Different Free Museums; Black Maria Film Fest
Bank of America's wonderful "Museums on Us" savings special has grown:
Bank of America is expanding its Museums on Us program, which gives free museum admission on the first full weekend [Saturday and Sunday] of the month to anyone who holds a BofA or Merrill Lynch debit or credit card, to include 150 new museums and cultural centers across the country.Two new municipalities in New Jersey are among the beneficiaries of this expansion, tho one Jersey City institution, the Jersey City Museum, has been dropped (I don't know how long ago).
Millville, in Cumberland County, and Oceanville, in Atlantic County, are the two municipalities added to the "Museums on Us" roster. The participating Millville institution is the WheatonArts and Cultural Center. The Oceanville institution is the Noyes Museum of Art of Richard Stockton College. I didn't know that Richard Stockton College was so far south. I believe the nitely NJN News program is broadcast from there, which seems an odd, out-of-the-way place for a news show to originate from. But NJ is, as states go, very small, so NJN may feel that anyplace would do. Still, shouldn't NJN News come from NJ's greatest city, Newark?
Film Fest. The Black Maria Film Festival, which is held tomorrow, for one day only (apparently) is described very inadequately on the Newark Museum website.
The Black Maria Film and Video Festival—presenting cutting-edge films—tours annually to approximately 65 venues—museums, colleges, libraries, community organizations and other locations across the US and abroad.That's it, the entire description. Given its scheduling during Black History Month, many people might assume that "Black" refers to race, but "Black Maria" was a tarpaper-covered rotating room (to follow the sun) that was the Nation's (if not the world's) first film studio, in Thomas Edison's West Orange corporate complex. My foto below is of a 1954 reconstruction/restoration of the original studio, a short drive from Newark (about 4 miles from my house) within Essex County. ("Maria", by the way, is in this phrase pronounced like "Mariah". That's the now-disused English/British pronunciation of "Maria", before Spanish made itself known and Romance vowels asserted themselves. I have an ancestor on my father's mother's side named Maria Bailey (from the Province of Quebec, I believe) whose name was pronounced like Mariah. And "Black Maria" (with the pronunciation Mariah) was also a nickname for a paddywagon, not just Edison's film studio.
Few people know that "The Wizard of Menlo Park" (just 12 miles south of Newark by train, now part of "Edison" Township), and later of West Orange, opened his first laboratory in Newark, in 1872. If you are interested in Edison's early adulthood, check out my post here of March 5th, 2005. The Black Maria foto above was part of that post, but erased by AOL when it closed everyone's FTP space.