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6/6/16 - Trust Gives $11 Million to 80 Nonprofits In Year’s Biggest Round of Grants

Amy Wolf (212) 686-0010 x234,
David L. Marcus (212) 686-0010 x224,
(New York, NY—June 6, 2016) The New York Community Trust just approved $11 million in grants to 80 nonprofits that will take on numerous projects, ranging from supporting clean energy to advocating for alternatives to school suspensions to countering Islamophobia.

The new grants, The Trust’s largest round of funding so far this year, cover all five boroughs and beyond. The Trust approved more than $3.8 million in grants to improve literacy among young students. This includes a grant of nearly $1.3 million to New York University to encourage more teachers to use storytelling and student assessment data to improve reading skills, and a $439,000 grant to the Union Settlement Association to use photography to help those who are just learning English. These and other grants were made from our by Brooke Astor New York City Education funds.

After terror attacks in Paris and San Bernardino in late 2015, suspected hate crimes surged against Muslims, Arabs, and South Asians in the United States. In response, The Trust is starting an effort to counter Islamophobia by giving $550,000 to eight groups to highlight the contributions and voices of Muslim Americans and prevent anti-Islam bullying.

The Rockaway Youth Task Force will use a $50,000 grant to expand a leadership program for teens living far away from other City programs. And, The Trust is awarding $60,000 to the Citizens Unions of the City of New York to examine the causes of low voter turnout.

  • Arab American Association of New York, $90,000 to connect Muslim leaders, organizers, and advocacy groups in New York City, who can then respond to anti-Islamic rhetoric and stereotyping. 
  • Asian American Writers’ Workshop, $75,000 to provide emerging Muslim, Arab, and South Asian writers with workshops, fellowships, and mentors, and help them publish pieces that counter Islamophobia. 
  • Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, $80,000 to research and publish data on the contributions of Muslim New Yorkers in effort to counteract negative stereotypes.
  • New York University, $50,000 to host Islamic cultural events and information sessions, and produce videos and podcasts explaining Islam.
  • Seftel Productions, $50,000 to produce a series of short films, titled “The Secret Life of Muslims,” highlighting Muslim experiences in America.
  • South Asian Youth Action, $80,000 to develop leadership skills in South Asian boys and men ages 11 to 19.
  • Turning Point for Women and Families, $80,000 to develop leadership and mediation skills among Muslim girls and young women to prevent bullying.
  • WNET, $50,000 to create online resources and conduct professional development for teachers to help educate their students about Islam.

Following are more highlights from The New York Community Trust’s latest grants.

HEALTHY LIVES: The Trust wants New Yorkers to live healthy, independent, and productive lives, and the following grants are intended to do that in New York City and beyond:  

  • Carter Burden Center for the Aging, $110,000 to expand health services at its day program for low-income, chronically ill elders. 
  • Myrtle Avenue Commercial Revitalization and Development Project LDC, $40,000 to plan events and programs in Brooklyn so seniors can socialize and learn about healthy lifestyles, fitness, and the arts. The group also encourages businesses to offer senior discounts and programming. 
  • Visiting Neighbors, $60,000 to create a guide that helps families start end-of-life discussions. 
  • AIDS Community Research Initiative of America (ACRIA), $100,000 to study the health care needs of older people living with HIV/AIDS.
  • Health Research, $314,000 to study—and develop treatments for—mycobacterium abscessus, a drug-resistant bacterial infection. 
  • Mount Sinai Hospital, $100,000 to develop an app, website, and online resources so adolescents can be involved in their health care decisions. 
  • National Center for Law and Economic Justice, $90,000 to encourage public agencies to offer more accessible services to people with vision problems.
  • UJA-Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York, $125,000 to help health, mental health, housing, and social service agencies adapt to federal and state health reform.

THRIVING COMMUNITIES: The Trust makes grants to groups that protect and create affordable housing, bolster and promote equity in the arts, improve civic participation, and protect our environment.  New grants in this area: 

A key component of The Trust’s arts grantmaking strategy is to strengthen and expand the programming of small arts groups citywide. The most recent recipients:   

  • Black Spectrum Theatre Company, $150,000 to manage and expand its afterschool theater education, mobile theater, and anti-gun-violence programs while improving its online presence. 
  • Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance, $70,000 to start a low-cost dance academy for Bronx children ages 6 to 10. 
  • Camille A. Brown and Dancers, $88,000 to expand and get nonprofit status for this Queens dance company. 
  • Cause Strategy Partners, $135,000 to help ensure boards of small to mid-size arts groups are ethnically diverse. 
  • Elders Share the Arts, $50,000 to standardize, codify, and expand its creative-aging training program so it can help elder-serving agencies incorporate more art and help art groups involve more seniors.
  • Flea Theater, $150,000 to start a program for small music, dance, and theater groups in a new facility.
  • Greater Jamaica Development Corporation, $150,000 to build creative coalitions and raise the visibility of cultural activity in four poorer neighborhoods in: Jamaica, Queens; the South Bronx; east Brooklyn; and upper Manhattan.
  • Hi-ARTS, $90,000 for a marketing plan to draw audiences to a new East Harlem arts venue, El Barrio’s Artspace PS109. 
  • Jessica Lang Dance, $150,000 to launch a new dance school in Long Island City.  
  • Nonprofit Finance Fund, $218,500 to strengthen the financial capacity of small arts groups. 
  • Thalia Spanish Theatre, $100,000 to design a Hispanic cultural center at LaGuardia Community College.
  • 651 Arts, $128,000 to prepare the Brooklyn-based music and performing arts group for a merger with the Museum of Contemporary African Diaspora Arts, forming the nation’s only contemporary arts center for the African diaspora. 
  • Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development, $65,000 to promote the preservation of industrial centers that create jobs in low-income neighborhoods.
  • City Limits, $50,000 to hire a full-time reporter to expand its award-winning housing coverage.
  • Housing Conservation Coordinators, $ 65,000 to provide legal services and advice for low-income residents of buildings with 421-a tax abatements.
  • Joint Ownership Entity New York City, $250,000 to pool the real estate assets of nonprofit affordable housing development organizations into a single entity to preserve vital affordable housing. The grant will help recruit new members; to review the legal, financial, regulatory and physical condition of its buildings; and to create a strategy and timeline to fix the buildings most in need of repair. 
  • Pratt Area Community Council, $65,000 to help low-income Brooklyn residents participate in affordable housing lotteries.  
  • Union Settlement Association, $50,000 to expand the East Harlem Community Alliance so it can improve social and economic conditions in the neighborhood.
  • Blackfeet Nation, $100,000 to restore the natural migration of bison along the U.S.-Canadian border. 
  • Center for Environmental Health, $100,000 to persuade large institutional buyers to opt for nontoxic furniture and other safer products.
  • 50/50 Climate Project, $100,000 to add climate-savvy members to boards of large energy companies. 
  • Green Infrastructure Finance Project, New York University Stern School of Business, $150,000 to work with the City’s Department of Environmental Protection to develop new approaches for financing green infrastructure projects on private property. 
  • Just Transition Fund, $100,000 to promote investment in clean energy and support those projects competing for federal funding in communities affected by the fading coal industry.
  • Oregon Environmental Council, $125,000 to strengthen clean energy initiatives and carbon pricing measures along the Pacific Coast.
  • Revitalize Coalition, New York City Environmental Justice Alliance, $100,000 to support community energy planning in low-income areas of Buffalo and New York City.
  • Urban Land Institute, $100,000 to encourage real estate and land use professionals consider climate change and resiliency planning in their decisions. 
  • Waterfront Alliance, $100,000 to coordinate development of resilient waterfront design standards for New York City and beyond. 
  • Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, $100,000 to protect critical conservation corridors along the U.S.-Canadian border.
  • Human Services Council of NYC, $120,000 to help human service providers evaluate the financial risks of contracting with the City and State. 
  • Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of New York, $30,000 to evaluate the impact of The New York Community Trust Nonprofit Excellence Awards on participating organizations and the nonprofit sector.
  • SeaChange Capital Partners, $150,000 to support and encourage nonprofit mergers and other formal partnerships by covering legal fees, consultant costs, technology integration, and other expenses in connection with those mergers and partnerships.
• Citizens Union Foundation, $60,000 to study the causes of low voter turnout.

PROMISING FUTURES: The Trust wants New Yorkers to achieve their highest potential by staying in school, seizing opportunities, and overcoming obstacles. 

In 2012, the State Attorney General and administrators of Brooke Astor’s estate chose The New York Community Trust to manage and distribute more than $43 million in support of education. The following new grants are made by the Brooke Astor New York City Education funds to support literacy in the early grades:

  • Creative Arts Team, $500,000 to improve students’ reading skills through a combination of teacher training, dramatic storytelling by teaching artists, and workshops for parents. This grant will expand Creative Arts Team’s Early Learning Program to schools in Queens.
  • To improve reading instruction in afterschool programs run by community groups: 
        • CAMBA, $262,000
        • Chinese-American Planning Council, $290,000
        • Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation, $316,000
        • ExpandED Schools, $298,000
  • New York University, $1,295,000 to help teachers use storytelling and student assessment data to improve children’s reading skills. With previous grants from The Trust, New York University provided training and coaching to teachers and assistants, created a series of webinars and manuals on oral storytelling, and established a free technical assistance helpline for teachers. 
  • Teachers College, Columbia University, $270,000 to continue research, and report on better ways to teach kids to read. 
  • Union Settlement Association, $439,000 to expand the Photo and Me program, which helps those just learning English become better readers. Students take pictures and discuss what they see with their teachers and parents, engaging in their surroundings as well as nonfiction reading and writing. 
  • Advocates for Children of New York, $75,000 to support students who are being suspended from school. 
  • National Economic and Social Rights Initiative, $80,000 to advocate for alternatives to suspension in the City’s schools.
  • City Harvest, $200,000 to distribute 2.5 million pounds of healthy food in poor neighborhoods, including fresh fruits and vegetables. 
  • Community Food Advocates, $75,000 to continue its push for free lunches in New York City public schools. 
  • Safe Horizon, $100,000 to provide mental health services to homeless youth.
  • Center for Employment Opportunities, $125,000 to expand job skills and training for former inmates.
  • New York City Employment and Training Coalition, $65,000 to strengthen employment services and advocate for workforce development in New York.
  • New York City Workforce Development Fund, $200,000 to support the City’s redesign of employment services and bring foundations together to make grants in the field of workforce development.
  • STRIVE, $125,000 to help entry-level and lower-paid workers upgrade skills and advance careers through training and professional development. 
  • Campaign for Strong Communities, $100,000 to increase resources and advance policy decisions that address poverty and hunger in the City. 
  • Child Care and Early Education Fund, $50,000 for a collaborative effort to improve early childhood services for preschoolers.
  • Collaborative for Children and Families, $125,000 to help child welfare agencies adapt to services mandated by Medicaid managed care. 
  • Herbert H. Lehman College of CUNY, $52,000 to launch a journal on urban social work, addressing issues such as poverty, homelessness, substance abuse, violence and poor education.
  • Pro Bono Net, $75,000 to improve online information for New Yorkers with legal problems.
  • University Settlement Society of New York, $50,000 to improve conditions in public housing by launching a pilot effort to promote resident leadership and a positive view of the community. 
  • Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health, $40,000 for an afterschool science program for high school students, called Health Science Academy.
  • Global Kids, $100,000 to provide programming for underserved girls and young women to boost their interest in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.
  • Harlem RBI, $40,000 to expand a sports and academic program for disadvantaged young people in the South Bronx.
  • Henry Street Settlement, $150,000 to help two nonprofit employment programs in the Lower East Side and the South Bronx coordinate education and job services for unemployed young people.
  • JobsFirstNYC, $100,000 to develop workforce partnerships for unemployed youth on Staten Island and in Brooklyn.
  • Red Hook Initiative, $75,000 to improve an education and employment program for unemployed young people in Red Hook, Brooklyn.  
  • Rockaway Youth Task Force, $50,000 to expand a leadership program for teens in Far Rockaway.
  • Roundabout Theatre Company, $75,000 to begin an apprenticeship program for young people interested in technical careers, such as set design, lighting, audio, and theatrical make-up. 
  • Woodlawn Conservancy, $75,000 to expand an apprenticeship program in stone masonry for students from the Bronx International High School and Williamsburg High School for Architecture and Design. 
The New York Community Trust connects past and present generous New Yorkers with nonprofits that ensure healthy lives, thriving communities, and promising futures. We are the community foundation for New York City, Westchester, and Long Island—with a permanent endowment dedicated to improving our region through strategic grantmaking, civic engagement, and smart philanthropy. 

Through our competitive grants program, made possible with money left to us by bequest, we fund programs that improve the lives of all New Yorkers, especially those most in need. Name an issue area, and chances are we fund it—from helping young people in poor neighborhoods to promoting equity in the arts, from making our environment healthier to improving our schools. 


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