My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for Cultural Survival, Inc., Cambridge, MA, USA
I have donated to several nonprofits, and I must say that Cultural Survival [CS] is one I will continue to give to, even when resources are tight. CS is the only nonprofit that has personally reached out to me after I made a donation, and sought to established a personal relationship. Also, I have found ways to contribute to CS apart from being a donor. This past summer (2010), CS supported me in applying for grant funding from the University of Iowa's Center for Human Rights to spend three months in Guatemala working with several Mayan community-based radio stations. I taught playwriting workshops to radio staff and volunteers, with the goal of supporting the two radio stations in writing original plays in Mam and Tz'utujil about local concerns and fading oral traditions. The work was a true partnership, for we were joining out respective areas of expertise (playwriting and dramatic structure on my part, and radio production and cultural knowledge on theirs -- I know almost nothing about radio production). As a donor, it was particularly gratifying to see how my financial contribution has a concrete and immediate effect in the field.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
the personal response and attention I've received from the staff, and how CS welcomed me as a volunteer/collaborator on one of their central projects.
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
give them much more funding so that they can be even more effective and far-reaching in their work.
Review for Handful Players, San Francisco, CA, USA
Handful Players is a gift to everyone blessed to come into contact with this delightful and growing ensemble. I was honored to be invited to write an original play to be premiered by Handful's youth actors. I found Judith Cohen to be both open to my story and character ideas and creativity, and clear and helpful in her feedback and artistic direction. Handful Players is devoted to youth education, expression, and agency in both vision and practice. The workshops, rehearsals and commissioned plays are all centered around encouraging the actors' exploration, growth as artists, and development of confidence both onstage and off. Also, I felt entirely respected and valued as a playwright and creative partner in the play development process. And that level of appreciation has certainly continued well after the culmination of my duties.
If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...
create and develop youth theatre ensembles throughout the Bay Area, and also diversify its educational initiatives to include training youth to be playwrights, musicians, and dancers.
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