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Sprint supports New York City with $50,000 in grants to arts nonprofits

Posted by Patrick O'Herron
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Sprint recently announced the 2013 recipients of its New York City Local Giving Program. In total, three area non-profit organizations were awarded grants as part of this signature community-support program. The New York City Local Giving Program awarded Sprint grants totaling $50,000 to area non-profits that support the Sprint Project Connect focus area of Internet safety and other technology-related programs and resources to help youth succeed in a digital world. Grants were presented and recipient organizations were honored at a local reception yesterday.

 

The 2013 grant recipients are:

 

  • The Long Island Children's Museum was awarded a $25,000 Sprint Project Connect grant to support the Westbury STEM Partnership. This partnership provides a critical introduction to science, technology, engineering and math concepts for early grade levels in the Westbury School District. The school-museum teaching model includes professional development and resource materials for teachers, student field trips to the museum throughout the year, and community nights where parents and families gain free access to the museum to view student projects and experience their child's classroom "extension."
     
  • The Bronx Arts Ensemble was awarded a $15,000 Sprint Project Connect grant to support its Technology in the Arts-In-Education Classroom program. Through this program, visual-art teaching artists incorporate smart boards, laptops and projectors during in-class presentations about noted art and performers. Students use laptops to compose music and create stop-gap animation videos. Teachers are given training on incorporating technology into their curriculum while using dance, drama, music and visual arts.
     
  • Futures and Options, Inc. was awarded a $10,000 Sprint Project Connect grant to support the College Guidance and Success Program. As part of this program, approximately 500 students will attend workshops and take part in college guidance, career development and enhanced-learning activities. The students will be guided through their online college search, application and selection process, and receive individualized advice on their academic progress and future goals. They will also be paired with paid mentorship opportunities and have access to work-readiness training programs related to their areas of career interest.
     

These grants are made through the Sprint Project Connect program. Funding for this program is provided through a charitable phone-recycling program through which customers and non-customers can donate their no-longer-used wireless devices with net proceeds benefiting youth technology programs.
 

Sprint is a long-time supporter of the New York City community, and this is the fifth year Sprint has conducted the New York City Local Giving Program and has provided more than $250,000 in support to New York City-area non-profits.

To learn more about the Sprint Local Giving Program and Sprint Good Works, please visit www.sprint.com/responsibility.
 

*This article was originally posted at Sprint.com.

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AT&T and Rooftop Films Make Movie Magic

Posted by Stephanie Dockery
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Rooftop Films is a nonprofit film organization, founded in 1997, that aims to engage and inspire diverse communities by screening films throughout NYC. The organization also produces movies, teaches filmmaking to youth, and rents low-cost equipment to the arts community. It is best known for their summer series, which offers a full schedule of independent film screenings that have not been presented in theaters. Since 2011, the organization has fulfilled a successful partnership with AT&T.

 

Rooftop Films' board member, Samara Daly, became aware of the company's mission to accelerate their support of cultural groups in NYC while working at Speaker Christine Quinn's office, before the mayoral run. Rooftop Films realized AT&T was most interested in providing support to homegrown, NYC cultural institutions. AT&T enjoys and benefits from Rooftop Films' connections locally and abroad, as they provide high-level access to the filmmaking industry.

 

The organization is best known for their Summer Series, presented by AT&T, a season of independent film screenings that have not yet been shown in theaters. 50 international and domestic films are shown throughout the summer, thus programming 3-4 events per week. This past summer, 35,000 people were in attendance, thus creating an attractive volume and reach for AT&T, as they aimed to benefit from Rooftop Film's ability to connect a wide, diverse audience. AT&T’s support keeps ticket prices low, supports live music at each show, and creates the reality for more big annual events. The company's contributions have provided multiple free screenings, including showings at Coney Island Beach, Metro Tech Center in Brooklyn, and Tompkins Square Park. Support also contributes to an "after party," which every ticket buyer is invited to, thus creating an open community with more engagement between their participants and funders.

 

AT&T was attracted to Rooftop Film’s ability to bring the independent film community together while reaching out to underserved neighborhoods. Resulting from the success of the Summer Series program is the Rooftop Films AT&T Feature Film Grant, for which AT&T also acts as lead sponsor. Filmmakers who have shown work through Rooftop Films are eligible for the grant which awards $10,000 in prize money. Additionally, one dollar from every Summer Series ticket sold goes to the fund, bolstering AT&T's main contribution. Notable recipients of the prize include Benh Zeitlin, for his Oscar nominated picture Beasts of the Southern Wild, and Sean Durkin, for the critically acclaimed Martha Marcy May Marlene. Marissa Shorenstein, New York State President-AT&T believes "New York is a hub for filmmaking, aiding our cultural and economic development, and AT&T is proud to be a part of this important citywide movement."

 

AT&T exemplifies how a company can connect with communities and artistic spaces to help strengthen their brand by bolstering the cultural landscape.

 

For more information on AT&T’s partnerships with the cultural community and other sustainability efforts, visit ATT.com. To learn more about Rooftop Films, visit RooftopFilms.com.

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Dallas Museum of Art Awarded $10,000 Sprint Project Connect Grant

Posted by Patrick O'Herron
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Sprint recently announced the 2013 recipients of its Dallas/Fort Worth Local Giving Program. In total, three area non-profit organizations were awarded grants as part of this signature community-support program.

 

The Dallas/Fort Worth Local Giving Program awarded Sprint grants totaling $50,000 to area non-profits that support the Sprint Project Connect focus area of Internet safety and other technology-related programs and resources to help youth succeed in a digital world. Grants were presented and recipient organizations were honored at a local reception earlier today.

 

Among the 2013 grant recipients (which also included Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas and Trinity River Mission) was the Dallas Museum of Art, which was awarded a $10,000 Sprint Project Connect grant for its Go Van Gogh Outreach Program. Through this program, volunteers travel to area classrooms to lead interactive presentations that feature images of art from the museum and include hands-on art-making activities for students in first through sixth grades. In the summer, the program reaches out to public libraries, recreation centers and Boys & Girls Clubs. The Sprint grant will be used to purchase tablets and projectors that will enable the art to be brought to life through multimedia content.

 

Funding for the Sprint Project Connect program is provided through a charitable phone-recycling program through which customers and non-customers can donate their no-longer-used wireless devices with net proceeds benefiting youth technology programs.

 

Sprint is a long-time supporter of the Dallas/Fort Worth community, and this is the fifth year Sprint has conducted the Dallas/Fort Worth Local Giving Program and has provided more than $250,000 in support to Dallas/Fort Worth-area non-profits. To learn more about the Sprint Local Giving Program and Sprint Good Works, visit Sprint.com/responsibility.

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A Duel pARTnership for the DUMBO Arts Festival

Posted by Alexa Mirvis
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Friday, September 27th, marks the kickoff of the 17th annual DUMBO Arts Festival, a three-day celebration of the creative arts Brooklyn, New York. Attendance at the festival, which will feature work from over 300 artists, is expected to top 200,000 visitors. Works by local, national, and international contemporary artists will fill upwards of 50 venues including parks (See: Brooklyn Lawn Quilt), alleyways (See: Dandelions), bridges (See: Sodwalk), exhibition spaces (See: Strings), and even the East River (See: Ship of Tolerance).

 

The DUMBO Arts Festival is not only a showcase for the creative community within and beyond DUMBO, it is also an exemplary case of successful partnerships in arts and business. The Presenting Sponsors of the DUMBO Arts Festival are AT&T and Two Trees, two organizations with impressive track records of support for arts and culture.

 

Two Trees, a New York-based real estate development firm, is the founding sponsor of the DUMBO Arts Festival. The company states, “From building lobbies to building neighborhoods, art and culture have been integral to the Two Trees family and corporate philosophy.” Over several decades, Two Trees has led the development of the DUMBO waterfront as both a residential neighborhood and a hub of creative and tech industries. It also provides grants and rent subsidies for artists and arts organizations.

 

When David Walentas, the founder of Two Trees, first purchased a large chunk of DUMBO real estate, he envisioned the development of a flourishing, vibrant creative community. By providing continued support for the arts in DUMBO, Two Trees is able to further this vision and to maintain the character that has helped DUMBO to become a highly desirable commercial and residential neighborhood for renters and buyers.

 

AT&T, another notable supporter of the arts, returns for the third year as a Presenting Sponsor of the Festival and will be hosting the AT&T Festival Lounge. Set in a former restaurant and boasting outstanding views, the Lounge will feature interactive artworks that explore the intersection of music and technology. This sponsorship offers AT&T, a company that values and supports innovation and creative design, an opportunity to engage with festival goers in an area of New York that has been dubbed the new “Tech Triangle”.

 

AT&T has demonstrated a commitment to the arts, particularly in New York City, through their support of the DUMBO Arts Festival and other arts events, such as the High Line Open Studiosand the Tribeca Film Festival. The continued joint sponsorship from these two major corporations enables the DUMBO Arts Festival to, once again, stand out as a highlight amongst the lineup of New York City arts events.

 

For more information about the DUMBO Arts Festival, which takes place September 27th–29th in DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass), Brooklyn, check out DumboArtsFestival.com.

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Bold Partnerships for Dallas Arts Orgs

Posted by Michael Granberry
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Bold Partnerships for Dallas Arts Orgs

Dallas-based AT&T is putting its business acumen to work for five financially challenged arts organizations. The corporation will provide free oversight to the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Opera, AT&T Performing Arts Center, Dallas Theater Center, and Dallas Summer Musicals.

 

The goal of the partnership is to stanch the financial bleeding that has plagued the organizations since the 2008 recession.

 

“The old economic business models are not working,” DSO chairman Blaine Nelson said. “Revenues are falling far short of costs and expenses.”

 

Financial woes have besieged the DSO, Dallas Opera, and Dallas Summer Musicals, which recently asked the city for money.

 

The partnership is designed to help the companies streamline operations and share numerous endeavors, while preserving their independence. It’s also aimed at quelling the fierce competition that has existed at times between the performing arts center and Dallas Summer Musicals, both of which present Broadway shows.

 

Nelson says that “donor heroics” are no longer a winning strategy. Donors are, he said, increasingly younger givers who have tired of “a bottomless pit” and the absence of a “sustainable business model.” They prefer to be seen, he said, as investors, not donors.

Nelson helped conceive the new model, called the Performing Arts Collaboration, which was first broached six months ago.

 

“The donor community and the corporate community are a bit fatigued,” said AT&T executive Ron Spears. “Their message back has been very clear: We want to support you, but we need to see some level of rationalization about the way we operate in the Arts District. We would like to see it become much more businesslike than what we’ve seen in the past, which is, every time someone gets into trouble, they come knocking at the door in a financial rescue effort.”

 

Under the agreement, the five will retain what the group calls “institutional and artistic identity,” with AT&T providing “leadership, offering resources and brainpower.” In making the announcement, the institutions promised to explore “combining back-office operations such as health care and benefits, ticketing and box office, scheduling and capacity, artistic collaboration and facility management.”

 

As for how much each organization would save, that’s a mystery for now.

“We don’t know,” said Chris Heinbaugh, spokesman for the AT&T Performing Arts Center. “Part of the process is drilling down into all the details and figuring out what the real savings might be.”

 

All five companies perform in facilities owned by the city, though the city will not share in managing the new arrangement. “As both a businessman and an arts supporter, the initiative makes all the sense in the world,” Mayor Mike Rawlings said.

 

Since the opening of the Winspear Opera House, competition has often been an issue with the Arts District newcomer and its Fair Park rival, Dallas Summer Musicals.

 

Roger Nanney, board president of the AT&T PAC, and Michael Jenkins, president and managing director of DSM, “have sat down,” Spears said. “They agree that competition for artistic work doesn’t make any sense.” So one of the first big efforts between the two, Spears said, will be “how to better coordinate.” Staging Broadway shows in Dallas should now become “a better overall experience. What’s been going on is not the best.”

 

AT&T is gifted, Nelson said, at finding “more efficient ways to operate, at reducing costs and redundancies.” He cited as one example the five groups having five separate box offices. “I see no reason,” he says, “why we can’t share one box office.”

 

“Where do I think this journey will lead us?” Nelson said. “I don’t know. But the goal for all of these organizations, which mean so much to the city of Dallas economically and culturally, is to find better ways to operate. We simply have to.”

 

*This post was originally published by The Dallas News and ARTSblog.

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