Monday, June 27, 2005

Big BIG news!!!

I've introduced you before to 42nd St. Moon Managing Director Lauren Hewitt and mentioned her hard work on submitting a full proposal to the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation for an arts grant.

Well Lauren delivered some great news the other day, and I'm going to relay it to you in her very own words:

"It took three years of cultivating, long-range planning, proposal writing, and financial scrutiny, but we finally did it; The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation have at last funded us.

Remember several months ago I told you that we had been invited by the Hewlett Foundation to submit for funding - a very competitive and involved process? Back then; we were one of only two performing arts groups invited to apply for the 2005-06 year.

Foundation funding for the arts remains competitive these days. For our company to be chosen out of probably hundreds of letters of intent to be invited to submit a full proposal was quite an exploit! So, over the last few months we have submitted a lengthy and involved proposal based on what The Foundation calls a "Causal Model." A core group of individuals, including Greg, Stephanie, board member Art Ferranti, and I met with Program Officer John McGuirk at the Foundation's Offices in Menlo Park. After that, we made sure to keep John aware of all our accomplishments, sent him reviews, etc.

Two days ago John gave me a call to let me know that the Hewlett Foundation's board of directors had voted to include 42nd Street Moon in there portfolio of arts organizations that they will fund for 2005-06.

For a San Francisco Bay Area performing arts organization, funding from Hewlett signifies a "step-up" to organizational maturity and in most cases results in multiple year funding based on the size of the company's operating budget. That's not always the case, but this foundation is known for long-term support of worthy performing arts organizations. We'll have to work hard this year to increase our organization capacity and to implement utmost care in our business practices, but really this is a significant transition for us, and we welcome the challenge.

In retrospect, I don't think that we could have actually applied the causal model structure to our proposal had we not gone through an in earnest long-range planning process with our staff and board of directors last year. When I wrote the Hewlett proposal I based the causal model on our long-range plan, which made writing the proposal a much more fluid process than most.

Other people are "nutty" for performing, or sports, or whatever their passion may be. Me? I'm so totally passionate over Organizational Development that this development with The Hewlett Foundation has me on cloud nine. I'm trying NOT to be puffed-up with pride, but dang! This is really, really big for us and I'm so happy and proud of 42nd Street Moon, our board, staff and artists that I could just pop!

Our little company has a heck of a lot of heart. We deserve this nod from a major arts funder, and I thought our blog readership would want to know about it as well.

Lauren told me to edit as I saw fit for the blog, and despite its length I decided I didn't need to edit it at all.

After 10 years this is a theatre company that's still growing and stretching and aiming high! Congratulations to Lauren and the entire 42nd St. Moon team that made this happen.

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