Elevating the Arts, Engaging Creatively!

$50,000 Grant Awarded

Jim Canales of the Barr Foundation with Sarah Smongeski, Pakachoag Executive Director

We’re taking the next leap forward, thanks to the Greater Worcester Community Foundation‘s investment in Pakachoag with a $50,000 creative engagement grant. The program, administered in partnership with the Barr Foundation of Boston, will be supporting our work to become a more diverse organization, reflective of our changing world.

The overriding goal of Greater Worcester’s Creative Engagement initiative, in partnership with the Barr Foundation, is to elevate the arts and expand creative community engagement.

Our Pakachoag grant goals will be focused on:

  • Building organizational diversity;
  • strengthening capacity; and
  • engaging more dynamically with the Worcester community.

Below, Sarah Smongeski, Executive Director, has included her informal comments around the GWCF Creative Engagement Grant, as shared with families and guests during our May 2019 Recital weekend.

Learn more about the Greater Worcester Community Foundation and their Barr partnership here.

Learn more about the Barr Foundation’s investment in arts & culture here.

Setting The Stage, For the Future

Why the GWCF Creative Engagement Grant Makes a Difference and Why YOU Are an Important Part of This Project

Gleaned from May Recital Weekend Opening Comments by Sarah Smongeski, Executive Director.

YOUR participation as a current member of the Pakachoag family is VERY important – for the future of Pakachoag, the future of our community, and the future of our world!

A little dramatic?  Perhaps.

You are connected to Pakachoag in some way because you believe in the value of music.  At some point in the past, music likely touched you in a personal way.

But, there are  many in our community, and beyond, who have not yet found the music – in a lasting, personal way.

  • They may never have sung a beautiful folk melody as part of  Music Together class.
  • They may never have had the experience of hearing a live performance of classical music with a 100 member orchestra on stage.
  • They may not have had access when growing up to music making opportunities.
  • Some may never have considered why learning to play an instrument can be valuable as well as enjoyable.
  • Some do not have the resources to buy an instrument and invest in lessons.
  • And, many, understandably, do not know what they are missing.

TODAY we are fortunate in Massachusetts and Worcester to have civic leaders  who get “IT”.

  • They get that music is THE only activity that engages the entire brain.
  • They get that the research shows that youth involved in the arts not only find positive outlets for self-expression, but then those same young people are more likely to become socially and civically engaged throughout life.
  • They get that when you remain engaged in arts activities later in life, you are healthier – and that saves money in terms of the health care system.
  • And, perhaps most importantly, those same leaders, understand that the arts simply bring value to life, regardless of all the side benefits.

This weekend, I am really exicted to share that Pakachoag is the beneficiary of these leaders who get “it”.  We’ve been selected by Greater Worcester Community Foundation, in partnership with Boston’s Barr Foundation, to receive $50,000.    We are one of five Worcester non profits receiving a Creative Community Engagement grant for the coming year.  We anticipate working for two years, even three, to fulfill all of our goals connected to this grant award.

The over riding goal of the of the GWCF Creative Engagement program  through these grants is to elevate the arts and expand creative community engagement.

Our Pakachoag grant goals will be focused on:

  • Building organizational diversity;
  • strengthening capacity; and
  • engaging more dynamically with the Worcester community.

AND THAT is why YOUR participation this weekend – and throughout the year – is so important.  We cannot do this important work without you.

Thank you harmony fund donors and our On The Move donors:  Your gifts sustain the school and make every note we hear sung or played in our studios, performance classes and recitals possible.

Thank YOU – students and families.  You are a critical piece of the future.  As we work to grow, we need you to continue to make music, for yourself, and for the larger community.  As we welcome new families into the school and work to create more diversity, you set the stage for showing others what is possible.  When we share our music and learn together, that is when we create the greatest impact as a creative COMMUNITY, setting the stage for others who have yet to discover the huge powerful impact of music and the arts.

We thank Greater Worcester Community Foundation, in partnership with the Barr Foundation, for investing in arts, Worcester and Pakachoag with this special award to support engagement and capacity building.

Learn more about the  Greater Worcester Community Foundation’ partnership wit Barr here.

Learn more about the Barr’s Foundation investment in arts & culture here.