During this summer season, we are reflecting on our mission and on what it means to be of service. P.S. 314 is a matchmaker for social change. Matchmaking requires an understanding of your starting point in the race, of your finish line, and of the best strategies and people to help you accomplish your goal. At P.S. 314, we are building an army for social change agents. While we are not on the front lines of the battle for social justice equity, we are the team, fortifying its members with knowledge, and equipping them with the tools to form a stronger regime. We are cultivating a community of leaders who can effectively and meaningfully deconstruct and rebuild the world in which we live. One of the most powerful tools of an army is the ability to create and maintain critical connections. Those partnerships define your journey. By nature, creating social change is not a solo effort. Our collective identifies and aligns you with the partnerships you need to achieve your goal. We amplify your talent, time, and treasure to support a vision that is greater than yourself.
In this issue of our newsletter, you can learn more about the partnerships that we are forging to help build a more equitable society. You can read about the newly appointed Chief Operating Officer of the Jeremiah Program , Chastity Lord , who reflects on what happens when one “is willing to enlist others in a vision” in the fight against injustice. Ms. Lord speaks about the power of making connections to the world around us, to better understand the roots of social injustice and to proactively and strategically combat it. You will also learn about Point Made Films and its latest creation, “ American Dream ,” a game designed to help users view life through the uncomfortable lens of unconscious bias.

In addition, you will be inspired by updates on clients with whom we continue to partner. You will read the latest achievement of innovators Coodie and Chike , whose belief in following a path uniquely their own has enabled them to continue to realize their vision of maintaining creative control over their representation in film, music, and more. You will also gain insight into Learning Curves, a campaign by artist Alice Sheppard to shift the lens on disability culture from the periphery to the forefront—one dance, one discourse, one city at a time. Jasmine Crowe’s ability to fight hunger and food waste through the intersection of people, outreach, and technology is also a testament to the power of partnerships.

P.S. 314 is proud of the equity footprint our client partners are creating. We salute the work of The Schott Foundation , whose tireless fight for equity in education gives children from kindergarten through high school opportunities for learning in ways they may not have had. We are proud of our collaborations with the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Brooklyn Arts Council, National Arts Strategies and International Association of Blacks in Dance and their continued artistic impact in their local communities and across the national and international stage. We applaud the “Listen to Me” documentary team for creating a film that sheds light on the complexities of black maternal health, and we salute Black Public Media for its work in broadening equity discourse by supporting producers of color in producing and distributing media that reflects the multi-dimensional stories of the black community.

As we celebrate these partnerships and honor the achievements that they have engendered, we also want to thank our expanding army of leaders who protect and honor our vision of a more equitable society. We are grateful to our many consultants who bring out the best in our clients and whose work helps to create an indelible impact. At the core of our efforts is a deep passion about our mission and a desire to extend our collective knowledge of philanthropy, social justice, and communication to help change agents achieve their vision. As we reflect on that service to others, we ask: How can you build bridges to become an extension of yourself? Which tools can you use to forge partnerships and strengthen your ability to create social change? The time to act is now. We applaud you as you take the stage within your community and create the world in which you seek to live.


P.S. 314 is excited to expand our consultant team.
Through their collective experience in philanthropy, social justice and storytelling, our consultants lay the foundation for valuable work with our clients.
We are honored to welcome a number of new members to our team!
Michelle E. Interiano is a Puerto Rican graphic designer and owner of Ideas Blossom & Associates with 20+ years of experience in print and digital marketing media . She is a graduate of George Mason University with a B.A. in Art and Visual Technology plus a minor in Art History. Her past experiences have taken her from national publications such as LatinaStyle Magazine to civil rights campaigns with Jobs with Justice. She is passionate of her work and is a strong believer of giving back to her community by continuing to provide graphic design support to a variety of small to large local and national organizations. 
Emily Adeyanju is a freelance writer and editor, who most recently served the executive team of the New York State Insurance Fund.  Her previous positions involve executive writing, communications oversight, website content development, content marketing, video scripting, speech writing and presentation design. In each role, her goal is to ensure accuracy in the delivery of strategic messaging. Ms. Adeyanju possesses a Master of Fine Arts degree from Pratt Institute. Her poem “The Undertaker” was published as part of a poetry anthology. She is currently working on her memoir, “Wusasa's Daughter,” which examines the complexity of the father-daughter relationship across cultures.
Sarah Benvenuti is the founder of Benvenuti Arts, a virtual firm that works with fundraising and grant writing for nonprofits and independent arts. Prior to establishing the firm, Ms. Benvenuti attained her graduate degree in Arts Management at Carnegie Mellon University and acted as director of Future Tenant, an interdisciplinary art space in Pittsburgh. The experience of working on the ground with small arts groups and independent artists resonated well with her. Following her 10-year tenure as a director of development and a managing director, Ms. Benvenuti sought to broaden her impact. She founded Benvenuti Arts in 2014 with the goal of helping “small and mighty” organizations build the operational support needed to create and produce their work. Since then, the Benvenuti Arts team has worked with over 80 small arts organizations and individual artists, assisting them with fundraising, financial, administrative, planning, and interim needs. Though based in Pittsburgh and New York City, Ms. Benvenuti considers herself a digital nomad who works with artists around the world. 
Mark Billings is an independent, nonprofit consultant whose broad range of philanthropic expertise has served many organizations that are making a difference. He brings more than 15 years of experience in campaign management and fundraising consulting to his work at the collective. Mr. Billings has provided fundraising counsel to educational, social service and religious institutions throughout the United States, and he has assisted in securing over $200 million for organizations he has served. His expertise is in the areas of major gift development, solicitation strategies, prospect research, and data analysis. Mr. Billings is of Cuban decent and is a graduate of the University of San Francisco.
For more than 25 years, Joanna Elliott has served as a leader in fundraising, development, and nonprofit management with a wide range of experience managing multi-million dollar capital campaigns. Ms. Elliott’s expertise includes board training, development and expansion, working with high net worth individuals, strategic planning, designing annual and major gift programs, and developing and implementing marketing/communications materials to increase constituency. Experienced in many areas of the development world, she has substantially increased revenue for renowned arts organizations, educational institutions, museums, social service groups, and helped healthcare establishments achieve unprecedented fundraising success. 
P.S. 314 celebrates the success of our client Black Public Media who recently secured funding partnerships with the Dodge and Ford Foundation. This funding will support Black Public Media’s mission of creating and distributing media chronicling the black experience. As you know, P.S. 314's Collective philosophy of building supportive partnerships has remained a vital component of our work with clients. Collective consultant Simran Noor speaks to that philosophy and its role in her work with Black Public Media in the pursuit of its fundraising goals. 
Our collective is proud of our continued collaboration with client partner, choreographer and dancer Alice Sheppard and her production company, Disability Dance Works. P.S. 314 recently joined forces with Alice Sheppard and Lisa Niedermeyer, producing director, on the new video, “ The Learning Curve .” The video highlights the campaign of the same name, which was established to broaden the perspective and approach to disability culture. The video explores disability identity as it relates to culture, artistic expression, human rights, sexuality, and more. Through art, Sheppard aims to bring a more equitable approach to viewing and understanding disability. By creating work by, for, and through the lens of disabled artists, Alice Sheppard hopes to inspire a transformative conversation “that is from and of disability culture.”  
P.S. 314 thanks the International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD), and its sponsor, National Arts Strategies, for participating in our winter webinar series. National Arts Strategies engaged P.S. 314 to facilitate inspirational, online learning sessions for IABD as a follow-up effort to our daylong planning workshops. The online training sessions were designed to broaden IABD’s approach to its mission of promoting dance by people of African ancestry, and increasing opportunities for artists. P.S. 314 provided five online learning sessions in key areas: self-care, grant writing, social media, organizational development and relationship building. Each one-hour training session was facilitated by one of our consultant specialists. One of our notable contributors, Sean A. Watkins tailored his session on the importance of integrating social media into each component of an effective communications strategy. It highlighted the time commitment involved in successful social media management, from scheduling posts, to tracking metrics and monitoring the online landscape.
Founded in 1977 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), Dance Africa has become a hallmark program of African Diasporic cultural celebration throughout the borough of Brooklyn and beyond. Dance Africa now stands as the nation’s largest African and African-American dance, music and cultural festival and BAM’s longest running program. Following the passing of its beloved founding artistic director, Dr. Charles “Chuck” Davis in 2017, Dance Africa continues as a communal celebration of peace, love and respect exemplified nationally through culture and artistry. Recognizing the power of its legacy, BAM seeks to partner with Dance Africa’s broad cultural and programmatic stakeholders to secure its position within America’s cultural landscape. Through a strategic analysis and planning process, BAM intends to collaboratively define and support Dance Africa’s continued contributions to community as one of its most treasured cultural assets.
P.S. 314 recently began work with The Schott Foundation for Public Education, which exists to ensure that children receive access to quality education. Since its inception nearly three decades ago, The Schott Foundation has created and responded to unique opportunities for community change. Our collective is developing a feasibility study for the Schott Foundation to align its team with funding partners as it continues the vital work of building a more equitable society. 
In February 2019, P.S. 314 partnered with the directors of the film “Listen To Me,” to heighten awareness of the film, as well as to expand its reach and funding opportunities. “Listen To Me” is a documentary about black maternal health that introduces viewers to the women behind the health experiences that shape and define their lives.
P.S. 314 congratulates change maker Chastity Lord on her new role as president and CEO of the Jeremiah Program, which helps single mothers and their families living in poverty to achieve prosperity. Prior to Ms. Lord’s transition, we had the chance to speak with her about inspiration and its role in motivating her personally and professionally. P.S. 314 admires Chastity Lord for her achievements, and we thank her for sharing her insightful perspective on social change and leadership. 
Early last year, P.S. 314 shared the work of three social change agents: Point Made Films, Coodie and Chike, and Jasmine Crowe. Since then, they have continued to thrive, covering new ground as they redefine their ultimate vision of success. This update provides a glimpse into their most recent achievements.
Three years ago P.S. 314 partnered with Point Made Films to introduce the independent production company, which addresses unconscious bias through insightful storytelling, to new avenues for funding and investment. The company’s subsidiary, Point Made Learning, has since developed “American Dream,” an interactive game that illustrates the obstacles to realizing that ultimate vision of success. By creating an immersive environment where participants have the chance to walk in the shoes of a different race, gender and economic background, “American Dream” touches at the heart of identity and its ability to change the playing field in ways that one may not readily imagine. Congratulations to Point Made on creating another dynamic, thought-provoking call to action. 
The collective also salutes filmmakers Coodie and Chike, whose film, “A Kid from Coney Island,” premiered at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival. The film chronicles the rise of basketball star Stephon Marbury and his commitment to his vision of achieving basketball success. Marbury’s approach to his stardom is somewhat parallel to Coodie and Chike’s own philosophy for navigating the world. Not seeking to fit a traditional mold, the pair are guided by their own compass, relying on intuition and belief to chart their own course. When we first chatted with Coodie and Chike in 2018, they were branching away from music video and focusing more on film. The Tribeca Film Festival nod cements that transition. 
In early 2018, P.S. 314 introduced you to Jasmine Crowe, the Founder and CEO of Goodr, a start-up that leverages technology to fight hunger by salvaging excess food and transporting it to those in need. In the past year, Ms. Crowe has established Goodr’s headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, and she has been recognized for her commitment to hunger prevention. Among other awards, she has received capital from the Civic Innovation Residency Program and seed funding from a variety of sources, which she will use to expand Goodr’s outreach into other states. P.S. 314 salutes Jasmine Crowe for her leadership in assisting those in need, reducing food waste and helping the environment.
P.S. 314 is expanding its outreach to our clients and providing new services to support their change making efforts. Our consultants are skilled experts in philanthropy, communication, and social causes. They build on these strengths to cultivate relationships, assist in capacity building and strategic planning to help our clients achieve their goals. As a matchmaker that connects clients in need of support to the dedicated experts who can guide them, P.S. 314 welcomes new associations. If you are a nonprofit organization, a start-up or an individual artist working to create social change, we welcome the opportunity to work with you.

To learn more about opportunities for collaboration, please email us !
P.S. 314 is seeking new interns for Fall 2019 and Winter 2020. If you are determined, compassionate, and looking for ways to build equity, we would love to hear from you. Last year, we were fortunate to work with Sandy Huynh, our first intern. Sandy came to us with a thirst for knowledge and a desire to create change. It was a honor to watch Sandy achieve her goals while working with our collective. Read more about Sandy’s experience, in her own words.