After School Arts Program, Inc.

Rating: 5 stars   10 reviews

Issues:

Location: PO Box 15 Washington Depot CT 06794 USA

Mission: The After School Arts Program (ASAP) provides opportunities for children to create, collaborate, and express themselves through exposure to and participation in the arts under the guidance of arts professionals. Founded in April 1999, ASAP’s original goal was to engage local middle school children from Region 12 in arts programs otherwise unavailable to them. ASAP held its first eight workshops in music, dance, and art with 72 students. With success and increased demand for programs, ASAP expanded its geographic reach and extended the range of the children it serves. Reconstructed as a nonprofit organization in 2004, it has produced hundreds of workshops and events, touching the lives of more than 47,000 children and adults from 86 towns across Connecticut.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have never served on a board that is as passionate and forthright about its mission. First and foremost are the children who take part in the workshops. So many have gone on to successful careers thanks to the supplemental work of ASAP, picking up and offering programs that many schools can no longer afford to do.
Their outreach is crucial to developing the talents of local children.

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Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Rating: 5 stars  

1 people found this review helpful

Both of my kids have participated in several of ASAP's multitude of offerings, including attendance at summer camps four years in a row and many weekend workshops. The curriculum is creative and keeps the kids engaged and wanting more. The teaching staff is wonderfully talented and the administrative staff are extremely professional, organized and friendly. This is a top-notch organization top to bottom, providing my kids exposure to the arts that exceeded my expectations in every way.

In light of my positive experience, I have volunteered for ASAP in many different capacities over the years, most recently as a Board Member.

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If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

They already have so many great offerings but i would love them to offer even more.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

1 people found this review helpful

The ASAP program is so important and needed in Connecticut. There is so much diversity of programs that they offer. I personal appreciate how almost all the programs are short between five to six weeks, this allows our children to get a taste of different programs and then they can see what resonates with them.
Both my daughters have enjoyed the summer camp, Pilobolus dance, and are currently in the Hip Hop class. My daughter Ryan told me after the summer camp she no longer feels shy to dance in front of people. This is a true testament to this program, all of the teachers instill creativity and freedom of expression which is so important for young children and their development.
I highly recommend this program to any parent that wants to offer their child more diverse after school programs. ASAP is a non profit and no child is ever turned away from their programs. I proudly support this ASAP and feel so honored to have my daughters benefit from the wonderful programs that they offer.

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If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Not a thing, they are going above and beyond my expectations!

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

1 people found this review helpful

Our children have been participating in ASAP weekend workshops and the summer camp for more than 5 years. ASAP is always seeking to come up with new and exciting ways to engage children in the arts through very diverse workshops and summer camp classes. It opens up children's minds and their world to areas they would not otherwise be exposed. The warmth of the counselors and those involved in ASAP permeates the community. They are open to new ideas and input from the families involved. They have also taken extra time and measures to accommodate one of our children who has Down Syndrome. He is very high functioning yet they have given extra "TLC" to ensure he participates in the program. In addition, our family has benefited from additional ASAP sponsored events such as their Young Photographers exhibit and their Annual Benefit which is unusual in that it highlights and presents writings of the children. There is always something new around the corner. And we appreciate not only the opportunity ASAP gives to children but how it enables teaching artists to have opportunities as well.

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If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

none that I can think of!

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

1 people found this review helpful

It has been my privilege to participate as a board member of ASAP since 2007. Since that time I have witnessed tremendous growth.

Our annual budget has grown from $114,000 a year to over $600,000. Our geographic reach has expanded beyond Region 12 (Washington, Bridgewater and Roxbury, Ct) to include participants from 81 different towns and cities within CT and NY. We offer over 100 workshops to students age 3- adult. We host three to five events annually which attract nearly 3000 audience members each year. We offer afterschool workshops as well as during the day, in-school programming. We offer inter-district projects that bring children of different socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds together to work collaboratively. We provide financial aid to every child in need. We employ over 40 artists from our region. We do all of this with limited governmental support; 87% of our budget is privately funded through individuals, corporations and foundations.

It has been a great honor to work with the current board and staff to establish ASAP as the premiere arts program in our region.

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Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

1 people found this review helpful

On a professional level, I am the Administrative Manager of a Foundation which has supported ASAP in the past and will continue to do so with great pleasure in the future. ASAP has always had exceptional programs, but this group continually strives to improve and expand their offerings. On a personal level, my granddaughter has attended several of the week-end workshops offered by ASAP and plans to participate in an upcoming Community Project with Pilobolus. The staff of ASAP (both administrators and teachers) are excellent, and my granddaughter eagerly awaits each new adventure with ASAP. As a 3rd grade student who was at Sandy Hook Elementary on 12.14 last year, Alexa was devastated by the tragedy. As it happened, she was signed up for an ASAP holiday workshop the very next day. After much discussion, we decided to let her attend as we were striving for as much normalcy as possible in the midst of chaos. The director of ASAP assured me that she would alert the teachers and staff, and Alexa was welcomed and nurtured from the moment she walked in the door. I cannot say enough about how much ASAP has done to provide programs that meet the needs of children and that allow them opportunities they would never have otherwise. I also know that they reach out to others in need on a personal level as they did to my family. I wish every school district in the United States could have a program like this.

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How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

1 people found this review helpful

I have been on several other boards for 501c3's in the arts education world. ASAP has been my most satisfying board experience. The monies raised are used so effectively; there is a lovely balance between thinking big and thinking practically. I particularly appreciate how the board is committed to investing in future programs without sacrificing the programs that work today. Many non-profits get "sacred cow" programs that can't be touched, even when they are not serving current needs. The ASAP board does not shy away from evaluating each program in light of current demand, current funds available, and possibilities of better uses for the funds. This is a lean, well-run, high-impact organization with a board that doesn't just say that it will donate time, talent, and treasure; the board delivers, and so does ASAP.

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If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Find the funds to add a little more staff; with so many good ideas and proven programs, ASAP could leverage its operations with more programs if there were a few more "hands on deck" at HQ.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

1 people found this review helpful

I think ASAP is tremendous and helps serve our community by affording children the opportunities that they would otherwise probably not be exposed to. My daughter attends a good amount of their workshops and enjoys them by being able to creatively express herself. There is such a variety of programs that encourage the arts and they have helped our family with financial aid to afford my daughter and son to attend them. It is important for children to be a part of extracurricular activities, and this program makes it available to all children in our community regardless of their financial situation.

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If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Add more programs workshops especially at our school after school or if there was a way to have a carpool or busing to other locations for those working parents.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

1 people found this review helpful

The ASAP Program, based in Washington, CT, is a stellar organization featuring enrichment programs that include Art, Dance, Music, Nature, Field Trips, inter-district concerts and projects. These programs have provided children and adults in our area wonderful opportunities to learn new skills or hone-in on developed interests. Each program is executed masterfully and casts a high level of integrity, inclusiveness and caring. ASAP is a true gem in our area and a first stop of enrichment programs!

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If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I truly can't think of any changes that could be made to this organization, other than the community would benefit from as many new programs as possible! They are a fabulous organization, enriching the lives of so many.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

1 people found this review helpful

I worked with the Counselors in Training at the ASAP Summer Camp to help them with personal presentation skills. This gave me a chance to watch the workings for the camp as a "fly on the wall." What most impressed me about the staff at the camp was the commitment to making the program the best it could be for this specific group of kids. If some approach had been a success previous summers, but somehow wasn't reaching one camper this year, the staff sat down that day and discussed what kind of pivot was necessary to give that camper the best possible experience. That ability to see each camper as an individual, deserving of personal attention, transformed the campers; for some of them, it was perhaps the most encouragement they had ever received. They learned about the making of art, and the end results were impressive, but even more impressive was how the campers learned that they are individuals who matter because of who they are, not just what they do, and therefore they can believe in themselves and go make a difference.

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If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Raise more money to help the staff find students to participate in their programs who might not be hearing about them through the current marketing channels.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Review from Guidestar

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