2014 Indiegogo Campaign
N-Dia is a charming and energetic 11 year old girl – – and one of over 1.6 million homeless children living in the United States. Through no fault of their own, many homeless children do not have the stability and some of the basic tools they need to have the kind of successful, productive lives that we all want and deserve.
At The Actors Theatre Workshop (“ATW”), we believe that it is important for all of us to come together and use the gifts and resources that we have been blessed with to help these precious children.
ATW gives homeless children tools to combat the challenges they face every day – – so they can achieve their potential and become successful, contributing members of our shared community.
We need your support to continue this life-changing work. We hope you’ll join our campaign and make a tax deductible donation so that children like N-Dia can continue to grow, develop and prosper.
Our Builders of the New World (“BNW”) after school arts education program was created in 1995 by award-winning actor, writer, and director Thurman E. Scott to give homeless children a clean, stable environment; hot, nutritious meals; and the creative tools to develop a vision for the future and steps to achieve their dreams.
N-Dia joined BNW with a limited vision for her future. She was timid about sharing her ideas and easily distracted by her friends. She didn’t see herself as a leader, or how to better her life and her community.
In an environment of order, compassion and respect, we watched N-Dia’s behavior transform. She and her fellow students in the program learned our original creative technique to open up their imaginations, and began to see beyond her current situation of seeming hopelessness and dream about a better future for herself and her family.
We paired N-Dia and each of the other children with volunteer mentors, successful men and women from diverse racial and economic backgrounds that we recruited and trained. These supporters and guides listened to the childrens’ ideas, helped them to focus and implement the lessons Mr. Scott taught in each program session, and broadened their worldview.
Our program inspired N-Dia to develop a vision for her future – one of depth and high achievement. “I want to be a scientist, a singer and a fashion designer. I will use the money I make from my business to fund my scientific research on how to improve people’s lives. I will inspire children to be true to themselves, achieve their dreams, and become leaders.”
Once she developed her vision for the future we taught N-Dia how to get there.She learned to start taking tangible action steps today to achieve her dreams – – because tomorrow would be too late. We encouraged her to make specific educational choices to implement her plans, and to have a clear and focused intention so she couldn’t be distracted by negative forces around her.
N-Dia listened, learned, and practiced – – she started to believe her dreams for the future were achievable. N-Dia began the program as an average student giggling in the corner. By the time she delivered her final presentation to an audience of enthusiastic supporters, N-Dia had become a proud, confident and poised young leader with an inspiring vision and the tools to make an impact in the world.
Each and every child in our program has the memorable experience of standing on a well-lit stage at the culmination of the BNW program and seeing the profound impact they have on the community. On a special and celebratory evening, the young Builders of the New World graduates present their visions of the future in the form of monologues and original artwork to an invited audience of family, friends, and local government leaders including district leaders, City Council members, and representatives from the Mayor’s Office and Board of Education.
Hearing the “oohs” and “ahhs” of the adults, and seeing the tears run down the cheeks of these powerful individuals demonstrates in a tangible, life-altering way that the children’s contributions are of great value. Each child feels power, that they are seen, loved and are a contributing part of our society. This process creates in a child a memorable expression that they forevermore say to themselves – “I have something inside of me. I have power; I have something that makes people love me!” The core of homelessness is a feeling of invisibility. In our program not only are our children seen but they are reacted to in a very powerful way.
N-Dia has now graduated from our program. She constantly receives praise for her creativity and outstanding leadership skills, and continues her quest to achieve her dreams. Thanks to BNW, N-Dia is on the path to making our world a better place.
Support the Builders of the New World
give children like N-Dia a chance to develop their true potential,
achieve their dreams, and better their larger communities.
What the children face . . . and how you can help
According to the U.S. Department of Education, there were nearly 1.3 million homeless children and teens enrolled in elementary, middle and high schools during the 2012-13 school year – – a troubling 58 percent increase over the last six years.
For those of us blessed to know where we will sleep every night, it is hard to imagine the tremendous stress that homeless children face. Since ATW began working with the homeless population in 1995, we’ve seen first hand these challenges and more:
- Homeless children go hungry twice as often as other children.
- Violence plays a major role in their lives – – by the age of 12, nearly 25% of homeless children have witnessed violent acts within their families.
- This constant trauma has a profound impact on homeless children’s behavior and ability to learn.
For 20 years, Builders of the New World has transformed the lives of over 2,250 deserving and precious children living in temporary housing facilities, giving them a respite from these heart-rending circumstances – – and the tools to reach beyond their current situations to achieve their potential.
Help our children overcome these challenges – – join our campaign today with a tax-deductible donation and be a part of this unique and highly effective approach to education and self-help.
BNW supports the children in a variety of crucial areas:
- Reading, writing and presentation skills: Mr. Scott works with each child every week, teaching them powerful imagination techniques that help them to develop their visions for the future. As they draw and write about new businesses that will solve the problems of the community, the children work diligently to pronounce their words clearly, and express their images with life and enthusiasm so they can convey their ideas to their peers and mentors.
- Study habits and self-discipline: Mr. Scott sets the bar high and demands of our children – – and they see that they have it within themselves to meet these high expectations. The children develop excellent study habits, practice self-discipline and believe that they are capable of achieving success in whatever job or opportunity that presents itself because they have been given the tools they need to accomplish their goals.
- Strategies to avoid unhealthy behaviors: By having a clear and focused intention for their future success in life, the children won’t be distracted by the negative forces around them: the drug dealer on the corner and criminal activities; bullying, racism and teenage pregnancy. They see that they can participate in the institutions that make up our society, and that it makes sense for them to invest in and take care of themselves and the community.
What we need and why
Your generous tax-deductible donation will fund the 20th Anniversary of the Builders of the New World.
Please provide homeless children with unforgettable and life-changing experiences.
Support the heartfelt events and programming of the Builders of the New World and be a catalyst for positive change in the life of a homeless child.
Help Fund Our 20th Anniversary BNW Session and Expand Our Reach
We need to raise $25,000 to continue to deliver our program and serve the growing number of children living in transitional housing.
We launched BNW’s 20th anniversary in December, 2015 by hosting two holiday celebrations and classes for 93 children from SIX different transitional housing facilities, a tangible demonstration of the great need and demand for our program.
In Spring, 2015, we will welcome children from these same six facilities for a life-changing semester of growth and possibility. Be a part of this important milestone year!
Please watch this two-minute video from our December classes – – see first-hand the power of our original imagination technique, as the children learn to open up their vision to the future, and then start taking steps to accomplish their dreams.
The $25,000 we raise will go directly to fund:
- Nutritious meals to be provided at the beginning of each program session during the upcoming Spring semester.
- Space to learn and grow Studio space in ATW’s 5000 square foot facility for each program session during the upcoming Spring semester.One of the original requirements from the Board of Education in 1995 was that programs for homeless children offered by cultural institutions be held in permanent facilities, to give the children a sense of ownership and stability.
- Video Supplies Video supplies to create compelling content and videos of our work.
- Final Graduation Presentation Funding the annual graduation presentation where we present the children’s work to an invited audience: the Mayor’s office, the Board of Education, City Council, district leaders from our district and the children’s home districts.
- Supplies for classes, including crayons, paper and boards for presentations.
- Promotional Materials so that more people can learn about and support this important work!
From Our Heart to Yours – Perks
There are constant challenges running a non-profit institution. One of the central challenges that ATW and all non-profits face is to make sure that we expand our donor base. This campaign on Indiegogo is one important way for us to accomplish that goal. Thank you so much for being a part of it.Meeting and establishing relationships with new individuals who want to be a part of our mission is a challenge that we face and embrace every day. Our Artistic Director and Founder Thurman E. Scott established ATW to serve as a creative home for people from all walks of life. We are frequently asked to start new programs to meet the needs of the community. We need help from talented individuals — staff members, volunteers, and interns – – who can lend their passion and expertise to keep our institution strong to meet the needs of the community.
Other ways you can help
- Financial Support – Are you well connected? Are you or a person you know an experienced grant writer or fundraiser? Help connect ATW to potential donors.Contact us
- Employee Gift Matching – If your company matches charitable giving, we encourage you to submit your generous donation to help expedite our fundraising. Your donation could do twice as much!
- Volunteer – Are you a leader who can put their thoughts and insights into action and make a difference in the world? Visit our volunteer page here
- In-Kind Donations – Send donations of goods & services such as school supplies, grocery items, computer and video equipment, and more. Contact us
- Beautification/Construction – Help beautify and improve our infrastructure by funding new theater risers, chairs and a computer lighting board. Contact us
- Follow Us – Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram or receive our newsletter
- Spread the Word – Share our Facebook page!
+1 (212) 947-1386
The Actors Theatre Workshop
145 West 28th Street, 3 Fl., New York, NY 10001