Volunteer Spotlights


Ellen Woods

What is/was your occupation?
I am a retired attorney.

Why do you volunteer at NJPAC?
I began volunteering at NJPAC two years ago because two good friends, both longtime volunteers, told me that they enjoyed volunteering here. I have stayed at NJPAC as a volunteer because I find the work here so satisfying and have met so many talented people. I am happy to volunteer for this organization which is doing so much for the community. The enthusiasm of the staff and volunteers is contagious.

What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about giving back to the community through volunteering. I believe we are all blessed with gifts and talents that should be shared with others.

What do you like about NJPAC?
I love the diversity of NJPAC’s world class programs: there is something here for everyone. I also love that NJPAC provides so many high quality Arts Education Programs and also provides so many great Community Engagement programs.

What is your favorite restaurant downtown?
My favorite restaurant in downtown Newark is a Casa Vasca, a Basque restaurant which serves the best seafood!


Shirley Richard

What is/was your occupation?
I was a Customer Service Rep with AT&T for 32 yrs. After that, I received re-training at
the North Ward Center in Newark to become a Secretary. As a result of the re-training,
I was later employed by AIG as an Administrative Assistant and retired from AIG in
2003. In my retirement I love traveling and volunteering.

Why do you volunteer at NJPAC?
I knew very little about performing arts centers and initially volunteered at NJPAC out of
curiosity. I attended the implosion ceremony of the Military Park Hotel and knew I
wanted to be a part of this new endeavor. The heart and soul of NJPAC is dedicated to
entertaining everyone, regardless of ethnicity.

What are you passionate about?
My greatest passion is travel. I have pictures and wonderful memories of various
places I’ve visited including the Caribbean, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, and I’ve spent
extensive time in Beijing China. I would like to visit Australia. In addition, I’m looking
forward to visiting the new World Trade Center in New York City.

What do you like about NJPAC?
NJPAC has served as a beacon of hope and restoration to the city of Newark and its
residents. As a former “Newarker” I witnessed the 1967 riots and their impact on the
city. NJPAC has raised Newark from the ashes by attracting new businesses and
restaurants, and encouraging “doubters”. It’s given Newark a bright new image.
I feel so privileged to be able to assist those in attendance at NJPAC performances,
and to see some of the country’s finest entertainment for free. It’s an extremely
rewarding experience.

What is your favorite restaurant downtown?
I’ve frequented many great restaurants in Newark, but Fornos is my favorite. They were
my first introduction to Portuguese food –and I love it!