Arts, Culture, and Humanities

Negro Spiritual Scholarship Foundation, Inc.

  • Orlando, FL
  • http://www.negrospiritual.org

Mission Statement

The mission of the Foundation is to preserve the heritage of America's Negro spiritual songs and provide mentoring, training, performance opportunities and scholastic assistance grants to aspiring young musicians.

Main Programs

  1. Teaching The American Song
  2. Project GRADY-RAYAM Music Competitions
  3. World-Premiere Program
Service Areas

Self-reported

National

ruling year

1998

Principal Officer since 1998

Self-reported

Rudolph Cleare

Keywords

Self-reported

Music, Education, Inspiration, Heritage & Culture, Fostering Community

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Also Known As

"NS"SF, Project GRADY-RAYAM

EIN

59-3413380

 Number

0640744186

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Raising & Fund Distribution (Aun)

orming Arts (Aer)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

The ""Negro Spiritual"" Scholarship Foundation (""NS""SF) has been a dynamic presence in Central Florida for the past 18 years. Our mission is to preserve a heritage within America's musical legacy - the Negro spiritual song - and support a future for young musicians wanting to enhance their talent and pursue a college education.""NS""SF fulfills its mission by offering culturally rich experiences to entire communities and providing students with unique opportunities for learning, performance, and professional development. Specifically, ""NS""SF administers Project GRADY-RAYAM, a network of programs that enrich lives through Music, Education and Inspiration.""NS""SF annually produces an array of performing arts events which inspire diverse audience groups eager to learn more about history and heritage. We sponsor education programs that award scholastic assistance grants, enhance musicianship skills, provide mentoring and promote performance readiness; all of which inspires excellence in college students while cultivating them for greatness onstage and beyond. The following is a list of our most recent accomplishments: *Since 1997, the Foundation has awarded more than $290,000 in scholastic assistance grants to 78 college-going students. *Students in our programs are more likely to enroll in college. In 2013, 65.9% of U.S. high school students enrolled in college compared to a 93% enrollment rate of our program participants.In 2013, 54% of college student graduate within 6 years, compared to 72% of participants in our programs. * We annually produces a wide variety of demonstration lecture and recital events in local communities from historic Eatonville, Florida to the exclusive Ponte Vedra, Florida where the local newspaper hailed our work as ""effective outreach to spread understanding and appreciation"". In 2013, the Foundation hosted ""With Songs In Our Hearts"" - a tribute we co-produced with the Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida and others to express solidarity between the Jewish and African American peoples.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Teaching The American Song

Presented by UNIVERSAL ORLANDO FOUNDATION our Teaching The American Song module offers selected young people in the middle school cohort (6th and 7th grades) of Orange County Public Schools and Osceola County Public Schools an experiential learning encounter that conveys a history lesson and widens their sociological perspective while exposing them to the enjoyment of music. The American Song is an inspiring presentation written and produced by our Music & Education Department for performance using a narrator, singer and pianist respectively. The spoken word segments place the Negro spiritual song in historical, cultural and sociological contexts for the audience. Each segment is illuminated with musical offerings of particular songs from the traditional repertoire of Negro spirituals.There is group singing as well as interactive dialogue with students. The activity takes place in school setting in a class period of fifty minutes length.There will be ten service calls.

Category

Education, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Budget

$25,000.00

Program 2

Project GRADY-RAYAM Music Competitions

Our music competition programs are the major vehicles we use to provide personal enrichment services and scholastic assistance grants to young performing artists who are chasing a college education. Senior high students, undergraduates and churchgoing teens can enter solo voice, choral or solo piano competitions and perform Negro spirituals before jury panels. Our GRADY-RAYAM PRIZE In Sacred Music identifies and promotes young classical singers. The MAULTSBY PRIZE In Piano Performance does the same for aspiring keyboard artists. Individual winners receive trophies, mentoring, and money for school. They also spend a year serving as ambassadors for classical music performance and for the American Negro spiritual song. Orlando area congregations can enter youth ensembles in our YONDER! Showcase with music exploring the trajectory from old Negro spiritual songs to contemporary gospel.

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

Budget

$22,250.00

Program 3

World-Premiere Program

At our inception, "NS"SF dedicated a part of our mission to the support of the American cultural community. So we produce an annual season of music-enhanced concerts and outreach events to stimulate and inspire audiences of all kinds. We work collaboratively with schools, churches, performing arts groups and cultural or civic organizations to extend their understanding of the Negro spiritual song tradition. We also commission scholars and musicians to write works, hire professional singers and players to launch new music. Which occasions our annual World-Premiere Gala, a high-style formal evening program where we pair the composer/arranger of a commissioned work with a great vocal artist to present a memorable occasion that launches a new addition to our American song library.We also present the young vocal and instrumental artists in whom we are cultivating greatness to the community, to demonstrate the many ways in which they are being groomed for success.

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Blacks

Adults

Budget

$34,000.00

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    The goal of our Foundation is to inspire individuals and communities to understand and appreciate the importance of Negro spiritual songs as a musical part of America's cultural heritage. Our ultimate aim is to establish the Negro spiritual genre as a national treasure that helps Americans see a way forward, especially at times when the nation's social fabric is torn by differences of skin color, racial origin, language, sexual orientation, religious tradition, political affiliation or religious custom.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    The ""NS""SF is committed to being a mission-driven organization. Our most fundamental work plan is to only do what is in keeping with our mission and to always do those things in a superior way. Mission excellence is our watchword; and it demands that we make practical the aims and goals we espouse: We do it with competitions that challenge singers (GRADY-RAYAM PRIZE In Sacred Music) and pianists (MAULTSBY PRIZE In Piano Performance) who are high school juniors and seniors or undergraduate collegians to learn and perform arranged spirituals before jury panels. Winners earn scholastic assistance grants, are given developmental coaching, and become classical music ambassadors for a year. We do it with a school-based education program (TEACHING THE AMERICAN SONG) for middle school students that stimulates their interest in American history and African-American heritage while building their capacity for music appreciation. We do it with a mentoring program for aspiring artists (PATH TO SUCCESS INSTITUTE) that stresses values like self-esteem, poise and professionalism. We do it with peer experiences (WINNERS' WEEKEND) that empower young people to learn together and to grow from whatever they find unfamiliar or challenging. We do it with professional commissions (COMPOSERS-IN-RESIDENCE) and high-level engagements (WORLD-PREMIERE ARTISTS) that contribute to the economic vitality of the cultural and performing arts community. We do it by collaborating with community partners (HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL RESOURCE & EDUCATION CENTER + LINKS, INC. + INTERFAITH COUNCIL + AFRICAN-AMERICAN CHRISTIAN CLERGY COUNCIL) to produce groundbreaking outreach that effectively spreads understanding and appreciation.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    Human Resources: The ""NS""SF enjoys nearly twenty years of success meeting and exceeding the tenets of our mission. Our asset pool includes a diverse, committed and resource-rich Board of Directors, qualified and dedicated Staff members who have been with us over the long haul, a nationwide network of performing artists, educators and music industry professionals, a large number of local volunteers who contribute time and talent on many fronts, and a strong cohort of around sixty thousand individuals who were beneficiaries of our programs and services over the span on nearly two decades. Funding Resources: In ideal years, we project that a balanced budget in the area of three hundred thousand dollars is needed to sustain and nurture our enterprise. ""NS""SF 2015-2016 Strategic Giving and Fundraising Program Solicit and collect income from dues and memberships ($48,500)Board Dues (20x$1,500 = $30,000)Guild Memberships (100x$25=$2,500)WholeNote Society Memberships (40x$500=$20,000)Solicit and collect income from outreach and event fundraising ($122,500)Season Sponsor ($50,000)World-Premiere Gala ($48,400)Golf Tournament ($47,000)Winners Weekend/Suitable Airs ($35,000)Womens' Voices Luncheon ($10,400)VOT Outreach Programs ($5,000)Solicit and collect income from government and corporate grants ($75,000)Foundations ($10,000)Corporations ($10,000)Governments ($5,000)Solicit income from unrestricted contributions ($47,500)Solicited major gifts ($45,00)Grassroots Giving ($1,000) Partnership Resources: The Foundation is very proud of our many civic partnerships that have radically expanded our program delivery capacity. These include working relationships with The Community Foundation, The Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida, Building US, African-American Christian Clergy Council, Central Florida Community Arts and Florida Opera Theater. We count among our most committed corporate partners and funders Bright House Networks, Walt Disney World Resorts, Universal Orlando Resorts, UCF College of Health & Public Affairs, GreenbergTraurig Law Firm and ZeroChaos. We maintain collaborative music education programs in conjunction with Florida Southern College, Bethune-Cookman University, Orange County Public Schools, Osceola County Public Schools and Samford University. And we enjoy a particularly fertile alliance with the City of Orlando: Office of the Mayor.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    Evaluation and analysis are essential tools for healthy management of ""NS""SF-related activity. They help guide our present course and help dictate plans for the future viability of our organization as well. To this end we consistently monitor our administrative activity to gauge our competence, and assess our program activity in an effort to measure our effectiveness. 1. We annually assess staff performance using a process that encourages employees to gauge areas of strength, areas of concern, areas of challenge and areas for potential growth. 2. We survey our Board of Directors a semi-annual basis, asking what was well done, what was poorly done, what could be changed or discarded and what could be expanded or improved upon. 3. We generate and maintain a healthy dialogue with currently served student awardees and their parents in order to monitor their levels of satisfaction with our programs and the services they can access through them. 4. We conduct on site surveys of competition activities by administering a written poll instrument to all participants and attendees (students, teachers, parents, hired professionals and volunteers). 5. We include a comprehensive survey instrument in our prep packets for in-school and community based education outreach sessions in an attempt to canvass as large a field of respondents as possible for each event. 6. Moving forward, we are committed to soliciting and paying for an outside audit of our books and finances every two years, with accounting letters to be made available in intervening years.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    "NS'SF maintains a wish list of things we have yet to accomplish: assigning sufficient funds to secure perpetual endowment vehicles, supporting a full-time staff position for a Music & Education Director, and bringing our Development consultant in-house a full time employee. But in other, more important ways our agency is always looking forward to anticipate choices we ought to make; choices that facilitate the change or growth that will ensure our future viability. As a prime example: During its regular meeting held on Tuesday 14th August 2012, the ""NS""SF Board of Directors took up a proposal to expand the scope of our agency's music competitions, youth-development programs and educational outreach activities beyond the Afro-ethnic population groups that have always been our target demographic, and voted unanimously to remove all race-based stipulations that might raise a barrier to anyone's participation. With this single vote, our agency stretched it arms out to welcome even more angels into our song-circle: ours is now a celebration of an American way of life that, while flawed, is striving still to form a more perfect human family than in past times. The vote was in keeping with the product we are striving to preserve and promote. You see, the very nature of the Negro spiritual song is to develop and to evolve. As a musical genre it is fluid, accessible, endlessly expressive and very open to adaptation. Nowadays audiences everywhere find common ground in seeing the history of America through the lens of these haunting melodies. From them, our culture is fashioning a universal language spoken out of a specifically African - American idiom but making its appeals to all people of higher value who are committed to the search for greater good. One of our greatest obstacles to progress remains the lack of an office space in which to conduct day-to day professional administrative activity and house our operations. We, for instance, beg and cajole other organizations whenever we need to schedule auditions, coaching sessions, rehearsals and music studio activity of any other kind. The logistics of scheduling committee meetings are daunting. Our Board meets in the conference room at a local law firm that generously makes the space available if possible. Our collection of music scores and other valuable library/archive materials lives in boxes and bins on the premises of a local construction firm. Our prized musical instrument - received as a bequest - is held in a private residence which necessarily limits our access to its use. Hence, securing a long-leased or self-owned facility to house "NS"SF's business operations is a high priority.
Service Areas

Self-reported

National

Funding Needs

A vibrant, sustainable "NS"F needs: 1. Stronger Board with Greater Reach - We aim to seat twenty (20) Corporate or Individual Directors for every annual term (July 1st - June 3oth). Board members pay annual dues in the amount of $1,500. 2. Expanded Network of Corporate Program Sponsors - Corporations and businesses can choose from a menu and sign on to underwrite outreach/education programs that touch an ever-expanding, increasingly diverse population of followers and attendees. Sponsorships purchases range is from a low of $2,500 to a high of $50,000.3. Professional Development Staff - Our annual fund income would be boosted by having a certified Development Director on staff using proven strategies to manage events and campaigns. Income projections for "NS"SF freestanding annual events or campaigns range from a low of 4. High Value In-Kind Giving and Volunteerism. Our hope for future viability corrolates directly to having updated equipment and expertise donated in areas like of marketing, public relations, website development, office technology and communications.

Accreditations

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

NEGRO SPIRITUAL SCHOLARSHIP FOUNDATION INC
Fiscal year: Jul 01-Jun 30

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Negro Spiritual Scholarship Foundation, Inc.

Leadership

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Principal Officer

Rudolph Cleare

BIO

Rudolph Cleare is the Managing Director and Executive Vice-President of the ""Negro Spiritual"" Scholarship Foundation, an organization that was formed in 1996 to preserve the heritage of Negro spirituals sung by the solo voice, and to provide college-entry tuition assistance to promising African American vocalists identified by the Foundation through vocal competitions conducted at the senior high school level. A native of the Bahama Islands, Rudolph Cleare has lived and worked in Central Florida since 1975. He attended Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, where he sang with that institution's world-renowned Concert Chorale. He holds the Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Saint Meinrad College in Indiana, as well as the Master of Divinity (Theology and Education) degree from Saint Meinrad Graduate School of Theology, engaging in vocal studies at both levels. He is known as a skilled innovator in the diversification of managed philanthropy and patronage funding, especially related to the cultural and fine arts scene. He is a leader in the practical application of arts education to curricula for youth development. Over a lifetime, Rudolph Cleare has nurtured a passion for the sound of the human voice, studying avidly the dynamics of both solo voice singing and public speaking. He is a skilled rhetorician/homiletician, and a recognized authority with regard to the sung Negro spiritual as a uniquely American art form. As an ordained Roman Catholic priest, Rudolph Cleare directed the Office of Black Community Ministry and Haitian Community Ministry for the Diocese of Orlando from 1986-1997. He is well-versed in matters related to race and ethnicity in the social context.

STATEMENT FROM THE Principal Officer

"A View From the Director's Desk.....The "Negro Spiritual Scholarship Foundation is a Florida-based cultural and educational nonprofit agency whose influence now extends through much of the United States. We are undergoing a period of both painful transition and positive adjustment following the shutdown of Orlando Opera Company, but have succeeded in maintaining all basic program elements needed to fulfill our: mission (holding successful vocal competitions in three states, granting tuition assistance awards at college-entry level, presenting concerts as a public service to the community, and showcasing students in Vocalists on Tour recital performances) Our Board of Directors has gained strength and is ramping up its commitment level on all fronts. Weathering harsh times, our staff team has retooled and improved agency services while agreeing to strategic salary cuts that will help us to remain viable and grow programmatically. AREAS OF CRITICAL CONCERNVISIBILITY* The Foundation is challenged to raise its profile locally and nationwide now that we no longer stand in the shadow of our long-term association with Orlando Opera. We must use all communication media as tools to broaden our base of clientele ranging from students and educators to program sponsors and underwriters, to grant funding sources, to funding friends who give annually. CREDIBILITY* The Foundation is being urged by national and international school systems, colleges and universities, along with governmental and other cultural arts concerns to extend our education programs as a way to help offset the disastrous cuts that have been made necessary by the economic downturn. Making effective use of our new Music and Education Director will be an essential component in how we rise to meet these challenges.FUNDING* The entire nonprofit sector is at low ebb with regard to donor capacity in today's harsh economic climate. The "NS"SF is and will continue to be affected by this reality, yet the base of private donors committed to our cause remains remarkably solid. The burden of raising funds for the "NS"SF is not overly ambitious when compared to operating budgets for most other agencies of similar scope and impact. The Executive Committee heading the 2009-2010 Board has already signaled that Directors, staff members and other trusted friends will have to work harder than ever before in this respect. The extent to which each of us commits himself or herself to strategic and effective fundraising will be the real measure of our future success."

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Carolyn LimQuee

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


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ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


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BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


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BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?