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Organization DBA --
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years Yes

Summary

Mission StatementMORE »

Raw Art Works (RAW) believes that all kids should be SEEN and HEARD and passionately pursues its mission to ignite the desire to create and the confidence to succeed in underserved youth.

Mission Statement

Raw Art Works (RAW) believes that all kids should be SEEN and HEARD and passionately pursues its mission to ignite the desire to create and the confidence to succeed in underserved youth.


FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2015 to June 30, 2016
Projected Income $2,097,506.00
Projected Expense $2,026,305.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Elementary Age Programs
  • High School Programs
  • Middle School Programs
  • Project Launch
  • Talent and Purpose

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Overview

Mission Statement

Raw Art Works (RAW) believes that all kids should be SEEN and HEARD and passionately pursues its mission to ignite the desire to create and the confidence to succeed in underserved youth.


Background Statement

Nearly three decades ago, RAW started placing paintbrushes into the hands of kids, and created the first statewide art therapy program for incarcerated youth. By 1994, RAW had established an after-school program in one of the state’s most challenged inner-city communities, Lynn, Massachusetts. To help youth before they became incarcerated, we established relationships with the school department and housing authority to reach the most “at-risk” youth. By 2006, RAW had completed a $1.2MM capital campaign, which provided RAW the ability to purchase and renovate its four-story building at 37 Central Square. In 2013, we reached a significant milestone. RAW celebrated its 25th anniversary by beginning a $2MM campaign for expansion and the Massachusetts Cultural Council designated Downtown Lynn a Cultural District. With the culmination of our campaign, we acquired and renovated a 4,400 square-foot space adjacent to RAW’s first-floor. This acquisition has allowed us to decrease our waitlist, and launch new programs that support youth throughout their transition to adulthood.

Today, RAW provides high-quality after-school and out-of-school time art therapy-based programming to over 560 youth annually. Programming includes visual and expressive arts groups, film school classes, leadership development, and teen employment programming. During the course of a year, we offer over 50 groups, which serve between 12-16 youth each. Groups meet once or twice a week for approximately 34 weeks during the school year. Each group lasts for two to four+ hours with extra time dedicated to field trips, visiting artists, and celebrations. Summer programming runs during July and August.

Additionally, by staffing our programs with art therapists and teaching artists, RAW

effectively uses the arts as a powerful medium to deeply engage underserved youth of all ages. The art therapy practiced at RAW uses art media, the creative process, and the resulting artwork as a means for youth to develop social, emotional, and life skills, to strengthen their identity, and to connect with others in the community. By using these techniques, we offer alternative opportunities for development, learning, and success.


Impact Statement

Accomplishments this past year include:

 

  • Decreasing our waitlist and growing our continuum of core arts programming. We have added new elementary school and middle school groups. These additions will help us meet the developmental needs of younger kids.
  • RAW’s Real to Reel Filmschool received Adobe’s Creative Catalyst Award. We are one of seven in the world to be given this honor. The Award honors exemplary youth organizations that demonstrate outstanding approaches to supporting young people’s creative growth and social impact.
  • We have begun to offer a new family programming, Family Gather. This bi-weekly program brings RAW youth and their family members together for support and art-making.
  • 90% of our youth expressed they have improved as an artist and feel proud of their contributions in RAW.
  • 91% of our stated that through RAW, they have learned how art can be used to make a positive change in their community/world.

 

We are committed to five organizational goals in our strategic plan.

 

  1. Provide a full continuum of community-based programming in Lynn to serve 560 youth. To achieve this goal, we will expand our community presence, involve families more deeply in our work, and enhance existing programs.
  2. Attract, retain, and develop excellent staff through competitive compensation, professional development, and commitment to a positive organizational culture. Sustain strength of leadership and staff continuity to ensure RAW meets and exceeds program expectations and service to our youth.
  3. Sustain our financial strength through continued disciplined financial management and oversight as well as attaining and gaining new supporters.
  4. Expand college and career success for youth by continuing to invest in Project Launch. Building the connections our kids need to succeed.
  5. Lead in the community, and our field, by expanding local community engagement. Become leaders in our field both regionally and nationally. Recruit a board that is reflective of the community we serve.

 


Needs Statement

RAW is a globally recognized creative youth development organization with 14 full-time and 13 part-time employees. We also employ 38+ youth through our paid jobs program, Talent and Purpose. To support our team, RAW has a need for:

 

  1. Core support of RAW’s continuum of programming. Flexible funding is critical to underwriting the important pieces of our work that are difficult to fund otherwise such as technology upgrades, the evaluation of programming, and volunteer management.
  2. Program specific funding which will enable our existing pilot programs to continue to grow and flourish.
  3. With the recent completion of our capital campaign, we are now responsible for over 14,000 square feet of space. Investments in our facilities and our facilities reserve fund will enable us to preserve our creative haven for youth over the long-term.
  4. RAW is always looking for candidates to join our board and volunteer committees such as our special event committee. We seek volunteers who are passionate about our mission and who can generously give time, expertise, and resources to help us achieve our goals and our plans for sustainability.
  5. We are always in need of volunteer mentors for our college access and career exploration program, Project Launch.

 


CEO Statement

RAW changes lives. It is a safe place that our kids view as a "second home." Our continuum of services and dedicated staff provide a continuity and stability which, for many of our kids, exists nowhere else in their lives.
 
With over 27 years of impacting young people, RAW has broadened our foundation to prepare for the next 25 years.  Our 25th anniversary campaign "IGNITE" allowed us to increase our facility's space by over 50%, and to provide several new programs, including  Art of Words, a set of creative writing programs that help our kids become powerful communicators.  Mary Flannery, RAW's Founder, and myself as Executive Director, have been working shoulder-to-shoulder now for 29 years, and we look at RAW's future with great optimism, given the foundation upon which we are building.  
 
The support and skills which RAW now provides will gain additional depth and breath thanks to the investment which this expansion will allow.  With 30% of our workforce comprised out RAW alums, and nearly 40% of our total payroll comprised of alums and paid teen workers, we are living proof that RAW helps our youth to develop into vibrant young adults well-prepared to bring integrity, sophistication and high standards to the work force and to serve as successful role models to youth both in Lynn and beyond.
 
 
 

Board Chair Statement



Geographic Area Served

GREATER BOSTON REGION, MA
NORTHEAST REGION, MA

Throughout our history, we have focused our efforts on strengthening collaborations with schools that serve the most vulnerable youth in Lynn, with the goal of reaching and recruiting more of the at-risk teen population in the city. However, we also find that the blend of youth from diverse abilities, backgrounds, and communities create groups that are most engaging and impactful. In FY15, the majority (86%) of RAW youth lived in Lynn. The remaining 14% came from surrounding communities.

Organization Categories

  1. Arts,Culture & Humanities - Arts Services
  2. Youth Development - Youth Development Programs
  3. Human Services - Children's and Youth Services

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)

No

Programs

Elementary Age Programs

Elementary School Age Groups (7-11-Approximately 236 Youth Served):

Our youngest artists come to RAW full of energy. In their lives, they are eager to gain specific skills, such as reading, writing, athletics, and—at RAW—artistic skills! As a result, the role of our teaching artists and art therapists is very important to them. Children at this stage build self-esteem when they win the approval of their peers and can positively contribute to group dynamics. At the same time, they are also beginning to develop a personal sense of pride in their own accomplishments. Encouragement and positive reinforcement for young children helps to build their confidence. In our elementary groups, like RAW Energy, Studio Time I, and Mariposa, RAW provides artistic and social challenges that require problem solving, creativity, and skill development. We show the value of the creative process, especially the confidence that comes from taking a project from start to finish.
 
Budget  --
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other
Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years) At-Risk Populations Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Program Short-Term Success 
RAW's outcome-based evaluation program is based on the Boston Youth Arts Evaluation Project (BYAEP, www.byaep.com). Our indicators for short-term outcomes include:
 
I Create-Builds Artistic, Problem Solving, and Expressive Skills. Youth will develop skills in artistic engagement, problem solving, critical thinking and expression.
 
I Am-Strengthens Identity.
Youth will develop confidence, knowledge of self, an informed cultural identity, and a positive view of their future.
 
We Connect-Develops Community.
Youth will develop meaningful relationships and civic engagement as they contribute to and are recognized by an inclusive community.
Program Long-Term Success 
RAW's outcome-based evaluation program is based on the Boston Youth Arts Evaluation Project (BYAEP,www.byaep.com). Our indicators for long-term outcomes include:
 
Resiliency:
  • Adapts and learns to thrive with change, challenges and even failure
  • Is respectful of laws and/or works to change those that are unfair
  • Strives to be physically and mentally healthy
  • Engages in positive activities that brings one joy, pleasure, and captivation
Self-Efficacy and Personal FulFillment:
  •  Educational goal attainment and economic self-sufficiency
  • Job satisfaction
  • Self-actualization (the desire and efforts that lead to realizing one's capabilities)
  • Continues to take steps towards dreams
 
Community Engagement:
  • Has dependable networks;
  • Has significant relationships;
  • Involves oneself in social groups;
  • Votes, volunteers, works to create social change.
Program Success Monitored By 
RAW is committed to a creating a culture of continuous learning. Feedback from our comprehensive program evaluations is carefully reviewed and informs program design and staff development.
Youth and RAW staff specifically complete the following evaluations:
 
Student Self Evaluation-Retrospective: Youth evaluate themselves at the conclusion of the programmatic year. 

Program Evaluation
: In May or June, youth evaluate the programs in which they have been involved.

Artistic Response: Youth respond to what they feel has changed due to their experience here by creating a type of “before and after” drawing.

Teacher Evaluation: Teachers evaluate the youth throughout the program year through detailed session notes and clinical supervision. Any issues are identified and addressed as they arise.

Alumni Evaluation
: Graduates fill out an extensive survey on-line or in hard-copy form. 
 
Examples of Program Success 
In all of RAW's groups, kids learn the basic art principles of color, form, line and pattern, as well as how to be a part of a group, a good friend and resolve conflicts.
 
Quotes from elementary age youth in their year-end evaluations include: 
  • "Since RAW, I changed in my grades. I changed in my school. I changed in my house. I changed in  my art. I changed in my listening."
  • "Since joining RAW my attitude towards things improved and my self-esteem kind of went up. I am more confidence in the things I do!"
2014-2015 evaluation results include:
  • 90% agree, "they have improved as an artist and feel proud of their contributions in RAW."
  • 87% agree, that "because of RAW, they can better express their ideas and feelings."
  • 82% agree, that "RAW has helped build their confidence."
  • 91% agree, that "through RAW, they have learned how art can be used to make a positive change in their community/world."

High School Programs

High School Age Groups (14-18 Years Old-Approximately 181 Youth Served):

During the high school years, youth experience great pleasure in being bold and taking risks. At the same time, it is common for their emotions to outweigh rationality. Many misperceive the long-term consequences of skipping school, driving fast, or taking drugs. This is especially true for those youth who are "stressed" because of the extreme demands placed on them due to poverty, trauma, and/or challenging family circumstances. The arts provide a healthy alternative. Because of the increase in risks during high school, our programming for teens is the most comprehensive. Our high school youth can participate in visual and expressive art, portfolio development, printmaking, digital filmmaking, and spoken word groups. High school youth can also participate in workforce readiness, college access, and career exploration programming.

 
Budget  --
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years) At-Risk Populations Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Program Short-Term Success 

RAW's outcome-based evaluation program is based on the Boston Youth Arts Evaluation Project (BYAEP, www.byaep.com). Our indicators for short-term outcomes include:

I Create-Builds Artistic, Problem Solving, and Expressive Skills. Youth will develop skills in artistic engagement, problem solving, critical thinking and expression.

I Am-Strengthens Identity.

Youth will develop confidence, knowledge of self, an informed cultural identity, and a positive view of their future.

We Connect-Develops Community.

Youth will develop meaningful relationships and civic engagement as they contribute to and are recognized by an inclusive community.

Program Long-Term Success 

RAW's outcome-based evaluation program is based on the Boston Youth Arts Evaluation Project (BYAEP,www.byaep.com). Our indicators for long-term outcomes include:

Resiliency:

  • Adapts and learns to thrive with change, challenges and even failure
  • Is respectful of laws and/or works to change those that are unfair
  • Strives to be physically and mentally healthy
  • Engages in positive activities that brings one joy, pleasure, and captivation

Self-Efficacy and Personal FulFillment:

  • Educational goal attainment and economic self-sufficiency
  • Job satisfaction
  • Self-actualization (the desire and efforts that lead to realizing one's capabilities)
  • Continues to take steps towards dreams

Community Engagement:

  • Has dependable networks;
  • Has significant relationships;
  • Involves oneself in social groups;
  • Votes, volunteers, works to create social change.
Program Success Monitored By 

RAW is committed to a creating a culture of continuous learning. Feedback from our comprehensive program evaluations is carefully reviewed and informs program design and staff development.

Youth and RAW staff specifically complete the following evaluations:

Student Self Evaluation-Retrospective: Youth evaluate themselves at the conclusion of the programmatic year.


Program Evaluation
: In May or June, youth evaluate the programs in which they have been involved.


Artistic Response: Youth respond to what they feel has changed due to their experience here by creating a type of “before and after” drawing.


Teacher Evaluation: Teachers evaluate the youth throughout the program year through detailed session notes and clinical supervision. Any issues are identified and addressed as they arise.


Alumni Evaluation
: Graduates fill out an extensive survey on-line or in hard-copy form.

Examples of Program Success 

In all of RAW's groups, kids learn the basic art principles of color, form, line and pattern, as well as how to be a part of a group, a good friend and resolve conflicts.

2014-2015 evaluation results include:

  • 90% agree, "they have improved as an artist and feel proud of their contributions in RAW."
  • 87% agree, that "because of RAW, they can better express their ideas and feelings."
  • 82% agree, that "RAW has helped build their confidence."
  • 91% agree, that "through RAW, they have learned how art can be used to make a positive change in their community/world."

Middle School Programs

Middle School Age Groups (11-14 Years Old-Approximately 120 Youth Served):

Middle school is a time where youth are exploring their identity. Youth may feel pressured by expectations from their families, or due to cultural factors, to assume a specific identity that does not fit their own view of themselves, this can create a lot of confusion and unhappiness. Social pressures such as bullying, the desire to “fit it,” and increasing academic expectations can have a long-term impact on a child’s life. At RAW youth learn to respect themselves, respect their cultures, and respect others, and thus, youth are able to make healthier choices. RAW reminds pre-teens that their creative expression, their education, and their empowerment is invaluable. Youth of this age can participate in visual art groups, such as Adventures in Fine Arts, Art 4 Girlz, or Boyz Lync as well as printmaking, digital filmmaking, and spoken word groups.

 
Budget  --
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other
Population Served At-Risk Populations K-12 (5-19 years) Minorities
Program Short-Term Success 

RAW's outcome-based evaluation program is based on the Boston Youth Arts Evaluation Project (BYAEP, www.byaep.com). Our indicators for short-term outcomes include:

I Create-Builds Artistic, Problem Solving, and Expressive Skills. Youth will develop skills in artistic engagement, problem solving, critical thinking and expression.

I Am-Strengthens Identity.

Youth will develop confidence, knowledge of self, an informed cultural identity, and a positive view of their future.

We Connect-Develops Community.

Youth will develop meaningful relationships and civic engagement as they contribute to and are recognized by an inclusive community.

Program Long-Term Success 

RAW's outcome-based evaluation program is based on the Boston Youth Arts Evaluation Project (BYAEP,www.byaep.com). Our indicators for long-term outcomes include:

Resiliency:

  • Adapts and learns to thrive with change, challenges and even failure
  • Is respectful of laws and/or works to change those that are unfair
  • Strives to be physically and mentally healthy
  • Engages in positive activities that brings one joy, pleasure, and captivation

Self-Efficacy and Personal FulFillment:

  • Educational goal attainment and economic self-sufficiency
  • Job satisfaction
  • Self-actualization (the desire and efforts that lead to realizing one's capabilities)
  • Continues to take steps towards dreams

Community Engagement:

  • Has dependable networks;
  • Has significant relationships;
  • Involves oneself in social groups;
  • Votes, volunteers, works to create social change.
Program Success Monitored By 

RAW is committed to a creating a culture of continuous learning. Feedback from our comprehensive program evaluations is carefully reviewed and informs program design and staff development.

Youth and RAW staff specifically complete the following evaluations:

Student Self Evaluation-Retrospective: Youth evaluate themselves at the conclusion of the programmatic year.


Program Evaluation
: In May or June, youth evaluate the programs in which they have been involved.


Artistic Response: Youth respond to what they feel has changed due to their experience here by creating a type of “before and after” drawing.


Teacher Evaluation: Teachers evaluate the youth throughout the program year through detailed session notes and clinical supervision. Any issues are identified and addressed as they arise.


Alumni Evaluation
: Graduates fill out an extensive survey on-line or in hard-copy form.

Examples of Program Success 

In all of RAW's groups, kids learn the basic art principles of color, form, line and pattern, as well as how to be a part of a group, a good friend and resolve conflicts.

2014-2015 evaluation results include:
  • 90% agree, "they have improved as an artist and feel proud of their contributions in RAW."
  • 87% agree, that "because of RAW, they can better express their ideas and feelings."
  • 82% agree, that "RAW has helped build their confidence."
  • 91% agree, that "through RAW, they have learned how art can be used to make a positive change in their community/world."

Project Launch

Project Launch:

Project Launch is our goal-oriented college access and career readiness program for high school students. Through 1:1 mentoring matches, as well as workshops and staff office hours, RAW is building post-secondary life skills. In a city where only 75% of the 2015 seniors graduated high school in four years RAW is changing the trends, this past year, 100% of our youth graduated high school. In addition, 68% of our seniors went on to attend a 4-year college, while only 37% of the general Lynn school district’s seniors went on to attend a 4-year college. Additionally, 20% of our youth went on to a two-year college or were enrolled in a professional development program that earned college credit. The remaining 12% either deferred or chose not to pursue college matriculation and went directly into the workforce. Project Launch staff continues to assist recent alumni by making weekly phone calls, holding meetings on local campuses, and generally acting as a source of support.
Budget  --
Category  Education, General/Other Afterschool Enrichment
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years) College Aged (18-26 years) Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Program Short-Term Success 

RAW's outcome-based evaluation program is based on the Boston Youth Arts Evaluation Project (BYAEP, www.byaep.com). Our indicators for short-term outcomes include:

I Create-Builds Artistic, Problem Solving, and Expressive Skills. Youth will develop skills in artistic engagement, problem solving, critical thinking and expression.

I Am-Strengthens Identity.

Youth will develop confidence, knowledge of self, an informed cultural identity, and a positive view of their future.

We Connect-Develops Community.

Youth will develop meaningful relationships and civic engagement as they contribute to and are recognized by an inclusive community.

Program Long-Term Success 

RAW's outcome-based evaluation program is based on the Boston Youth Arts Evaluation Project (BYAEP,www.byaep.com). Our indicators for long-term outcomes include:

Resiliency:

  • Adapts and learns to thrive with change, challenges and even failure
  • Is respectful of laws and/or works to change those that are unfair
  • Strives to be physically and mentally healthy
  • Engages in positive activities that brings one joy, pleasure, and captivation

Self-Efficacy and Personal FulFillment:

  • Educational goal attainment and economic self-sufficiency
  • Job satisfaction
  • Self-actualization (the desire and efforts that lead to realizing one's capabilities)
  • Continues to take steps towards dreams

Community Engagement:

  • Has dependable networks;
  • Has significant relationships;
  • Involves oneself in social groups;
  • Votes, volunteers, works to create social change.
Program Success Monitored By 

RAW is committed to a creating a culture of continuous learning. Feedback from our comprehensive program evaluations is carefully reviewed and informs program design and staff development.

Youth and RAW staff specifically complete the following evaluations:

Student Self Evaluation-Retrospective: Youth evaluate themselves at the conclusion of the programmatic year.


Program Evaluation
: In May or June, youth evaluate the programs in which they have been involved.


Artistic Response: Youth respond to what they feel has changed due to their experience here by creating a type of “before and after” drawing.


Teacher Evaluation: Teachers evaluate the youth throughout the program year through detailed session notes and clinical supervision. Any issues are identified and addressed as they arise.


Alumni Evaluation
: Graduates fill out an extensive survey on-line or in hard-copy form.

Examples of Program Success 

2014-2015 Project Launch specific evaluation results include:

  •  This past year, 100% of our youth graduated high school. 88% went on to a college or enrolled in a professional development program that earned college credit. 12% went into the workforce. 

Our results this past year also indicated that our model produces changes in the attitudes and confidence of our youth through the development of post-secondary skills:

Before being involved with Project Launch: 

  • 56% were overwhelmed thinking about next steps after high school
  • 33% did not think positively about their future
  • 11% did not plan to go to college

By being involved in Project Launch:

  • 89% felt more positive about their future.
  • 67% were better able to plan for their future.
  • 67% were able to see other options for their future.

Talent and Purpose

Talent and Purpose: 

Talent and Purpose (TAP), our workforce readiness jobs program, helps high school-aged youth build workforce skills through paid employment opportunities at RAW. To expose youth to an accurate representation of the job market, TAP includes job descriptions, formal interviews, goals, performance evaluation, a pay scale, and training manuals/sessions. Our TAP programs include two single-gender public art groups, (Women Art Muralists and Good to Go) as well as RAW Chiefs, a leadership development group that supports our elementary and middle school groups with teen mentors, among other paid work opportunities.

 
Budget  --
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years) Unemployed, Underemployed, Dislocated Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Program Short-Term Success 

RAW's outcome-based evaluation program is based on the Boston Youth Arts Evaluation Project (BYAEP, www.byaep.com). Our indicators for short-term outcomes include:

I Create-Builds Artistic, Problem Solving, and Expressive Skills. Youth will develop skills in artistic engagement, problem solving, critical thinking and expression.

I Am-Strengthens Identity.

Youth will develop confidence, knowledge of self, an informed cultural identity, and a positive view of their future.

We Connect-Develops Community.

Youth will develop meaningful relationships and civic engagement as they contribute to and are recognized by an inclusive community.

Program Long-Term Success 

RAW's outcome-based evaluation program is based on the Boston Youth Arts Evaluation Project (BYAEP,www.byaep.com). Our indicators for long-term outcomes include:

Resiliency:

  • Adapts and learns to thrive with change, challenges and even failure
  • Is respectful of laws and/or works to change those that are unfair
  • Strives to be physically and mentally healthy
  • Engages in positive activities that brings one joy, pleasure, and captivation

Self-Efficacy and Personal FulFillment:

  • Educational goal attainment and economic self-sufficiency
  • Job satisfaction
  • Self-actualization (the desire and efforts that lead to realizing one's capabilities)
  • Continues to take steps towards dreams

Community Engagement:

  • Has dependable networks;
  • Has significant relationships;
  • Involves oneself in social groups;
  • Votes, volunteers, works to create social change.
Program Success Monitored By 

RAW is committed to a creating a culture of continuous learning. Feedback from our comprehensive program evaluations is carefully reviewed and informs program design and staff development.

Youth and RAW staff specifically complete the following evaluations:

Student Self Evaluation-Retrospective: Youth evaluate themselves at the conclusion of the programmatic year.


Program Evaluation
: In May or June, youth evaluate the programs in which they have been involved.


Artistic Response: Youth respond to what they feel has changed due to their experience here by creating a type of “before and after” drawing.


Teacher Evaluation: Teachers evaluate the youth throughout the program year through detailed session notes and clinical supervision. Any issues are identified and addressed as they arise.


Alumni Evaluation
: Graduates fill out an extensive survey on-line or in hard-copy form.

Talent and Purpose Evaluation: Student employees are assessed in accordance with job expectations through formal staff evaluations.
Examples of Program Success 

In all of RAW's groups, kids learn the basic art principles of color, form, line and pattern, as well as how to be a part of a group, a good friend and resolve conflicts.

Quotes from elementary age youth in their year-end evaluations include:

  • "Since RAW, I changed in my grades. I changed in my school. I changed in my house. I changed in my art. I changed in my listening."
  • "Since joining RAW my attitude towards things improved and my self-esteem kind of went up. I am more confidence in the things I do!"

2014-2015 evaluation results include:

  • 90% agree, "they have improved as an artist and feel proud of their contributions in RAW."
  • 87% agree, that "because of RAW, they can better express their ideas and feelings."
  • 82% agree, that "RAW has helped build their confidence."
  • 91% agree, that "through RAW, they have learned how art can be used to make a positive change in their community/world."

2014-2015 Talent and Purpose evaluation results include:

· 83% feel they can better communicate with coworkers and other people

· 87% feel they are better able to work as a team


CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Please consider helping to insure RAW's future.  You may give an unrestricted gift, or choose to focus your impact, such as designating a gift toward our college access or career exploration programming.  Please also consider whether this is the right time for you to include RAW in your estate planning. Your planned gift can fuel the impact that RAW makes in perpetuity, and be part of your own generous legacy.  AND thank you SO MUCH for your interest in RAW and for your support of our kids and our mission.

Management


CEO/Executive Director Ms. Katherine "Kit" Jenkins
CEO Term Start Feb 1988
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience

Kit Jenkins, M.A. – Executive Director (1989): Kit has successfully led two major capital campaigns for RAW while also responsible for fiscal management of the organization, operations, and the coordination all annual fundraising efforts, with a focus on individual giving. Kit oversaw RAW’s Believing is Building Capital Campaign, which raised over $1.2 million to complete the purchase and renovation of RAW’s four-story building. She has also led our 25th Anniversary Expansion Campaign, with the goal of $2 million to expand RAW’s footprint, and fuel program innovation by seeding a restricted reserve fund. Kit has over 20 years of experience working with teens and children as an art therapist, and has a background in photography, dance, and drama. Kit has been active in regional, national and international professional organizations, serving in a variety of leadership roles. She also teaches at Lesley University.

Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Mr. Jason Cruz Clinical Supervisor --
Ms. Mary Flannery Founder

Mary Flannery, M.A. – Founder (1988): Mary graduated with her masters in Expressive Art Therapy from Lesley College in 1984. After graduation she spent eight years working with mentally ill adults at Danvers State Hospital, where she came to understand the importance of art for those who are struggling to be seen and heard. Having seen the power of creating and exhibiting artwork that allowed an extremely marginalized group of people to tell their own stories, Mary decided to focus on adolescents and founded Raw Art Works in 1988 when RAW won a contract with the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services to design and implement the first statewide art therapy program for incarcerated youth. In 1994 she and her dedicated team of art therapists opened RAW Space in Central Square, Lynn, so that kids would not have to commit crimes in order to find a place to belong. Mary has been a consistent mentor and guide to hundreds of teens, welcoming them to RAW in their first weeks of high school, celebrating with them at their graduations and helping them find their place in the world beyond.

Ms. Shelby Morrison Director of Operations --
Ms. Kathe Swaback Program Director

Käthe Swaback, M.A. – Program Director (1994): Käthe Swaback is a visual artist, art therapist, and arts administrator with a B.A. in art studio (University of California, Davis) and an M.A. in expressive therapy (Lesley University). Kathe joined the core team of Raw Art Works to develop RAW Space in 1994. Over the past 20+ years, she has helped engage thousands of youth with the mission "to ignite the desire to create and the confidence to succeed" and helped RAW become recognized as one of the top ten youth arts programs in the country (in 2000). From 2008-12 she led the Boston Youth Arts Evaluation Project which culminated in the publication of the BYAEP Handbook and Workbook and statewide recognition for Excellence in Collaboration awarded by the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network. As program director, Kathe oversees RAW's full continuum of 50+ programs (for youth aged 7-19), supervises 10 staff members, and works directly with teens as the leader of CORE, a program for teens developing portfolios for careers, scholarships, and college admissions. Swaback is an eager and engaged National Guild for Community Arts Education member and was recently elected as the Ambassador of Boston. Over the past three years has been proud alum of CAELI and is active in the Creative Youth Development Advisory Group, helping to inform agendas for the Guild and the youth arts field. She has presented at Guild conferences on the topics of “What You Need to Know to Serve Teens Well” and “Engaging Adolescents: The Adolescent’s Journey” as well as locally at places such as Harvard, Lesley University, and through the Participation Learning Network in Boston. This past year she has engaged youth arts organizations in hosting individual and collective Creative Youth Development meetings while also actively partnering with the Massachusetts Cultural Council to strategize about the local and national agenda for Creative Youth Development.

Awards

Award Awarding Organization Year
Above and Beyond Award for Excellence Essex County Community Foundation 2015
Ambassador National Guild for Community Arts Education 2015
Creative Catalyst Adobe 2015
Community Advocacy Award Eastern Bank 2014
Excellence in Leadership Massachusetts Nonprofit Network 2013
Gold Star Designation for RAW's Real 2 Reel Film School Massachusetts Cultural Council 2006
Neighborhood Excellence Award Bank of America 2005
Coming Up Taller Award Presidents' Committee on the Arts & Humanities 2000

Affiliations

Affiliation Year
Americans for the Arts --
Chamber of Commerce --
National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts - Member --
United Way Member Agency --
Member of state association of nonprofits? Yes
Name of state association Massachusetts Nonprofit Network

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --

Collaborations

Collaboration is at the heart of RAW’s efforts. To offer comprehensive opportunities to RAW youth, we are committed to collaboration.

RAW has always contributed to the artistic and cultural vitality of downtown Lynn. Not only do our exhibits and film screenings add to the burgeoning cultural scene, our public art teams enliven and revitalize the city. We have developed connections with organizations such as the North Shore Navigators and the City of Lynn through our projects. RAW has also worked with local nonprofits such as the Food Project, Girls Inc., La Vida, and many others.

To serve our youth in their post-secondary lives, we have also cultivated relationships with colleges and professional training programs. Lesley University, Year Up, Bunker Hill and North Shore Community Colleges, and Emerson College represent a handful of our partnerships.

We provide school-based services, receive referrals, and provide support within the Lynn Public Schools. We are also in constant contact with guidance counselors, teachers, and administrators to meet the needs of both the schools and individual students. We receive referrals from institutions such as the Department of Children and Families. If necessary, we refer youth to organizations such as Eliot Community Human Services.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

From a single room studio making art with 16 Lynn teens, RAW has grown dramatically. We are now a seasoned organization with a strong professional staff that includes master’s-level art therapists, award-winning teaching/working artists, and an experienced administrative team. RAW’s staff is anchored by a core team—our Founder, Executive Director, Program Director and Clinical Supervisor—who have been working together for over 20 years. With the completion of our 25th Anniversary Expansion Campaign last spring, we served 16.2% more youth in FY15. This year (2014-2015), we will reach 560+ youth and alumni and will employ 38+ of these youth through our paid jobs program, Talent and Purpose (TAP). RAW has 14 full-time employees and 13 part-time. We have a 14-member Board of Directors, which includes two RAW alumni. The Board recently approved its first $2MM budget. RAW’s volunteer base includes 70+ individuals. As many as 35 individuals volunteer as year-long youth mentors with our college access and career exploration program, Project Launch.

Foundation Comments

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Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 14
Number of Part Time Staff 53
Number of Volunteers 70
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % 93%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 5
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 6
Caucasian: 30
Hispanic/Latino: 25
Native American/American Indian: 1
Other: 0
Other (if specified): Mixed Race
Gender Female: 43
Male: 24
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 2
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes
State Registration Yes

Risk Management Provisions

--

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually

Governance


Board Chair Mr. Bruce Herring
Board Chair Company Affiliation Fidelity Management & Research
Board Chair Term July 2015 - June 2017
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Mr. Jason Baletsa Suffolk University Voting
Ms. Pamela Bynum PHT Corporation Voting
Ms. Yesenia deLeon Fidelity Investments Voting
Mr. Matt Ecclesiastre Journal of Visual Experiments Voting
Ms. Mary Flannery Founder, Raw Art Works NonVoting
Mr. Bruce Herring Fidelity Investments Voting
Ms. Kit Jenkins Executive Director, Raw Art Works NonVoting
Mr. Moe Kelley Altman, Vilandrie & Co Voting
Ms. Kathleen Quigley Community Volunteer Voting
Mr. Mario Ricciardelli Ricciardelli Capital Voting
Ms. Bobbye Lou Sims Community Volunteer Voting
Mr. Scott Sullivan Piper Jaffray Voting
Ms. Erin Van Otterloo Van Otterloo Family Foundation Voting
Mr. Laurence Wong Altman Vilandrie & Company Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 11
Hispanic/Latino: 1
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 2
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 7
Male: 7
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits 3
Board Meeting Attendance % 85%
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No

Standing Committees

  • --
  • Audit
  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Finance
  • Special Events (Golf Tournament, Walk / Run, Silent Auction, Dinner / Gala)

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

My name is Bruce Herring and I am the Board Chair of Raw Art Works (RAW). I have been involved with RAW for the past seven years, serving on the board for the past six. I have always believed that if you can influence the life of a child, you can create positive long-term change that can have profound impact for years to come. This is what RAW does.

Initially, I didn’t truly understand the power that RAW has to transform kid’s lives. However, I experienced it first hand when I sat in on one of RAW’s groups -”Men to Be”- run by RAW’s Clinical Supervisor, Jason Cruz. This group of young men meet weekly to create art and to talk. Here, I learned what RAW means to these kids. It is home, safety, and family. It is a place where they can be honest, real, and speak from the heart without ridicule or laughter. In this session, we created art that reflected the challenges in our lives and then talked about them. I learned about loneliness, fear, anxiety, gang life, and in one case, hopelessness. I watched how Jason and the boys worked through issues and comforted those who needed it. Not only did we create art, but I witnessed how RAW touches kids’ hearts. It changed my connection with RAW forever.

RAW has had a very successful handful of years. We recently celebrated the remarkable milestone of our 25th year in service. We launched and successfully completed a $2 million capital campaign designed to extend our contact with children and meaningfully widen our programming. In addition to visual arts, we added the written word as one of the ways RAW kids can explore who they are and develop trusting relationships with adults. We also invested heavily in Project Launch, our college bound program for high school juniors and seniors. Supporting our kids today and investing in them for the future has always been a core value at RAW and this will enable us to help them get to the next phase of life post-RAW. We have a strong board of committed volunteers who ensure that we stay focused on our mission while bringing a breadth of knowledge and experience to our governance. They are advocates for us in the community and along with our strong staff, allow us to feel well prepared to handle the road that lies ahead.

Like many charities our size, fundraising is an ongoing challenge. Most of our funding comes from annual gifts and grants, many of which are not recurring. We have a dedicated group of long-time foundation, government, and individual supporters, but need to continually work to identify and nurture new sources of funding to create a broader base of support. As RAW embarks on the next 25 years of its investment in underserved kids, we will continue invite investors to consider the deep impact that their dollars can make both in the moment, and in the future of this organization.

RAW is truly a unique institution that transforms kids’ lives on a daily basis. The payback from an investment in RAW is tangible and meaningful. Thank you for considering partnering with RAW, as we passionately pursue our mission to “ignite the desire to create and the confidence to succeed” in our youth.

Foundation Comments

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Financials


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Fiscal Year July 01, 2015 to June 30, 2016
Projected Income $2,097,506.00
Projected Expense $2,026,305.00
Form 990s

2015 990

2014 990

2013 990

2012 990

2011 990

2010 990

2009 990

2008 990

Audit Documents

2015 FY15 Audit

2014 FY14 Audit

2013 FY13 Audit

2012 FY 12 Audit

2011 FY11 Audit

2010 FY10 Audit

2009 FY09 Audit

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Total Revenue $2,114,196 $2,801,184 $1,549,640
Total Expenses $2,016,572 $1,706,864 $1,477,418

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- $410,879
Government Contributions $95,868 $74,902 $74,670
    Federal -- -- $38,000
    State -- -- $36,670
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified $95,868 $74,902 --
Individual Contributions $1,537,562 $2,276,065 $832,778
Indirect Public Support $54,368 $53,723 --
Earned Revenue $193,113 $203,282 $60,410
Investment Income, Net of Losses $858 $600 --
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events $232,427 $192,612 $165,298
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other -- -- $5,605

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Program Expense $1,370,100 $1,137,432 $962,110
Administration Expense $279,218 $258,919 $215,702
Fundraising Expense $367,254 $310,513 $299,606
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.05 1.64 1.05
Program Expense/Total Expenses 68% 67% 65%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 19% 12% 20%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Total Assets $3,008,500 $2,857,789 $1,764,878
Current Assets $1,689,341 $1,815,004 $815,551
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $166,623 $113,536 $114,945
Total Net Assets $2,841,877 $2,744,253 $1,649,933

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy N/A
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line Yes
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? 3.00

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 10.14 15.99 7.10

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

For nearly three decades, RAW has proven that it can manage continued and sustainable growth in its service to youth and the Lynn community. Our 25th Anniversary Campaign has built our foundation for the next 25 years and beyond. The campaign has reinforced our financial stability by enlivening our base of major donors, igniting our community resources, as well as expanding foundation and corporate partnerships. We are poised and ready to look into the future and to continue to strategically grow all sources of revenue. Our operating budget in FY16 represented a major achievement for our organization. We passed our first $2MM budget. This milestone campaign and budget represents the steady growth of our impact and the position of strength we find ourselves in today.

Each year, we submit approximately 120 proposals, and receive between 50-60 grants ranging in size from $3,000 to $60,000. The average size grant is $15,000. Some of the institutional supporters include Adobe, Surdna Foundation, The Massachusetts Cultural Council, The National Endowment for the Arts, Hearst Foundations, Cummings Foundation, Yawkey Foundation as well as many family and other private foundations. Projections for this year’s revenue by source are as follows: Foundations 36%; Corporate 7%; Government 2%; Contributions and Misc. 31%; Program Service Fees 9%.

Through FY19, a portion of the funds raised during RAW's 25th Anniversary Campaign will be released to cover program costs. This year, we project that the release of these reserves will amount to 15% of our revenue.

As we look to the future, we continue to push the boundaries of what we can provide to our kids to ensure that they are supported on their individual paths to independence. We are determined to sustain our growth and quality as we move ahead.

Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above is per the organization's IRS Form 990 for FY15 and FY14, and per the audited financials for FY13.
 
Please note, "Other" for fiscal year 2012 includes capital grant revenue. 

Documents


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.

Impact

The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.


1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

Raw Art Works (RAW) believes that ALL kids should be SEEN and HEARD. RAW’s mission is to ignite the desire to create and the confidence to succeed in underserved youth. Using art therapy techniques, we offer alternative opportunities for development, learning, and success. RAW supports youth as they form their identity, discover their strengths, embrace their cultural heritage, and build community as they transition to adulthood.

Our target population consists of youth ages 7-19 in and around Lynn. For example, this past year 70% of the young people served at RAW were Hispanic, Asian, African American, or Mixed Race. 52% spoke English as a second language and 34% had an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or a formal mental health diagnosis. Additionally, 81% of our youth were from low-income to extremely low-income families.

Our theory of change is backed by 15 years of consistently collected data. When youth participate in high-quality arts programs such as RAW’s, they will develop specific skills and competencies, which lead to successive levels of short-term, intermediate, and long-term outcomes. Together, we believe these constitute life success. These outcomes described below.

Short-term Outcomes: Youth who participate in at least one year of RAW’s programming will develop artistic, problem solving, and expressive skills as well as form a stronger sense of identity and community. During the program year, we monitor our effectiveness and impact through our evaluative surveys. We perform comprehensive self-evaluations and program-evaluations. These ask question such as “Do they feel as though RAW has helped to improve their artistic skills?” and “Do they feel as though RAW has helped them increased the effort they have put into their education?” Our advanced film students also self-assess and receive feedback on metrics associated with the National Core Arts Standards.

Intermediate Outcomes: Intermediate outcomes are linked to our most recent alumni. These individuals graduated from RAW 1-4 years ago and have participated in Project Launch. We expect recent alumni to demonstrate dedication in school/employment, strive for achievement and progress in their goals, to navigate post-secondary life, and to make connections with others. Some of the metrics we evaluate include alumni’s post-secondary life and education trajectory, whether they feel RAW has contributed to their current ability to work well in a team, and their ability to cope with stress.

Long-term Outcomes: Long-term outcomes are associated with alumni who graduated RAW from 5+ years ago and have participated in Project Launch. We expect alumni to embody resiliency, self-efficacy, personal fulfillment, and community engagement. To measure our long-term outcomes we track a variety of metrics including college graduation rate, financial stability, and job satisfaction.

We measure these outcomes through a variety of tools such as staff reports, and evaluative surveys. Our framework and system of evaluation is derived from the Boston Youth Arts Evaluation Project (BYAEP). From 2008-2012 we led the BYAEP with four other organizations and developed a common framework and theory of change for the Creative Youth Development (CYD) sector. This initiative was informed by collaborations with top researchers and evaluators as well as through the investigation of other model CYD organizations across the country, best practices, social service models, and high-quality arts organizations. The aspects that the BYAEP evaluates closely align with the key three ingredients—a positive climate, access to opportunities, and the development of connections—that the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine states are essential for the success of high-quality youth development programs. The BYAEP informs our curriculum and drives annual and quarterly goal setting.


2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

In combination with our short-term, intermediate and long-term goals for our youth, we are guided by the five organizational goals outlined our strategic plan—excellence in programming; sustained financial strength; the development and retention of a creative, inspired, and satisfied staff; expanding college and career success for RAW kids; and deepening our community and field leadership. Our strategic plan ensures that we deliver quality programming to our youth. To help our kids succeed, we have adopted an approach that merges art, therapy, and committed staff members.

RAW nurtures our youth by providing consistency throughout childhood, adolescence, and into early adulthood. Our continuum of after-school groups (including afternoon, evening, and weekend programming) allows us to continually challenge and support youth through all of their developmental stages. Very few organizations serving low-income at-risk kids provide this kind of stability. RAW also provides a 12:1 ratio of teens to adults, and 6:1 for middle and elementary school youth, we offer youth a community of adults and peers who can support them for years. Our teaching artists and art therapists are committed. Whether staff are helping a child with trauma history learn to trust or are simply assisting a child with a problem at school, each takes the time to connect individually. We believe that our success is due in part to our adoption of five principles for effective mentoring relationships—the ability to be relational, reliable, relevant, real and respectful, and rewarding. Our methods are derived from Dr. Bruce Perry’s components of high-quality therapeutic relationships and from the American Psychological Association’s mentoring principles. We believe it is a testament to our model that in our 2014-2015 program year, 92% of youth agree or strongly agree that through RAW, they have gained trusting relationships with the staff.

Our unique use of art therapy techniques and our employment of master’s level art therapists and teaching artists helps us to use the arts as a powerful medium to engage youth. Each staff member exhibits the undeniable ability to ignite a child’s creativity. Our staff addresses issues that regularly arise in the lives of kids living in a community riddled with poverty and violence. The art therapy practiced at RAW uses art media, the creative process, and the resulting artwork as a means for youth to develop social, emotional, and life skills. Youth strengthen their identity and to connect with others in the community.

From the moment youth walk into RAW, they are welcomed into an inclusive environment. Each session begins with a “check-in.” This routine provides a chance for each participant to answer the question of the day and share about their week. Staff and peers give them complete attention and support. Studio time consists of warm-up activities such as “rate your day” and “stand up if.” These activities help kids get to know each other, form new friendships, develop trust over time, and build a cohesive and supportive group. Group leaders then share artistic examples from teaching and visiting artists to prime the group for their current project.

The art our youth creates allows staff to start a conversation that helps define the challenges a young person may be facing. This enables our staff to strengthen their therapeutic relationships, help youth to set life goals, and connect youth and their families with other resources in the community. RAW coordinates with each child’s parents, teachers, caseworkers, and others as necessary. On a weekly basis, RAW also provides clinical supervision to staff, enabling us to support crisis or clinical interventions as necessary, and to monitor progress toward treatment goals.


3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?

Over the past 28 years, RAW has become a household name in our community, and we have also earned a place of distinction in the field of Community Youth Development (CYD). With a staff of 27 (and 38+ youth employees), not only do we provide high-quality art therapy-based programming to underserved youth, but we also work to advance the field of CYD. For nearly three decades, we have refined our model, built evidence for its effectiveness, and established RAW as community resource. Our work is rooted in research and evidence-based practices, yet we have a flexible approach to working with our youth and recognize the need to tailor solutions to reflect the individual. We are committed to our youth and push for innovation in the CYD community. We are a trusted partner and are seen as a leader in the CYD field.

As for our internal resources, RAW prides itself in its professional staff that includes master’s-level art therapists, award-winning teaching/working artists, and an experienced administrative team. With decades of deep, community-based experience in Lynn, most senior program staff have been working shoulder-to-shoulder in the community for over ten years. This consistency in staffing keeps our youth coming back. Over the past 28 years, we have built a unique program model, a continuum of after-school groups serving youth through childhood into adolescence and beyond. With this continuum, we are able to connect with youth in elementary and middle school and build relationships with them through high school and into adulthood. Other internal resources include our reporting process in which we use our quarterly reports to monitor our progress and effectiveness against our strategic plan. We also utilize qualitative and quantitative evaluation methods in order to manage the needs as well as the short-term, intermediate, and long-term outcomes of our youth.

Our external strengths stem from the partnerships and collaborations that we have forged. RAW's connections in Lynn and throughout the regional mental health, arts, and higher education community are deep and impactful. Our staff regularly engages with others to achieve the best results for youth. Most notably, we have specifically focused our efforts on strengthening collaborations with schools that serve the most vulnerable youth in Lynn, with the goal of reaching and recruiting more of the at-risk teen population in the city. Through this partnership, RAW provides school-based services, receives referrals, and provides support for educators and guidance counselors within the Lynn Public Schools.

Although our programming is offered “first-come, first-served” basis, RAW does respond to referrals of high-risk youth from the Department of Children and Families and the Department of Youth Services. We also coordinate services with Family and Children's Service of Greater Lynn, Eliot Community Human Services/Mobile Crisis Intervention Program, NSMC Union Hospital, and Salem Hospital.

Throughout our history, we have collaborated with a variety of individual artists as well as organizations. Past and current partnerships include the City of Lynn, Emerson College, the Boys and Girls Club of Lynn, Girl’s Inc., the Peabody Museum of Art, the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, the Food Project, Year Up, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and Salem State University.


4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?

Annually, with the overarching objective of driving our organization forward, staff work to assemble actionable objectives and tasks that relate to the goals outline in our strategic plan. Our mission and strategic plan drive this planning and budgeting process. To monitor our progress against these goals,  staff members report on their activities (program highlights, number of field trips hosted, number of grant proposals submitted) quarterly and outcomes achieved (honors awarded, projects completed, new funding sources won). RAW’s Program Director, Director of Operations, and Executive Director compile this data into a report, which is structured to track targets from our strategic plan against actual quarterly progress.

To assess youth outcomes, RAW uses a variety of vehicles. More specifically, each of our outcome areas uses the following methods to measure progress:

Short-term Outcomes are measured through annual program- and self-evaluations. These are conducted in June of each year. For our advanced students in film, they self-assess and receive feedback with indicators in accordance with the National Core Arts Standards. In addition, parent surveys are conducted annually.

Intermediate Outcomes are tracked through follow-up workshops, phone calls, and site visits during a young person’s first year post-RAW.

Long-term Outcomes are evaluated through follow-up workshops, phone calls, and site visits via RAW’s alumni network. An alumni survey is also conducted.
 
RAW is committed to a creating a culture of continuous learning. Evaluations, surveys, direct observations, reports, and discussions with staff are analyzed to help set strategic goals, curriculum, or if necessary, alter programming. RAW will assess whether specific actions need to be taken to address areas of concern.

In the past, RAW has used evaluative data to inform program improvement. For example, since 2010, supporting educational attainment has been a strategic priority for RAW. In 2010, we had just begun to implement our evaluation system derived from the BYAEP. In the first year of its use, it was noted that although our youth were thriving, they did not have positive attitudes about their schools or the likelihood of continuing their education once they graduated high school. By strategically growing Project Launch, engaging and supporting results-oriented mentors, and by emphasizing the importance of academic achievement, we have been able to improve our outcomes in this area. In FY14, 81% of youth agree or strongly agree that; "I put strong effort into my education." This shows an impressive 20% increase from 2010. Despite demonstrated growth, RAW continues to monitor our ability to support academic outcomes. We keep related questions on our annual retrospective self-evaluation.

Another instance of our commitment to continual learning and program development occurred this past year. Over the past few years, staff members have become concerned by an increase in student artwork that reveals feelings of being stuck, defeated, or powerless. In some cases, we have seen RAW youth resort to violence or self-harm. To fully understand the risks our youth face, RAW has begun to document the clinical crises and the specific social, emotional, and health-related challenges youth encounter. In addition, we have piloted a risk assessment survey with a cohort of high-school seniors. This survey will further define the many threats to our young people’s security and confidence as well as help us prepare our staff to deliver programming that truly meets the needs of our youth.


5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?

After 28 years, RAW continues to make progress in helping youth become successful adults.

Short-Term Outcomes: Select statistics outline gains in our short-term outcomes areas:

 

  • 82% agree/strongly agree that RAW has helped build their confidence
  • 90% agree/strongly agree they have improved as an artist
  • 87% agree/strongly agree that because of RAW, they can better express their ideas and feelings
  • 91% agree/strongly agree that through RAW, they have learned how art can be used to make a positive change in their community/world

 

Intermediate and Long-Term Outcomes: In a city where only 75% of the 2015 Lynn public high school seniors graduated in four years, RAW is proud that for the past eight years, 98% of our seniors have graduated and 93% have applied, were accepted into, and have attended a college.

We are also proud to share preliminary results of our ongoing alumni survey. After nearly three years of data collection and more than 100 respondents, we are beginning to see the outcomes of RAW’s programming. The average survey respondent was 23 years old. 88% are currently working, and more than half are financially supporting themselves. Results include:

 

  • 95% felt that RAW helped them cope with stress and problems
  • 94% felt that RAW helped them plan for their future
  • 91% have a checking and/or savings account
  • 91% are currently pursuing an education
  • 79% felt that RAW helped them find and keep a job

 

Our metrics clearly indicate the quality and successes of our programming; however, there is still great need and much more that RAW can accomplish. At the forefront of our goals stands continued sustainable financial growth and service to our youth. We are working to grow our base of major donors, as well as expand our foundation and corporate partners. To offer youth the most comprehensive and relevant services, we have and will continue to grow the following areas of our programming:

Project Launch: In recognition of the fact that the skills needed for adulthood are established in adolescence, we have begun to expand our college access and career exploration program, Project Launch. High school freshman and sophomores can now participate in workshops to build skills in topics such as financial literacy, interviewing, and public speaking. Our intent is to help youth to understand the significance of their daily performance in high school and learn strategies to shape their future from their freshman year onwards. Juniors and seniors continue to receive intensive hands-on support from RAW’s two college and career specialists. Rising seniors are paired with a volunteer mentor who helps them prepare to transition to college or to a job. It is clear our young people continue to face a variety of challenges after they graduate. For example, low-income first-generation students are more likely—26 vs. 7 percent—to drop out of college than students who have neither of these risk factors. Additionally, because youth are entering a job market with an unemployment rate of about 5%, youth must still compete with adults for entry-level positions. Because of these hardships, Project Launch has developed formal structures to support recent alumni.

Art of Words: As youth reach their senior year, we have found that many lack fundamental skills in writing and verbal communication. Although our youth each have a powerful story to tell, they do not have the skills to do so. These skills are core to any college essay or job interview process, as well as necessary in establishing one’s place outside of RAW. By further establishing our Art of Words (AoW) programming, a set of groups designed to ensure our youth become passionate and compelling communicators, we are hoping to build these vital skills at younger ages. Planning for this growth is currently underway, and will be contingent on identifying a funding match. In the meantime, we have allocated funds for short-term workshops.