Dear NECS Community,
As we near the end of another year, I would like to take a moment to reflect on the past year.
In the first quarter of 2021, we were still meeting virtually in response to COVID-19 protocols. Though challenging, we managed to produce our first virtual theatrical production that attracted over 200 viewers and received raving reviews from viewers and donors. We brought virtual art and STEM programs to the Peekskill City School District and were invited to provide programs at The Children’s Village, an organization in Dobbs Ferry that works in partnership with families to help society’s most vulnerable children.
In the Spring, with the COVID-19 landscape opening up, we were blessed and thankful to offer in person classes again. By the end of the Summer, we had served well over 300 students. Our programs included art, drama, dance, nature programs and introduced documentary filmmaking. This momentum from the summer continued into the Fall with NECS programs running in the Peekskill City School District and at two local churches and the Be First Boxing Gym.
Despite considerable constraints, in 2021, NECS’ collaborations grew and our team expanded. We connected with many of you on social media through a newly crafted brand aesthetic we developed during lockdown. In August, we decided to give up our space but keep an office in town for our growing team. We switched to a model of providing programs in the community, rather than in our original space. While it was difficult for us to let go of the space, the decision has opened doors for our organization. Local houses of worship and community centers have offered us space to hold classes and the school district invited us back to offer more after school programs in the elementary, middle, and high schools. As a result, we were able to reach more children and youth in the community than ever before.
Our amazing community of supporters, such as yourselves, gave more than ever, especially during our second annual Virtual Benefit in November. We were also able to secure generous grants from several foundations, deepening our relationship with them for future funding.
As we wrap a year that has seen a lot of challenges and victories, we step into 2022 inspired and with renewed hope, even more emboldened by our mission to create stronger communities through creative programming.
Thank you for your continued support. Wishing you all happy and healthy holiday. season and a blessed new year!
Executive Director, New Era Creative Space.