Dear Friends, Family and Supporters of NECS,
I would like to begin by thanking you for your support over the past four years. This Fall season, we are happy to share that New Era Creative space (NECS) embarks on it’s fifth year. The past year has been one of tremendous successes, growth, and some struggles due to escalating costs. However, our commitment to keep program fees affordable or free for youth will not waiver. We hope you will once again support our efforts to help children reach their potential.
The world is beset with tests and tribulations beyond our comprehension. We are shocked, overwhelmed and sometimes feel hopeless. Our children are caught up in the turmoil. It is our mission at NECS to catch some of these children and plant the seeds of hope and joy, and a realization of the potential that each one of them is capable of being a part of the change the world desperately needs. Our hope is that they may be inspired one day to take up the work of making the world a better place.
I’d like to begin with sharing some achievements over the past year in the areas of youth empowerment and social and emotional skills development. These milestones are a key validation of the need for NECS’ vision and the growing demand for such supportive programming.
- Our junior youth leadership girls group has grown to approximately 20 girls. We participated in numerous community projects, but a few of the highlights of our year was visiting TED Talk headquarters in NYC, receiving a mini grant from the Jane Goodall foundation for a community assisted agriculture project that the girls have been a part of since the Spring. We hope to keep the CSA going and explore more ways to help the planet. This Fall we will train some of our high school girls to become mentors for a second leadership group for younger girls.
- Early this year, The Peekskill City School District received a grant from Our Brother’s Keeper, for a series projects headed by several local organizations. Over the next year, NECS will benefit from some of these funds to offer leadership and empowerment training to young men of color who are struggling in school.
- We were approached by the Furnace Woods Parent Teacher Organization to provide after school classes at the elementary school. Late September, we started providing four programs at their after school program; a social and emotional skills group, two yoga and mindfulness classes and a peacemakers club.
- We partnered with Mercy College’s Occupational Therapy (OT) department to provide us with occupational students to run social and emotional skills groups. This past Spring two Mercy OT students led a group at NECS for 8 weeks, and this Fall we have a student leading a social skills group at the Furnace Woods Elementary School.
- We partnered with Hudson Valley of Contemporary Art (HVCCA) to provide creative writing and art workshops to local students.
- And I can’t help but boast a little about the success of our children’s theatre program which completed it’s 11th year with the story of Henry Box Brown, a story of courage, hope and faith. The audiences were so moved that on the last day they requested a Q&A session with the cast of 26 young people ranging from the age of 9 – 19. You can only imagine how this boosted the confidence of our actors!
- In addition to these events we offered classes and camps in art, music, dance, engineering, architecture, cooking, photography, throughout the year.
As you can see we have been busy and we have a lot on our plate this Fall, with our outreach in local schools and at NECS. There are countless personal stories of transformation, love, joy, and friendships that have happened between students and families – please share in our gratitude by checking out pictures in the attached slideshow.
As wonderful as our experiences and successes have been, we face financial challenges in the immediate future. The space rented by NECS was recently sold, resulting in increased costs. Many of the programs we offer are at a reduced rate and or free. Most local students from Peekskill do not even have the funds for our low fees, and often require scholarships. The question before us is whether or not NECS will be able to remain in its space. NECS has become a critical institution in the local community, and personally I am making every effort to make sure it remains so.
But NECS cannot do it without your help. The donations over the past four years have been instrumental to helping us provide the services that we do. However, this year our appeal to you to assist us in serving the young people of this community is dire.
We need to raise $15,000 to be able to afford rent and maintenance expenses. In addition to funds, we need local volunteers. We invite friends who live nearby to join our team.
NECS is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit 501(c)(3) arts service organization; thus you must contribute through Fractured Atlas for your donation to be tax-deductible. Please make checks payable to Fractured Atlas, but earmarked below for NECS programs, and mail to: 1016 Brown Street – LL01, Peekskill NY 10566. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO MAKE A DONATION.
More than ever the world needs grassroots efforts that teach young people the concept of the oneness of humanity and the importance of taking care of our planet. NECS’s goal is to engage youth in programs that challenge them to think critically and analyze the world around them with programs that are fun and encourage self expression, and realize their true capabilities.
Thank you in advance for your generosity. We look forward to another year of creative programing for our community.
PS: Contributions are always welcome anytime throughout the year 🙂
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All contribution will go directly towards funding New Era Creative Space (NECS) programs. You may choose any amount to donate.