June 21, 2018
Crowdfunding Success; Grants Received; Theater Upheaval

May 9, 2017 — North Shore CDC completes crowdfunding campaign to fund new community space...Union of Concerned Scientists gets MacArthur Foundation grant to educate the public...Saheli receives state grant to help survivors of sexual and domestic violence...Upheaval at Boston Children's Theatre follows nude scene in staged production.

North Shore CDC Crowdfunding Campaign Raises $40,000

North Shore Community Development Coalition, a community development organization based in Salem that aims to bring opportunity to low-income residents and improve quality of life in Salem, Gloucester, Peabody, and Beverly, announced that it recently completed a $40,000 crowdfunding campaign.

The 60-day campaign on Patronicity, which drew 372 donations, exceeded its $30,000 goal to raise funds for the organization's new community space, called Espacio.

We are ecstatic with the outpouring of support for Espacio,” said Mickey Northcutt, CEO of North Shore CDC CEO. “Before this campaign, we knew Espacio would provide Salem residents with meaningful programing, but now it will be housed in a vibrant space that is reflective of the dynamic character of the Point neighborhood."

Located on Congress Street in Salem’s Point Neighborhood, this Espacio will provide free programming for Salem’s residents and offer a space for private events. Programming will include public work and meeting space, dance, art, fitness and sewing classes, healthy and budget cooking classes, reading clubs and a Dominos club, job search assistance, ESL classes, health insurance application assistance, naturalization classes and legal services, first time homeownership workshops, and tax preparation assistance.

Union of Concerned Scientists Granted $2M to Educate the Public

The Union of Concerned Scientists, a national nonprofit based in Cambridge that develops practical solutions to some of the planet’s most pressing problems, including combating global warming and reducing the threat of nuclear war, recently was awarded a $2 million grant from the MacArthur Foundation.

The grant will support efforts to educate and inform the public about decisions critical to the nation’s health, safety, and environment; strengthen a fact-based national climate discourse; and promote state-based efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

“Progress on climate and clean energy continues at the state and local levels, and we are seeing growing bipartisan support,” said Jorgen Thomsen, climate solutions director at MacArthur. “There is also increasing private sector leadership making the business case for the transition to a low-carbon, clean energy future. While the progress is encouraging, we also want to help foster an informed, inclusive dialogue about the changing role of energy in the economy and in our communities.”

Saheli Gets $440K to Aid survivors of Sexual and Domestic Violence

Saheli, nonprofit based in Burlington that provides services to address challenges faced by South African immigrants in Massachusetts, recently was awarded a three-year, $444,000 grant from the state to help survivors of sexual and domestic violence.

This grant is the first award issued by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) since domestic violence funding from the Department of Children & Family Services (DCF) was consolidated with DPH funding. The result was the creation of a public health framework around sexual and domestic violence services to aid survivors, with priority given to culturally tailored, geographically accessible programs that incorporate emerging best practices.

“Saheli is very excited to receive support from the Department of Public Health and the State of Massachusetts,” Saheli President Gouri Banerjee was quoted in INDIA New England News. “The funds will allow Saheli to move towards a staff-based model of work and reduce the work traditionally done by volunteers,”

The grant, reportedly the largest Saheli has received in its 21-year history, will fund two full-time anti-domestic violence advocates and an executive director.

“After 21 years in service to the South Asian community, Saheli will be able to respond to the growth in need for a compassionate South Asian response to domestic violence and develop new programs to prevent violence against women,” Banerjee was quoted.

Upheaval at Boston Children’s Theatre Follows Nude Scene in Staged Production

Fireworks erupted at Boston Children’s Theatre (BCT), a Boston nonprofit that provides theatrical experiences aimed at fostering artistic and personal development of diverse youth, following a recent performance which featured onstage nudity, leading to the possible firing of the artistic director, resignation of a board member, and questions about the organization's upcoming gala.

According to an article this week in The Boston Globe, executive artistic director Burgess Clark was reported to have lost his job, although his exact status remains in question, while Peggy Barresi resigned from the theater’s board.

In addition, BCT employees went on strike on Saturday, which led to cancellation of classes last weekend, raising questions about the effect of the walkout on BCT's annual fundraising gala set for May 16.

BCT did not respond to requests from Massachusetts News on the events and their impact of the events on the gala.

The upheaval followed the reported inclusion of a nude scene in BCT's production of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” last month, although, according to a report posted on the WBUR website, "There were signs in the theater warning about nudity and a notice on the website that no one under 14 would be admitted."

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