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Raw Art Works

 37 Central Square
 Lynn, MA 01901
[P] (781) 5935515 x 203
[F] (781) 5935955
www.rawartworks.org
info@rawartworks.org
Kit Jenkins
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INCORPORATED: 1988
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 22-2854850

LAST UPDATED: 06/19/2017
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 »

  • Alumni Support-Fly
  • Elementary Age Programs
  • High School Programs
  • Middle School Programs
  • Project Launch

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

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, creating the first statewide art therapy program for incarcerated youth. To reach youth before they became incarcerated, we opened RAWSpace in 1994, deepening our impact as an intervening force in one of the state’s most challenged communities, Lynn. We created high-quality after-school and out-of-school time art therapy-based programming providing alternative opportunities for development, learning, and success. 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. Youth strengthen their identity and to connect with others in the community.

By 2006, RAW had completed a $1.2MM capital campaign to purchase and renovate its four-story building at 37 Central Square. In 2013, we reached a significant milestone. RAW celebrated our 25th anniversary by beginning a $2MM Campaign for expansion. With the culmination of our campaign in 2015, we acquired and renovated a 4,400 square-foot space adjacent to RAW. This acquisition has allowed us to decrease our waitlist, and launch new programs that support youth throughout their transition to adulthood.

Today, RAW is a nationally recognized organization and cultural anchor in Lynn that continues to provide 600 youth annually with opportunities to participate in visual and expressive arts groups, film school classes, leadership development, employment and college access/career exploration 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.


Impact Statement

We have experienced a range of accomplishments this past year, which include:

  • In this past year alone (2016/2017), we have served 600 youth and grown our continuum of core arts programming. We have added groups such as Speak Up, which focuses on creative writing and storytelling.
  • Since the start of 2013 (the beginning of our capital campaign for expansion), we have grown our programming to serve an additional 140 youth, representing a 30% increase!
  • Our 2017 seniors submitted 341 college applications and received 200 acceptances. One hundred percent of this class will graduate from high school (34 youth). Of those 34 youth, 30 are college bound, two are attending Year Up, one is attending a career training program, and one is undecided.
  • For the past two years, we have collected data regarding our young people’s exposure to risk such as extreme poverty, trauma/toxic stress during childhood, and mental health or learning challenges. This data will be used to help RAW understand its impact.

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

  1. Provide a full continuum of community-based programming in Lynn to serve 600 youth. To achieve this, 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.
  3. Sustain our financial strength through continued disciplined financial management and oversight as well as attaining and gaining new supporters.
  4. Expanding college and career success for RAW kids by continuing to invest in Project Launch to build 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, and recruit a board that is reflective of the community we serve.

 


Needs Statement

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 completion of our capital campaign, we are now responsible for over 14,000 square feet of space. We recently completed a System Replacement Plan that outlines our facilitate needs for the next 20 years. 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 30 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

We have specifically focused our efforts on strengthening reaching and recruiting more of the at-risk teen population in Lynn through collaborations with the city’s public schools. We also find that the blend of youth from diverse abilities, backgrounds, and communities create groups that are most engaging and impactful for our youth. As a result, 81% of RAW youth come from the 26 public schools in Lynn and the remainder from 24 schools in our neighboring communities such as Salem and Peabody.

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

Alumni Support-Fly

Alumni Support-Fly: 50 individuals served.

Because low-income, first-generation students are nearly four times more likely—26 vs. 7 percent—to drop out of college after the first year than students who had neither of these risk factors, our Project Launch program has developed formal structures to assist our youth. We know that to help our students continue to succeed, it is not enough to address just their academic and financial obstacles. In Fly, staff offer weekly phone calls and advising meetings on local campuses to address their doubts, misconceptions, and fears. We help them adjust, increase their resiliency, and advocate for themselves. In these times of transition and uncertainty, we remind our alumni how to build relationships and access resources just as they did at RAW.

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.

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

Examples of Program Success 


 


Elementary Age Programs

Elementary Age Groups (7-14): 356 youth served.

Elementary school youth are eager to gain specific skills, such as reading, writing, athletics, and—at RAW—artistic skills. Children at this stage build self-esteem when they win the approval of their peers and can positively contribute to group dynamics. Encouragement and positive reinforcement for young children help to build their confidence. In our elementary groups, such as RAW Energy or 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 online 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!"
2015-2016 evaluation results include:
  • 92% agree, "they have improved as an artist and feel proud of their contributions in RAW."
  • 77% agree, that "because of RAW, they can better express their ideas and feelings."
  • 84% agree, that "RAW has helped build their confidence."
  • 88% 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 Groups (Ages 14-18): 181 youth served.

As our youth enter their teenage years, they often demonstrate conflicting behavior and emotions. It is common at this stage, for emotions to outweigh rationality. Youth may misperceive the long-term outcomes of their daily choices such as skipping school, driving fast, or taking drugs. This is especially true for those youth who are further "stressed" because of the extreme demands placed on them due to poverty, trauma, and/or challenging family circumstances. The arts provide a healthy alternative.

High school youth can participate in visual and expressive art, portfolio development, printmaking, digital filmmaking groups. We also offer youth access to our college access and career exploration program, Project Launch. Through our workforce readiness program, we also help youth build skills through paid employment. RAW prepares teens for the world after graduation and providing them with communication, artistic, and leadership skills.

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 online 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 Groups (11-14): 120 youth served.

Middle school youth are just entering puberty—a time of physiological and intellectual development. These young people are beginning to form their identities. Youth may feel pressured by expectations from their families, or due to cultural factors, to assume an identity that does not fit their own view of themselves. Therefore, our programming stresses acceptance, non-judgement, and the development of one’s true authentic self. In addition, programming focuses on mindfulness, building positive self-esteem, and the development of appropriate outlets for emotions.

At RAW, youth learn to respect themselves, respect their cultures, and respect others, and thus, youth make healthier choices. RAW reminds pre-teens that their creative expression, education, and empowerment is invaluable. Youth can participate in visual art groups, such as Adventures in Fine Arts and Art 4 Girlz, as well as printmaking, filmmaking, and creative writing 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.

2015-2016 evaluation results include:
  • 92% agree, "they have improved as an artist and feel proud of their contributions in RAW."
  • 77% agree, that "because of RAW, they can better express their ideas and feelings."
  • 88% agree, that "RAW has helped build their confidence."
  • 89% 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 exploration program for high school students. Project Launch’s robust curriculum helps youth understand the significance of their performance in high school and helps them comprehend what it will take to navigate the adult world.

For freshman, sophomores, and juniors, Project Launch provides a series of life skills workshops tailored to appeal and to engage young teens. Participation in Project Launch becomes mandatory during the spring before our young people’s senior year. In addition to receiving staff support, seniors are paired with a 1:1 mentor who offer endless support/structure to help find the right path for each RAW teen. We help seniors write strong resumes and essays, as well as job, college, and scholarship applications. For teens who may not want to attend or are unable to attend college directly out of high school, Project Launch assists these individuals in finding career training 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 

2015-2016 Project Launch specific evaluation results include:

  • This past year, 100% of our youth graduated high school. 93% went on to a college. 7% enrolled in a professional development program that earned college credit.

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:

  • 68% were overwhelmed thinking about next steps after high school
  • 50% did not think positively about their future
  • 13% did not plan to go to college

By being involved in Project Launch:

  • 90% felt more positive about their future.
  • 86% I am clearer about what I want to do when I finish high school.
  • 63% were able to see other options for their future.


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 kit@rawartworks.org
CEO Experience

Since RAW’s inception in 1988, Kit has guided our growth and built RAW’s profile as one of the top creative youth development organizations in the country. As Executive Director, Kit oversees all aspects of our organization. She is responsible for the long-term and strategic planning for the organization, which includes a focus on relevant and responsive program design, and responsible financial and fundraising management. During her tenure at RAW, Kit has successfully led two major capital campaigns. Kit oversaw RAW’s Believing is Building Capital Campaign, which raised over $1.2MM to complete the purchase and renovation of RAW’s four-story building in 2005. She also led our 25th Anniversary Expansion Campaign, raising $2MM to expand RAW’s footprint and fuel program innovation. Kit has spearheaded the growth of RAW’s individual donor program, enabling expansion of annual operations and growth of youth served by 30% since 2013. In addition to ongoing stewardship and board engagement, Kit actively serves on four board committees. Kit has over 20 years of experience working with teens and children as an art therapist, as well as a background in photography, dance, and drama. Serving in a variety of leadership roles, Kit has been active in regional, national, and international professional organizations. Kit has a Master’s degree in Expressive Art Therapy from Lesley University and also teaches in the Community Arts Education program at the 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

Jason Cruz, M.A & A.T.R. – Clinical Supervisor (1996): Jason graduated from Jacksonville University specializing in studio art, photography, and film. Jason went on to earn his Master’s degree from Lesley University in Expressive Art Therapy. While at Lesley, he received the Outstanding Achievement in Graduate Studies Award given by the faculty and the student body. Jason has presented lectures and workshops on art education, behavioral issues, learning differences, race and culture, and young men’s issues at venues including the NYC Art Therapy Conference, International Art Therapy Conference, Endicott College, Harvard University, and Lesley College. In 2005, Jason received the Isaac Monroe Award for Service to Youth in recognition of his dedication to the at-risk youth of Lynn. As RAW’s Clinical Supervisor, Jason provides guidance to all program staff on the therapeutic issues that arise in their groups and plays a major role in program development. Jason also facilitates three groups at RAW and provides family outreach and crisis intervention as needed. Outside of RAW, Jason has his own art and photography business, CRUZ ART. He also serves as a youth minister at St. Stephens Episcopal Church in Lynn and is cofounder of Build a New America (BANA) Fellowship that address racial and social issues through action.

Mr. Padriac Farma Director of Real to Reel Filmschool

Padriac Farma, M.F.A.Director of Real to Reel Filmschool (2013) Padriac is a Media Artist and Educator from South Boston. He studied Film and Video at Columbia College Chicago and received a Master’s in Media Art from Emerson College. Padriac has worked on a number of television and film productions, and is currently working on Southie Boy, a personal documentary that looks at his family’s history in South Boston through the lens of desegregation busing. Padriac has worked in youth development for 14 years, teaching art, and music at the South Boston Boys and Girls Club. He has also developed an art and media-based job programs for the City of Cambridge. In addition to his role at RAW, Padriac also sits on the Leadership Committee for Boston's cultural planning initiative, Boston Creates.

Ms. Laura Menucci Project Manager

Laura Menucci, M.P.S. & A.T.R. Art Therapist and Program Manager (2007): Laura received a Bachelor’s of Arts in Studio Art from the University of Vermont and a Master’s of Professional Studies in Art Therapy and Creativity Development from Pratt Institute. Laura has been a nationally registered Art Therapist since 2006. Laura has worked as an art therapist and art teacher in residential, psychiatric, and community settings before joining RAW in 2007. Laura currently leads several groups for our youngest artists and co-leads the teen leadership development program, RAW Chiefs. As RAW’s Program Manager, Laura is also responsible for registration of youth, curriculum development, and the management of outreach efforts.

Ms. Shelby Morrison Director of Operations

Shelby Morrison – Director of Operations (2007): Shelby is a graduate of Salem State University, where she received her Bachelors of Science in Business Administration. In 2010, Shelby completed a certificate program in Nonprofit Management and Leadership from Boston University’s Questrom School of Business. In the fall of 2015, Shelby completed Harvard University’s HBX CORe program in Business Analytics, Economics, and Financial Accounting. Shelby has been an integral member of RAW’s management team over the past ten years aiding RAW through a variety roles such as Office Manager and Marketing and Communications Manager. Shelby is now charged with the management of RAW’s day-to-day and long-term financial activities and operations. She is responsible for the development and implementation of RAW’s strategic plan and works to align RAW’s strategic priorities to long-term fundraising and budget goals. Some of her achievements include enacting RAW’s first-ever operating reserve policy to ensure fiscal sustainability and accountability in financial emergency and the creation of evaluation tools to measure progress against benchmarks on bi-annual basis.

Ms. Jennifer Pieroni Director of Foundation and Corporate Relations Jennifer Pieroni – Director of Foundation and Corporate Relations (2015): Jennifer has dedicated her career to helping corporate and foundation donors make a meaningful difference in the lives of young people. Prior to joining RAW, Jennifer generated support for Emerson College, Jumpstart for Young Children, and most recently Franciscan Children’s. At RAW, she is leads a team which is responsible for raising $860K in operating support annually and with creating alignment between RAW’s mission and area grantmakers. Jennifer’s passion for RAW’s work stems from an abiding interest in the creative arts. Jennifer received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College. Her debut novella, Danceland, was published in 2014. Her fiction has appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies, including Guernica, Wigleaf, and PANK. Jennifer served for more than a decade as the founding editor of the nationally recognized literary journal, Quick Fiction.
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 Bachelor of Arts in Studio Arts (University of California, Davis) and a Master’s degree in Expressive Art Therapy (Lesley University). Käthe joined RAW’s core team to develop RAW Space in 1994. Over 22 years, Käthe has helped to refine RAW’s model, build evidence for its effectiveness, and established RAW as community and field resource. From 2008-‘12 she led the Boston Youth Arts Evaluation Project (BYAEP) which culminated in the publication of the BYAEP Handbook and Workbook. The BYAEP won statewide recognition for Excellence in Collaboration from the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network. Käthe is a frequent presenter and youth arts advocate. In 2016 she served as Boston’s ambassador for the National Guild for Community Arts Education. She continues to work as a founding member of their national Creative Youth Development Steering Committee.

 

Awards

Award Awarding Organization Year
Ambassador National Guild for Community Arts Education 2015
Creative Catalyst Adobe 2015
Founders Circle Above and Beyond Award for Excellence The Women's Fund of Essex County of the Essex County Community Foundation 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

RAW has always contributed to the artistic and cultural vitality of 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 provide joint programming.

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 to the Lynn Public Schools. We are in constant contact with guidance counselors, teachers, and administrators to meet the needs of both the schools and students. We receive referrals from institutions such as the Dept. 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. Since the completion of our 25th Anniversary Expansion Campaign in the spring of 2015, we have served 30% more youth. This year, we will reach a minimum of 600 youth and alumni and will employ roughly 40 of these youth through our paid jobs program, Talent and Purpose (TAP). RAW has 14 full-time employees and 12 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 200+ individuals. As many as 35 individuals volunteer as year-long youth mentors with our college access and career exploration program, Project Launch.

Foundation Comments

--

Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 14
Number of Part Time Staff 50
Number of Volunteers 210
Number of Contract Staff --
Staff Retention Rate % 86%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 2
Caucasian: 21
Hispanic/Latino: 2
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 1
Other (if specified): Cape Verdean
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 2016 - June 2018
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Mr. Jason Baletsa Massachusetts Institute of Technology Voting
Ms. Pamela Bynum Cogstate 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 Massachusetts College of Art and Design Voting
Mr. Mario Ricciardelli Ricciardelli Capital Voting
Mr. Patrick Richardson hedgehog labs Voting
Ms. Bobbye Lou Sims Community Volunteer Voting
Mr. Scott Sullivan Piper Jaffray 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: 6
Male: 8
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

--

Financials


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

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

2016 990

2015 990

2014 990

2013 990

2012 990

2011 990

2010 990

2009 990

2008 990

Audit Documents

2016 FY16 Audit

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 2016 2015 2014
Total Revenue $2,118,403 $2,114,196 $2,801,184
Total Expenses $2,234,297 $2,016,572 $1,706,864

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $57,620 $95,868 $74,902
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified $57,620 $95,868 $74,902
Individual Contributions $1,529,772 $1,537,562 $2,276,065
Indirect Public Support $50,880 $54,368 $53,723
Earned Revenue $190,896 $193,113 $203,282
Investment Income, Net of Losses $684 $858 $600
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events $283,051 $232,427 $192,612
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other $5,500 -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Program Expense $1,486,287 $1,370,100 $1,137,432
Administration Expense $257,050 $279,218 $258,919
Fundraising Expense $490,960 $367,254 $310,513
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 0.95 1.05 1.64
Program Expense/Total Expenses 67% 68% 67%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 26% 19% 12%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Assets $2,891,943 $3,008,500 $2,857,789
Current Assets $1,649,611 $1,689,341 $1,815,004
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $165,960 $166,623 $113,536
Total Net Assets $2,725,983 $2,841,877 $2,744,253

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
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 2016 2015 2014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 9.94 10.14 15.99

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Our current level of operations represents a major achievement for our organization. We currently have a six-month cash operating reserve, a building reserve fund, and seed funds to create a board designated endowment reserve. We continue to develop long-range expense plans guided by solid research, such as a 20-year system replacement plan completed during FY17.

We continue to diversify our revenue streams and to seek multi-year gifts from our partners. In recent years RAW has increased our fundraising efforts to meet higher and much more ambitious revenue goals. During FY18, we anticipate the following breakdown of revenue by type:

Foundation Grants $850,000 43%

Corporate Grants and Contributions $150,611 8%

Individual Contributions $742,350 37%

Government Grants & Contracts $67,900 3%

Program Service Fees $33,797 2%

Campaign Release (25th expansion) $135,000 7%

TOTAL: $1,979,658

Our annual individual giving program is gaining momentum, and revenue contributed by individuals is growing. During the coming year we anticipate it will increase from 27% in 2015 to a planned 37% in the upcoming fiscal year 2018.

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.

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 7% 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 990s. Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals when the breakout was not available.
 

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.

When our youth graduate from RAW, we hope they will listen to themselves and others, will be able to ask for help even when it is tough, and will have a strong internal compass so they can find their way with confidence. We strive for our youth to feel that they have a place of importance in their community, and to learn to use the creativity we have cultivated in them as a force for personal and social change

Our target population consists of youth ages 7-19 in and around Lynn. In our 2015-2016 program year, 70% of our young people were Hispanic, Asian, African American, or mixed race. 79% of our youth were from extremely low-income, very low-income, and low-income families. 52% spoke English as a second language. 33% had either an Individualized Education Program (IEP) at their school or a formal mental health diagnosis; many more had undiagnosed learning and mental health challenges.

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 are 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 comprehensive self-evaluations and program-evaluations. We ask question such as “Do you feel as though RAW has helped to improve your artistic skills?” and “Do you feel as though RAW has helped increase the effort you have put into your education?” Our high school 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 one to four 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.


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.

RAW is a youth arts organization, rooted in art therapy. Our nationally-recognized model uses art to ask kids about what is really going on in their lives. Kids process a diversity of life experiences through the creation of honest and often deeply personal art. This uncommon opportunity at RAW helps them gain the artistic and life skills to create in unexpected ways, envision new possibilities, and transform their lives.

Over the past thirty years, youth have described that they are missing an essential part of a stable life—meaningful relationships in which they feel nurtured and valued. When at school or in their community, they are lonely, but at RAW they are welcomed into an inclusive environment the moment they step through our doors.

Our programming is guided by the belief that the most essential part of any child’s life is meaningful relationships that both nurtured and value that child. This notion is further confirmed through studies such as Mass Mentoring/University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute. In this report, in which RAW was a case study, the author writes “ the presence or absence of developmental relations and supportive connections influence young people’s expectations, behaviors, and decisions on a variety of issues including school attendance and completion.” Dr. Jack P. Shonkoff’s, the current director of the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard also writes, having at least one stable and committed relationship “buffer children from developmental disruption and help them develop 'resilience,' or the set of skills needed to respond to adversity and thrive.”

What sets our work apart from other arts education programs is our intention to blend the arts with access to social services, especially the mental health care that is needed to interrupt and reverse the negative impacts of poverty and childhood trauma. RAW’s art therapists and teaching artists use the arts as a powerful medium to deeply engage underserved youth and promote youth development. These relationships sustain and strengthen their ability to navigate a challenging and often unfair world.

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. Studio time consists of warm-up activities such as “check-in,” “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 prepare the group for their current project. On average, youth create about 12 projects throughout the year.

Whether RAW staff are helping a child with a history of abuse learn to trust or are assisting a child with a problem at school, each takes the time to connect individually. We believe it is a testament to our model that in our past programmatic year (2015-2016), 95% of youth agree or strongly agree that through RAW, they have gained trusting relationships with the staff. As one youth noted, “RAW helped me open up more to people and to learn how to trust more people again. Here, I have gained a whole new family and a place to call home.”

At RAW we drive change by helping youth connect. They connect to their art, connect to themselves, and begin to build the kinds of connections and trust with other people that can lead to greater fulfilment and success in life.


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

For nearly three decades, we have refined our model, built evidence for its effectiveness, and established RAW as community resource. RAW has become a household name in our community and has earned a place of distinction in the field of Community Youth Development (CYD). Our work is rooted in research and evidence-based practices. We use a flexible approach to working youth—recognizing the need to tailor solutions to reflect the individual. With a staff of 26 (and 50+ youth employees), not only do we provide high-quality art therapy-based programming to underserved youth, we also work to advance the field of CYD.

Over the years, we have built a program model, a continuum of after-school groups serving youth through childhood into adolescence and beyond. With this continuum, we are able to offer programs to youth regardless of their age and if they commit to our programs, build relationships with them over many years.

RAW prides itself in its professional staff that includes master’s-level art therapists, award-winning teaching/working artists, and an experienced administrative team. Kit Jenkins, M.A. has served as Executive Director since 1989. Käthe Swaback, M.A. has served as Program Director since 1994. Over the next two years, RAW’s leadership team will participate in Bridgespan’s Leading for Impact leadership development program.

With decades of deep, community-based experience in Lynn, most senior program staff have been working shoulder-to-shoulder in the community for more than ten years. The average tenure of a RAW employee is over seven years. This consistency in staffing has enabled us to build multi-generational relationships in our community and sustain our youth and their families though many challenges and moments of intense pride.

RAW's connections in Lynn and throughout the regional mental health, arts, and higher education communities are deep and impactful. Our staff regularly engage 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. Through this partnership, RAW provides school-based services, receives referrals, and provides support for educators and guidance counselors within the Lynn Public Schools.

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 use 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.

On a national and international level, RAW helps to build the momentum of the CYD field through leadership on a variety of platforms. With a specific interest in how the arts intersect with mental health, as well as in program evaluation and measurement of impact, we continue to participate actively in learning and teaching opportunities. For example, over the past two years, we have shared information with the field about a risk and resilience evaluation that helps us to collect information regarding our young people’s trauma history and the risk to which they are predisposed. We are using this evidence base to help ourselves and other youth arts organizations work within a framework that emphasizes emotional and social growth and support. Running alongside of this initiative, we have also been working with EdVestors and Julia Gittleman, (Principal, Mendelsohn, Gittleman & Associates, LLC) to drive the design and development of a customized CYD data collection software system which will be used to better help organizations understand their impact on constituents.


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

Strategic plan: Annually, with the overarching objective of driving our organization forward, staff work to assemble actionable objectives and tasks that relate to the goals outlined 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 Director of Operations compiles this data into a report, which is structured to track targets from our strategic plan against actual quarterly progress. Each summer, all RAW staff review the previous years’ evaluation results, parent feedback, and other assessment data to identify areas for further reflection, improvement, or celebration.

To assess youth outcomes, RAW uses a variety of tools:

Short-Term Outcomes:

 

  1. Youth develop skills in artistic engagement, problem solving, critical thinking, and expression
  2. Youth develop confidence, knowledge of self, an informed cultural identity, and a positive view of their future.
  3. Youth develop meaningful relationships and civic engagement as they contribute to and are recognized by an inclusive community.

 

Data Source: Annual program evaluations, drawing evaluations, and self-evaluations are conducted in June of each year. In addition, parent surveys are conducted at least once a year.

Evidence Base: Our annual evaluation tools are derived from the Boston Youth Arts Evaluation Project, and also informed by current research and practices in the field of creative youth development, (especially those that emphasize the role of the arts in addressing stress and trauma). Although our own, our assessments and evaluations correspond to the National Core Arts Standards and many other widely-recognized diagnostic and quality-assurance frameworks.

Recent examples of youth self-evaluation results include:

 

  • 87% of youth agreed "I am better able to solve problems."
  • 85% agreed "My confidence in myself has improved."
  • 90% agreed "My ability to contribute positively to my community has increased."

 

These social and emotional competencies are the precursors to a wide variety of outcomes in other aspects of life, especially school. Academic achievement is an area of strategic focus for RAW. We monitor student’s GPA, SAT, and ACT scores along with the following indicators of success:

 

  • >75% of RAW teens improved their attitude toward school.
  • 100% of seniors graduated from high school.
  • >95% of seniors were accepted to and attended college.
  • >90% of college-bound teens completed their first year of college successfully.

 

RAW also measures gains in transferable 21st Century skills. We ask youth who have a job at RAW, and the staff who work with them, to rate their abilities and knowledge about specific work-based skills and abilities gained at RAW. Recent self-reports showed:

 

  • 93% of youth gained skills in communication with coworkers and other people.
  • 89% gained teamwork skills.
  • 85% have learned to accept feedback with a positive attitude.

 


Intermediate Outcomes:

 

  1. Youth takes responsibility and responds effectively to risks, challenges, and opportunities.
  2. Youth develops a genuine integrated dedicated character who strives for achievement.
  3. Youth connects with, respects, and is respected by family, peers, mentors, and groups/organizations

 

Data Source: Outcomes are tracked through follow-up workshops, phone calls and site visits during the first year post-RAW.

Long-Term Outcomes:

 

  1. Resiliency
  2. Self-Efficacy and Personal Fulfillment
  3. Community Engagement

 

Data Source: Outcomes are tracked through follow-up workshops, phone calls and site visits via RAW’s alumni network. A survey is conducted. We are working with National Student Clearinghouse to obtain data on our alumni’s educational outcomes and attainment. This data will track alumni who graduated from RAW as early as 1994.


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

In the spring of 2015, RAW completed our 25th Anniversary Expansion campaign which has helped us grow and deepen the services we offer. We expanded our physical footprint to include the building adjacent to RAW’s first floor (secured through a 20-year lease). Our growth included expanding access to to children and families on our waiting list, which at times grew to 200+ youth. Since the start of the campaign in 2013, we have grown the amount of youth we serve by 30%!

The recent completion of a major expansion campaign combined with related changes in our organizational structure (our founder will be stepping down to a few hours a week on 6/30) have presented RAW with a new challenge. Our focus has shifted from achieving significant growth to establishing sustainability. To build the capabilities of the individuals on RAW’s leadership team, and consistency among the staff, RAW is making a major investment during RAW’s FY18 and FY19. The leadership team will participate in Bridgespan’s two-year “Leading for Impact” (LFI) program. Not only will leaders work individually with the Bridgespan Group’s consultants, but the program also offers the opportunity to work within a cohort. This cohort will be comprised of local nonprofits who are also completing their own strategic projects through LFI. During the first portion of the program, our leadership team will learn and apply strategic- and team-development practices. Throughout the two-year period, the team will complete two customized consulting projects to help RAW address at least two strategic challenges.

With the support of our capital campaign, over the past two years, we have been able to extend formalized support to our alumni during their first year post-RAW. For example, this year, we provided 22 youth from the 2016 graduating class with our alumni services. Our staff formally assisted recent alumni through weekly follow-up counseling calls and support groups. We have convened groups on-site to address topics like time management, interviewing skills, and college financing. We are so pleased (and proud) that we have prevented a handful of students from dropping out of college by helping them access resources that exist for them on their new campus, such as mental health services, clubs and social opportunities, and career services (for those who will need to obtain a job to supplement their financial aid).

As our work with alumni deepens and we see the many successes of our alumni, we are reminded of the importance of continuing to collect information about the long-term outcomes of our youth. During FY15 we collected alumni responses to a survey. So many alumni told us that the impact of our programming has had life-long effects, and we are eager to continue to collect this information and have alumni voices inform our current program development. We are currently working with National Student Clearinghouse to obtain information regarding educational attainment for our alumni dating back to the nascent stages of or organization. RAW is also working with various external parties to develop the tools such as software, which will be used to better help CYD organizations understand their impact on constituents.