The 1214 Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization based in Newtown has announced its official formation, charter and leadership. The foundation aims to build and operate a performing arts center in Newtown in remembrance of those lost in the tragic events at the Sandy Hook Elementary School with a focus “on improving the lives of our children and future generations,” according to information the group released June 25.
Local and national philanthropists are mobilizing to support the foundation, and a growing community of organizations has agreed to donate products and services to bring the foundation’s broad vision to reality.
Founded by Michael Baroody, MD, a Connecticut plastic surgeon and Newtown resident, the 1214 Foundation is a Connecticut non-stock corporation. The foundation has filed all documents required by the US Internal Revenue Service and Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection to operate as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
All financial donations made to the foundation are tax deductible to the extent permitted by the IRS.
The 1214 Foundation’s charter is to raise the funds required to design, develop, and build a world-class performing arts center in Newtown, CT focused on premier children’s education in the arts. Funds will be raised through corporate donations; from collateral contributions by endowments, trusts, charities and other non-profit organizations; and through donations by private individuals and families.
Ultimately, as the Newtown Performing Arts Centre reaches financial viability, the foundation’s board will allocate surplus funds to individuals and organizations based on needs that are consistent with the 1214 charter. Examples of such needs include scholarships for students in the performing arts, donations to organizations specializing in mental health research, support for youth-related programs in Newtown and the surrounding area, support for local and national first-responder organizations, and support for families of the Sandy Hook tragedy.
The foundation’s core leadership team includes Michael Baroody, MD, Fred Holahan, a Connecticut resident and software executive with deep ties to the Newtown community, and Richard Pilbrow, founder of Theatre Projects Consultants. This team will soon expand to include leaders in other disciplines such as legal, accounting, construction, entertainment, media, and technology.
“The 1214 Foundation was formed by a need to represent how deeply we were affected by the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, to transform despair into hope for the future, and encourage healing and creative expression through the performing arts,” said Dr Baroody.
In support of local performing arts projects, the 1214 Foundation will sponsor the production of Seussical the Musical August 9–11 at the Newtown High School, and will feature children of all ages from Newtown and the surrounding area. In addition to the student performers, this production of Seussical will offer numerous apprenticeship positions to junior and senior high school students in the fields of direction, choreography, musical direction, stage management, stage crew, lighting design, prop construction, costume design and construction, sound design, and technical direction.
The Seussical production will be managed by a renowned team of Broadway performing arts leaders including Van Dean (Tony award-winning producer), Michael Unger (international theatre and opera director), Jeffrey Saver (composer and musical director), and Jennifer Paulson Lee (choreographer).
“With the support of 1214 Foundation, we are delighted to bring Seussical the Musical to Newtown, and to help develop the talents of so many fine young local performers,” said Mr Unger. “The Seussical production will also be supported by the Newtown public school system, a growing list of local studios, and by the generous support of many area volunteers. Our goal is to help make the summer of 2013 a memorable time for all who participate in this joyous performance.”