Philanthropic Field Trip: NYC
After a month of planning, Brian David Stevens and Foundation photographer/biographer Stevie Crecelius to to the road (actually, the Acela) for meetings with non-profit organizations that foster the dreams of today’s young superheroes – organizations run by superheroes in their own right. It was a jam-packed forty-eight hours of laughter, tears, food… and theater. Brian and Stevie were met at Penn Station by Actress Anne Bobby, a friend of the Foundation and coordinator of the trip’s meetings and events.
After a late dinner at the legendary Keen’s Chophouse, Brian and Anne met up the next morning at the New 42nd Street Studios for an invitation-only presentation of the upcoming Broadway musical, THE PROM. Based on a true story, it’s a gut-busting, tear-jerking celebration of love and acceptance spanning genders and generations. Bravo to the fabulous cast and producers Bill Damaschke and Dori Berinstein – see youNovember 20th!
From there, Brian and Anne met up with Stevie at the Flatiron office of ONLY MAKE BELIEVE, the non-profit that’s been bringing interactive theatre to children in hospitals, care facilities and special education schools throughout New York and Washington DC since 1999. Named after a song written by her late father-in-law (the legendary Oscar Hammerstein), Dena Hammerstein has brought nearly 5,000 shows to over 68,000 sick children – many of whom would never have seen a performance otherwise. The work Dena and her team do is extraordinary, and the Stevens Family Foundation is thrilled to help achieve their goals and plan ways to expand their outreach.
Next morning, Brian and Stevie took a car out to Brooklyn to join Anne at a breakfast meeting with Amy White Graves, founder and Executive Director of BROOKLYN CHILDREN’S THEATRE, a non-profit company whose mission is to bring children from diverse backgrounds together to learn and grow through musical theatre. Now in its 14th year, BCT has made it a special part of their mission to reach out to children in New York’s family shelter system, bringing children from across the borough to their classes for free, providing them transportation, tuition and even food – as well as a home to create, perform and pursue their dreams. It was a wonderful meeting, and the ideas for BCT’s future were nothing short of life-changing for everyone. Thank you, Amy – here’s to a great future together.
With a little time before Brian and Stevie’s train, Anne found time to introduce the Foundation team to another potential non-profit dedicated to children, creativity and superheroes: 826NYC’s BROOKLYN SUPERHERO SUPPLY COMPANY. Part of a nationwide commitment to the nurturing of young creative writers, the whimsical storefront was a perfect end to a fantastic first trip to The Big Apple on official Stevens Family business.
Many thanks to Anne, and all the wonderful people who inspired us… from start to finish