition of students graduating from the college's Department of Art and Design. The George Segal Gallery has received numerous Citation Awards from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts for its excellence in artistic programming and public service to the arts; (973) 655-4000; Montclair State University, Normal Avenue, Montclair, NJ 07043.
  • Nathaniel Crane House: The Nathaniel Crane House was built in 1818 by Captain Nathaniel Crane, Jr., Israel Crane’s cousin. In 1894, it was moved from the front to the rear of 108 Orange Road by Dr. James Henry Clark, Jr. to make way for his new residence (now known as the Clark House). In 1962 the Clark House property was purchased by the Sampson family. Two years later, they donated the Nathaniel Crane House to the Montclair Historical Society, but retained the Clark House as their residence. It was moved about seventy-five feet south in order to be located on the adjacent property of the recently relocated Israel Crane House. Today, it houses a general store, much like the one that Israel Crane established in Montclair and an 19th century school room; (973) 744-1796.
  • Pinot's PaletteAn upscale paint and sip (BYOB) experience for all skill levels; (973) 744-7500; 351 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair, NJ 07042.
  • Presby Memorial Iris Gardens: The Essex County Presby Memorial Iris Gardens is the largest public iris garden in the U.S. It's listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Sites. The display beds  feature thousands of iris varieties that produce more than 100,000 blooms each year. The site is also a living museum; (973) 783-5974; 474 Montclair Avenue, Upper Montclair, NJ 07043.
  • Studio Montclair: This non-profit organization exhibits the work of professional and emerging artists. It organizes artist receptions, workshops, panels, networking events, curator talks, and more -- most of which are free and open to the public; (862) 500-1447; located at Academy Square Galleries -- 33 Plymouth Street, Montclair, NJ 07042.
  • Taste of Montclair: More than 40 of Montclair’s favorite restaurants and food artisans come together for the annual Taste of Montclair each March. Keep up to date on happenings through the Montclair Rotary Club and/or the Taste of Montclair Facebook page.
  • Uptown Art: This studio hosts various classes and painting events; (973) 487-6347; 50 Upper Montclair, Suite 4A, Montclair, NJ 07043.
  • Van Vleck House & Gardens: Once part of a private estate, these gardens are open to the public from dusk till dawn. The Italianate villa on the grounds is now a center for non-profit groups. Visitors are welcome to enjoy the garden spaces and are encouraged to attend various classes, concerts, and special events throughout the year;  (973) 744-4752; 21 Van Vleck Street, Montclair, NJ 07042.
  • Wellmont Theater: This theater and concert venue is home to the Montclair Film Festival and stays busy year round; view a calendar here; (973) 783-9500;  5 Seymour St Montclair, NJ 07042.
  • Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center: This non-profit aims to preserve and promote the values of respect, sportsmanship, social justice and excellence through inclusive, culturally diverse sports-based educational programs and exhibits. It offers various year-round character-based educational programs created in collaboration with faculty from Montclair State University as well as professionals in the world of sports, business and the arts; (973) 655-2378;  On the campus of Montclair State University at 8 Yogi Berra Drive, Little Falls, NJ 07424.