Boston – As part of its grantmaking each quarter, the Boston Foundation makes one Out of the Blue grant of $75,000—unsolicited and unrestricted—to an area nonprofit. These grants are designed to recognize exceptional leadership and programmatic excellence in regional nonprofits.
Today, the Board of the Boston Foundation approved an Out of the Blue grant to Raw Art Works in Lynn as part of $19.2 million in grants announced to regional nonprofits.
Raw Art Works, founded in 1988, provides arts-based youth development programs to young people in Lynn through a number of programs. These include a state-of-the-art film school; single-sex art groups for teenagers; a college and career support program; and other mentoring and leadership development programs.
“Raw Art Works has taken a great idea and developed it into a strong organization honored locally and nationally for its innovative and effective work,” said Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation. “In challenging times, it has grown its budget significantly and built an impressive staff. It stands nearly alone in its efforts to address the many challenges that face young people in Lynn, and offers an exemplary model of how an organization can grow while keeping focused on its goals.”
Today Raw Art Works serves over 550 students a year, including 200 in its summer program—and sends fully 90 percent of its seniors on to college. In addition to the nurture and service it provides to its students, Raw Arts bought a four-story building in downtown Lynn in 2007 and developed an art gallery as well as programming that reaches out to engage members of the surrounding community.
In the words of the Social Innovation Forum, which honored Raw Art Works as a 2009 Social Innovator, Raw Art Works has "passionately pursued its mission to ignite the desire to create and the courage to succeed, using the power of the arts to transform young lives, one artist at a time.”
Grogan cited Raw Art Works co-founder and Artistic Director Mary Flannery and Executive Director Kit Jenkins for establishing an organization that can transform the lives of young people—and then sustaining it and scaling it up over the years to serve a larger clientele without compromising the original vision.
The Boston Foundation, Greater Boston’s community foundation, is one of the oldest and largest community foundations in the nation, with assets of $763 million. In Fiscal Year 2008, the Foundation and its donors made close to $79 million in grants to nonprofit organizations and received gifts of $113 million. The Foundation is made up of some 900 separate charitable funds established by donors either for the general benefit of the community or for special purposes. The Boston Foundation also serves as a major civic leader, provider of information, convener, and sponsor of special initiatives designed to address the community’s and region’s most pressing challenges. For more information about the Boston Foundation, visit or call 617-338-1700.