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NextGen-North presents $31K in grants to local nonprofits

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WILMINGTON, Del. –The Next Generation North (Next Gen North) of the Delaware Community Foundation has awarded $31,128 in grants to help fund arts-related programs that effect social change.

At a ceremony last night at the Hagley Soda House, Next Gen North awarded its 2017 grants to:

4youth Productions: $3,628 for traveling student photography studio

4youth Productions (4YP) is an educational nonprofit that implements project-based learning by combining photography with science, engineering and culinary art to help students excel academically and artistically. Funds granted by Next Gen North will be used to create a traveling photography studio. The student photographers, 90 percent of whom come from low-income backgrounds, will travel to four area community centers and take family portraits that celebrate “family” in its many forms: adoptive parents, extended family, step-families and tight-knit friends. By capturing families of many forms, 4YP hopes to bring a message of hope through art to individuals who would not otherwise have the income to enjoy a family portrait.

Christina Cultural Arts Center: $5,000

The Christina Cultural Arts Center’s (CCAC) mission is to make affordable arts and education accessible to low-income youth and their families in a safe environment. Next Gen North’s funds will be used for CCAC’s HeArt Under Hoodie 27-week Urban Improv program, which teaches elementary and middle school students decision-making, conflict negotiation, and leadership skills through improvisational drama, yoga and mindfulness.


Delaware Shakespeare: $10,000

Delaware Shakespeare (Del Shakes) is inspired by Shakespeare’s creative vision and the broad societal mix of audiences of his era. Del Shakes brings together the Delaware community for vibrant theater and learning experiences. Next Gen North’s funds will go towards Del Shakes’ Community Tour, which provides free, professional Shakespeare performances to homeless shelters, detention facilities, and community centers to give the least likely or least able the opportunity to attend professional theater.

The Grand Opera House: $5,000

The Grand Opera House’s mission is to engage, entertain and enrich the community with diverse live performances and educational programs. Next Gen North’s grant will help fund sensory-friendly performances that will provide a safe, comfortable and accessible experience for patrons with sensory-related disabilities and their families.

OperaDelaware: $7,500

OperaDelaware’s mission is to enrich the cultural lives of adults, families and students within the Mid-Atlantic region through the production of grand opera, intimate opera performances and meaningful arts education. Next Gen North’s grant will help fund OperaDelaware’s Neighborhood Choir Initiative, an afterschool program that address the problem of getting children in underserved communities to choir rehearsal by bringing the rehearsal to the child. The Neighborhood Choir Initiative is a 22-week music training program serving kindergarten through fifth-grade students.

“The work these organizations do is a testament to the many ways the arts can effect long-term social change,” said Next Gen North President Kristen Kuipers. “To provide funds to these fantastic organizations while also giving Next Gen members the hands-on experience that any nonprofit board leader will need — it’s an inspiring place to be.”

Sponsors of last night’s ceremony included DMD Business Forms and Printing, DRPR Strategies and Multicultural Judges & Lawyers Delaware Section of the State Bar Association.