Mary A. Schmecker Turtle Shell Fund
c/o 6 Research Dr.
STE 120
Shelton CT 06484-6228
Contact Information
Address c/o 6 Research Dr.
STE 120
Shelton, CT 06484-6228
Telephone (203) 645-0735 x
Fax 203-244-8373
E-mail info@turtleshellfund.com
Web and Social Media
A young boy takes to drumming at our Soupstock Music and Arts Festival!
Mission
The Mary A. Schmecker Turtle Shell Fund is building our community through the arts. We provide opportunities for the whole community to engage in creative pursuits  in order to create a rich cultural heritage for tomorrow. Through arts festivals, arts programming, and grants to public schools and nonprofits, the Turtle Shell Fund enables community members of all ages to widen their horizons, connect to others, and build a more vibrant community
 
We envision a day when adults may expand their horizons by discovering a new way to express themselves and connect to others in the larger community through the arts. We envision a day when all the kids in our community have the opportunity to explore their creative talents. In this way they may develop into passionate adults with an expansive world view, and they may derive joy from contributing creatively to their larger community. 
 
Arts education in our public schools has suffered from deep cuts over the last many years, but the arts remain vital to youth education and development, as well as to the vitality of our community. The Turtle Shell Fund fills gaps to ensure that the arts will continue to add value to the lives of children and, in turn, to our broader culture.
 
To meet our mission, the Turtle Shell Fund provides arts education and experiences for youth and adults in the areas of art, music and skilled craft. We help introduce community members to the joy of creating a union of the mind, body and tools used in creative work. Through community events, we  elevate the value of skilled craft, fine arts and other creative expressions in our wider community.  With the aid of local craftsmen, artists, and musicians -- as well as the public at large -- we will provide bridges to creative expression with scholarships, grants and -- over time -- also internships, apprenticeship programs, and direct instruction.  
 
 
At A Glance
Year of Incorporation 2012
Organization's type of tax exempt status Public Supported Charity
Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Currently Unstaffed
Board Chair Michele Bialek
Board Chair Company Affiliation Liquid Lunch
Financial Summary
 
Projected Revenue $85,000.00
Projected Expenses $50,000.00
Statements
Mission
The Mary A. Schmecker Turtle Shell Fund is building our community through the arts. We provide opportunities for the whole community to engage in creative pursuits  in order to create a rich cultural heritage for tomorrow. Through arts festivals, arts programming, and grants to public schools and nonprofits, the Turtle Shell Fund enables community members of all ages to widen their horizons, connect to others, and build a more vibrant community
 
We envision a day when adults may expand their horizons by discovering a new way to express themselves and connect to others in the larger community through the arts. We envision a day when all the kids in our community have the opportunity to explore their creative talents. In this way they may develop into passionate adults with an expansive world view, and they may derive joy from contributing creatively to their larger community. 
 
Arts education in our public schools has suffered from deep cuts over the last many years, but the arts remain vital to youth education and development, as well as to the vitality of our community. The Turtle Shell Fund fills gaps to ensure that the arts will continue to add value to the lives of children and, in turn, to our broader culture.
 
To meet our mission, the Turtle Shell Fund provides arts education and experiences for youth and adults in the areas of art, music and skilled craft. We help introduce community members to the joy of creating a union of the mind, body and tools used in creative work. Through community events, we  elevate the value of skilled craft, fine arts and other creative expressions in our wider community.  With the aid of local craftsmen, artists, and musicians -- as well as the public at large -- we will provide bridges to creative expression with scholarships, grants and -- over time -- also internships, apprenticeship programs, and direct instruction.  
 
 
Background
Mary Anne Schmecker was the "Gram" of Turtle Shell Fund founders Joseph Manganello and Michele Bialek. She taught her craft to kids and adults for 35 years starting in 1970 at the old Community Center Boys' Club. She stayed with the club until her death in 2008, by which time it was the Lower Naugatuck Valley Boys and Girls Club. Gram gave time, compassion, creativity, guidance and art materials to ensure that kids in the Valley had a consistent place in which to explore their creativity. She wanted to expose kids to the kinds of creative outlets that they often won't find as arts programming is cut in public schools.
 
In 2007 the Club inducted Gram into the inaugural class of their Hall of Fame, a moment she relished. As she looked back on all the years in which she had been at the Club, she said that the hugs were the best part. To Mary they were all her kids, and if you ask anyone who went to her classes, she was everyone's Gram.

When she passed in 2008 the community lost a valuable champion of artistic expression, and we, her family and friends, lost a beacon of light in our lives.
 
Gram's grandkids initially created a charity fund managed by Valley Community Foundation to honor Gram and her ideals. That fund was intended only to provide financial support for youth arts education. However, we wanted to do more to allow Gram's passion and belief in the transcendent power of the arts to continue to empower young people.
 
In 2010, we created The MAS Turtle Shell Fund Inc. Gram always wore some kind of jewelry with a turtle on it, not to mention that the turtle shell is a thing of art by itself. We gave the organization the name of Turtle Shell and started working on a wonderful legacy for this great woman. 
Impact
In the past year, Turtle Shell Fund has seen the following accomplishments:
 
- Awarded $6,000 in small grants to the Shelton Intermediate School to supplement art supplies, to 
 
- Granted a $1,000 award to the Derby High School art department, which enabled a first time district-wide art show that will become an annual event. 
 
- Purchased a tent for the Shelton High School robotics team to enable them to more successfully travel for competitions and other events. 
 
- Expanded Soupstock -- our music, art and food festival in downtown Shelton -- which is also our premier cultural and fundraising event. The festival raises vital funds for The Turtle Shell Fund, and brings thousands of people to Shelton's downtown to celebrate the arts. In 2014 the festival expanded to be a 2-day event. Soupstock includes live professional music, a soup competition, student art competition, games for kids, local artisan vendors and a wonderful community energy.
 
- Expanded the Board of Directors from its four founding members to a board of eight and transitioning one founder from being a Board Member to being the paid producer of Soupstock. In expanding the Board of Directors, we added an attorney, a nonprofit professional, a public school art teacher and administrator, a music and culture magazine publisher and a restaurant consultant. 
 
In the current year, the Turtle Shell Fund is already working aggressively to  take our young organization to the next level. Our goals for 2015-2014 are:
 
- Complete the strategic planning process we initiated in 2014 and identify a long term fundraising plan to enable the hiring of our first part time permanent staff person
 
- Continue filling gaps in arts education for youth in our area by funding vital programs in the schools or located at nonprofit partners, and identify (in relation to our strategic planning goals) avenues for initiating our own unique programming.
 
- Continue to update our new website to improve the way we showcase our work and our vision.
 
 
 
Needs
1. Funding for strategic planning: $5,000
2. Funding for fundraising support, a professional to expand our capacity to identify and apply for grants and have a more consistently implemented individual donor fundraising plan: $5,000
3. Marketing/Communications professional (donated or funded) to support the design of a general brochure, possibly including support with messaging. $3,000 
3. Board Members with a passion for the richness that develops when a community includes artists and other creative thinkers
4. Volunteers interested in building relationships in order to increase our fundraising with institutions as well as individuals in the community
5. General Operations Funding: The Turtle Shell Fund is currently run entirely by volunteers. We envision raising adequate funds to hire a permanent staff person within the next 2 years.  Staffing will allow the organization to gain a level of consistency and professionalism that the work deserves. 
 
 
 
Service Categories
Primary Organization Category Arts,Culture & Humanities / Arts Education
Areas Served
Lower Naugatuck Valley
Ansonia
Bethany
Derby
Oxford
Seymour
Shelton
Other
The Mary A. Schmecker Turtle Shell Fund is based in Shelton, but our target constituency is all youth -- from kindergarten through high school ages -- in the lower Naugatuck Valley of Connecticut.
 
We also provide some connection to the arts for adults. 
Programs
Description
Soupstock is a 2-day music, arts, and food festival that is run annually in downtown Shelton.  A key feature of the event is the student art competition. Over 200 students -- from grades k - 12 -- share their best artwork during the competition. The Turtle Shell Fund partners with area public schools in order to engage a wide range of students in the competition. Therefore, these young artists come from schools throughout the Valley region. In 2015 we are adding an adult category to the art competition - allowing amateur artists of all ages to participate!
 
In addition to the art competition, Soupstock includes live music, a soup making competition, a kids' zone with family-friendly activities and dozens of local artisan vendors. The festival serves as great art programming for our region, as well as a vital fundraiser for the Mary A. Schmecker Turtle Shell Fund.
 
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) / Adults /
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. 2015 will be the second year that this event is expanded to two days for one. In 2015 we expect an increase in attendance from approximately 6,000 to 8,000, including over 200 elementary, middle school and high-school students who participate in the art competition and dozens of adults, for whom the art competition is newly available this year. We will increase our fundraising from the event from approximately $17,000 to $30,000 for future Turtle Shell Fund 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. Soupstock enhances our local community. It brings together thousands of people to celebrate the transcendent nature of the arts. It increases children's opportunity to express their creative side, though the art competition, games specifically for children, and exposure to live music. The festival showcases the range of artistic expression by incorporating food, music and skilled arts and crafts into one festival. The event brings people to Shelton's waterfront, an underused space highly conducive to creative and arts-related events. We track these goals by measuring the number of children who participate in the art competition, the number of participants overall in the festival and the number of people who seek to get involved with the Turtle Shell Fund and our programs after learning about the organization at the event.
Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact. We annually count total attendance, net income, number of participants in the adult soup and student art competitions. We track if those numbers have increased from prior years. We also track the number of inquiries we have about the Turtle Shell Fund as a result of community members' introduction to the organization at the event.
Description
The Turtle Shell fund fills gaps in art and other creative education in our area. Through partnerships with public schools and other nonprofit organizations, we provide small grants to the public schools and to other nonprofit organizations in order to provide vital materials or tools for existing programs, or to help initiate or expand new programs that would not otherwise have that capacity.
 
We have partnered with the Shelton Public School School system to provide funding for art supplies at the elementary through high school levels and provide a tent for the Shelton Robotics Club's many event appearances. We have been the sole funder of a new district-wide arts competition in the Derby Public School system. Our award to the Boys and Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley enabled new programs in robotics, art and photography. 
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) / /
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.
In the near term, this program will continue to fill gaps in arts education in the Valley region. During 2015 -2016, this program will provide arts supplies and education -- supplies and enrichment that would not exist without our support -- to at least 1,000 area children and teens. Exact programs that we will support in the coming year are not yet identified. The kinds of program will be similar to those we have enhanced during the last two years. They may include programs such as public school general arts education, robotics, photography, theatre, music, painting, woodworking, arts competitions, or other vital arts programs for youth.
Examples of Program SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.
After receiving grant funds in early 2015, the Derby Public Schools Art and Design Department Head noted,
 
"The grant that we received from the Turtle Shell fund was vital to our art program this year! The award of $1000 was the exact amount that our art budget had been cut, leaving us with great concern about meeting the creative needs of our students. Additionally, the grant provided us with the funds needed to create a dynamic display for our first DISTRICT-WIDE art show. Derby High School will continue to host this event every year going forward. So, the generosity of the Turtle Shell Fund not only benefitted Derby High School, but all art students in all Derby schools! I am heartily grateful for the benefits to my students, our school and our district.” 
Description Every year, the Turtle Shell Fund partners with Shelton High School to provide grants to two graduating seniors with a passion for the arts. The school's arts department identifies one female and one male student worth of this award, and the Turtle Shell Fund provides $1,000 to each student, enabling them to invest in their continuing arts education.
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years) / /
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
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. The Turtle Shell Fund seeks to widen opportunities to engage in the arts. Young people are often steered into more "productive" life paths, and their focus on the arts may get lost. The annual arts scholarships provide the young awardees with an opportunity to continue their own arts education as they develop into adults. Perhaps this will result in an arts related career for these youth, or perhaps it will merely put them on a path to a lifelong appreciation and participation in arts. Regardless, by investing in young community members with a demonstrated commitment to the arts, we are helping to enrich our community, today and into the future.
Description
As we complete this online profile, The Turtle Shell Fund is developing a 5-year strategic plan. We plan to expand programming -- including adding direct programs as well as continuing to fund gaps in arts education. We don't yet know which program(s) we'll decide are best and wisest to pursue in the short term. The options range from funding the purchase of a 3-D printer for the public school arts programs, to funding field trips to art exhibits or performances, to providing a low-cost arts class on a hard to find arts topic, to initiating a skilled crafts apprenticeship program, with a range of ideas that fall in-between.
 
We do know that we will be using some of the funds that we have on hand, as well as the funds we raise this year, to implement these new programs. In order to expand our work in this manner, the strategic plan will outline a timeline for hiring our first part time staff person in the next one to two years. The new strategic plan will be completed by the end of calendar year 2015.
 
We invite anyone from the Valley region who is passionate about a specific youth arts programming idea to be in touch. We'd love to consider your idea as we proceed with our strategic planning.
Population Served / /
CEO/Executive Director
Currently Unstaffed
Term Start Jan 2016
Email info@turtleshellfund.com
Staff
Number of Full Time Staff 0
Number of Part Time Staff 0
Number of Volunteers 50
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate 0%
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 0
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 0
Female 0
Unspecified 0
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation N/A
Collaborations
Shelton Public Schools
Boys and Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley
Spooner House 
Derby Public Schools 
Comments
CEO Comments
As we enter into our next phase of operations, a top priority is to raise adequate funds to hire our first staff person. We are now developing a fundraising plan that will be strengthened once we expand the board and go through a strategic planning process.
 
We expect to raise funds to enable the hiring of a staff person within 2 years. Permanent staffing will enable the Turtle Shell fund to move forward more consistently and quickly to expand programming and meet our mission.
 
We reach hundreds of children each year with current fundraising. The additional funds we raise now --including through the Great Give -- will enable us to involve so many more children in the arts.
Board Chair
Michele Bialek
Company Affiliation Liquid Lunch
Term Jan 2015 to Dec 2015
Board of Directors
NameAffiliation
Fred Bialek Liquid Lunch
Ellen Cox Shelton Public Schools
Venoal Fountain Community Volunteer
Joseph Manganello Community Volunteer
Mark Moeller Community Volunteer
Erica Schwarz Community Volunteer
Derek Signore The Sound Magazine
Michael Skrtic The Glass Source
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 8
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 5
Female 4
Governance
Board Term Lengths 1
Board Term Limits 0
Written Board Selection Criteria Under Development
Written Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 50%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Standing Committees
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
CEO Comments
In 2014 the Turtle Shell Fund made great strides to move from a very small and fledgling organization to a more professional group that is working towards some staffing by 2016. This will allow us to build on our work to date to expand our programming.
 
In 2014, we expanded the board from its four founders to a board of 8 fully active members. New members come with expertise in the arts, arts education, small business development, nonprofit fundraising and strategic planning, the law, and arts festivals.
 
We held a group orientation for new board members and a strategic planning process with the new board to ensure we were all aligned with our goals, mission and future plans. 
 
The expanded staffing enabled an expansion of our Soupstock Music and Arts Festival from one-day to a two-day event.
 
It has also allowed us to to create a modern website, which we will continue to improve over the coming year.
 
In 2015 we will continue to complete our strategic plan, developing and implementing a road map to move towards our first staff person and expanded programs.
 
It's a great time for our organization! Increased income a this time will enable us to put our plans for expanded programming into action
 
 
 
 
Financials
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01 2015
Fiscal Year End Dec 31 2015
Projected Revenue $85,000.00
Projected Expenses $50,000.00
Spending Policy Income Only
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund No
Detailed Financials
Prior Three Years Expense Allocations Chart
Fiscal Year201320122011
Program Expense$29,205$14,010--
Administration Expense$5,722$1,674--
Fundraising Expense$1,517$772--
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.041.47--
Program Expense/Total Expenses80%85%--
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue4%3%--
Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities Chart
Fiscal Year201320122011
Total Assets$14,918$9,876--
Current Assets$15,068$9,876--
Long-Term Liabilities------
Current Liabilities$3,501----
Total Net Assets$11,417$9,876--
Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201320122011
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountSikorsky $2,000The Recipe of Success LLC $1,000--
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountThe Recipe of Success LLC $1,000Shelton Patch $750--
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountCrown Uniform and Linen $750Wells Fargo Bank $500--
Solvency
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201320122011
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities4.30----
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201320122011
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%--
Capitial Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Comments
CEO Comments
To date, the organization has focused on raising funds through our Soupstock Arts and Music festival and a much smaller event - In Love and Chocolate - that we co-host with the Spooner House.  In 2015 - 2016 we are developing a comprehensive fundraising plan that will focus on grants and building long lasting relationships with individual donors.  
 
Due to our small annual expenses in prior years (under $50,000 each year), we have only had the obligation under federal tax law to file a 990-N. In 2014 we had a budget larger than $50,000 and we will file a Form 990 in coming weeks. Also due to our small budget we have not completed an audit or review with an outside firm. We do conduct an internal audit with the help of our professional accountant. The financials uploaded in the audit section reflects data that has been reviewed by our accountant and board members.
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 Community Foundation.  Financial information is input by Foundation staff directly from the organization’s IRS Form 990, audited financial statements or other financial documents approved by the nonprofit’s board. The Foundation has not audited the organization’s financial statements or tax filings, and makes no representations or warranties thereon. The Community Foundation requires three years of financial information from the nonprofit organization; however, this requirement may not be available for some organizations due to their more recent incorporation or formation. The Community Foundation is continuing to receive information submitted by the organization and may periodically update the organization’s profile to reflect the most current financial and other information available. The organization has completed the fields required by The Community Foundation and updated their profile in the last year. 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.

 

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