Project SUCCESS

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"Up" is the number of experts who agree that the nonprofit has had the most impact in the field. "Down" is the number of experts who disagree that the nonprofit has had the most impact in field.
Project-success
Headquarters Location: Minneapolis, MN
Founded: 1994


Mission: Project SUCCESS motivates and inspires young people to dream about the future, helps them take steps to get there and gives them the tools they need to achieve their goals.


Tags: minnesota, access to art and culture, theatre, art education, family, youth development, support, youth arts, 2012


Project-success
Story: Project SUCCESS's Theater Experience program makes a difference! These events have proven to be wonderful bonding experiences for young people and their family members as well as powerful audience-building tools for the theater partners. Through Project SUCCESS, students and their… Read the full story.

Expert Reviews: Evidence of Impact
Project SUCCESS works with middle and high school students to help them realize their potential. The program focuses on goal-setting for young people and uses the arts as a tool in that work. They offer free tickets to live theater productions not only for the students, but for their families as well. Through this work, young people who may otherwise not have been exposed to the theatre are gaining access to the arts.
See the complete expert review.

Leadership
Project-success Adrienne Diercks. Adrienne Diercks is the founder and Executive Director of Project SUCCESS. Project SUCCESS is a youth-development organization that works with students over a seven-year period, from middle school through high school, to help them develop life skills that can transform their lives.

As a result of her passion of helping young people achieve their dreams, she began Project SUCCESS in… See full bio.



Transparency Information
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This organization has earned the GuideStar Participation Level Silver, demonstrating its commitment to transparency (learn more)


Financial Data


From the Nonprofit


Oct 17, 2013

Thank you to Philanthropedia and dozens of experts for the time and thought you put into reviewing Twin Cities youth-serving nonprofits to select and recognize those who are doing exemplary work in the field of access to arts and… Read More.



Contact Info
E-Mail:
info AT projectsuccess.org
Phone:
(612) 874-1777
Facebook:
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Address:
One Groveland Terrace, Suite 300
 
Minneapolis, MN 55403, USA
Twitter:
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Project-success Story: Project SUCCESS's Theater Experience program makes a difference! These events have proven to be wonderful bonding experiences for young people and their family members as well as powerful audience-building tools for the theater partners. Through Project SUCCESS, students and their families attend diverse theater performances together, enriching their shared family experiences and increasing opportunities for interactions, which can lead to more positive family relationships and greater home support for youth— shown to have a positive impact on student achievement. Project SUCCESS uses the Theater Experiences to: act as a springboard for discussion in classroom workshops and at home; bring students and their families together for a shared experience; increase family involvement in students’ lives — shown to have a positive impact on student achievement; foster the appreciation of cultural diversity through theater; encourage a deeper understanding of the powerful impact theater can have on people's lives; expand, diversify and strengthen local theater audiences through on-going and meaningful relationships with families; and demonstrate to students that they are members of a larger community.

Expert Reviews of Project SUCCESS

Evidence of Impact Summary:

Project SUCCESS works with middle and high school students to help them realize their potential. The program focuses on goal-setting for young people and uses the arts as a tool in that work. They offer free tickets to live theater productions not only for the students, but for their families as well. Through this work, young people who may otherwise not have been exposed to the theatre are gaining access to the arts.
See expert comments.

Organization Strengths Summary:

Project SUCCESS has the passion and support of the entire organization behind it. The dedicated staff, visionary Executive Director, and strong Board of Directors are all committed to fulfilling the organization's mission. Their work of introducing under-represented youth to the arts is an asset as well. Strength is that Project SUCCESS is established and consistent without being stagnant.
See expert comments.

Areas for Improvement Summary:

Experts would like to see Project SUCCESS expand their programming to work in a greater number of schools. They may also benefit from taking a closer look at their processes around providing free tickets. One expert pointed out that there are times when the tickets go undistributed or unused. Another expert suggested that Project SUCCESS consider offering some financial assistance to the nonprofit venues that donate the tickets. The organization could also improve by better balancing their work in the field with their administrative responsibilities.
See expert comments.

Expert Comments: Evidence of Impact

Select the boxes to display the results according to expert type.

Show:
X
Foundation Professionals (F)
X
Researchers and Faculty (R)
X
Nonprofit Senior Staff (N)
X
Other (consultants, journalists, policy makers) (O)

Strong Student Impact

N
Project SUCCESS is increasing student learning though access to the arts.
O
Project SUCCESS works with students in schools, offering them a variety of opportunities to engage in the arts and appreciate how the arts can impact their lives.
N
Last year, they delivered 3,510 goal-setting workshops to more than 10,500 young people in 15 Minneapolis and Saint Paul middle and high schools. 90% of participating students report taking a positive step toward achieving their goals. They also facilitated 20,000 students and their families to attend 205 evening and weekend performances at professional theaters in Twin Cities.

Quality Programming

N
Project SUCCESS provides many students free tickets to a wide variety of live performances throughout the year at the theater where I work.
N
I see their impact as the broad spectrum of students and families served, and the arts organizations involved.
N
They work with youth to realize their potential. Taking students and their families to the arts, is an important strategy to their program. They even provide transportation.
N
They have sent an incredible number of high school kids to see local theater at no cost. Moreover, perhaps more importantly, they have allowed the kids' families to attend as well. This makes seeing arts into a shared experience and increases the odds that the family will see more on their own.
N
I always see groups of people from Project SUCCESS at theatres around town. I love that they are bringing folks who might not otherwise go to the theatre!
N
My children attend Minneapolis schools where Project SUCCESS delivers services, and I can report first hand that there are MANY Minneapolis families who attend ballets and taiko drumming and plays at the Guthrie, which they would never have been able to afford without free tickets from Project SUCCESS. Their work at Marcy Open School with the school's annual musical has been transformative, allowing parents who used to spend countless hours producing that musical to pursue other activities that benefit the school and its students.


Expert Comments: Organization Strengths

Select the boxes to display the results according to expert type.

Show:
X
Foundation Professionals (F)
X
Researchers and Faculty (R)
X
Nonprofit Senior Staff (N)
X
Other (consultants, journalists, policy makers) (O)

Great Leadership

N
I see their strengths as their visionary leadership, strong board, and important community partnerships.

Great Programs

N
Project SUCCESS also provides a guest services staff person during the performances for whom they provides tickets.
N
The organization and leadership of Project SUCCESS have indeed made it successful. They introduce the arts to populations that cannot afford to attend events and often open their eyes to events that they would normally not consider attending.

Full Staff Dedication

O
The organization has strong staff leadership in their Executive Director, Adrienne Diercks, and great staff such as Paige Ware. They also have really strong relationships with the students.
N
The staff is highly qualified, passionate and experienced. They are dedicated to kids and their futures and they show results. They also have a strong and dedicated Board of Directors and are very successful at raising funds for their programs.
N
They have a strong staff and organizational structure.
N
They have strong, solid leadership from the founder, and they have great consistency of service. Also, they are established and reliable without being staid and hidebound.
N
They seem very clear on their mission and the staff is really committed. Also, they are organized in a way that makes what they do possible, and makes it easy to coordinate with other organizations.


Expert Comments: Areas for Improvement

Select the boxes to display the results according to expert type.

Show:
X
Foundation Professionals (F)
X
Researchers and Faculty (R)
X
Nonprofit Senior Staff (N)
X
Other (consultants, journalists, policy makers) (O)

Expand Programming

N
I would like to see them expand to serve more schools.
O
They could be improved by the expansion of services to more schools in the Twin Cities and Minneapolis areas. Also, sometimes they are on site so much that they do not respond to communications as promptly as possible.
N
I would like to see them just doing more of what they are doing now.

Improve Ticket Processes

N
It would be nice if Project SUCCESS could consider offering financial consideration to those nonprofits for which the organization provides free tickets.
N
There have been times where theatre tickets have not been used and not released.


Leadership

Project-success
Adrienne Diercks
Executive Director
Adrienne Diercks is the founder and Executive Director of Project SUCCESS. Project SUCCESS is a youth-development organization that works with students over a seven-year period, from middle school through high school, to help them develop life skills that can transform their lives.

As a result of her passion of helping young people achieve their dreams, she began Project SUCCESS in 1994 serving 200 students and one school in Minneapolis. Today, she has grown the program to serving nearly 11,000 students and their families and 16 schools in both Minneapolis and Saint Paul. The creation of this innovative program has brought invitations for expansion both nationally and internationally. Her work has been written about in Paul Batz's book "Inspire, Persuade, Lead: Communication Secrets of Excellent Leaders." Adrienne's leadership has also been recognized in local and national press.

She was named a 2008 Minneapolis Saint Paul Business Journal “Woman to Watch”, and was honored with the Minneapolis Award for her outstanding accomplishments and contributions to the City of Minneapolis, the Community Member Arts Advocate Award from the Minnesota Alliance for Arts in Education and the 2000 Hispanic Heritage Month Award for work in education with the Hispanic community. Under her leadership, Project SUCCESS received the 2008 Ordway Center for the Performing Arts Sally Award for Excellence in Education. In 2010, Adrienne was honored with Ann Bancroft Foundation's Dream Maker Award for Achievement and Leadership and the first-ever Minneapolis Metro School Counselor Association Friend of Counseling Award.

In addition to her role at Project SUCCESS, Adrienne is a member of the Minnesota Women’s Economic Roundtable, and serves on the University of Minnesota Padelford Scholarship Committee, the University of Minnesota Humphrey Institute Arts and Culture Study Group, the Minnesota Regional Arts Council Review Panel, the National Civic League Ambassadors in Education and Met Life Foundation National Selection Committee and is a recent graduate of the James P. Shannon Leadership Institute.

Previously, she served as the founder of Possibilities, Inc., a non-profit whose mission was to inspire kids to dream about their lives. In that role, she traveled throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin conducting inspirational workshops.

Adrienne has a B.A. in English from Whittier College, CA.

“We are thrilled to be recognized by Philanthropedia and Minnesota experts as a 2013 Top Nonprofit working in the field of educational support for at-risk youth! I am encouraged by the important and growing conversation around giving youth authentic voice. A foundation of our work at Project SUCCESS is the belief and understanding that young people have within themselves the power and ability to create the future they desire.”

From the Nonprofit



Oct 17, 2013

Thank you to Philanthropedia and dozens of experts for the time and thought you put into reviewing Twin Cities youth-serving nonprofits to select and recognize those who are doing exemplary work in the field of access to arts and culture. We are honored by the recognition of our work with youth and pleased to be part of this group of excellent organizations!

Project SUCCESS believes in the power of theater to illuminate the world. We bring the arts into the school, and we bring students and their families to the arts. We use professional theater as a tool to inspire students, help them look at the real-life issues they face, demonstrate they are members of a larger community and act as a springboard for discussion in the classroom workshops and at home. And we offer students opportunities to participate in an annual artistic enrichment experience, most often a theatrical performance. In an effort to engage a variety of talents, the artistic enrichment experiences may also take the shape of spoken word performances, modest student-written plays, working with aerial artists (such as Xelias Aerial Arts), or artist residencies. Each school’s experience is customized to the needs of the students and the school, and is curated and coordinated by our own Resident Artist, Jeffry Lusiak.

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) reports that arts education can help narrow the achievement gap. Low-income students with high levels of arts involvement (“high-arts students”) are nearly six times more likely than their “low-arts” peers to graduate from high school. They are two and a half times more likely to obtain a two-year college degree and three times as likely to complete a bachelor’s degree. Arts access is also associated with increased civic engagement. Lamentably, the NEA report also showed that access to arts experiences for low-income students has declined by about twenty percent over the past decade, meaning the students most likely to benefit from an arts-rich educational experience are less likely to get it.

Professional theater experiences are offered to inspire and challenge students, demonstrate they are members of the larger community, and act as a springboard for discussion in the classroom and at home. We invite students and their families to at least eight performances annually at no cost to them, thanks to our 30+ Twin Cities theater partners who generously donate tickets. Students and their families attend diverse theater performances together, enriching their shared family and school community experiences, which can lead to more positive and supportive adult and peer relationships for youth – shown to have a positive impact on student achievement. By offering tickets at no cost to every student’s household, regardless of the ability to pay, the shared experience helps to bring school communities together and prevents the promotion of socio-economic differentiation in the community that can occur when those who cannot otherwise afford a theater experience are singled out. We offer free transportation and child care to further remove barriers to participation. Teachers surveyed overwhelmingly praised this part of our program for its support of the English curriculum and because theater reinforces in the real world what students are learning theoretically in class.

We also bring immersive arts experiences to the students, producing full-scale musicals and facilitating artist residencies. The intense time spent working toward a common goal provides countless opportunities for students to build relationships with Project SUCCESS staff and allows the staff to serve as much-needed mentors to many students. These arts experiences introduce urban youth to new experiences; provide students with additional opportunities to build confidence and develop goal setting, teamwork, communication, and leadership skills; and connect students with artists. Project SUCCESS programming allows schools to provide invaluable artistic and cultural experiences that would not otherwise be available.

Many of our professional classroom facilitators and program staff also have professional backgrounds in the arts and provide experience in infusing the arts in the classroom, through poetry, acting, drawing and other artistic exercises designed to help students envision, plan for and pursue their futures, find and share their voices, and develop confidence and self-esteem.



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