Arts to Grow Newsletter April 09 - June 09  

Issue 12  


Dear Friends of Arts to Grow:

As we get ready for summer and look back at the first half of 2009, I am truly inspired by all the amazing people that are part of our organization.   
Each week literally dozens of skilled volunteers support our professional teaching artists. The volunteers are young professionals with social media expertise, skilled photographers, videographers and writers, as well as seasoned professionals in the fields of public relations, and marketing and finance. The power of this small army of volunteers is palpable! They make each dollar you donate go so much further - they help make it possible for inner-city kids to participate in the performing and visual arts.
We would like to extend a big thank you to all of them; we would also like to invite those interested in volunteering to join. Click here to learn more about volunteering and our exciting activities of the past 3 months!
The Fruits of Artistic Labor
Round Up of Culminating Events 

artworkNow that school is out and summer is underway, we can talk about the glories of this past spring. Arts to Grow had four wonderful partnerships, each of which ended with an event that allowed the kids to show their newly-learned talents to their parents, friends and local community:
Kids in grades 5-8 presented a full-scale musical, Aquanet, at Cypress Hills LDC. Our teaching artist Patricia Runcie directed the show and was assisted by choreographer Mariano Martinez and the amazing staff of CHLDC's after school program. The performance was an unqualified success: it received great applause and afterwards the children were able to mingle with the audience to expound upon their acting, singing and dancing exploits. 

aqua net

At the Elysian Charter School in Hoboken, children in grades 3-7 designed and acted in three hilarious plays:
       Scare Tactics: Can two villains learn to share the duties of scaring travelers in the forest? 
       Concerts in the Jailhouse Don't Rock: Two bored pop stars come up with a questionable plan to jumpstart their careers 
       Stuck in the Bathroom with You: Paparazzi Princesses find common ground in the bathroom.

This event, which induced many chuckles, was an extension of a 2008 project, when the kids work-shopped ideas and penned the three plays they performed this spring.
At the Bellerose Branch of the Queens Public Library, children aged ten to fourteen were taught Improvisational Theater by teaching artist Dina Comolli. For their showcase event, they performed "Store Clerk," "Freeze Tag" and "Good Thing/Bad Thing" in front of an adoring (and well-amused) audience.
At the Academy Street Firehouse, students ages 9-14 incorporated tango, hip-hop, African dance and Baltimore club into one extravaganza. The dance performance featured original choreography that the students developed with instructor Chevon Ayende in their Urban Dance class. Needless to say, the audience was dancing in the aisles.
A Distinct Joint Venture
With Cypress Hills LDC
This past winter, ATG acquired a new partner: Cypress Hills Leadership Development Corporation (CHLDC). We are working jointly with CHLDC on the fundraising and public relations to support our burgeoning program partnership. CHLDC's director of development, Emily Blank, has helped compile a fresh fundraising prospect list. 

Additionally, we are submitting grant proposals that would provide new resources for both organizations. We were thrilled that our first program also included an inspiring guest workshop by Broadway stars Luis Salgado and Gabriela Garcia both co-directors of R.Evolucion Latina. Lastly, we've made sure to get the word out: CHLDC featured our partnership in its May newsletter and ATG sent a special e-blast Aquanet invitation to a VIP list of more than 250 people. And, of course, our pro-bono PR team is pitching the partnership widely in various media.

Arts to Grow Video 

A very special Thank You to videographer Joshua Harris! He's created a three-minute showcase of our programs. His video highlights our classes in Urban Dance, African Art and Theater Ensemble.  Bravo, Joshua!  Thanks also to Mark Pressman for technical work. Click here to view the video.
In This Issue
:: The Fruits of Artistic Labor
:: A Distinct Joint Venture
:: Arts To Grow Video
:: New Pro-Bono PR Team
:: Board Member: Natasha Kosoff
:: UNH Grant Project
Pro-Bono Public Relations  
Team Creates Buzz
Over the last two months, a team of Arts to Grow volunteers has launched a new Visibility Campaign with the goal of obtaining media coverage and reaching new volunteers and donors. The PR team, overseen by ATG Founder and Executive Director Mallory King, brings together the talents of Kimberley Jordan of K. Jordan Consulting, LLC (tactical planning); Jackie O'Neal of the O'Neal Media Group (media relations); Malecia Walker (writer) and Gemma Mangione, Cathy Boccard, and Marissa Lonardo (social media).
facebookAs a result of our project, we are proud to announce the launch of an ATG Facebook Fan Page. Please join our Fan Page on Facebook!
It allows you to explore photos and events, receive automated feedback on all of ATG's great programs, and interact with other members of the ATG family through discussion threads.
We've also launched a Company Profile on LinkedIn. All of our volunteers, Board Members and teaching artists can add their involvement with ATG to their LinkedIn user profiles, providing them with an excellent networking opportunity. All other ATG friends can keep informed of our latest doings by
linked injoining Mallory King's LinkedIn account.
We hope that our improved online presence provides our friends, fans and volunteers with more information about the good work we're doing with at-risk kids.  We also know that our expanded online presence means more opportunities for outreach and a higher name recognition.
A New Board Member You Can Bank On: Ms. Natasha Kosoff
The latest addition to our Board of Directors, Ms. Natasha Kosoff, has a strong interest in the non-profit community, having previously volunteered for organizations such as Dress for Success and Literacy Partners. She currently works as Staff Director at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Without a doubt, Arts to Grow is thrilled to have her. Ms. Kosoff, who has a graduate degree in Public Policy and a professional certificate in Coaching, has a passion for youth development and for shaping public life. During her first year with us, she will coordinate a fall fundraising event, provide leadership to increase ATG's web presence and join our 2010 Gala Committee.
Profile: A Grant Project
With United Neighborhood Houses


This month, Arts to Grow spearheaded a major grant proposal, which was submitted to the National Endowment for the Arts. The application was written under the aegis of long-time ATG partner United Neighborhood HousesUNH is the umbrella organization for three of our outstanding partners -- Riverdale Neighborhood House, Queens Community House and Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation.  ATG has worked with one or the other of them for the past 4 years.
The grant we recently submitted seeks funding for the 2010-11 school year and complements our year-end and long-term planning.  With foresight and initiative, Arts to Grow, UNH and its member organizations remain committed to providing high-quality arts education for years to come. 
DonateDonate to Arts to Grow
Right now the kids' minds are probably as far from the classroom as possible. And we don't blame them: summertime means chasing the Mr. Frosty truck, playing video games and enjoying the long evenings. But think of how much better summertime could be: What if a child got to discover the joys of painting, singing or acting for the first time? Help make summer as memorable as possible for a deserving youth. As always, all donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowable by law.
Photo Credits:  Bill Stanton, Katherine Gressel, Marissa Lonardo, & Sharon Wildey 

Mallory King

Founder / Executive Director

Arts to Grow, Inc.

(201) 209-9886



Arts to Grow Newsletter April 09 - June 09  

Issue 12