Posts tagged with "nonprofit"

Founders of La Impresora shot by Gustavo Castrodad for 360 MAGAZINE

Maniobra: A Cultural Employment Initiative

The Mellon Foundation and the Centro de Economía Creativa (CEC) announced Maniobra – a newly launched $8 million cultural employment initiative created to facilitate stable employment opportunities for artists while strengthening the administrative bandwidth of community-based cultural organizations across Puerto Rico. In its inaugural stage, Maniobra – named in reference to “the work of one’s hands” – is providing support including salary, training, health and other benefits, and more to 37 artists and 25 artist-centric organizations across 12 municipalities.

Puerto Rican artists play critical leadership roles within their communities, yet often live in a state of financial precarity, earning a median annual income of approximately $16,000 for their work, with 46% generating less than $12,000 annually. Through Maniobra, CEC and the Mellon Foundation underscore the labor of artists as valued work, while modeling remuneration that reflects artists’ formal education, experience, and contributions to society.

“This initiative shines an important light on the economic state and personal well-being of the artistic community and centers both as priorities for philanthropy and cultural policy,” said Javier Hernández Acosta, Founder of the Center and Dean of the School of Arts, Design and Creative Industries at the Universidad del Sagrado Corazón. “Equity and salary justice within the arts had previously been relegated to a secondary agenda item, but we are now thrilled to work with the Mellon Foundation to advance this important work through real action.”

Maniobra provides participating organizations with the financial support needed to hire at least one full-time artist and $20,000 yearly budget to support the organization’s programming and creative projects over the entirety of the three-year initiative. The funding will not only strengthen organizations’ artistic programming and financial stability, but will also serve as a pilot that could be expanded in the future and has the potential of driving philanthropic support to a more holistic approach.

“Lifting up and celebrating the creativity of Puerto Rican artists, writers, and performers means granting them the resources they need to pursue their callings, supporting the archipelago’s artistic and cultural organizations, and broadly fostering the work and preservation of Puerto Rican culture at a time when stable employment and funding for these efforts has been imperiled,” said Elizabeth Alexander, President of the Mellon Foundation.“We are honored to support Maniobra, and excited to see the work that comes from this remarkable initiative.”

Prior to the launch of Maniobra, CEC and the Mellon Foundation collaborated on artists-centered initiatives including the development of Nido Cultural – a platform created to support management services for artistic and cultural production in Puerto Rico, as well as on an initiative aimed at Mapping of Cultural Work in Puerto Rico. Maniobra was inspired by Creatives Rebuild New York (CRNY) – the $125 million Mellon Foundation-backed initiative created to help reactivate the creative economy of New York State and secure the future of its artists.

The artists selected for Maniobra, which commenced in early April, were selected by an advisory team of key stakeholders from the local artistic community. Considering the diversity of practices and approaches across the islands, collectives and organizations were selected based on their rich experience in artistic and cultural work.

“In addition to supporting these artists, we also expect to strengthen the work of the collectives and organizations by providing technical and managerial support as well as operational budgets for the execution of the initiatives,” said Sonia Méndez, Program Manager of the Centro de Economía Creativa, Inc. “It also represents a unique project that not only offers the artist a salary, but also fringe benefits and health care coverage.”

To learn more about the projects and initiatives of the Centro de Economía Creativa, you can visit its social media accounts or Centro de Economía Creativa Website

*Photo: Gustavo Castrodad

Stethoscope graphic via Heather Skovlund for use by 360 MAGAZINE

Tyler Robinson Foundation

Founded by the GRAMMY Award-winning music group Imagine Dragons, the Tyler Robinson Foundation (TRF) has been dedicated to assisting and providing support for families affected by pediatric cancer. The nonprofit organization was created with the goal of providing relief of expenses that entail families confronting a pediatric cancer diagnosis.

Throughout the year of 2021 alone, over 500 Emergency Fund expenditures were granted to families in need.

The foundation was initiated after learning about the moving story of Tyler, who was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma, an incredibly rare form of cancer, at the age of 16-years-old. His inspirational story and bravery shown throughout the duration of his battle with cancer inspired countless of individuals around the world.

Coming together, his family and Imagine Dragons created the TRF, who advocate the message that, “the real battle is not whether you live or die, but how you respond to the challenge.”

The TRF has grown immensely and now supports over 2,000 families to date. Continuing to expand their foundation, the foundation continues to partner with more organizations like the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA), where they have founded a TRF.

Beginning with a donation of $10,000 from Imagine Dragons, this specific fund provides support with meals and food insecurity for pediatric cancer families. Imagine Dragons, too, went in attendance of a virtual meet and great with patients from CHLA where they discussed music and meditation.

The foundation has also partaken in events that tie in with their ambassador program Team TRF. Such events include a raffle to win a ZERO-G Flight experience with Imagine Dragons that accumulated nearly $10,000 and the Rise Up Gala one-night-experience that raise of $2.6 million for TRF.

TRF, too, was named a 2021 Top-Rated Nonprofit by GreatNonprofits, a provider known for providing user reviews of charities and nonprofits. TRF received a 2021 Platinum Seal of Transparency with Candid.

Since their founding, TRF has been able to provide aid to over 2,500 families internationally and has raised a mass accumulation of over $12 million. For each dollar that is raised by TRF, over 85% goes back to families that are affected by a pediatric cancer diagnosis. To learn more about TRF, visit TRF.org and follow TRF on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Toys for Tots

Toys for Tots, the U.S. Marine Corps’ premiere community action program, distributed an unprecedented 22.4 million toys, books, and games to nearly 8.8 million children in need in 2021. 

While the affects of the pandemic continued to create challenges, Toys for Tots provided record breaking support to families and children in times of need. Toys for Tots is more than a Flagship Children’s Christmastime charity – our goal is to provide year-round hope to families in need.

On April 19, 2021, Toys for Tots announced the expansion of their year-round efforts to provide hope to those less fortunate with plans for ANOTHER special gift distribution to children in need. During the summer of 2021, we provided ONE MILLION educational toys, books, and games to the children of COVID-19 impacted families. While we all hoped the pandemic would be in our rearview mirrors soon, we also recognized that the emotional and educational impact it’s had on children will be long lasting. Less fortunate children likely suffered the greatest learning loss by not being able to attend in-person classroom instruction, so Toys for Tots provided toys and books that teach to help them overcome a growing educational gap and stimulate their young minds. 

“Toys for Tots is more than a Christmas charity,” said Lieutenant General Jim Laster, USMC (Retired), President and CEO of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. “We have the ability to extend our reach and provide support to families who are facing tremendous year-round challenges, and Toys for Tots stands ready to assist when children and families need help the most.” 

Toys for Tots’ initiatives in 2021 also included providing comfort and relief to families in need during uncertain and unstable times outside of the holiday season. The Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program provided toys, books, and other gifts to nearly 17,000 children on the Afghanistan refugee families who have been granted asylum in the United States. As these families adjusted to their new lives in America, Toys for Tots provided hope and comfort to their children. As our mission continues to expand, we also stood ready to respond in emergency situations. Toys for Tots provided compassionate support with the distribution of toys, books, and other gifts to the families of Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee who were impacted by devastating tornados in 2021.   

Despite the ongoing challenges from the pandemic, the Marines and local campaign Coordinators of the Marine Toys for Tots Program rose to the occasion and established over 830 local toy collection and distribution campaigns in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands. Our Coordinators were, once again, very innovative about how they collected and distributed toys, and they achieved tremendous milestones in 2021. The American public, as well as a record number of organizations serving as National Corporate Sponsors, answered our call to action and made significant donations allowing the Foundation to augment local toy drives with over 10 million toys valued at over $82 million.  

The tremendous support we received from the American public and our Corporate Sponsors enabled us to distribute an unprecedented 22.4 million toys, books, and games to nearly 8.8 million children in need. But your support did more than provide gifts – you also sent messages of hope and restored self-worth to those less fortunate.   

2021 Accomplishments 

  • Distributed over 22.4 million toys to nearly 8.8 million less fortunate children from 832 local campaigns in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands.
  • Distributed 1 million toys, books, and games to COVID-impacted families outside of the holiday season.
  • Distributed 3.1 million books to children in need through the Toys for Tots Literacy Program.
  • Distributed toys and books to over 186,000 Native American children living on remote Reservations.
  • With support from Toys for Tots Sponsors, augmented local toy drives with over 10 million toys valued at over $82 million.
  • Met all 20 standards of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance. 

About Marine Toys for Tots

Toys for Tots, a 75-year national charitable program run by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, provides happiness, and hope to less fortunate children.  The toys, books and other gifts collected and distributed by the Marines offer these children recognition, confidence, and a positive memory for a lifetime.  It is such experiences that help children become responsible citizens and caring members of their community.  Last year, the Marine Toys for Tots Program fulfilled the holiday hopes and dreams of nearly 8.8 million less fortunate children in over 830 communities nationwide.  Since 1947 over 281 million children have been assisted. The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation is a not-for-profit organization authorized by the U.S. Marine Corps and the Department of Defense to provide fundraising and other necessary support for the annual Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program.  For more information, visit www.toysfortots.org.   

ILLUSTRATION BY NICOLE SALAZAR FOR USE BY 360 MAGAZINE

Fentanyl Petition

Families Against Fentanyl announced it had surpassed 25,000 signers of its petition asking the United States government to declare illicit fentanyl a Weapon of Mass Destruction (WMD). They join a who’s who of bipartisan leaders who are calling for the WMD designation.

The milestone was achieved in the aftermath of CDC data released in 2021 projecting that more than 100,000 people died of drug-related causes in the previous calendar year, and following data unearthed by Families Against Fentanyl in December that found illicit fentanyl to be the #1 cause of death for Americans between the ages of 18 and 45—data that have been independently verified.  The announcement also comes on the heels of three Connecticut middle school students being hospitalized for fentanyl overdose after being exposed at their school. One of those students, a 13-year-old, has died.

Even more alarming: fentanyl’s extreme potency gives it the dark potential to be used by terrorists in a chemical attack on American citizens. Declaring illicit fentanyl a WMD would trigger an all-of-government response to this national threat, activating new resources and manpower to tackle this unprecedented danger.

“Fentanyl deaths doubled in just two years and it’s now the number one cause of death of Americans 18-45. Bold action is needed to reverse this trend,” Families Against Fentanyl founder James Rauh stated. “With more than 25,000 people adding their names to our petition, it’s now crystal clear: Americans are fed up with the status quo. They also see the potential a WMD designation would have to stop this poison from flooding our country and killing our loved ones. Declaring illicit fentanyl a WMD is the innovative answer to this crisis—it would allow us to root out the international manufacturers and traffickers of this poison before it reaches our streets. It would cut the smuggling of illicit fentanyl into the United States, enhance penalties for the cartels trafficking in this poison, and provide new protections to the American people from this threat.

“Almost all illicit fentanyl is manufactured outside of the United States. Designating illegal fentanyl as a Weapon of Mass Destruction will empower the U.S. to shift from a policy of mass incarceration of Americans to an all-of-government approach to cut off the supply chain at its source, effectively stopping the flow of this poison into our country. Meanwhile, we can provide compassionate care to those struggling with addiction by investing in harm reduction, expanding access to affordable rehabilitation programs, mental health counseling, and holistic care options.”

The Families Against Fentanyl petition will ultimately be presented to the Biden Administration and the U.S. Congress.

About Families Against Fentanyl

Families Against Fentanyl was founded in 2019 by Akron, Ohio resident James Rauh and his wife Valorie following the untimely death of their son Tom from fentanyl poisoning.

Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 Magazine

92nd Street Y

92nd Street Y (92Y) is a nonprofit civic and cultural facility that aims to bring people together through the performing and visual arts, education, health, fitness and Jewish life. 92Y has a wide assortment of programs, classes and events open for the community that nurture creativity. Such curricula includes online and in-person live concerts, parenting workshops, master, fitness and art classes.

The mission of 92Y is to house resources that promote the physical, mental and spiritual health of individuals throughout their lives. Founded 147 years ago, all the programming generated at the 92Y center is built on the foundation of Jewish values. While curated to serve Jewish people, 92Y follows the Jewish value of welcoming all differing ages, races, religions and ethnicities of people.

The Knights Ensemble in Residence

As a collective of musicians seeking to renovate the orchestral experience, The Knights are artistically directed by the Jacobsen brothers, with Eric Jacobsen as conductor. The Brooklyn-based orchestral cooperative The Knights showcased the first of three concerts during this fall and spring at their residency at 92Y.

The heart of the concert stages two classical works – Schubert’s bright “Unfinished” Symphony and Vaughn Williams’ superb The Lark Ascending, featuring Knights Artistic Director Colin Jacobsen as violin soloist. The programming of The Knights navigates Manhattan’s Lower East Side in the 1990s and Vienna in the 1820s, highlighting subjects of revitalization and renewal, while echoing Schubert in work of a Creole-influenced composer.

360 Magazine was invited to attend The Knights concert on Saturday December 11. We stood by, bearing the recent loss of love. Our heads were heavy, entering this season, but be that as it may, we gathered the courage. And, what the audience witnessed was nothing short of astonishing – suspensive string clips, haunting flute sounds coupled with intermittent triangular percussion rings penetrated the auditorium.

Eric (conductor) and Colin’s limitless love for one another was the vitality of this whole series. Their playlist literally tickled our souls, watered our desires while our vellum hairs danced with deception. Each section took us on a mental roller coaster – sitting in the forward car, enjoying the initial fall with our hands toward the sky. This meticulously blended set is like good wine and possesses all the sweet and refreshing notes of Napa.

Eric ran into sweat directing while we were all mesmerized at his art of bending the air. Colin dominated the audience with his vulnerability, eerie arrangement and tremendous talent. To sum up, The Knights adopt an unorthodox approach to music, exposing their joie de vivre to whomever is willing to embrace their truth.

Eric Jacobsen

Conductor of The Knights Eric Jacobson has gained the reputation of leading revolutionary projects. Jacobsen has conducted The Knights at New York venues including Carnegie Hall and Central Park, as well as internationally at the Vienna Musikverein, Cologne Philharmonie and Hamburg Elbphilharmonie. Serving as Music Director of the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, Jacobsen was recently appointed Music Director of the Virginia Symphony. With much call as a guest conductor, he too just led the Camerata Bern, Detroit Symphony, Alabama Symphony, ProMuscia Chamber Orchestra, Deutsche Philharmonie Merck and Yo-Yo Ma’s Silkroad.

Colin Jacobsen

Known as a violinist and composer, Colin Jacobsen is a captivating figure serving the classical music scene. Jacobsen was named one of the top 100 composures under 40 by NPR listeners. Operating as an active Avery Fisher Career Grant-winning soloist, he has toured with Silkroad since it was established in 2000. For his landmark work in the string quartet Brooklyn Rider and orchestra The Knights, Jacobsen was chosen amongst the nation’s leading visual and performing artists to obtain an esteemed United States Artists Fellowship.

Wed, Jan 19, 2022, 7:30 pm ET

The Knights collaborate with pianist Aaron Diehl for a blend of jazz and classical music. The ensemble welcomes Diehl as they explore Gershwin’s iconic Rhapsody in Blue and trailblazer Mary Lou WilliamsZodiac Suite. Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 is also featured with varieties from Ravel’s Baroque-inspired Le Tombeau de Couperin. Closing out the show is Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite, arranged by Michael P. Atkinson.

Sat, Apr 30, 2022, 8 pm ET

Edgar Meyer, critically acclaimed double bass virtuoso and composer, unites with The Knights for the New York premiere of his second concerto. The show unfolds with a showing of Jamaican-born British composer Eleanor Alberga’s Shining Gates of Morpheus featuring Knights hornist David Byrd-Marrow. The closing of the show continues the American spirit of Meyer’s work is Coplands’ Appalachian Spring.

Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 Magazine

Book illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Jewish Community Foundation

JEWISH COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF LOS ANGELES AWARDS $1 MILLION IN GRANTS TO ADVANCE EDUCATION EQUITY

Seven Local Nonprofits in Communities of Color Receive Support for Programs to Address Education Equity, Provide Resources for Success

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­The Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles (The Foundation) today announced it has awarded a record $1 million to seven local nonprofits that address issues related to education equity.

The funding supports community-led organizations that connect students with strong mentors, focus on the specific needs of young people of color, increase access to health services for students of color and their families, and empower students to advocate for their educational needs.

The distributions are part of the institution’s General Community Grants which focus on high-priority social issues locally. In recent years, these grants have addressed homelessness, overcoming barriers to employment, human trafficking, as well as sexual and domestic violence.  This new round of awards also builds upon The Foundation’s Racial Equity Grants given last year.

The recipients of this year’s awards – a new record-high for General Community Grants and a 66 percent increase from 2019 – are Antelope Valley Boys & Girls Club; Bridge Builders Foundation; EmpowHer Institute; Girls Club of Los Angeles; Heart of Los Angeles Youth Inc.; Social Justice Learning Institute; and Special Needs Network.

Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer Marvin I. Schotland stated: “The pandemic has exacerbated existing inequities in our education system that disproportionately affect students of color who lack the resources to successfully learn remotely. This only widens an already-existing education gap which will result in a significant learning loss that will take years to address.”

He continued: “The Foundation selected these outstanding programs recognizing that those closest to the communities they serve are best able to understand and respond to their needs.  All of these recipient organizations are based in communities of color with demonstrated track records of service, and strong, impressive leadership.”

Beyond grant funding, The Foundation works closely with grant recipients to offer additional support including professional development, technical support, and referrals to other funders in its network. “We believe that money alone will not solve the pressing issues facing our communities,” said Mr. Schotland. “That’s why we proudly invest much time and energy engaging with our grant recipients and providing resources to help them strengthen their organizations and reach their goals.”

As part of its process to identify the recipients, The Foundation consulted with leading funders and experts in the field.  This included the participation of Kaci Patterson, who leads the Black Equity Collective and who helped guide the review of prospective organizations.

About the Grant Recipients

  • Antelope Valley Boys & Girls Club helps young people ages 6-18 years old to reach their full potential through youth development programs that emphasize career and academic preparedness, healthy lifestyles, character, and good citizenship. Grant funds will expand Project Learn – the Club’s education and enrichment programming – increasing program hours and reducing staff-to-youth ratios at its two main program sites.
  • Bridge Builders Foundation (South Los Angeles) is a primarily volunteer-led nonprofit that provides educational and socio-emotional support to youth of color, particularly Black young men and boys, through its strong mentoring network, tutoring, scholarships, and focus on STEM education. Grant funding will support the growth of its Thriving Under the Influence mentoring program from three to five school site partners, expand staffing, and provide for mentor training, program supplies, and field trips.
  • EmpowHer Institute (Westchester) provides academic support, training, and mentorship to enable marginalized girls and young women to become confident, to break the cycle of poverty, and to be prepared for college and careers. Grant funding will support the expansion of EmpowHer Girls Academy and EmpowHer Leaders Academy, doubling its reach.
  • Girls Club of Los Angeles is an established community center that enriches the lives of underserved, at-risk boys and girls, youth and families through early education, youth development, and community outreach. Grant funds will expand the number of children served, support developing and implementing trauma-informed practices into its curriculum and, in turn, train educators at 14 early childcare centers in its Early Learning Alliance Network who serve about 3,000 children.
  • Heart of Los Angeles Youth Inc. is one of the premier community centers providing underserved youth in the MacArthur Park/Rampart District with high quality afterschool programs in academics, arts, athletics, and family resources. Grant funds will support program growth at a new Lafayette Park location with the capacity to nearly double the number of youth and families served each year.
  • Social Justice Learning Institute (SJLI) is dedicated to improving the education, health, and well-being of youth and communities of color. SJLI works with schools to offer its evidence-based Urban Scholars program, which supports and empowers young men of color to succeed in school and advocate for change in their communities. Grant funds will be used to support the expansion of the Urban Scholars to new sites across Los Angeles.
  • Special Needs Network addresses the needs of underserved youth and families of color in South Los Angeles struggling to raise a child with developmental disabilities. Grant funds will support expanded outreach, engagement, early intervention, and parent/caretaker training as it launches its new Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities (on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital campus) and, through a partnership with the L.A. Unified School District, improve access to disability services for South L.A. children, students, and families of color.

Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles

COVID-19 Response Grant Recipient Remarks for Attribution

“EmpowHer Institute is committed to addressing the systemic barriers that often hinder BIPOC girls in marginalized communities from reaching their highest potential. The grant funding from the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles will be used to triple our program-service sites and double the annual number of girls who participate in our education and economic justice programs across Los Angeles County.” – Dawn L. Brown, CEO, EmpowHer Institute

“Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA) is so grateful to the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles for enabling us to offer youth academic support services, enrichment classes, and holistic support for students’ families. Through this grant, HOLA aims to expand its in-depth academic and whole-child support which are needed now more than ever to reach even more youth in our community. Despite the challenges raised by the pandemic, HOLA is committed to ensuring equitable recovery for Los Angeles youth so that our students can come back even stronger in the coming months.” – Tony Brown, CEO, Heart of Los Angeles

“The generous support of The Foundation enables the Bridge Builders Foundation to expand our Mentoring, Coaching and Leadership program and inspire, encourage and support young people to become more resilient, raise aspirations, and increase life trajectories. For many, this exposure is a ‘game changer.’” – James Breedlove, President, Bridge Builders Foundation

About The Jewish Community Foundation

Established in 1954, the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles manages charitable assets of more than $1.4 billion entrusted to it by over 1,300 families and ranks among the 10 largest Los Angeles foundations. It partners with donors to shape meaningful philanthropic strategies, magnify the impact of their giving, and build enduring charitable legacies. In 2020, The Foundation and its donors distributed $116 million to 2,700 nonprofits with programs that span the range of philanthropic giving. Over the past 12 years, it has distributed more than $1 billion to thousands of nonprofits across a diverse spectrum.

Fireworks by Mina Tocalini for 360 Magazine

Jersey City Night Market Fireworks Festival

The heart of Jersey City was illuminated with sparkling flares as its residents gathered to watch the captivating light show on July 4th. On the banks of the Hudson River, Jersey City Night Market hosted their Food & Fireworks Festival on Montgomery St, overlooking the Jersey City Waterfront. From noon to 10pm, this family-friendly and pet-friendly celebration invited all to the free festivities.

Offering the patriotic backdrop of Lady Liberty, local JC craft beers, and the catchy sounds of Meghan Thee Stallion, Jersey City Night Market offered the ultimate way to enjoy Independence Day weekend. With ten hours of Chilltown Collective’s DJ entertainment, the party truly never stopped.

Over twenty food vendors were involved in the event, with tantalizing tastes from Eemas Cuisine, Spoonable Spirits, The Law of Doughnut Engineering, and Mozzarepas. There is truly something for everyone- even Woof Bowl for hungry dogs and Simply Done Production’s food truck for plant-based foodies. Flavors from around the world, including Korean corndogs at Oh K-Dog, invites guests to come together for the tantalizing tastes of the Jersey Shore Night Market.

If guests became thirsty after indulging in the mouthwatering bites, they could stroll down to the waterfront’s 21+ biergarten. The biergarten was sponsored by GP’s Bar and Restaurant, which provided guests with chilled, refreshing brews during the holiday’s heat wave.

The fourth of July festival highlighted a variety of local retail vendors. Participants included Woof Bowl, Hudson Houndstooth, Flor y Café, Jupiter Knights Hemp Co, The Hemp Social, Ten Dollar Books, Naz Jewelry, and Polished Concrete. St. Anne Catholic Church also reveled in the merrymaking, splitting their profits 50/50 with the Italian Festival.

At the end of the festivities, festivalgoers stared at the sky in awe of New Jersey’s largest fireworks show. The bursting explosions of color and light illuminated the waterfront and made the Hudson River glow with joyous revelry.

The Jersey City Night Market is a community initiate led by the creators of the Midnight Market and the Mise En Place Project. The Mise En Place Project is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization. To read more about the market, please visit HERE.

Jersey City Night Market July 4th Food and Fireworks Festival image by Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 Magazine

Book illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Toys for Tots x Good360

On April 19, 2021, Toys for Tots announced the expansion of their year-round efforts to provide hope to those less fortunate with plans for ANOTHER special gift distribution to children in need. This summer we will be providing ONE MILLION educational toys, books, and games to the children of COVID-19 impacted families. While we all hope this pandemic will be in our rearview mirrors soon, we also recognize that the emotional and educational impact it’s had on children will be long lasting. Less fortunate children likely suffered the greatest learning loss by not being able to attend in-person classroom instruction, so Toys for Tots will be providing toys and books that teach to help them overcome a growing educational gap and stimulate their young minds.

The support we provided last year, at the height of the pandemic, provided great comfort and emotional relief to struggling families. Toys for Toys is determined to send a year-round message of hope to less fortunate families and continue to DoGoodNow! We are more than a children’s Christmastime charity!

Because we recognize the importance of reminding children that there is still joy to be found in simple gifts every day, we are once again partnering with our friends at Good360, the global leader in product philanthropy and purposeful giving.  We are providing them with ONE MILLION toys, books, and games to distribute via their network of nonprofit organizations across the United States.

“Toys for Tots is more than a Christmas charity—that is why we want to DoGoodNOW and continue to expand our partnership with Good360,” said Lieutenant General Jim Laster, USMC (Retired), President and CEO of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation.  “With the assistance  of Good360 and their vast network of non-profits throughout the country, Toys for Tots has the ability to extend our reach and provide support to families who are facing tremendous year-round challenges.”

“Toys and games are highly requested items among Good360’s nonprofit network, and our partnership with Toys for Tots allows us to meet this need and bring joy to children and families that are going through difficult times,” said Matt Connelly, CEO of Good360.  “The feedback we’ve received from the nonprofits receiving toys has been tremendous, and we look forward to our continued collaboration with Toys for Tots.”

Toys for Tots and Good360 have complementary strengths, and this partnership generates greater impact. Together we are more than just the sum of our parts—together we can DoGoodNOW.  The two organizations launched their collaboration in April of 2020 and since  then have distributed three million toys, games, and books together outside of the holidays.

For additional information, visit www.ToysForTots.org and/or www.Good360.org

Women's Month illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Where Women Made History campaign

National Trust and Benjamin Moore Honor Women’s Impact on American History

This month, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, in partnership with Benjamin Moore, announced plans to restore two buildings that honor the significant contributions of diverse women to American progress.  Azurest South in Petersburg, VA, was designed in 1939 by Amaza Lee Meredith, one of the country’s first Black female architects; and the McDonogh 19 Elementary School in 9th Ward of New Orleans, LA, was one of the first schools integrated in New Orleans after the landmark 1954 Supreme Court case, Brown v. Board of Education.

Both projects are part of the National Trust’s Where Women Made History campaign and a continuation of the collaboration between the National Trust and Benjamin Moore launched in 2020 with the interior restoration of the Women’s Building in San Francisco, CA, and the exterior transformation of the Odd Fellows Building in Astoria, OR.  Support from the National Trust and Benjamin Moore for these sites of women’s achievement and empowerment comes during a critical time of global pandemic and economic uncertainty in which women across the country are in crisis.

Christina Morris, manager of the Where Women Made History campaign for the National Trust, said, “The women whose stories are preserved in these places embody the spirit of the Where Women Made History campaign.  These are women who pushed beyond the boundaries of what they were told was acceptable or even possible.  We owe them an enormous debt for establishing the essential—but often unseen—foundation that lifts up women and girls today and gives them the freedom to pursue their own dreams.”

“It is a privilege to be able to preserve several historic sites with significant roots in women’s history,” said Jeannie West, Benjamin Moore Senior Vice President of Human Resources.  “Together with the National Trust, we’ll pay homage to these female trailblazers who helped shape us into the nation we are today.”

The National Trust’s Where Women Made History campaign is designed to address the centuries of gender inequality that have led to the erasure of many pivotal stories of women’s history, creating an inaccurate perception of their fundamental role in shaping American identity.  These inequalities have been laid bare over the last year of the COVID-19 pandemic, with its disproportionate and devastating effects on women, particularly women of color, who were forced to shutter their businesses and who became unemployed at a rate four times higher than their male counterparts.  Through the Where Women Made History campaign, the National Trust plans to raise and invest $10 million in philanthropic support to elevate and preserve 100 places across the country where women of all backgrounds, ages, beliefs, and identities have made history.

In addition to the four Benjamin Moore projects, the campaign is active on many other fronts, conducting a nationwide crowdsourcing effort that garnered over 1,200 formerly unrecognized places where women made history from across all 50 states; adding new sites related to women artists to expand the diversity and representation in the National Trust’s Historic Artists Homes and Studios program; providing grants to directly support dozens of projects and places of women’s history around the country; creating the first all-female HOPE (Hands-On Preservation Experience) Crew projects to empower the next generation of female preservationists and craftspeople through the restoration of women’s history sites; sharing the stories of groundbreaking female leaders in Preservation magazine; and taking action to save nationally-significant places of women’s history, such as the San Francisco, CA, home of LGBTQ+ civil rights pioneers and activists Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, Natalie de Blois’s spectacular Terrace Plaza Hotel in Cincinnati, OH, and the National Historic Landmark Harada House in Riverside, CA, where Sumi Harada played a critical role in a lawsuit that allowed Japanese Americans to own property in California and later provided a safe haven for Japanese Americans who had been forcibly relocated to incarceration camps during World War II.

In partnership with Benjamin Moore, the two new sites announced this month highlight the impact African American women have had on American history.

Architect, educator, and artist Amaza Lee Meredith designed Azurest South in 1938 as the lifetime residence and personal studio for herself and her partner, Dr. Edna Meade Colson. Ms. Meredith also is credited with establishing and running the Fine Art Department at Virginia State University (VSU) for over two decades.  The home is now owned by the VSU Alumni Association. Benjamin Moore will provide approximately 150 gallons of paint to help with restoration work on both the interior and exterior of the small but stunning Moderne property, and we hope to include students in the VSU Fine Art Department in the project to carry Amaza Lee’s legacy forward to the next generation.

McDonogh 19 Elementary is one of two historic sites in the 9th Ward of New Orleans, LA, where school desegregation first took place. On November 14, 1960, three six-year-old girls – Leona Tate, Gail Etienne, and Tessie Prevost – made history when they climbed the 18 stairs to enter the then all-white school. On the same morning, Ruby Bridges integrated William Frantz Elementary. These four girls became the first African Americans to integrate formerly all-white schools in the Jim Crow Deep South and have since been known as the “New Orleans Four.”

Closed in 2004, the McDonogh 19 Elementary School is currently being transformed by the Leona Tate Foundation for Change, Inc. as a mixed-use facility, that, in addition to senior housing, will feature education and exhibition space dedicated to the history of New Orleans public school desegregation, civil rights, and restorative justice.  The building is being renamed the Tate Etienne & Prevost Interpretive Center.

Both sites are expected to be completed by summer 2021, and their progress and transformation will be documented with photos and videos that will be released later this year.

About the National Trust for Historic Preservation
The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save America’s historic places.

 

Piggy Bank illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Future Fax Filing Tips

Tips for Tax Filing in the Future

Tax time is near, and soon everyone will be rushing to get their taxes filed. Last year, Americans were met with quite a few delays in getting their refunds with the onset of the pandemic.

If you have a refund coming, the sooner you file, the sooner that refund will make its way into your bank account.

If you’re like most tax filers, you probably want to do everything you can to reduce your overall tax bill. We know that taxes are needed to run the government, but there’s no need for you as an individual to pay more than you need to.

Here are a few areas to consider or understand for future tax filing years:

  • Funding tax-preferenced accounts. One way to save on taxes is by putting money in various tax-preferenced savings accounts such as an IRA, a 401(k), and others. Depending on the account type, you can deduct your contribution each year, defer paying taxes on growth or take withdrawals tax-free. In health savings accounts (HSA), you can do all three. There are eligibility requirements you need to meet. An HSA can only be used for medical expenses.  With a traditional IRA, you don’t pay taxes on your contributions, and you defer taxes on the account’s growth. You do pay taxes on withdrawals you make in retirement. A Roth IRA has different advantages. You can’t deduct your contributions now, but your money grows tax-free, and you aren’t taxed when you make withdrawals.
  • Using a 529 for K-12 private or college education. Many people are familiar with 529 plans, but they often think of these solely to save for a college education fund. But a 529 can also be used to pay for a private school in elementary and high school. The significant tax advantage with a 529 is that you don’t pay federal income taxes on the account’s growth. However, you must spend the money on qualified educational expenses and nothing else. This is essential to remember and understand because if you use the money for other reasons, you will pay taxes on that withdrawal, and you will also pay the penalty. A 529 account is something to consider if you have children or grandchildren and want a tax-efficient way to save for K-12 or college education.
  • Making charitable donations. Charitable donations are a great tool for reducing your tax bill. They come with the bonus of allowing you to make a positive impact in your community. Through charitable donations, you can reduce your income tax, capital gains tax, and estate tax. Some people view this most straightforwardly – you choose an organization that qualifies under the tax rules to donate to. There are other ways to contribute as well: You can establish a donor-advised fund, which is a personal charitable account opened in the name of the donors and held by a nonprofit organization. For example, let’s say you sell a stock and, instead of paying the capital gains tax, you choose to place the proceeds in a donor-advised fund. You can claim the total amount as a charitable deduction, although you don’t have to donate the money in one lump sum. The money remains in the fund and can be donated in small amounts over a period of years while drawing interest.

These are just a few things you can consider as you look for ways to reduce your tax bill. Your financial professional will be able to help you work your way through the process and find what works best for you and your situation.