Dear Friends of Arts to Grow:
Happy New Year! With our second news update, Arts to Grow begins our first full year of operations with excellent momentum for continued growth in 2006.
We are delighted to announce the launch of our starter website at: http://www.artstogrow.org/ Special thanks to Jaron Rubenstein, Rubenstein Technology for creating and hosting our site pro-bono! In the coming months, we’ll be expanding this site and creating an overall design image for Arts to Grow, thanks to pro-bono services from Kimberly Freeman, communications specialist.
Arts to Grow was granted 501 (c) 3 tax-exempt status as of December 28, 2005. All contributions can now be made payable directly to Arts to Grow, Inc. and will be fully tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law.
Our first three programs received wonderful feedback from kids, parents and after school partners. Arts to Grow has been asked back for the winter/spring cycle by our existing partners. In our first parent survey, one respondent offered this feedback: “My daughter was really excited by the class; she talked frequently about drawing and the use of color. She has become more confident and communicates with us in greater detail.”
We have completed program evaluation of our first cycle which included 2-3 sites visits to each program. This effort was led pro-bono by evaluator, Charla Austin. In December, Ms. Austin conducted an evaluation workshop sharing techniques and receiving feedback from our site visit interns. A written report on the first cycle will be issued this winter.
Arts to Grow raised over $5,000 in our first year-end appeal. A very special thank you to all our individual donors who have made possible the launch of programs in the 2005/2006 school year.
Arts to Grow is applying for its first foundation grant through a new Arts Initiative of the Union Square Awards. The application process is via nomination only. A very special thanks to the following leaders in arts and education who are nominating ATG: Eric Booth, Ligia Cravo, Ted Wiprud, Marge Hudson, Mary Moss, Sara Lise Raff and Lynn Levy.
In our launch phase, Arts to Grow receives strong support from a nine member educational advisory council and a team of seven pro-bono professional consultants who are advising and assisting with projects ranging from program development and evaluation to communications, web development, photography and organizational planning. The combined involvement of all these professionals is bringing Arts to Grow to life!
To continue to expand programs to serve more young people, Arts to Grow will need to begin hiring paid staff. The first position to work with the Executive Director will be a Teaching Artist Coordinator. A job description has been developed and candidates interviewed. We are actively seeking financial support to make possible this critical expansion.
Thank you so much for your interest and support of this new venture. Arts to Grow’s success depends on the involvement of supporters, partners and friends. We couldn’t do it without you.
Arts to Grow