Neighborhood Music School
100 Audubon Street
New Haven CT 06510
Contact Information
Address 100 Audubon Street
New Haven, CT 06510-
Telephone (203) 624-5189 x17
Fax 203-772-3566
E-mail info@nmsnewhaven.org
Web and Social Media
 
Mission

Mission. The mission of Neighborhood Music School is to create community, spark potential and share joy through the arts.

Core Belief. We believe in the power of the arts to transform lives and strengthen communities.
 
Core Values: 
  • Diversity: Our school is a vibrant hub for all ages, genders, races, nationalities, and economic backgrounds. Through shared learning and self-expression, we overcome fear of our differences.
  • Relationships: We respond to the individual needs of our students and families, treating them with warmth and care.
  • Teaching Excellence: Our talented and passionate teaching artists inspire students of all levels of ability to discover their unique potential.
  • Responsiveness: Rooted in the classical tradition, we respond to the present-day interests of our community to encourage participation.
  • Lifelong Learning: We provide opportunities for continual growth and development, both in our organization and in those we teach.
  • Welcoming Space: We offer an open and collaborative environment, where individuals feel comfortable and supported.
  • Community Presence: We actively go into the community to share the joy of the arts.

A Great OpportunityHelpThe nonprofit has used this field to provide information about a special campaign, project or event that they are raising funds for now.

ATLAS Campaign

Neighborhood Music School has launched our new middle school program ATLAS (the Academic Theatre Lab on Audubon Street).

Brief Background. ATLAS is a small, arts-integrated, project-based independent middle school in the heart of New Haven, Connecticut. ATLAS at Neighborhood Music School curates a comprehensive education that guides and propels learners on their journey into adolescence. At ATLAS, students direct their learning by running all aspects of a theatre company. ATLAS uses the theatrical process to explore essential questions in literature, science, history, math, and beyond. By connecting academics to artistic production, we challenge our students to examine the human experience so that they can shape their own.

ATLAS Campaign Timeline. To date, we have raised nearly $200,000 towards our goal. One hundred percent of our Board of Directors have made a philanthropic commitment to this project.

The ATLAS Campaign Committee is inviting members of the community to join them in helping us realize a revolutionary approach to the middle school educational experience.

  • Nucleus Phase: July 2017 – June 2018, Goal $100K [Reached]
  • Public Phase: March 2019 – June 2020, Goal $400K

 

Statement of Need. Across the nation, traditional methods of instruction and standardized testing limit student learning and marginalize arts education. At the same time, 21st-century learning skills like creativity, problem-solving, collaboration, design-thinking, and public speaking - addressed directly through arts education - are in higher demand in the global economy than ever before. Traditional school models continue to emphasize the dissemination of facts in an age where access to information has been completely revolutionized through the proliferation of personal technology. By doing so, they are failing to adequately prepare and support students to enter the modern-day workforce.

While the New Haven School District has a history of educational innovation that aims to overcome these limitations, much of that innovation has taken place at the elementary and high school levels. Very few options exist for families seeking small, progressive schools for their 7th and 8th-grade students. These students and their families find themselves in one of two scenarios: forced to transition from a local independent school that ends in the 6th grade, or dissatisfied with the climate and curricula for 7th and 8th grade in public or private K-8 school. A district shift from standalone middle schools to the K-8 model created a situation in which middle school students’ unique needs are not always fully supported. Many families feel deeply distressed about choosing a local school for their 7th-grade child that fits their educational philosophy, budget, and that will prepare them intellectually and emotionally for high school. Students and their families are often forced to compromise significantly in at least one of these areas. Several local families have also decided to endure lengthy commutes in order for their child to attend schools located as far away as Hartford. An additional option for 7th and 8th-grade students in New Haven is needed.

ATLAS Launch Plan. ATLAS will offer a series of experiential workshops for prospective students. Application materials will be made available in November 2018. Prospective students and their families will meet with the ATLAS team at this time. Admissions decisions will go out in January of 2019. Educators will begin work in June of 2019, and the first cohort will launch in September 2019.

Learn More. If you are interested in investing in ATLAS, please contact Shannon Murnane at 203.624.5189, ext. 17 or smurnane@nmsnewhaven.org. In the meantime, you may visit www.atlastmiddleschool.org to learn more about this transformative educational program.

A Great Opportunity Ending Date June 30 2020
At A Glance
Year of Incorporation 1950
Organization's type of tax exempt status Public Supported Charity
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years Yes
Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Noah Bloom
Board Chair Ms. Amity Doolittle
Board Chair Company Affiliation Yale University School of Forestry & Environmental Studies
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expenses Bar Graph - All Years
Statements
Mission

Mission. The mission of Neighborhood Music School is to create community, spark potential and share joy through the arts.

Core Belief. We believe in the power of the arts to transform lives and strengthen communities.
 
Core Values: 
  • Diversity: Our school is a vibrant hub for all ages, genders, races, nationalities, and economic backgrounds. Through shared learning and self-expression, we overcome fear of our differences.
  • Relationships: We respond to the individual needs of our students and families, treating them with warmth and care.
  • Teaching Excellence: Our talented and passionate teaching artists inspire students of all levels of ability to discover their unique potential.
  • Responsiveness: Rooted in the classical tradition, we respond to the present-day interests of our community to encourage participation.
  • Lifelong Learning: We provide opportunities for continual growth and development, both in our organization and in those we teach.
  • Welcoming Space: We offer an open and collaborative environment, where individuals feel comfortable and supported.
  • Community Presence: We actively go into the community to share the joy of the arts.

Background

Neighborhood Music School (NMS) is the largest nonprofit community arts organization in the state of Connecticut, serving 2,500 students annually from more than 80 cities and towns. Offerings span 30 instruments and seven genres of dance for students ages 2 to 90+.

NMS offers one-on-one lessons, early childhood music, an arts-based preschool, an after-school program, group classes in music, dance, and drama, plus over 100 weekly ensembles.

NMS is located in one of the poorest cities in one of the richest states in the US. Thirty-percent (30%) of New Haven children live below the poverty level; 58% are eligible for free school lunch. Our need-based financial aid program, along with our tuition-free programming, helps bridge our community's economic divide, bringing together low-income students with those from more affluent communities around a shared love of the arts. Thanks to support from our donors, nearly $280,000 in need-based financial aid was distributed to 550 students in fiscal year 2017, and we hope to further increase this funding in years to come.

Neighborhood Music School was founded on a principle of inclusion and accessibility, which remains core to our mission today as at its origin. NMS originated in 1911 as part of the settlement house movement to assist New Haven's new and growing immigrant population. The school began as a community-focused social services organization called Neighborhood House in association with St. Paul’s Church on Olive Street in Wooster Square. By 1915, however, the demand for Neighborhood House music programs was so extensive that a separate entity known as Neighborhood House Music School was formed. In 1945, Neighborhood House Music School officially became an independent entity known as Neighborhood Music School.

A change in admissions policies in the late 1950s, allowing for the enrollment of private full-paying students and expanding the school’s reach, catapulted the school into a period of aggressive growth. In 1964, NMS embarked on a building fund campaign for the present facility at 100 Audubon Street, which became the first building to anchor the newly designated Audubon Arts district.

Today, Audubon Street is a thriving artistic community, home to numerous arts organizations and business ventures. The 30,000-square-foot NMS facility houses 33 studios, practice rooms, a recital hall and administrative offices.

Impact

Impact Accomplishments: 1) In FY2018, NMS provided financial aid to 524 students, or 21 percent of our student body (up from 10.1% four years ago). Our tuition-free, youth-based programs are transforming the impact we are having in the City of New Haven. The number of NMS students who attend public and charter schools in New Haven has increased from 256 in FY2015 to over 360 in FY2018. At NMS, 100 percent of  Developing and Empowering Leadership through the Arts student graduates transitioned into college. 2) We are responding to changes in demographics by partnering with New Haven Public Schools, Achievement First Schools, Yale Music in the Schools Initiative, LEAP, Hope for New Haven and Chapel Haven, and the city-wide youth poetry jam. We expanded our reach, through our Dancing with Parkinson’s  as well as launching our ATLAS Middle. 3) Better data collection, strong analysis, and information-driven decision making has been instrumental in helping NMS adapt to changes in our environment on every level.

Goals: 1) NMS will continue to refine our capability to connect existing programs into progressive learning sequences, and to develop new programs to fill in gaps in these pathways. 2) Our tuition-free, youth programs of socio-economic backgrounds; and we are keen to expand the opportunity throughout the community by scaling our programs to represent the scope of our underserved neighborhoods in the City of New Haven. Our Dancing with Parkinson’s program (DwP) became the official Northeast representative. DwP expanded to a third class location in Branford and we are looking to expand to additional sites throughout Connecticut. 3) We will launch our Academic Theatre Lab on Audubon Street, an arts-integrated middle school.

Needs

1) We are fiscally challenged in meeting the need to provide individualized lessons for participants in the music pathway of our Developing and Empowering Leadership Through the Arts program. 2) We are in need of growth capital for the After-School Arts Academy, which serves New Haven youth in grades 3-8. 3) NMS is launching the Academic Theatre Lab on Audubon Street (ATLAS), an arts-based middle. We seek seed funding of $500,000 for the launch of ATLAS. 4) NMS is refining our early childhood program and solidifying programming to serve our growing aging demographic and a program assistant position is needed. 5) Our state line funding was more than 50% and we are strategically working to bridge this shortfall through additional contributed revenue from individual and foundation funders.

CEO Statement

I am deeply honored to have been named the Executive Director of NMS in July of 2019.

As the Director of Programs for the previous seven years, I saw first-hand the impact that our programs have on the students and families they serve each year. As Executive Director, I will work tirelessly to expand on this impact and inspire the support which makes it possible.

 

Since 1911, the remarkable journey of Neighborhood Music School has been directly tied to our community’s deep belief in bringing people together in shared artistic experiences. From our humble beginnings as a social service agency in Wooster Square, we have now become one of the ten largest community arts schools in the country. It is unprecedented in any city the size of New Haven to have a community arts school as large as NMS. We are lucky that we live in a community that so deeply values participating in and supporting the arts.

 

At every phase of this evolution, we expanded our programming in response to community need, while always remaining committed to our mission and values.

 

In 1968 we moved into our home in the “new” Audubon Arts District to enable us to serve more students. We added an art-based preschool in 1993, the Audubon Arts summer program in 1986 and in 1978 our Dance department was born. The past few years we have made incredible efforts to honor our original model of free and low cost programming by more than doubling the number of students served through financial aid, building a comprehensive free after-school program for 3-5 graders and  launching ATLAS, our ground breaking new middle school in 2019.

 

Along the way, Neighborhood Music School has always remained a magical place for the thousands of students we serve each year. Through arts-education and performance based experiences, our students find joy, develop real-world skills and build an everlasting community. All while working with a world-class faculty.

 

As Executive Director of NMS, I am so lucky to get to lead such a unique and wonderful institution.

I will listen carefully and respond accordingly to the needs of the community and as we have shown, the possibilities are endless.

Board Chair Statement

Board Chair Statement (Amity Doolittle)

As a piano student, parent and community member, I am delighted and honored to serve as Chair of the Board for Neighborhood Music School (NMS). Over the years, my family has benefited from the wonderful programming that NMS offers. From dropping off my two-year old at the arts-based pre-school, to beginning my own piano lessons at the age of 50, NMS continues to have a profound impact on my life.

At NMS our unique mission sets the school a part as an exceptional institution. We are committed to creating joy and sparking potential through the arts. This means not only do we provide the very best musical, dance and drama instruction to amazingly talented young people who seek careers in the arts, but we also strive to support well-rounded, empathic, and compassionate human beings who bring passion and creativity to every aspect of their lives. We are not a conservatory, but rather a community resource. Our doors are open to all ages, aptitudes, skill levels, and financial abilities. Seven days a week, you can find students from 6 months to 90 years, from beginners to professionals, and from all socioeconomic backgrounds filling our halls.

As I have gotten to know the larger NMS community better, I have learned that not only does the school provide daily joy in peoples’ lives, but there are also times, when people are struggling, that the school provides a true sanctuary. I have been overwhelmed by the stories told by both teenagers and older adults of how the school literally “saved their life” when they were struggling with personal issues such as adolescent alienation and grieving the death of a life partner. These stories fuel my dedication to NMS.

NMS starts 2019 with huge undertaking. To further our reach into the community, in the fall of 2019 we are launching an on-site, arts-integrated middle school (ATLAS - the Academic Theatre Lab on Audubon Street). ATLAS builds upon our mission and legacy as a school. ATLAS champions theatre as a powerful vehicle for global inquiry, empathy across difference, and social justice. This is an innovative and brave undertaking that will fill a much-needed spot for 7th and 8th graders seeking a more holistic middle school education. It is my belief that ATLAS has the potential to be a national model of a way of teaching that prepares children to participate in the demands of a changing world. This undertaking is only possible with the dedication of NMS expert staff leadership, a strong and energetic board and the support of so many vital community partners.

After serving New Haven families for over 100 years, NMS has established itself as an anchor in New Haven’s outstanding artistic ecosystem. It is with this sort of commitment to excellence in music, dance and drama instruction and innovation in an art-based education that NMS will continue to grow and thrive for the next 100 years.

Service Categories
Primary Organization Category Arts,Culture & Humanities / Arts Education
Secondary Organization Category Public & Societal Benefit / Alliances & Advocacy
Tertiary Organization Category Community Improvement, Capacity Building / Urban & Community Economic Development
Areas Served
Ansonia
Bethany
Branford
Cheshire
Derby
East Haven
Guilford
Hamden
Lower Naugatuck Valley
Madison
Milford
New Haven
North Branford
North Haven
Orange
Oxford
Seymour
Shelton
Shoreline
State wide
Wallingford
West Haven
Woodbridge
National
Programs
Description

NMS offers individual and group class instruction in over 30 instruments and seven genres of dance. Its 131 faculty members are both professional educators and active performing artists. More than 2,500 students participate each year. These students range in age from toddlers to over 90 years of age, spanning beginners to advanced and professional level artists, and include many adult students who are returning to instrumental instruction after a long hiatus. NMS boasts one of the largest ensemble programs in the country, with over 100 ensembles performing together weekly - including the renowned Greater New Haven Youth Orchestra, Concert Band, Concert Orchestra and Symphonic Wind Ensemble. Instruction is on a full year academic cycle running approximately 35 weeks, plus a separate summer season, though rolling admissions are accepted.

Population Served General/Unspecified / /
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service.

Participation in NMS music, dance and drama programs creates an appreciation for the arts as well as building valuable life skills like confidence and discipline, focus and experimentation. With some commitment to practice outside of the lesson or class time, students can expect continuous progress in their skills and proficiency. Due to the growth of our most rapidly expanding programs, our summer Audubon Arts, Summer Jazz as well as our Summer Rocks! Contemporary Music Program, we have been bringing in new participants and expanding our reach to broader audiences. For example, our Summer Jazz Program grew by 25 percent this past year alone. Our Preschool continues to offer positive alternatives to traditional early childhood education and immerses students in a play-based and artistic learning environment from the beginning stages of their development.

Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state.

Research has shown that involvement in the arts can improve cognitive ability, critical thinking, social and psychological development, creativity and concentration. Studies such as the one reported in the September 2014 article in The Wall Street Journal show that not only does music education help advance high-level academic performance, but it also is an important platform to help point students with learning disabilities toward early intervention. In fact, the National Guild for Community Arts Education indicates that high-quality instruction in the music and the arts has many benefits for individuals and communities. When these programs are sustained and respond to community needs, they encourage cognitive development, increase creativity, improve self-esteem, and promote better health. NMS is striving to be at the forefront of initiatives serving special and underserved populations as well as people of all ages who share common interests and activities. NMS helps build community engagement, provide mentoring opportunities and facilitate dialogue among community members of all backgrounds. We believe that providing access to high quality instruction to people of all ages, means and backgrounds will benefit the individuals and the well-being of the community.

Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.

Parent and student feedback as collected via surveys at the end of the semester, qualitative focus group research, classroom and lesson observations by senior administrative staff (program heads and department chairs).

Description

Established over 20 years ago, the Preschool at Neighborhood Music School offers children ages two through five a state-licensed, arts-based preschool and toddler program. Both full-day and half-day options provide a warm and loving environment that promotes creativity, individual expression, cognitive development, and community spirit. This supportive mixed-age approach is suited physically and developmentally to the needs of young children and offers social experiences with other children. Staff are trained and experienced in early childhood education and the curriculum includes a mix of free play and teacher-supported activities, both indoors and out. The school is uniquely situated within the main facility of the Neighborhood Music School and uses that proximity to its advantage. Students are exposed to all of the resources of the school and its community, including dance and music performances and events.

Population Served General/Unspecified / /
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service. Our dedicated teachers create an environment that supports and respects each child's individual development. Through age appropriate activities, children learn to embrace art, music, dance and storytelling as important parts of their worlds and a means of individual expression. Encouraged to ask questions, to find answers, and to express their feelings, children safely explore the world around them. NMS is a community culture and parents are a particularly important part of the large family we create every year. Parents are welcome to participate in classroom activities and family events throughout the year.
Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state.

Graduates of the Preschool at NMS continue to thrive both within our school through participating in various lessons and classes and winning spots in ensembles, and within their school systems, many of them getting accepted into some of the region’s finest schools.

Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.

NMS adheres to state initiatives and requirements for early childhood education and will continue to monitor our efforts.

Examples of Program SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.
Lisa B., Parent: I am grateful that my daughter is having such an amazing preschool experience. She entered the preschool as a toddler, and is currently in her third year. She has had the privilege of having all the current teachers. I am so impressed with each teacher's distinct talents and strengths, which are shared so freely in the preschool community. Students are encouraged to explore their imaginations and interests in such a meaningful way.
Description

Community partnerships are a significant part of programming success at NMS - particularly in introducing our facility and programs to a diverse cross-section of New Haven that has not typically participated in activities on Audubon Street. Our vision is one of a community hub where people from all backgrounds can come together around shared learning and shared expression. Over the past few years, NMS has invested extensive energy in creating and maintaining vibrant partnerships with various community leaders, and with organizations such as New Haven Public Schools, Achievement First Schools, Yale Music in the Schools Initiative, LEAP, Hope for New Haven and Chapel Haven. In addition to helping introduce new audiences to NMS, these partnerships have shaped our programmatic direction by giving us first-hand knowledge of the needs of the community. Partnerships that were developed around the City Initiative music program over the past nine years informed the school’s approach to creating new programs such as Dance Initiative (both Dance and City Initiative comprise our new DELTA program), After-School Arts Academy, and Audubon Voices.   

Population Served Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent / /
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service.

The consolidation of Dance and City Initiative into the DELTA program will support life skills to help our participating youth navigate into adulthood. Nationally, research and publications have substantiated the positive impact of creative youth development. At NMS, we have already seen positive outcomes, with 100% of City Initiative graduates transitioning into college.

Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state.

With public school funding for the arts under severe threat, access and exposure to the arts is particularly at risk for youth in underprivileged communities. NMS's community programs are designed to provide easy access to music, dance and theater experiences and training for students of all backgrounds and means. It also creates opportunities and outlets for those who may be struggling with the broader challenges that are rampant in disadvantaged neighborhoods. NMS has many success stories of students who came from very challenged situations, found inspiration and focus in their artistic studies at NMS and gone on to notable professional accomplishment in all manner of careers.

Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.

NMS’s Director of Programs, Noah Bloom, along with faculty and staff working within these programs, regularly review and evaluate student performance through public school teacher evaluations, NMS teacher evaluations and monitoring students’ self-made goals and progress.

Examples of Program SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.
From Chloe M. , 10th grade student at Wilbur Cross High School in New Haven and Dance Initiative Student (2017): This free program at NMS has given me an opportunity to participate in many different types of dance classes. Before this program started, I wasn’t able to take many dance classes because of the cost. My family loves the dance program at NMS so much that my siblings dance there as well. So, can you imagine the cost for multiple classes for three kids? But thanks to Dance Initiative, I can take a lot more classes at no cost which has reduced the financial burden for my parents and given me the chance to explore many different forms of dance and expanded my range of dance skills. These skills will be very important to me in my future career as a dance studio owner. I have also been given opportunities to develop my leadership skills by assisting teachers in some of the jazz and tap classes.


Description

NMS hosts more than 150 public events and performances each year. Most of these events are free and many are participatory. NMS has a wide selection activities include a summertime concert series, participatory performance events and the annual Fall Free For All. Faculty and student ensembles participate in community events off NMS premises. We debuted our Spotlight event series in 2015 community talks with local artists. It will be reconstituted in FY2019 as a dedicated free, community-talk-back, documentary film screening program. NMS hosted “The Word”, a citywide youth poetry jam—a two-night culminating event for both the high school and middle school students.  NMS welcomed a diverse audience of more than 200 New Haven residents at this gathering. With support from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the City of New Haven, NMS developed the Jazz Discovery project to celebrate the musical heritage of Jazz in New Haven. The program features workshops, master classes, concerts, and lectures at venues across the City of New Haven. 

Population Served General/Unspecified / /
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service.

These events attract new audiences and potential students into the school who have traditionally not participated in tuition-based music, art and drama programs.

Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state.

Our public offerings create an appreciation for the arts and an exposure to a wide range of genres, instruments, techniques and capabilities. For young people it may provoke an emergent interest that becomes a lifelong passion. For adults it may provide an opportunity to connect with others who share similar interests. For many it may open their eyes to new areas of interest and inspiration. For the community it is positive forum for building connections and strengthening the neighborhood.

Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.

NMS tracks the success of these efforts through number of participants, ticket sales and enrollment growth, particularly new students.

Examples of Program SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.

Given the success of “The Word” program, NMS plans to deepen its partnership with “The Word” this academic year by hosting a cohort of 20 high school students, who will engage in a one-year residency at NMS. This program brings many new students and families from across New Haven into the Audubon Arts district

Description

 NMS regularly collaborates with a number of organizations in designing and implementing new programming targeted at students with specific special physical and/or learning needs. Programs have included Dancing with Parkinson's, a program developed from the Mark Morris Dance for PD® concept in partnership with the American Parkinson's Disease Association of Connecticut and the Connecticut Parkinson's Working Group. Other collaborations take place with Chapel Haven and the Yale Child Study Center for children with autism and other behavioral challenges. Music and movement have been shown to promote healing, improve mental and physical well-being and enhance the quality of life for those dealing with ailments or disabilities. Here at NMS, we are continuing to expand our programming to include new music and dance applications and are grateful for the support and collaboration of so many of our partners and affiliates.

Population Served People/Families with of People with Disabilities / Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens /
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service.

Solid short-term metrics are the individual reports of participants in the programs and their repeated re-enrollment in the courses. A dramatic example is the group of students from our Vintage Voices program, a singing and modern dance program for seniors established under a grant from the Creative Aging Initiative, who when threatened with the discontinuation of the program at the end of the funding cycle collectively came together to independently write a letter and petition for additional funding from a corporate sponsor that ultimately saved the program.

Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state.

Research has demonstrated the power of music and dance to promote healing, improve mental and physical wellbeing and enhance the quality of life for those dealing with physical ailments or disabilities. Here at NMS we do not offer certified therapeutic programs but we do offer targeted programs that are designed around the needs of communities with specific physical or developmental challenges. These programs have been created in partnership with leading research institutions like the Yale Child Study Center and innovative programs like the Mark Morris Dance Group. The programs are primarily about artistic and creative expression and the social and emotional benefits of interacting with others experiencing similar challenges, though many participants report improvements in their physical competencies as well. NMS refined and implemented an evaluation tool for Dancing with Parkinson’s (“DwP”). This tool was created in FY2016 in partnership with a research scientist who specializes in quantitative analysis at the Yale University School of Medicine Program on Aging. NMS conducted a baseline measurement survey among Middletown and New London DwP participants in October 2016 and a follow-up to the same cohort in December 2016. Given the progressive nature of Parkinson’s disease, some physical markers remained stable or declined over time. However, gains in quality of life through participation in DwP persisted. After the series of classes, 100 percent of respondents indicated an increase in energy. 100 percent reported that they “strongly agree” that “dancing brings joy and happiness”, “improves their balance”, and “increases their overall self-confidence”. Over time we will continue to monitor long-term impact of this program.

Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.

These programs are closely monitored by program coordinators, Laura Richling (Dancing with Parkinson’s), Tracey Albert and Ingeborg Schimmer (Vintage Voices), with oversight by Noah Bloom, Director of Programs.

Examples of Program SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success. Dancing with Parkinson’s (DwP) Caregiver (FY2017 Questionnaire): I loved the variety of movement, in terms of pace and rhythm, tempo, as well as different kinds of music and type of dance. The improvisational elements, where participants are allowed to create their own movements as a form of expression are very inspiring. The supportive energy of Laura as a teacher, as well as her humor, warmth, and generosity of spirit all combine to make this a group and activity well worth revisiting. My mom has Parkinson’s disease and I found this very educational as far as the movement and balance that my mom wants to work on—and enjoys immensely!
Description

The After-School Arts Academy (ASAA), launched in Fall 2016, is a unique program for 3rd -5th graders that uses hands-on artistic training and self-exploration as a platform for developing important life skills. ASAA provides creative outlets focused on music, dance and drama/film. Students explore their personal learning styles, and use the arts as a vehicle to develop important skills such as teamwork, communication, perseverance, and growth mindset. By recruiting a balance of tuition-free and tuition-paying students, ASAA intentionally brings together kids from across the socio-economic spectrum, and from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. ASAA is tuition-free for families earning less than $70,000 per year, and offers a sliding scale up to a household income of $100,000. The program has expanded to four days per week, and will harness our partnership with the New Haven Public Schools to arrange school bus drop-offs at Audubon Street. In order to assure that this program continues to attract students from all segments of New Haven.

 

Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) / At-Risk Populations /
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service.
ASAA's short-term success will be determined in three ways: 1) Recruitment of students; 2) Partnerships with schools and community organizations; and 3) Student and teacher evaluations and performances.
Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state.
There are at least two measures of long-term success for this program: 1) Participation in other NMS programs and activities by ASAA students (i.e. music lessons, dance classes or ensembles); and 2) Getting students on track for a college trajectory.
Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.

 One of the main outcomes of ASAA is the development and presentation of original works by participating students in collaboration with each other and NMS faculty and mentors. These works will include music videos, live performances and dance recitals packaged within a major showcase event twice a year. During this process, they will explore social awareness and diversity issues, team building and problem solving, and develop a platform for enhancing their self-confidence, leadership and public speaking skills. ASAA has developed a formal evaluation program with the help of a professional evaluator (also a Neighborhood Music School parent), who devised a program logic model to help define and measure outcomes. We will incorporate student video journaling, self-evaluations, teacher, parent and audience surveys, attendance and retention statistics.

Examples of Program SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success. After-School Arts Academy Parent (FY2017): James has changed a lot since he started this program. Every day he looks happy and smiling, every day he is excited to go, and every day he brings positive stories and explains his projects. He also talks about his classmates as he feels very comfortable with them, feels happy to meet more people and more cultures. When James refers to his professors: it's like he talks about his idols, he says they're super special, they treat him very well and he feels that they are very professional.
CEO/Executive Director
Mr. Noah Bloom
Term Start Aug 2019
Email nbloom@nmsnewhaven.org
Experience

Noah grew up in the City Point, Beaver Hill and Westville areas of New Haven and attended the Educational Center for the Arts. Noah’s first formal music training was in the Early Childhood Music program at NMS. He holds a BFA from the School of Jazz and Contemporary Music at the New School in New York, with additional studies at Mason Gross School of the Arts – Rutgers University and graduate work at the Aaron Copland School of Music – Queens College. He is also a graduate of the Community Arts Education Leadership Institute.

Noah was the Associate Director at the Church Street School for Music and Art in New York when NMS hired him as the first Director of Programs in 2012. He served as NMS’s Interim Director from June 2014 to May 2015.

From 1992-2012, Noah was based in New York and California, working as a professional bandleader, jazz trumpeter and music educator. During this time, he shared the stage with Norah Jones, Wayne Escoffery, Jimmy Greene, Roy Dunlap, Ari Ambrose, Jeremy Manasia, Joe Strasser, New Soil, the Village People, Q-Tip and many others, while performing at a wide range of venues ranging from Smalls to the Rainbow Room and the festival circuit.

Noah’s transition from performer to arts leadership was a natural one. He says: “My passion for music education was sparked as a young boy when my grandmother told me stories about the Settlement Music School in Philadelphia, which was co-founded by her mother in 1908. The school was deeply focused on providing a safe haven for families while giving them access to cultural immersion through the arts. Although I went on to have a long career as a performer and teacher, the transition to arts administration was natural for me – seeded through my family heritage. When I returned to New Haven to work at NMS in 2012, the vibrant halls resembled those old family stories, and I knew this would be home. NMS is an extraordinary place where people from diverse communities come together to share joyful artistic experiences under one roof. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to lead such a talented staff and faculty and there is nowhere else I would rather be.”  

Noah is married and has two children who are students at NMS.
Please join us in welcoming Noah to this new role at NMS.


 

Staff
Number of Full Time Staff 17
Number of Part Time Staff 124
Number of Volunteers 50
Number of Contract Staff 3
Staff Retention Rate 95%
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 12
Asian American/Pacific Islander 3
Caucasian 125
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 0
Female 0
Unspecified 141
Former CEOs and Terms
NameTerm
Mr. Robert EberleJuly 1989 - July 1996
Lawrence Zukof1996 - June 2014
Senior Staff
Title Director of Finance and Administration
Title Director of Education
Title Director of Programs and Community Engagement
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Bi-Annually
Collaborations

NMS is actively reaching out in ways that engage the community with hands-on experiences of the quality programs offered through our organization. From free mini-lessons at youth-focused festivals in the region's challenged neighborhoods, to our open house and active outreach to schools and community groups, NMS investigates the needs within our community that our programming will fill. Partners and collaborators include: Shoreline Arts Alliance; Arts Council of Greater New Haven; New Haven Symphony Orchestra; New Haven Public Schools; New Haven Promise; Yale School of Music Community Programs, with whom we work closely in the New Haven Public Schools; Jewish Community Center; First Congregational Church on the Green in Guilford; Hamden Hall; and the Connecticut Parkinson's Working Group.

Awards
Award/RecognitionOrganizationYear
Finalist, National Arts and Humanities Youth AwardPresident's Committee on the Arts and Humanities2014
Comments
CEO Comments

“The arts enhance, enlarge and awaken our humanity in ways no other activities can equal,” said NEA Chairman Dana Gioia. In addition to the intrinsic joy that arts participation provides, research is increasingly demonstrating the associated instrumental benefits. These include improved self-efficacy, discipline, perseverance, teamwork, confidence, creative problem-solving, and development of social capital. Brain scans demonstrate accelerated cortical organization in attention skill, anxiety management and emotional control for children who study an instrument. At the same time, 21st century learning skills like creativity, problem-solving, collaboration, design-thinking, and public-speaking - addressed directly through arts education - are in higher demand in the economy than ever before. This supports the premise that NMS programs support participants in leading lives that are more fulfilling.

Our diverse faculty and a broad range of programs provide entry points for students from a variety of backgrounds and artistic interests. NMS offers financial aid and tuition-free programming for income-qualified students. By design, NMS is a welcoming environment, which draws prospective students (and donors) into our community and keeps existing students (and donors) feeling valued and celebrated. This is reflected in the messages we transmit through our website, social media, building signage and emails.

Once a student family (or donor) have embarked on their learning (or philanthropic) journey at NMS, their experience helps the good feelings grow. Personalized follow-up communications help them feel welcome and reinforce their decision to draw closer to NMS, while inviting proactive troubleshooting of any issues that might arise. NMS offers programming for all age groups, with a special focus on social and emotional development in the earlier years and on social and emotional well-being in the latter years.

Although we reside in a relatively small metro area, Greater New Haven encompasses a great diversity of socio-economic strata, races and ethnicities, religions, and gender orientations. The arts are unique in their ability to bring people together. Our activities promote empathy and social bonding between diverse segments of the population, generating peace, understanding, and good will in our community. We are committed to the value of arts participation for everyone – from the advanced conservatory-bound musician to the casual hobbyist to the student with special learning needs.

Board Chair
Ms. Amity Doolittle
Company Affiliation Yale University School of Forestry & Environmental Studies
Term July 2018 to June 2020
Board of Directors
NameAffiliation
Ms. Lynn C. AndrewsenYale University
Ms. Stephanie Boms
Mr. Alan H. Bowie Jr.
Mr. Joseph ChangYale University
Ms. Anne Curtis M.D.Yale-New Haven Hospital
Ms. Judith HackmanRetired
Ms. Bernadette HuangKreitler Associates
Ms. Kathrin LassilaYale University
Mr. Steven LathamYale University
Ms. Karla LindquistEconomic Development Corp. of New Haven
Mr. Gregory MuccilliShipman & Goodwin, LLP
Ms. Sara OhlyYale University
Mr. Marc Rubenstein M.D.Yale University
Ms. Karena Swan M.D.
Mr. Randy TeelAlexion Pharmaceuticals
Mr. James Undercofler
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander 2
Caucasian 13
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 7
Female 10
Unspecified 0
Standing Committees
Board Governance
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Executive
Finance
Investment
Audit
Additional Boards: Advisory Board Members
NameAffiliation
Sara ArmstrongAdmissions Director of Cold Spring School
William Aseltyne Esq.General Counsel, Yale New Haven Hospital & NMS Board Member
Mary BloomDirector of Music Education at Neighborhood Music School
Josh BorensteinManaging Director at Long Wharf Theatre
Jackie ColemanArts Consultant for Connecticut State Board of Education
Stephen DestDrama at Neighborhood Music School, Film Studies at University of Connecticut, and Acting Teacher at Education Center for the Arts (ECA)
David Gibson M.D.Orthopedic Surgeon, Yale New Haven Hospital & Vice Chair of NMS Board
Elizabeth GleasonEvans-Rood History Department Chair / Community Service
Josh GleasonAcademic Technology Coord. / Malone Schools Online Network Coord./ Modern Language (Spanish)
Jason HiruoHead of School at ACES Education Center for the Arts
Arati PanditHead of Cold Spring School
Sydney PerryCEO Emeritus, Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven
Joseph ZinterAssistant Director at Yale Center for Engineering, Innovation, and Design
CEO Comments

We are living through extraordinary times. Our school serves as an agent of unity and spreading the positive ripple effects of arts education into Greater New Haven and beyond. In a city where the privileged and underserved seem to inhabit different worlds, we provide a welcoming hub for all individuals to create together, and learn from one another, fostering empathy across difference.

We believe in the intrinsic value of artistic expression as a basic human right and a basic human need. Our founders realized, arts education also holds instrumental value as a powerful vehicle for personal growth and academic success. This too, should be accessible to all.

Over the past two years we have ambitiously launched a series of tuition–free programming: the popular, tuition-free Sherry & Alivia Craft Steel Band for teens, hosted the “The Word”, a city-wide youth poetry slam, and expanded our youth chorus—Audubon Voices. Our DELTA program (Developing & Empowering Leadership through the Arts), for income-qualified New Haven students in grades 6-12, and ASAA (our After-School Arts Academy), which offers hands-on artistic training and a personal development curriculum for grades 3-5. We plan to welcome our first cohort of ATLAS, a pioneering arts-based middle school, in Fall, 2019. ATLAS will provide a comprehensive education for 7th and 8th grade students. ATLAS places the process of theatrical production at the center of academic learning and personal growth during the crucial middle school years.

These programs touch lives in a profound way. Individuals and communities survive on physical nourishment, but they thrive on the spiritual uplift that only the arts can provide. We will continue to do what we have done for over 100 years - create community, spark potential, and share joy through the arts.

 
Financials
Fiscal Year Start July 01 2019
Fiscal Year End June 30 2020
Projected Revenue $4,750,458.00
Projected Expenses $4,750,457.00
Spending Policy Income plus capital appreciation
Percentage (if selected) 5%
Credit Line Yes
Reserve Fund Yes
Detailed Financials
Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities Chart
Fiscal Year201820172016
Total Assets$5,954,576$6,088,640$5,833,864
Current Assets$965,192$998,753$637,398
Long-Term Liabilities$634,098$667,197$448,393
Current Liabilities$1,296,141$1,201,083$841,398
Total Net Assets$4,024,337$4,220,360$4,544,073
Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201820172016
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountThe Community Foundation for Greater New Haven $163,135Dept. of Economic & Community Dev. $80,540Dept. of Economic & Community Dev. $121,714
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountDaniel Offutt Fund $100,000National Philanthropic Trust $40,000The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven $55,071
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountDepart. of Economic & Community Dev. $64,432The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven $25,000The Jana Foundation $20,000
Capitial Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes
Comments
CEO Comments

Challenges: 1) NMS is the largest community arts organization in the US that is not located in a top-20 metropolitan area. New Haven is a smaller city that lacks a strong corporate donor base. We rely on earned revenue for over 80% of our budget--similarly sized institutions stand at 70% or lower. 2) Our market research revealed that public awareness of NMS is low. The marketing budget was cut by 65%, between 2008 and 2018, eroding the school’s visibility and precipitated a decline in earned revenue. We restructured our marketing strategy to promote innovation and efficiency and nearly doubled the marketing budget. Retention has remained strong and recruitment is starting to rebound. 3) Insufficient capitalization and reserves limit the ability of current management to invest in developing additional programs and strengthen organizational infrastructure. 4) Our State of Connecticut arts line items budget was reduced more than 50%. It is unknown if the line item will continue to be available in future fiscal years. 5) NMS implemented across-the-board wage cuts of 8% for all employees (10% for management) to stabilize the budget. Preventing attrition and managing morale in the wake of the cuts remains a high priority.

Opportunities: 1) NMS continues to build community awareness and recruit new students for core programs. We have increased outreach to civic groups and schools. A new website and registration software was implemented and we are fostering a culture of recruitment. We plan to utilize student assessment and programmatic pathway recommendations as tools to maximize retention. 2) NMS is expanding its work with community partners to develop fundable programs that leverage New Haven’s arts sector to lift up the city’s youth. NMS is building out the leadership development components of our tuition-free youth programs. We are creating impactful programs that promise to attract large-scale funding. 3) NMS is working with two Harvard-trained educators to launch a small, arts-based middle school for 7th and 8th grades called ATLAS (Academic Theatre Lab on Audubon Street). ATLAS informational sessions, film screenings, community conversations, and experiential half-day workshops attracted prospective families. ATLAS is scheduled to launch in Fall, 2019, and will pioneer a new educational model. Seed funding is required to make financial aid available to families in the entering class.

Foundation Staff Comments This profile, including the financial summaries prepared and submitted by the organization based on its own independent and/or internal audit processes and regulatory submissions, has been read by the Foundation. Some financial information from the organization’s IRS Form 990, audited financial statements or other financial documents approved has been inputted by Foundation staff. The Foundation has not audited the organization’s financial statements or tax filings, and makes no representations or warranties thereon. A more complete picture of the organization’s finances can be obtained by viewing the attached 990s and audited financials. To see if the organization has received a competitive grant from The Community Foundation in the last five years, please go to the General Information Tab of the profile.
Address 100 Audubon Street
New Haven, CT 06510
Primary Phone 203 624-5189 17
Contact Email info@nmsnewhaven.org
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Noah Bloom
Board Chair Ms. Amity Doolittle
Board Chair Company Affiliation Yale University School of Forestry & Environmental Studies

 

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