Meet Your 2018 Grant Finalists

& Learn About The Projects They Have In Store

Arts & Culture: Parallel 45 Theatre
Education: Communities in Schools (CIS)
Environment, Preservation & Recreation: Child and Family Services
Family: Right Tree
Health & Wellness: Addiction Treatment Services

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Focus Area: Arts & Culture

Charitable initiatives that cultivate, develop, educate, and improve the cultural climate within those five counties.

Organization: Parallel 45 Theatre
Project: Michigan’s Next Cultural Adventure: Professional, Destination Theatre in Summer Rotating Repertory

A vibrant, professional theatre fills a niche previously vacant, providing artistic and employment opportunities not otherwise found in Northwest Michigan. For the arts to thrive and remain relevant in the lives of semi-rural Americans, Parallel 45 Theatre believes the professional arts sector needs to engage in meaningful ways, offering affordable, perspective-broadening programming despite their distance from major metropolitan areas.

The Organization:
Parallel 45 Theatre’s mission is to produce cutting-edge interpretations of classic plays, giving familiar stories new life and fresh relevance for our northwest Michigan audience. By producing a repertory of reinvented classics and imaginative adaptations, we seek to entertain, encourage critical thought, and inspire conversation in our community. Since 2010, Parallel 45 has invited more than 100 local, national and international trained theatre artists to create engaging, groundbreaking shows for the community, offering the kind of adventurous work you might see in New York, Chicago, or Los Angeles. Parallel 45 creates immersive theatre experiences that put the audience inside the heart of great stories, giving them the opportunity to see the world through another person’s eyes, to hear diverse voices, and to let great stories teach them something new. Their artists, trained and employed at some of the world’s most prestigious cultural institutions, prove that material connected to universal human experience can overcome barriers to entry in the arts. Over the past seven years, Parallel 45 Theatre has grown from a start-up organization to one with an established annual production calendar, hundreds of loyal supporters and audience members, and a Wilde Award nomination for Best Play.

The Project Description and the Need:
Parallel 45 understands that a flourishing cultural life, to which people from all walks of life are invited—and within which they see themselves reflected—is essential to our quality of life. By engaging in public and collective acts of imagination, the theatre helps us to remember where we have been, understand where we are today, and examine where we are going. In 2019, Parallel 45 Theatre will build on the success of its first eight seasons by launching Michigan’s Next Cultural Adventure, a summer season in rotating repertory. Rotating repertory will make it possible to produce multiple plays over the course of the summer utilizing one group of professional theatre artists, alternating performances daily. A patron can attend a show Thursday night and return Friday to see an entirely different production. Most importantly, this model provides consistent access to artistic experiences and employment opportunities otherwise unavailable in NW Michigan. Theatre professionals otherwise unable to earn industry-standard wages in our region will travel from as far away as London and as close as Traverse City to bring innovative programming to our community of visiting, seasonal, and year-round residents. Additionally, this model allows enhanced educational offerings, training the next generation of performing arts leaders via a robust apprentice program, the first in the region.

How the Money will be Used:
Impact 100 TC funds will purchase a suite of equipment to create a professional, outdoor theatre at Civic Center Park. Funds will transform a little-used, currently uncovered amphitheater into a high-caliber, immersive performance space, with professional lighting/sound, as well as cover for both artists and audience. Equipment to be purchased includes: saddlespan canopy performance tent, flexible seating system, and state-of-the-art sound/lighting equipment.

How the Project will be Sustained:
This initiative will produce multiple plays over the course of the summer, utilizing one group of professional actors, directors, designers and technicians, alternating performances daily. The efficiency of this model, and the size of the region’s summer population, will allow Parallel 45 to reach more than 10 times as many patrons, as well as generate exponentially more theatre and more earned revenue, which will help ensure sustainability. When fully underway, summer rotating repertory will facilitate ticket revenue at the industry appropriate level of 40% of their operating budget, reducing the over-reliance on philanthropy. This will eventually allow Parallel 45 to reach approximately 15,000 people per season, generating an economic impact of $2.4 million for the community. Many of these patrons will be first-time audience members—all potential supporters. The conversion of even a fraction of these new patrons to philanthropic supporters will bolster contributed income. The positive impact of this model on the local economy will help facilitate the acquisition and retention of sponsors and advertisers.

How the Project is Transformational:
Art is our town square—a place where ideas can be exchanged, and complex issues discussed, with respect and openness. It’s also a gathering place for entertainment and the joy of shared experience. This is particularly important now, as the polarized American public spends nearly 11 hours/day interacting with screens. Parallel 45 believes that the simple strength of human beings–onstage and off–looking each other in the eyes and sharing an experience is a transformative response to our divided and digital world. By experiencing familiar stories through a contemporary lens, material becomes accessible regardless of one’s familiarity with theater, engaging with the most diverse audience possible. Theatre artists trained and employed at some of the world’s most prestigious cultural institutions will draw the community closer by creating an important collective experience, while strengthening our region’s reputation as an arts and culture destination.

 

Focus Area: Education

Charitable initiatives that further the ability to educate and improve education within those five counties.

Organization: Communities in Schools (CIS)
Project: CIS Model Growth and Expansion

Although high school graduation rates have risen over the last decade, our region is still lagging behind and large disparities persist in academic outcomes. Barriers to academic success include students coming to school unprepared to learn, chronic absenteeism and a reported lack of parental involvement. All of these barriers are symptomatic of the larger problems some children face at home, including trauma, limited access to medical, dental or mental health care and the lack of a caring adult in their lives. Communities in Schools (CIS) helps diagnose these problems and treats the chronic symptoms of poverty that show up in the classroom.

The Organization:
The mission of Communities in Schools is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. CIS partners with school districts to identify academic and nonacademic barriers for students. By working within schools, they address immediate student needs. Through this initiative CIS has a unique opportunity to grow and expand their CIS Model of services throughout Northwest Michigan. Since 2001, CIS has partnered with Mancelona Public Schools and recently expanded to four additional districts providing basic needs, academic assistance, mentoring, college/career exploration, afterschool programming and connections to community resources.

The Project Description and the Need:
For too many children, challenges outside the classroom – like hunger, poor health, or trauma– stand in the way of learning inside the classroom. In many communities, fragmented support services are spread across government agencies, nonprofits, and faith-based organizations, or don’t exist at all. Students and families who are successful at navigating service options arrive at their doors and then receive a specific service in isolation. Struggling students and their families have a hard time accessing and navigating the maze of public and private services and rarely is there someone on the ground who is able to connect these resources with those that need them most. Through a school-based site coordinator, CIS brings community resources into schools to remove barriers for vulnerable students. By doing so, kids stay in school and on the path to graduation, while leveraging evidence, relationships and local resources to drive results. The CIS model bolsters academic performance by recognizing the importance of addressing students’ nonacademic needs. This enables students to be linked to a broad set of community resources that address a myriad of needs in a coordinated way, enabling teachers to teach and students to learn. CIS partners with teachers and staff to understand what’s going on in students’ lives, and they coordinate with the community – businesses, health care providers, and nonprofits – to bring outside resources inside schools. Whether it’s clean clothes, help with school work, or emotional support, CIS connects students with the resources they need to succeed.

How the Money will be Used:
Impact 100 T.C. funds will support the retention of five site coordinators placed in school sites during the 2017/18 school year and will add three new site coordinators to be placed during the 2018/19 school year. This will create a feeder school pattern for the CIS Model to be implemented in Kalkaska Public Schools, Central Lake Public Schools, Suttons Bay Public Schools, and Forest Area Community Schools.

How the Project will be Sustained:
CIS of Northwest Michigan was selected as one of ten affiliates across the Nation to expand, thereby, creating a rural model. They seek ways to access blended funding streams including sources available to school districts, foundations, businesses, and individual donors. As their service area grows, the knowledge, partnerships, relationships, and coordination of supports will grow exponentially in the communities they serve. The CIS model is scalable and efficient beyond what districts can achieve on their own, especially when considering the ability of CIS to motivate charitable dollars from those who want to support students and public education.

How the Project is Transformational:
CIS utilizes a holistic approach to addressing both the academic and nonacademic needs of students. Working with school leaders and staff, school-based CIS site coordinators prioritize the needs of the school to determine which supports are needed to be increased or improved and identifies supports that the schools need but don’t currently have. This project will increase the number of students served from 1,000 to over 2,800. Implementation of the CIS Model in additional schools will result in improved academic and graduation goals; improved school climate through nonacademic goals; engaged parents and families; and, promotion of college and career readiness.

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Focus Area: Environment, Preservation & Recreation

Charitable initiatives that preserve, enhance, revitalize, or restore facilities and surroundings within those five counties.

Organization: Child and Family Services
Project: YouthWork Industries

Youth served by Child and Family Services (CFS) struggle to attain educational goals, are too often involved in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems, have limited access to physical and mental health care, abuse substances, and die by suicide at alarming rates. The youth CFS serves are more vulnerable to bullying, homelessness, and family instability. There is a critical lack of services available to help these youth reach self-sufficiency and maintain a healthy lifestyle. All of this makes learning new skills, finishing school, and preparing for their future extremely difficult. When youth have access to job training, service opportunities, mentorship, and independent living skills education, their chances for success in school and beyond are dramatically improved. CFS’ YouthWork (YW) program will provide access to vital job and life skills and experience for underserved youth throughout the five-county region.

The Organization:
This mission of Child and Family Services is to ensure the safety and well-being of children, youth, adults, and families in times of crisis, challenge, and life transition. Child & Family Services opened in 1937 as Dr. Mark Osterlin, founder of CFS, realized that abused and neglected children he saw in his pediatric medical practice needed a refuge. After being forced to return battered children to unsafe homes, Dr. Osterlin invited the Michigan Children’s Aid Society to Traverse City and a branch was opened in 1937. Now operating as CFS, the work Dr. Osterlin started nearly 80 years ago continues today.

The Project Description and the Need:
Youth who volunteer at least one hour each week are 50% less likely to abuse alcohol, smoke cigarettes, become pregnant, or engage in other adverse behaviors. Youth who volunteer are more likely to have a stronger work ethic and to give to charitable causes as adults when compared to their peers.

CFS will start two YouthWork Industries “businesses” that will continuously generate income and opportunity for future participants in YW and for CFS operations. The first two “YouthWork Industries” projects will include a landscaping/trail building business and a painting/historic preservation trades contracting program. CFS’ YW program will provide access to vital job and life skills and experience for an underserved population of youth in the five counties. YW will have a dual purpose of preparing vulnerable youth for adulthood, while providing a valuable service to our rural communities, who lack the resources to address their diverse needs. When students repair a sidewalk, develop a trail, remove invasive species, or clean rivers and shorelines, not only do our communities and environment benefit, our youth also gain skills, awareness, and knowledge that translates into more productive citizens who are invested in our community and our environment. Members will have better job and life skills, higher rates of employment, higher wages, increased economic security, and be more personally and socially responsible.

YW will also be a valuable resource to local companies seeking trained, vetted, and reliable employees. Members will leave having developed a budget and resume, opened a bank account, visited higher education institutions and local businesses, and applied and interviewed for at least one job. CFS expects YW participants to: have a deeper connection with their communities; see improved social, emotional, job, and life skills; have a more successful adulthood with fewer economic challenges; have improved self-sufficiency; and, be more likely to support charitable and community-oriented causes as adults.

How the Money will be Used:
Impact 100 T.C. funds will be used for startup equipment, materials, and training costs to create two social enterprise YW projects. The funds requested from Impact 100 T.C. are fixed costs and will not require ongoing funding, other than minimal maintenance and repair costs, which CFS will maintain with fees-for-services. Additionally, all funds will be spent locally, with local vendors and businesses.

How the Project will be Sustained:
Impact 100 T.C. funds will be leveraged for startup and trainings costs so that CFS may generate revenue for the program in perpetuity through contracts for projects completed. The YW social enterprise model provides the dual benefits of helping local youth and communities, while generating revenue for the program and organization. This partnership allows revenue generated by the program to support the program’s minimal ongoing costs and put money generated from projects back into the program and CFS operations.

How the Project is Transformational:
Studies increasingly show the positive impacts on youth who participate in work-based learning and community service opportunities like YW. Youth will do better in school, will be more likely to graduate, more prepared for adulthood, and more likely to pursue higher education and quality careers. YW will provide valuable work experience; increase self-esteem; connect youth with resources and ongoing support; engage youth in the stewardship of public lands and environmental resources; instill an appreciation for the environment; and, engage youth in service that leaves a lasting benefit for the community.

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Focus Area: Family

Charitable initiatives that strengthen and enhance the lives of children and families within those five counties.

Organization: Right Tree
Project: Disarming the Serpent

The influence of social media, gaming and screen time (SM/G/ST) has caused dramatic shifts in how teens see themselves and relate to others. Teens spend five to six hours in front of a screen daily. The more time online, the more teens report feeling sad and lonely. A survey of Elk Rapids girls found that 60% have been asked for nude pictures; 30% have sent them; 80% do not have a friend they can trust; and, 60% experience debilitating anxiety. It is clear, our teens are in crisis!

The Organization:
Right Tree’s mission is to help girls discover their worth, their gifts, their voice and their future.
Since 2011, Right Tree has been using outdoor recreation, adventure programming and community service to speak positively into girl’s lives. Their combination of drop-in activities, day-camp style weeks and multi-day trips provide opportunities for girls to share, discuss and address critical issues in their lives. Right Tree listens, shares, challenges, encourages, laughs, and celebrates, all in the hope of helping girls believe and live the motto that “Every Girl Matters!”

The Project Description and the Need:
No parent knowingly exposes their child to predators and bullying or invites them into depression and suicidal thoughts. Studies show that screen time is directly related to poor mental health and that more than six hours triggers symptoms of teenage clinical depression, which has doubled since 2007. Parents understand the need to act, but feel overwhelmed and ill-equipped. With proper tools, parents will act.

Right Tree will partner with Emmy winning animator Bud Solem, Lisa Tabb of “Screenagers”, and producer Sarah White to create a series of state-of-the-art animated online film “modules,” directed at parents, each addressing a specific social media, gaming, or screen time issue and concisely articulating the problem, its effects, actions and resources. Disarming the Serpent will give parents the motivation, education, methods and support they crave. It will make practical, effective tools available to parents while empowering them to give priority to face-to-face, phone-free, non-technology activities as well as introduce alone/creativity time into their children’s lives. The initiative will help parents recognize the dangers of social media, gaming and screen time; set healthy technology boundaries; and, renew the value of in-the-flesh interactions and friendships. The initiative will also provide healthy, practical alternatives to social media, gaming and screen time while helping parents reduce related anxiety and depression in their children.

How the Money will be Used:
Impact 100 T.C. funds will be used to create the online film modules. Funds will also be used to conduct at least one parental seminar in each school district in the service area (including private and charter schools) and to develop issue-based parent support/discussion groups for districts in the service area. An up-to-date resource website will also be developed.

How the Project will be Sustained:
The Disarming the Serpent Initiative is sustainable because it will result in a stand-alone product, available in perpetuity for ongoing use with minimal future expenses. The online resource page will continue to be updated and maintained by Right Tree. As modules are marketed outside the service area, revenue may fund future initiative components. The films will be available to non-profits in the Impact 100 T.C. five-county service area free of charge and available to others outside the area for a nominal fee. With production costs covered, the sales fee will keep the module set affordable to groups while at the same time producing revenue to update and produce additional modules and services.

The primary fundraising arm of Right Tree is “Right Tree Adventure Rentals,” which makes outdoor recreation equipment available to the public on a donation basis. This provides a consistent revenue stream directly into Right Tree programming. 100% of equipment use donations flow back into the coffers of the organization and Right Tree Adventure Rentals consistently raises 50% of the annual operating revenue. The long-term vision of the board of directors is to develop additional for-profit models and to eventually create a self-sustaining charity.

How the Project is Transformational:
Right Tree helps girls discover their worth, their gifts, their voice and their future. Girls face incredibly powerful and hostile pressures pushing in on them from all directions with constant messages of inadequacy, judgement and exclusion. They are bombarded with hyper-sexualized airbrushed versions of perfection and are drawn into, seduced, and overwhelmed by negative aspects of social media. Technology has its place, but more so do compassion, empathy, the common good, patience, civility, tolerance, grace, creativity, self-acceptance and a desire to make a positive difference. This is a transformational initiative that will effectively equip parents to bring balance to their lives and restore technology to its rightful subservient place. Disarming the Serpent is the first step in what will ignite parental passions by providing resources to help them protect, nurture and teach their children.

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Focus Area: Health & Wellness

Charitable initiatives that positively impact the mental or physical health and wellness of the people within those five counties.

Organization: Addiction Treatment Services
Project: Providing Opportunities for Recovery and Community Health (P.O.R.C.H)

Addiction Treatment Services (ATS) has a daunting task to consider. Our community, like much of the nation, is in the midst of an epidemic. Drug abuse, especially from prescription medication, is creating a public health crisis unseen before. According to the 2016 “What Matters to You” Community Health Needs Assessment by Munson Medical Center, substance use is the top community health problem. As only one of several providers in the area, ATS treated 2,615 clients last year. The PORCH (Providing Opportunities for Recovery and Community Health) has the potential to be Michigan’s first community-based effort to address this public health crisis with a comprehensive, evidence-based, multi-systemic strategy.

The Organization:
The mission of Addiction Treatment Services is to promote the overall health, wellness, and recovery of individuals impacted by substance use and behavioral health issues by meeting the treatment needs of our clients and community. Serving the five-county area, ATS has been in operation for over 40 years. Diversity, ideals, culture and beliefs of each individual are valued at ATS. By focusing on person-centered, trauma-informed care, ATS is equipped to address the biological, psychological, and social dimensions of the individuals they serve.

The Project Description and the Need:
The PORCH will fill a gap in services that currently causes people who are at the start of accessing help to wait two to three weeks for treatment. What if everyone who wanted treatment got it when they needed it most? With PORCH, people in crisis will receive an assessment on that day, instead of waiting weeks. PORCH will bridge the gap between asking and receiving services by completing an assessment and designing a wraparound program to sustain and support the client until a place in treatment becomes available. Remaining connected to a community of recovery over a greater period results in better outcomes for sustained recovery. With this initiative, ATS will provide a permanent recovery community. Support groups will have a space to meet and grow. The PORCH will be known as a safe place for sober socialization with movie nights, board games, chess club, cook outs, pot lucks, a place to watch the games and celebrate New Year’s Eve. In collaboration with numerous partners, the PORCH will embed reimbursable services such as therapeutic interventions, case management, acupuncture and wrap around services alongside non-reimbursable activities such as yoga, meditation, social events and biofeedback, thus assuring a financially sustainable model. Family members will be educated on how to navigate the disease of addiction and a community toolkit will be created and to provide training to community stakeholders. Employers will be engaged to better support their workforce through the development of drug-free work place policies. Multiple pathways will be created for individuals to connect to mutually beneficial support groups. Youth will gather to develop programs that speak to their peers and an army of peer recovery coaches will be cultivated and trained.

How the Money will be Used:
Impact 100 T.C. funds will be used to provide services to fill the area’s current gap in addiction treatment services through the PORCH. The majority of funding will be used for initial capacity building to upstart this innovative community center. Specifically, funds would be used for the initial hiring of three PORCH positions: Professional Evaluation Expert, PORCH Coordinator, and Peer Recovery Coordinator. The Professional Evaluation Expert will conduct assessments and help individuals in crisis receive the services they need immediately instead of waiting two to three weeks. The PORCH Coordinator will coordinate client services and the Peer Recovery Coordinator will coordinate and train peers as coaches for sustaining recovery. Grant money would also be used for marketing and education materials for schools, employers and other community members to build awareness about available services. Marketing materials are necessary to inform the community of what is available with the goal of reaching people before hitting rock bottom. Funds will also be used for nontraditional treatment intervention methods like acupuncture and yoga that can help replace unhealthy habits with healthy ones.

How the Project will be Sustained:
ATS has a successful history of implementing programs that become sustainable through reimbursable services. The PORCH is another example of this. Positions initially covered by the grant will be sustained through reimbursable services. Once the positions are established, reimbursable services will cover salary costs.

How the Project is Transformational:
In short, the impact of the PORCH is lives spared. Families will remain in-tact, fewer babies will be born addicted, and the overall health of our region will improve. This project is huge in scope and powerful in impact. It is a true place-based approach that engages all sectors of the community. Through the impact of PORCH, ATC will “move the needle” on healing the community and the economic consequence of addiction will decrease in the region due to sound practices and a supported workforce.