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Brighter Boston

 115 Eliot Street
 Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
[P] (617) 913-6968
[F] --
[email protected]
Ann Sousa
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 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 46-4849043

LAST UPDATED: 05/06/2019
Organization DBA --
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No



Mission StatementMORE »

Brighter Boston guides public school teenagers to discover meaningful work and personal success, through life-changing professional internships in the event production industry. 

Mission Statement

Brighter Boston guides public school teenagers to discover meaningful work and personal success, through life-changing professional internships in the event production industry. 

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2019 to June 30, 2020
Projected Income $100,951.00
Projected Expense $86,928.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • High School Program

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2018 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

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


Mission Statement

Brighter Boston guides public school teenagers to discover meaningful work and personal success, through life-changing professional internships in the event production industry. 

Background Statement

Brighter Boston was founded in 2014 by Dan Jentzen, a Boston Public High School (BPS) theater teacher and working lighting designer. As a BPS teacher Dan was a first hand witness to the hopelessness and disconnection many teenagers feel. Using the skills (lighting and sound design) that helped him work his way through college, he started Brighter Boston.
As a non-profit partnership of the top lighting companies, producers, and venues in the region, we connect our interns with work experiences that give them real responsibility. When young adults work on theatre, concerts, and special events, they develop a sense of purpose, a meaningful role in society, and the employable skills to start a career. Our work builds community in Boston’s technical production industry while greatly increasing the racial and gender diversity of Boston’s workforce.

Impact Statement

  • In its first five years, Brighter Boston has...

  • Placed interns on 214 professional projects.

  • Created 4,790 hours of meaningful work for youth.

  • Partnered with 22 producing organizations and venues including the Celebrity Series of Boston, Boston Lyric Opera, Vice Media, Harvard University, and WGBH.

  • In its next fiscal year (beginning July 2019), Brighter Boston will...

  • Operate an intensive skills training program to welcome twenty new interns to the program.

  • Operate a high quality internship program, offering job placement, professional mentorship, and career development for teens. 

  • Increase the number of interns working 100 hours per year.

  • Increase number of employer and public high school partners.

Needs Statement

Brighter Boston seeks additional funds to support and expand the following program activities: Skills Training, Job Placement, Mentorship, Career Development, Work Experience in the Arts.
Programmatic support of $52,000 is needed for our current budget.

CEO Statement

At Brighter Boston, we believe the real learning happens in the workplace. We provide a link to actual jobs alongside professional technicians at some of the best event venues in Boston. Interns gain transferrable skills, such as: problem solving, critical and systems thinking, and being resourceful in a deadline driven environment. Brighter Boston interns are prepared to take charge of their futures and equipped with a life-long skill. 

Board Chair Statement


Geographic Area Served

City of Boston- Citywide (Indiv. neighborhoods also listed)
City of Boston- North Dorchester
City of Boston- South Dorchester
City of Boston- East Boston
City of Boston- Hyde Park
City of Boston- Jamaica Plain
City of Boston- Mattapan
City of Boston- Roxbury
Brighter Boston serves public school students in the Boston area, primarily from the Boston Public Schools. 

Organization Categories

  1. Youth Development - Youth Development Programs
  2. Employment -
  3. -

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



High School Program

When teenagers join the Brighter Boston, High School Program they get:
Skills Training - An intensive after-school session in lighting or sound technology.
Lighting & Electrics Basic Skills training program:
  • Ladder usage & safety
  • Hanging/installing lighting fixtures
  • Wiring lighting fixtures
  • Focusing a lighting fixture
  • Basic computer programming for lighting control systems
  • Running a channel check
  • Troubleshooting systems
Audio Basic Skills training program:
  • Ladder usage & safety
  • Placing/ installing speakers
  • Placing/ installing microphones
  • Wiring speakers, microphones, amps, & consoles
  • Using QLab as a source
  • Running a line check
  • Basic analog mixing skills for audio consoles
  • Troubleshooting systems
Job Placement - A 100-hour internship. Paid work that is challenging, fun, and rewarding in a welcoming workplace. Providing high quality learning environments for interns is our top priority. Students are placed in work sites that are professional and supportive of the students while they work and learn.
Mentorship - Every teen gets a mentor. We maintain small ratios of mentors to students, no larger than 1:4.
Career Development - Assistance with resumes, college/career, and networking. Students are provided with a resume template and the program manager assists students to update resumes as they continue to work. If students wish to pursue college, they are connected to our partners at the College Advising Corp. Interns are advised by their mentor and connected to industry employers if they wish to continue working in the theater, film, or events production field.
Work Experience in the Arts - Brighter Boston has partnered with over 20 producing organizations and venues. Some of our partners include: the Celebrity Series of Boston, Boston Lyric Opera, Vice Media, Harvard University, and WGBH. Interns have worked on lighting and sound for LL Cool J, Lucy Liu, Bela Fleck, Aziz Ansari, and Wynton Marsalis, among many others. Interns play an integral role in the performing arts as part of their job. Working in a welcoming and artistic environment is one of the unique benefits of Brighter Boston.
Budget  $52,000.00
Category  Youth Development, General/Other
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years) Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent At-Risk Populations
Program Short-Term Success 
After an intensive two week training, teenagers are immediately placed in jobs and start to earn. Interns gain confidence, economic independence, and a lifelong employable skill in audio/lighting technology. 
We have the following goals for FY20-21:
Percentage of interns that report developing education and career goals AND can identify next steps to achieve them - 80%
Percentage of interns that report learning job-related skills such as resume writing,submitting applications,and interviewing-80%
Percentage of interns after High School graduation working in the field and/or an alternate pathway like college or the armed services - 80%
Program Long-Term Success 
Our goals are to reduce youth unemployment in Boston, help teens discover a sense of self, and to open the door to future employment possibilities for young people.
Program Success Monitored By 
The goal of the Brighter Boston High School Program is for interns to complete 100 hours of paid work in one year. When graduating from the Brighter Boston High School Program, students will have enough real world work experience to be employed professionally in the field. 100 hours of work per year ensures students are provided enough free time to complete high school course work. We are mindful that many of our interns need income to contribute to family bills. We have created the following performance measures to ensure we are meeting our goals:
  • Number of interns enrolled in Brighter Boston.
  • Number of interns completing 100 hours/graduating.
  • Number of interns after graduation working in the field and/or in an alternate pathway like college or the armed services.
Upon completion of the Brighter Boston High School Program interns are asked to participate in a focus group to gather information about their experiences with the program. Teens and Mentors are asked to complete an evaluation form about their participation in the program at the end of every academic year. We will also have a year end gathering of all program participants, including partners, to provide feedback on program activities.
Examples of Program Success 
Professional event venues reach out to us weekly for Brighter Boston interns. The large number of employee partners we currently have is a testimony to the quality of our program and the skill of our interns. 
With the recent addition of administrative support, we will be able to more thoroughly track program measurements going forward.  

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments



CEO/Executive Director Ms. Ann Sousa
CEO Term Start Mar 2019
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience Ann Sousa is a former Boston Ballet dancer who went to work in the trades. A product of vocational education, she knows first hand the value of having a skill to provide self-sufficiency and opportunity. She was Co-Founder and Director of a nonprofit after-school enrichment program serving the Boston Public Schools, and Policy Director for the Boston City Council Chair of Education. She’s a mother of two Boston Public Schools students.
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. Daniel H Jentzen Programs Director

Daniel H. Jentzen is a lighting designer, neuroscientist, and teacher. He has created lighting for over 600 plays, musicals, concerts, and special events including Oprah, Hillary Clinton, Stephen Hawking, LL Cool J, The Roots, Bela Fleck, Alison Krauss, Brandi Carlile, Aziz Ansari, Conan O’Brien, Vice Media, WGBH, Google, General Electric, the Walt Disney Corporation, and the Romance Writers of America.

Daniel also conducts research in multisensory perception, exploring the unique power of the arts in the human mind.

He teaches lighting design at Boston Arts Academy and creates interdisciplinary lessons on neuroscience and art for students across Massachusetts. He is also the founder of Brighter Boston, a nonprofit internship program that gives urban high school students jobs backstage on professional shows. He serves as Director of Education at High Output, Inc. Daniel holds a BFA in Drama from Carnegie Mellon and an Ed.M in Educational Neuroscience from Harvard University.


Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --


Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? No
Name of state association MA

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --



CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 0
Number of Part Time Staff 2
Number of Volunteers 4
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % 100%

Staff Demographics

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

Plans & Policies

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

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 N/A N/A


Board Chair Mr Jeff Kubiatowicz
Board Chair Company Affiliation The Bostonian Society
Board Chair Term July 2016 - June 2019
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Christine Altieri AE Events Voting
John Cini High Output, Inc. Voting
Daniel Jentzen Boston Arts Academy Voting
Jeff Kubiatowicz The Bostonian Society 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: 6
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 1
Male: 3
Not Specified 0

Board Information

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

Standing Committees


CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Our goal is to add 2 additional Board members this year as well as an Advisory Board and a Youth Board. 

Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2018 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Fiscal Year July 01, 2019 to June 30, 2020
Projected Income $100,951.00
Projected Expense $86,928.00
Form 990s

2018 Form 990

2017 Form 990

Audit Documents --
IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2018 2017 2016
Total Revenue $54,188 $24,664 $1,500
Total Expenses $47,139 $14,385 $600

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2018 2017 2016
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- $1,500
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $43,825 $20,175 --
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $10,363 $4,489 --
Investment Income, Net of Losses -- -- --
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other -- -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2018 2017 2016
Program Expense $6,045 $6,605 $0
Administration Expense $41,094 $7,780 $600
Fundraising Expense -- -- $0
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.15 1.71 2.50
Program Expense/Total Expenses 13% 46% 0%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 0% 0% 0%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2018 2017 2016
Total Assets $25,329 $18,279 $7,300
Current Assets $25,329 $18,279 $7,300
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Total Net Assets $25,329 $18,279 $7,300

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2018 2017 2016
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy --
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund No
How many months does reserve cover? --

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? --

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2018 2017 2016
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities inf inf inf

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2018 2017 2016
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above is per the nonprofit for FY16 and per the organization's IRS Form 990 EZs for FY17 and FY18. Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals when the breakout was not available.


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.


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?

Our goal is increase economic mobility for young people through paid internships in the performing arts. When interns complete the Brighter Boston internship program, they will be equipped with a lifelong skill, and have a plan for college or career. The long term success of our program will result in fewer "opportunity youth" in Boston and an increase in young people with a hopeful view of their future. 

2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

We partner with the top venues, event production companies, and other nonprofit organizations in the region to put kids to work. In order to provide high quality internships, with real world work experience for teens, we must maintain these employer relationships as well as a high level of customer service. We work with every event venue to ensure our program is meeting their needs and regularly solicit feedback. We survey interns and their professional mentors and adjust our programs accordingly. 
Our goal is to partner with existing skills training organizations, vocational schools, and CTE programs, and be the internship hub for technical theater in Boston. 

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

Our Executive Director, Ann Sousa, is experienced in workforce development with strong relationship building skills, and a deep network in Boston. Our Programs Director, Dan Jentzen, is a working lighting designer and well regarded in the industry. We are able to place interns in the best venues with the most skilled technicians because of his reputation and network in technical theater. We are able to maintain venue and organizational relationships to the benefit of both employer and intern, because of her client service skills. 

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

We will measure:
  • Number of interns enrolled
  • Number of interns completing 100 hours or over of work, per year
  • Number of hours completed total
  • Number of employer partners
  • Number of high school partners
  • Percentage of interns that report learning a new skill that they wanted to learn about
  • Percentage of interns that report developing education and/or career goals and can identify next steps to achieve goals
  • Percentage of interns that report learning job related skills like, resume writing, submitting applications, and interviewing
  • Percentage of interns after graduating high school that are working in the field or are in an alternate pathway like college or the armed service 

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

The internships currently offered are working well for interns and employers, and we routinely get requests for interns from event venues. Our capabilities are limited by the funding challenges that accompany small and new organizations. Even with these challenges, we are looking to double the number of interns we place in jobs over the next year and increase the number of high schools we work with.
We are serving our target population, Brighter Boston interns are: 45% Hispanic, 29% Black, 26% White, 64% Female, 14% immigrants to the United States. One of our long term goals is to diversify the event production industry in Boston. We are providing opportunities for employment in a well paying, but historically homogeneous industry.