John Schreiber. New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), President & CEO
Since 2011, John has been the President and CEO of NJPAC which, in 2017, presented more than 400 events, serving over 425,000 patrons. Its acclaimed arts learning programs will reach 80,000 children and families. Termed “a visionary producer” and America’s “impresario of brand names” by The NY Times, John’s career has encompassed award-winning theater, television, concerts, festivals, documentary film, branded entertainment, and a host of other cultural and cause-related events. Among his vast creator/producer credits are jazz festivals (KOOL, JVC), a weekly TV concert series (Hard Rock Live), blues festivals (Benson & Hedges), the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor (PBS), the New Yorker Literary and Arts Festival, and a music education program with renowned trumpeter/composer Wynton Marsalis. He received Emmy® and Tony® Awards as producer of the Broadway and HBO hit Elaine Stritch At Liberty. Prior to joining NJPAC, he served as EVP at Participant Media, the global entertainment company specializing in socially relevant documentary and feature films, television, publishing and digital media, where John managed the creation, development and execution of unique social action and advocacy campaigns for the company’s movies. Participant’s award-winning films include An Inconvenient Truth, Good Night and Good Luck, The Help, Waiting for Superman, Food Inc., Lincoln, The Kite Runner, and Syriana. A board member of First Book, the Newark Trust for Education, and the Newark Alliance, John serves on the Advisory Board for Rutgers-Newark, and was Programs Chair for the year-long 350th celebration of Newark’s founding. A resident of Montclair since 2001, he is the father of three teenage boys.
Jennifer Check. Highly acclaimed Metropolitan Opera Soprano
Celebrated by The NY Times for her “rare talent that can send chills down a listener’s spine even in familiar music,” Jennifer is a frequent presence at the Metropolitan Opera, singing the parts of Liu in Turandot in the Met’s famed Parks performances, High Priestess in Aida, Voce dal Ciel in Don Carlo, Nella in Gianni Schicchi, Falke in Die Fraue ohne Schatten, Marianna in Der Rosenkavalier, Dorotea in Stiffelio, Lisa in Cyrano de Bergerac, as well as in productions of The Nose, Falstaff, Don Giovanni, Lucia di Lammermoor, and on tour at the Salzburg Festival as the Flower Maiden in Parsifal. She made her Met debut as Clotilde in Norma and has sung under the batons of Lorin Maazel, Sejii Ozawa, James Levine, and performed at Covent Garden, Caramoor, Tanglewood, and Spoleto, among other top venues. On the concert stage, she has performed Verdi, Strauss, Beethoven, and Mahler with the symphony orchestras of Shanghai, Milwaukee, New Jersey, Boston, Verbier Festival, Spoleto Festival U.S.A., Charlotte, Utah, Memphis, among others. She debuted at Carnegie Hall, Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall and at The Kennedy Center in solo recitals on the Young Concert Artists series.
Carolyn Montgomery-Forant. Award-winning vocalist, recording artist, songwriter and cabaret singer
A singer/ songwriter and recording artist living in Manhattan with her son and two terriers, Carolyn is Director of Education and Outreach for the Cabaret Scenes, Ltd, a nonprofit arts education organization dedicated to promoting interest in and preservation of The Great American Songbook (and The New American Songbook) legacy through live performances in NYC public schools and a monthly magazine. As a performer, Carolyn is a multiple MAC, Backstage Bistro and Nightlife Award winner in the categories of Outstanding Female Vocalist and Songwriter of the Year. In 2015-2016, she performed at NYC’s Town Hall, Lincoln Center, Feinstein’s 54 Below, and Carnegie Hall. After an 8 year hiatus to raise her son and run her own restaurant, Café Forant, she performed her comeback show, Visible Phoenix, throughout the US and London, garnering 23 rave reviews (including The NY Times), two MAC nominations and winning “Best Recordings of 2015 (Broadway World) and “Top Ten recording of 2015” (Cabaret Hotline Online) for its recording. Set to launch April 2017, her blog, Visible Phoenix, encourages women over 45 to pursue their life and career goals. Currently, Carolyn is on The Rise Tour, performing her anti-bullying choral piece, “Rise,” (based on the Maya Angelou poem “Still I Rise”), to raise money for The Matthew Shepard Foundation.