project leader
Joyce M
location
375 S. 10th Street
(Emmaus)
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the project

Some people like you have come together in Emmaus and crafted a dynamic vision to make magic and creativity happen through the arts and innovation.  We invite you to join us in the process of our Phase I Fundraising Project.  After acquiring a 35,000 s.f. building we will need to renovate the building and lay the groundwork for a dynamic center of community creativity.  Want to hear more?

Mission: The Emmaus Creative Arts & Innovation Center mission is to create a thriving intergeneration arts community in Emmaus. 

Vision: To stimulate and encourage a thriving creative economy and inclusive community through an arts/innovation center that provides cross generational traditional and emerging arts education center, supports the business aspect of the arts and offers hands on experiences, MakerSpace and resources to foster collaboration, creativity and entrepreneurship in the visual, performing and culinary arts.

The Emmaus Creative Arts & Innovation Center will provide:

1) Visual arts: space for artists studios, gallery space for rotating exhibits and sales

2) Performing arts:  rehearsal, instruction and collaboration space for performing artists such as musicians and dancers, a black box theatre for instruction, practice and performances, ares for music instruction, practice and performance and a recording booth, and collaborative and instructional space for a writers guild;  Additionally, the Center will incorporate wellness uses that encourage movement such as yoga, aerobics, Thai chi, martial arts, in addition to guided meditation.

3) Culinary arts/farm connection: food court of local artisan food vendors, indoor sales space for food items, food hub to include cold storage and use of the three loading docks for connecting farms to institutional food buyers; and shared use commercial kitchen to encourage food entrepreneurs 

4) Maker space:  space and tools for the creation of both soft and hard fabricated items.  Maker space will combine equipment for the making of items and education for the purposes of enabling community members to design, develop prototypes and create manufactured works that wouldn’t be possible to create with the resources available to most individuals 

An important aspect of the Center is the programming, which will be established on an annual calendar with program themes changing by the month.  Films, lectures, discussions, authors and performances will be scheduled to be in accordance with the themes, creating dynamic synergistic opportunities.

Our Phase I Fundraising Project (with a goal of $200,000) will include raising dollars for architectural work, engineering work, grant writing and fundraising, hosting public engagement events, and improving the building for the first certificate of occupancy.  Additionally, we hope to install outdoor street furniture and streetscaping for both the building and the adjacent Furnace Park.

 

the steps

Here's what we've already accomplished:  

  • $8,000 already been raised and spent to date on management consulting which includes the development of professional Powerpoint presentations and a project summary suitable for fundraising, insurance, a website and non-profit filing fees.
  • recieved an EIN #
  • opened a bank account. 
  • passed by-laws
  • applied to the IRS for non-profit status.

Going forward, as a part of the Phase I Fundraising Project, the board hopes to host a "Fix It Festival" in the parking lot of the building in June of 2018.  We have received permission to use the parking lot to do so!  For this to happen, we will need to secure liability insurance at an estimated cost of $1,000 and provide a certificate of insurance listing the property owner as an additional insured.  Let's make this happen and begin fixing and creating!

We have met with the building's maintenance staff, a contractor, and an architect.  Cost estimates for the Phase I physical work necessary to modify the building for the purpose of an arts center has begun.  We offer these time frames:

1. Cost Estimating 1.1.19 to 5.1.20

2. Architectural Work 4.1.19 to 7.1.20

3. Engineering Work 4.1.19 to 6.1.20

4. Grant Writing and Fundraising 10.1.18 to 9.1.20 ($8,000 already expended)

4. Hosting Public Engagement Events, to include a "Fix It Festival" 1.1.19 to 6.30.20

5. Phase I Construction to begin 9.1.20

why we're doing it

Youth

We often hear, “Kids have nothing to do.” National research indicates that students involved in the arts perform better in school, supports the importance of these programs to academic and life achievement. 

Effective afterschool programs bring a wide range of benefits to youth, families and communities. Afterschool programs can boost academic performance, reduce risky behaviors, promote physical health, and provide a safe, structured environment for the children of working parents.

Students involved in after-school programs have been found to experience a variety of positive effects, such as increased attendance at school, a jump in reading comprehension, and a drop in disciplinary referrals. Extracurricular programs can have meaningful, positive impacts in the long run by giving participants skills, passions, and experiences that prove useful later in life. 

Mike Waddell, former Principal in the East Penn School District, says that, “Now more than ever we need after school, evening and weekend programs to break the isolation of students and help them socialize. Kids are more likely to get into trouble after school when they come home to an empty house. It’s important to teach them skills that their parents don’t have time to teach them and to have them connect to the community for mentoring across generations. Exposure to the arts is important because after 8th grade art and music become electives and most students don’t get exposed to them.” 

After School Opportunities: Partnership opportunities exist with both East Penn School District, the East Penn School District Education Foundation and local charter schools such as Seven Generations Charter School to provide extra-curricular opportunities during both after-school and summer times. Youth are interested in technology but often do not build skills beyond social media because they are not exposed to develop the skills that open up career opportunities in the digital economy. 

Emmaus has a population of 11,363 and a median income of $55,263. The poverty rate is 7.3%. The youngest, oldest and poorest citizens of Emmaus live within walking distance of the property. The Emmaus High School with over 2,300 students from five municipalities is located within an easy walk of the proposed property.

Jefferson and Lincoln Elementary School families, who live within a walk or bike ride of this facility, are at the low end of the income spectrum in the East Penn School District. In the East Penn School District 27% of the students in the district qualify for free and reduced price lunch. For Jefferson and Lincoln Elementary Schools, the numbers are 42% and 41% respectively.

Seniors: 

Recent studies have shown significant benefits for older generations resulting from creative arts activities. These include improvement of health, mental wellbeing, social functioning and overall quality of life.  

Specifically, the landmark study, Creativity and Aging Study: The Impact of Professionally Conducted Cultural Programs on Older Adults, reveals how on-going, community-based arts programs improve the quality of life for older Americans. It is the first study of its kind to examine the impact of professionally conducted arts programs on the physical health, mental health, and social functioning of older adults.   Download PDF

Creative aging programs have shown that the Arts ignite people’s self-esteem, in that they begin to be seen and heard and feel more valued.  Research points to powerful positive intervention effects of these community-based art programs run by professional artists. They point to true health promotion and disease prevention effects. In that they also show stabilization and actual increase in community-based activities in general among those in the cultural programs, they reveal a positive impact on maintaining independence and on reducing dependency. This latter point demonstrates that these community based cultural programs for older adults appear to be reducing risk factors that drive the need for long-term care.  

The arts tend to create environments of community, instead of environments that are focused on medical care.   Research supports the desire for seniors to “age in place.” AARP- Livable Communities reminds us that, “Children and older adults — and the communities they live in — benefit from shared activities and time spent together.   When we engage older adults and kids together we can demonstrate that our aging population is a resource to be utilized.

Older adults: Loneliness and social isolation are important health risks in the elderly.  The AARP Foundation’s Connect2Affect has called social isolation a “growing health epidemic” among older adults. It equates the health risks of prolonged isolation with smoking 15 cigarettes daily. . Almost half of older women (46 percent) age 75-plus live alone. As America ages, we must look at the relationships between older adults and younger generations and their ability and opportunities to engage inter-generationally, creatively and in community The future of our communities can be enhanced if we recognize that our success depends on connecting generations for good.  Intergenerational programs can provide a multiplier effect in which both children, families and communities, and older adults benefit, and transformative, measurable results can be created for society as a whole. 

The benefits of intergenerational programs flow both ways. There are countless examples of younger people assisting older adults in areas like access to technology or working on behalf of seniors to address social or economic isolation. 45% of Americans in retirement say that they want to work with youth.  Older adults who work with youth learn current technology and stay connected virtually and physically.  An intergenerational community can be the opportunity for a young person to learn from a caring older adult who not only has “been there and done that,” but has a biological and instinctive need to give the next generation the best opportunity to succeed.  

In order to maximize the intergenerational connections the Center proposes to develop a formal Senior/Youth mentoring program.  A third of today's youth lack mentors, according to a report from mentoring.org. Countless older adults, meanwhile, are isolated, lonely and in need of companionship. What do you get when you combine the two? Profound opportunities for healthier, happier kids, seniors, and communities. According to a study of nearly 1,000 youth at Big Brothers Big Sisters, kids with mentors are not only significantly less likely to use illegal drugs and alcohol, skip school, and get into physical fights, but they are also more confident about academics and social relationships.

Partners

The East Penn School District and its individual schools is planned to be a key partner with many schools within walking distance, such as Lincoln, Jefferson, the Emmaus High School, in addition to Seven Generations Charter School.

Partners will include arts organizations such as the Baum Art School, Crowded Kitchen Players and community organizations, such as the Lehigh Valley Arts Council, the United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley and the Lehigh Valley Food Policy Council.

 

budget

Architects 10,000

Engineers 10,000

Street Furniture and Outside Streetscaping 30,000, including Furnace Park

Grant Writing and Fundraising $40,000

Public Engagement 10,000

Buidling Improvements 100,000

 



PROJECT FUNDING NEEDED = $200,000
ioby Platform Fee $35
ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) $10,871
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $6,523
TOTAL TO RAISE = $217,429

 

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donors

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