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Greenbelt Community Foundation

All In With GCF

All In With the Greenbelt Community Foundation

By Lois Rosado and Dorrie Bates

Guests attending the Annual Meeting of the Greenbelt Community Foundation(GCF) on Sunday, November 12th , were greeted by members of GEMZ, a faith-based mentoring and leadership program open to all young ladies between the ages of 11 and 18 residing in Greenelt.   GEMZ was awarded a grant this year, and the young hostesses were very polished and helpful.

As they mingled,  guests were entertained on guitar by Talon Hall, a student from Eleanor Roosevelt High School.  GCF has awarded several grants to the ERHS Music Department over the years; the department continues to share their talented music students with the Foundation and with the community.

Melissa Ehrenreich, the outgoing Chair, presided over this event, reviewed the organization’s balance sheet and introduced the incoming officers: Carol Shaw, Chair; Carolyn Lambright-Davis, Vice-Chair; Anthony Borges, Treasurer.  Joanie Cohen-Mitchell, Program Committee Chair; and Melissa Ehrenreich, Resource Development Chair.  Carol Shaw also chairs the Outreach Committee.

Melissa shared some of the 2016-17 highlights, beginning with GCF’s signature Anniversary campaign, Explore Your Greenbelt.  .   Throughout the year, Greenbelters attended events in different parts of the City, and becoming informed about the abundance of talent here. GCF was able to spotlight many of the funded projects over the 10 years of its year’s existence.

In an effort to offer grantees continuing support, GCF has initiated a Grantee Liaison Program, where a board member or a committee member is assigned to a grantee to monitor its progress, collect photos and stories and assist as needed.  Carolyn Lambright-Davis is coordinating this effort.

Looking ahead, Melissa unveiled GCF‘s 2018 theme:  “Roots and Shoots”.  ” In order for GCF to continue and grow, we need to engage youth in philanthropic experiences.” she said.   By providing workshops, media services, and mentoring GCF can steer young people into developing projects and learning how to secure grant funding.

A new GCF media effort is headed by Rev. Ray Raysor, a member of the Outreach Committee. The goal is to continue the theme of Explore Your Greenbelt by highlighting the projects funded by GCF.  Making a video, interviewing participants and sharing them on GATE television to help enlighten the community about how their donations to GCF are being used to help enhance life in our City.

One of this year’s grantees is The Center for Dynamic Community Governance.  Aileen Kroll, who heads the organization, gave an overview of the project, a partnership with the Old Greenbelt Theatre to expand its volunteer program and get people involved and excited about what is happening close to home. This project is another way to get young people to be more engaged.

Kim Kash and Kim Rush Lynch of the Greenbelt Farmer’s Market spoke about the importance of gaining seed money from the Greenbelt Community Foundation to start the Farmer’s Market.  Both speakers stated that the Market would not have happened without the Funding received from GCF. Many Greenbelters have benefited from the market and enjoy purchasing fresh produce.   The GCF’s signage grant in particular enabled the Farmer’s Market to expand their outreach to the surrounding area.

Several speakers reinforced the idea that donating to the Greenbelt Community Foundation is making an investment in Greenbelt’s nonprofit community based organizations,  supporting extra special programs and projects that all Greenbelters enjoy.

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GCF Awards Six Grants

GCF Awards Six Grants  Full Article By Matt Arbach

The Greenbelt Community Foundation (GCF) has awarded grants to six organizations serving the Greenbelt community. These organizations are implementing exciting new programs designed to empower and enrich Greenbelt residents of all ages.  Check them out:

Alight Dance Theater   Playing with Words “Playing 115:” is a new project devised by Alight Dance Theater.  The finale of the project will be a performance at the Greenbelt Arts Center as an Artful Afternoon showcase.This will be the culmination of seven workshops, in partnership with the Greenbelt Recreation Department, designed to engage participants of all ages. The project’s focus is to use a “creative process to make new stories from existing stories, through both words and movement,” according to Matina Phillips, Artistic Director. Alight Dance Theater mission is to create“ performance events that celebrate the power of story…blending dance, physical theater and spoken word.”

The Better Place, Inc.  has created the Project Tutor: Guardians of Greenbelt initiative to further its goals of spreading “self-control and self-determination principles” to “youth, schools and families,” leading to a community strong in “productivity, effectiveness, success and prosperity,” says CEO, Cortland Jones.  The group began its work at Greenbelt Middle School but looks to expand to the rest of Prince George’s County, if not farther.  The project will “train students, 6th-12th grade, to be tutors to K-5th grade students at Springhill Lake Elementary School.” The eventual goal is for the participants to become true “guardians of their community.”

Center for Dynamic Community Governance  is maximizing volunteer program effectiveness, particularly in a situation where there is paid and volunteer staff, is the focus of the Center for Dynamic Community Governance funded project. CDCG’s goal is to use one organization to develop a program that can be replicated by other Greenbelt organizations. Due to the Old Greenbelt Theater’s (OGT) developing role as a gathering point for the East, West and Center Greenbelt Community, CDCG chose it as a staging ground for this project.  They look to create a process that ensures volunteer voices are heard; creates conditions for exciting teamwork; develops a committed base and create strong working relationships between volunteers, staff and the board. CDCG will facilitate regular meetings of volunteers and OGT staff to determine or modify policies for their assignments and, using a process of consent based decision making, will elect fellow volunteers for special tasks and responsibilities.“We are looking to create a blueprint at OGT for their volunteer program that can be adapted for use in other community based organizations throughout Greenbelt.” Says Aileen Kroll, CDCG board member.

Eleanor Roosevelt High School Band Program is creating a music library to properly organize, access and protect the scores used by its four concert bands and smaller, specialized groups.  Specifically, they look to purchase seven storage units that hold 250 pieces of music each.  This will also “maximize space” allowing “room for smaller ensembles to rehearse” and increasing “the ability to host guest performers,” says Rachel Zephir, band teacher. The ERHS band performs at many Greenbelt events like the Festival of Lights Arts and Crafts Fair and even commemorated the opening of the new Greenbelt Music and Arts.

The GEMZ, Inc  focuses on young women between 11 and 18 and looks to “help build self esteem and self-confidence” as well as inspire “the spirit of excellence,” says Adeola Ariyo, Executive Director.  Through outreach to area schools, churches and organizations and through print and media marketing, The GCF grant award is to help The GEMZ increase enrollment, provide subsidized membership fee for Greenbelt residents and five enrollment scholarships based on need, and “attract an increase in volunteers from the Greenbelt community.”  For the past four years, The GEMZ has achieved 100% college enrollment and was invited to the White House in October 2016, among other accomplishments.

 

Greenbelt Arts Center (GAC) project “will install a fully code-compliant theatrical lighting and power system which will provide a safer environment for the audience, actors and crews,” says Winard Britt, Treasurer.  Four new power packs will be moved to the rear of the theater.  100 ceiling outlets will be installed.  The entire system will be run through a new lighting panel, “allowing needed flexibility in the use of the outlets.” GAC’s mission “is to provide a dedicated and sustainable entertainment and educational hub for fine and performing arts” in the greater Greenbelt area with an ingoing goal “to continue improving the quality of our productions,” sustain strong community connections, and develop a strong and “local stable of production and technical staff.”

 

 

 

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