Applause for helping hands

NJPAC thanks its volunteers for being ready, willing and able.

Long before NJPAC first issued a call for a corps of volunteers, Dena F. Lowenbach’s hand was in the air.

As the Arts Center’s founding volunteer, she was actively raising funds and consciousness about NJPAC years before construction began on the Arts Center in 1994. On May 13, Lowenbach’s pioneering spirit and advocacy of the arts were recognized by the Women’s Association of NJPAC, which she serves as a trustee, at the annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner.

WA President Marcia Wilson Brown presented her with a handblown objet d’art from GlassRoots in Newark – all the sweeter because Lowenbach is one of the founders and serves on the Board of Trustees for the glassmaking studio and school.

Most of the 130 guests attending the dinner and awards ceremony held by the Office of Volunteer Services have devoted untold hours to making NJPAC operations hum through the years.

Brown credited volunteers with possessing “the ability to make people feel they’re part of the NJPAC family.” Beth Silver, NJPAC’s Vice President of Human Resources, added that volunteers welcome any responsibility, from escorting special guests to running the photo booth in Prudential Hall lobby, where the dinner took place. “The breadth of what you do is incredible,” she remarked.

Other honorees included Anita Young (Kandice Dickinson Award); Jennifer Reynolds (Dena Lowenbach Volunteer of the Year Award); and Eunice Taylor (Lifetime Achievement Award, also created by GlassRoots, for 2,500 and upward volunteer hours).

Guests heard about NJPAC’s role as an economic engine for Downtown Newark during a presentation by Tim Lizura, Senior Vice President of Real Estate and Capital Projects, who described real estate development plans for the Arts Center campus.  

Popular numbers from the Great American Songbook were performed by vocalist Victoria Csatay and guitarist Joshua Szeimberg, both members of NJPAC’s Wells Fargo Jazz for Teens, and bassist Eric Neveloff.

Robert and Sirena Neveloff of West Orange, parents to Eric – a multi-instrumentalist – and Daniel, who plays the tuba, began volunteering at NJPAC in 2003, when Eric entered the Jazz for Teens program. They enjoyed their time socializing at the Arts Center so much that they continue to volunteer in customer relations; Eric also mentors student musicians.

This year’s event, themed “Volunteers Blossom @ NJPAC,” was presented by the WA on the occasion of its 25th anniversary.

May 17, 2019