Thank you to everyone who supported our December Emergency Campaign! You helped us secure the Matching Grants we were awarded back in June! We received $2350 in individual donations in the final week of December, to ensure we would receive our $5000 renovation grant from the Troy Savings Bank Charitable Foundation.
With this accomplished, we are turning towards our programs with our Winter Fundraising Campaign, because Grand Street Community Arts is much more than a building! The building is closed for Winter, and will be closed for several more months, but Grand Street Community Arts is alive, because we are our programs:
Our award-winning summer film-making program, YouthFX is thriving! YouthFX, our six week summer film-making intensive, is going into its eighth(!) year in 2015, and now operates year-round thanks to a partnership with Albany High School. Alumni from past courses have become teachers in our summer program, or have gone on to produce films of their own. YouthFX students and alums presenting their award-winning films at festivals across the country and around the world. (Come see their work for yourself at their screening at the Spectrum on March 26th.)
YO!, or Youth Organics was the very first program for young people established by Grand Street Community Arts. YO! is an urban organic gardening camp, that gives young people from the South End a chance to get their hands in the soil—planting, tending, harvesting, cooking, eating, and preserving healthy food. At its heart, it has always been concerned with questions of justice, ecology and culture, with the right to the city. Investigating these questions has taken a more pronounced role for YO! since Amani Wilson revamped “YO! 2.0!” last Summer. YO! has expanded through new strategic partnerships with United Way, the Radix Center and Trinity Institution. These partnerships will continue this summer. (Follow them on Instagram to see what YO! produces!)
And, our newest program is WCAA FM – Community Arts Albany. About a year ago, Grand Street Community Arts was awarded a permit to build a new Low-Power FM radio station. Since the new year began, the WCAA group has been meeting regularly (every other week) planning the antenna raising, and laying the groundwork for new vital source of news, music and culture to appear on the local FM dial! (If you want to get involved, come to a volunteer meeting. They take place every other Monday!)
We are doing these things without our building, and we will continue to do so. This year, we hope to do these things better, to go into the Spring with a foundation for our programming. Our Winter Fundraising Campain aims to raise $30,000. This would cover or 50% of our operating needs for these programs, as well as provide $10,000 towards building operation.
Please support Grand Street Community Arts this winter, and help usher in a new spring for the Sound End!