Spreading Cheer: ARAD Holiday Service Project 2018

The Arts Administration Program (ARAD) held its annual Holiday Service Project on December 4th. The event included a joyous performance by Spark Notes, TC’s a cappella group, and included Mari Takeda (ARAD ’20), and together we created two dozen gift bags filled with art supplies for the Art Start children and another 15 for their mothers.

This was the first year that ARAD students managed the project, and we want to extend our gratitude to, and acknowledge the hard work and creativity of, the ARAD Service Corps – Nadine Baldasare, Tia Bangura, Monica Chen, Nicole Chen, Ulrike Figueroa Vilchis, Gaosong Heu, Carolina Ide, Sarah Lamade, Sarah Leary, Sunny Leerasanthanah, Jessica Liu, Carolina Luna, Ian Prince, Yuhe Ren, Morgan Sapp, Mari Takeda, Taffe Tang, Tingjun Wang, Melissa Weisberg, Camille Weisgant, Phoebe Yin, and Megan Zhang.

Through their efforts, we received in-kind donations from Target, Paper Source, and Janoff’s Stationery for Art Start, an organization that brings arts programming to at-risk youth living in city shelters, on the streets, or surviving with parents in crisis. We also received a keyboard stand and the shoe company Bloch donated 150+ ballet shoes for the National Dance Institute, which uses dance and music to engage public school children and their communities to motivate them to strive for their personal best. We also raised $500, which will be split between the two organizations.

Tia Bangura (ARAD ’20) served on the Partnership Development Committee and was responsible for choosing arts organizations and acquiring donations. The Partnership Development Committee chose Art Start and National Dance Institute (NDI).  As Tia describes, she contacted and established a relationship with Bloch, who donated dance shoes to NDI.

“From start to finish, I communicated with both of my contacts at Bloch and NDI to make sure everything went smoothly. When it came time to deliver the donations, I felt proud knowing that this project would have a positive effect on this arts organization. I know I couldn’t accomplish as much working on my own, so I’m grateful for the opportunity to build ties among many partners to maximize our impact.”

This was an opportunity for ARAD students to manage a multi-faceted project and build their professional skills. As Tia says, “During my first semester as an ARAD student, helping organize the Holiday Service Project was a valuable out-of-the-classroom learning opportunity. Initially, I wanted to volunteer to become more familiar with my classmates and the local neighborhood. though now I feel that I’ve accomplished so much more and walked away with some experience securing in-kind donations for nonprofit organizations. The Holiday Service Project, along with the Support Structures course, only confirmed my interests in fundraising and development. I look forward to learning more about this aspect of the art world and contributing my skills and insights.”

For those who attended, thank you for taking time from your busy schedules to help us bring some holiday cheer to those in our community in need.


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