Teresa Staub, the new executive director of Monmouth Arts, helps spread the news of the group’s work in the arts.By Mary Ann Bourbeau |RED BANK – Monmouth Arts, the county’s official arts agency, is dedicated to promoting a vibrant arts community that enhances the quality of life for all of its residents.Teresa Staub took over in February as executive director and she’s looking forward to getting the word out about the organization to both artists and residents alike. Staub worked as a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society for 11 years. Her daughter became involved with Phoenix Productions in Red Bank, and instead of waiting for her in the car, Staub started helping the theater group with props. Before she knew it, she was producing a show.“Once I got involved, I absolutely loved it,” she said.She was a fundraiser for New Jersey Repertory Company in Long Branch, the Algonquin Arts Theatre in Manasquan and the Axelrod Performing Arts Center in Deal before coming to Monmouth Arts.“I am so proud to be a part of a nonprofit that allows our arts community to flourish,” she said. “Through its many programs and services, Monmouth Arts sparks cultural growth as well as provides much-needed funds to arts organizations to create a thriving cultural environment.”Monmouth Arts’ programs are made possible through funding from the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders, the Monmouth County Historical Commission and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/ Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment of the Arts. With an annual budget of $500,000 and a five-person staff, the organization supports artists and arts groups through a multitude of efforts such as networking events, workshops, art walks, grants and other resources. Some of the professional development opportunities include workshops on strategic planning, using social media and developing an artist statement. The organization also publicizes artist performances and exhibitions in e-blasts, through social media and on the website.Monmouth Arts was founded in 1971 after the Junior League of Monmouth County saw the need for a central agency to coordinate and assist all county artists and arts organizations. It began with seed money from the Junior League and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. In 1973, an anonymous donor provided funds to purchase Walter Reade’s Carlton Theatre in Red Bank, later renamed the Count Basie Theatre in honor of Red Bank native William James “Count” Basie. Although they are both still located at the same Monmouth Street address, the two non- profits separated in 1999 so that each could better focus on its individual mission. “People should stop by to find out all we do,” said Staub.The Monmouth Arts community is made up of 75 nonprofit arts groups, 1,400 artists and 3,080 creative businesses such as art galleries, theater groups, bookstores, music and arts academies, dance schools, design, advertising, architecture and publishing businesses. It also has many individual arts supporters.“I always look at Monmouth Arts as the group behind the curtain,” said Staub.The Monmouth Teen Arts Festival, which takes place every March at Brookdale Community College, is one of its biggest events, attracting 2,000 middle and high school students each year. Sneak Peek Film and Reception events are held in conjunction with Bow Tie Cinemas, Sony Pictures Classics and area restaurants. The next one will take place on June 15 at Front Street Trattoria, followed by a screening of “Maudie” at Bow Tie Cinemas.The 2017 Monmouth County Senior Art Show will run from Aug. 4-30 at the Monmouth County Library headquarters in Manalapan, with a special reception on Aug. 16. First place winners in both professional and non-professional levels across 11 categories will advance to the state competition.“I think people would be surprised to see all we offer the community,” said Staub. For more information, visit www.monmoutharts.org.Arts and entertainment writer Mary Ann Bourbeau can be reached at [email protected] article was first published in the June 1-June 8, 2017 print edition of The Two River Times.
With the first allotment of weatherization funds released to the states and, in turn, to the community agencies that hire local contractors, lots of local organizations have come up with plans that will attempt to get the greenest bang out of a weatherization buck.However, for programs whose mission is not necessarily to go right in and make home-performance improvements but rather to encourage homeowners to make the improvements, the process can be more complicated and success a little more elusive.We’ve noted, for example, the strategy of the ClimateSmart program being deployed in Boulder, Colorado, where energy-audit technicians go door-to-door and work directly with homeowners to try to get them to act on audit information.And now a somewhat similar approach is being used by a nonprofit based in Seattle, the Environmental Outreach and Stewardship Alliance, which has developed a pilot program designed to assess not only home energy efficiency but also deficiencies in the use of water and fossil fuels, solid waste removal, and landscaping.Diagnosis and prescriptionCalled the Green Blocks Project, the program is providing free home environmental performance assessments to many of the homeowners who responded to program-application requests posted by EOS Alliance in June. The group says it chose which city blocks to target based on the number of applications received from each block. For this pilot program, whose assessment period began July 6 and runs through August 21, 10 city blocks were selected.Conducted by professionals certified by the Building Performance Institute, the assessments include a report sent to each homeowner that outlines home performance, recommends improvements, and identifies available services and training as well as applicable grants, rebates, and tax incentives.EOS Alliance says recommended remedies for performance deficiencies can include installation of smart meters, programmable thermostats, attic and wall insulation, weather stripping, door sweeps, gap sealant, low-flow water fixtures, compact fluorescent lighting, rain barrels, storm water bioswales, and/or vegetable gardens.For homeowners who do follow through on their Green Blocks assessments by making recommended improvements, EOS Alliance will track their home’s energy, water, and fuel usage for at least a year to note the benefits and changes in consumption. And of course that also will be a good way to measure the success of the Green Blocks program.EOS Alliance’s sustainability program director, Shannon Luoma, told GBA that the organization is still trying to secure funding that would be used to help pay for recommended improvements.“If the funds do not go through,” she says, “then we will be working with homeowners and block captains to pool together the collective purchasing power of their neighbors to get them all better deals on weatherization services. Kind of like buying in bulk, we’ll help to negotiate a better price for services to the homeowners.”
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