May 08, 2017 – New Castle, NH — The Seacoast Women’s Giving Circle gathered to celebrate the six recipients of its annual grants at a May 4 event that attracted more than 100 members and guests to the Portsmouth Yacht Club.

The group was founded in 2006 with the mission of spreading grassroots philanthropy through collective giving and has directed more than $500,000 to local nonprofit organizations. This year, SWGC chose to support the arts, recognizing that the arts play a major role in the Seacoast area and contribute greatly to its economy and well-being.

SWGC Chairwomen Jane Lannon and Erika Taylor introduced the six nonprofit organizations selected for their offierings in the areas of artist recognition, arts education, arts in healthcare, access to the arts, collaboration and community engagement.

“Thriving arts organizations are critical to the vitality of our community,” Lannon said. “We are thrilled to be gifting over $60,000 in grants to these six organizations. Together we strive to make a significant, long-lasting impact on the quality of life on the Seacoast.”

Kirsten Mahoney, SWGC Give chairwoman, talked about the difficulty in selecting six organizations from a large pool of very compelling applications.

“The selection committee was inspired and humbled by the many organizations on the Seacoast doing tremendous work to support artists and engage the community in appreciation of the arts,” Mahoney said. “While many of these applications were worthy of funding, ultimately we focused on the mission of the SWGC to help us make these difficult decisions.”

The SWGC thanked Piscataqua Savings Bank for its generous support in sponsoring the event. Representatives from two of the recipient organizations, Zach Lange and Stu Dias, who are frequent performers at The Dance Hall, and the PMAC Teen Jazz Band performed during the event.

The SWGC 2017 grant recipients, the amounts of the grants are:

The Dance Hall, $15,000: It will utilize the grant to hire a part-time outreach coordinator to expand the artistic program, broaden collaboration and increase organizational capacity. This will also assist in Dance Hall programs becoming more accessible to school-aged children, low-income families, senior citizens and military families.

3S Artspace, $15,000: The nonprofit multifaceted arts organization is dedicated to presenting and supporting bold, emerging art and entertainment and cultivating an informal space for the exchange of ideas and creativity. In its flexible performance space and large gallery, 3S offers lectures, films, art exhibits, concerts and everything in between. 3S puts a strong emphasis on collaboration, and has partnered with an extensive list of organizations, artists, businesses and schools. This grant will go toward operational support of the organization with an emphasis on community engagement.

Portsmouth Music and Arts Center, $15,000: It will use the grant for operational support to strengthen and sustain its fiscal stability in order to meet the need of every financial aid application.

Seacoast Mental Health, $5,000: It will use the grant to support two art therapy program for clients with severe and persistent mental illnesses, including bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depression and anxiety. Funds from the grant will provide stipends for professional artists to teach SMH clients and for the purchase of art supplies. Clients will partner with professional artists to create artwork that will then be sold in a silent auction, supporting SMH and empowering their clients.

New Hampshire Theatre Project, $5,000: Grant proceeds will be used to partially fund the first year of “The Elephant Series,” four play readings on social issues that are often ignored. Through each event NHTP will partner with an organization associated with the topic.

Arts In Reach (AIR), $5,000: AIR’s mission is to empower at-risk teenage girls through mentoring and the arts. AIR provides free art-based afterschool and summer programs to teenage girls. The grant will provide operational support for AIR’s mentoring and art programs. For more information, visit

Read the original article from the Seacoast Online on May 8, 2017

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