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Curtain Closing On NewArts; 12.14 Foundation Organizers Winding Down Innovative Nonprofit



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NewArts, an innovative theatrical nonprofit that began as The 12.14 Foundation in the months following the Sandy Hook tragedy — and expanded to incorporate a unique character development component — is ceasing its operations.

Organizers reached out to The Newtown Bee earlier this week to affirm concerns about the closing after the organization did not move forward with a planned summer program featuring Seussical: The Musical, reprising their first production that was hastily and successfully mounted in the summer of 2013.

The official notice was issued by the organization via e-mail and the NewArts social network sites Friday morning, August 12. The Bee is planning a full report and lookback with input from key organization leaders in the August 19, 2022 print edition.

Any past members or participants in any or all of the NewArts programs dating back to 2013 who would like to offer anecdotes or comments of reflection for consideration to be included in that feature should e-mail Editor John Voket (john@thebee.com) by noon Tuesday, August 16.

The related text of the NewArts announcement, which was endorsed by Founder Dr Michael Baroody and Creative Director Michael Unger, is as follows:

The NewArts/1214 Foundation will come to a close this fall. We thank the many people who have participated in our programs and supported us the past nine years. We are proud of the amazing work we have done together in our ARC and Theatre programs: 17 shows, an original musical, a documentary, an original anthem, We Day, a cast CD, concerts with Broadway performers, performances at 54 below and Radio City Music Hall and ARC activities that helped us all be stronger and kinder.

Memories, friends and NewArts family to last a lifetime! We will miss spending time together with all of you and hope you stay in touch. We will be in touch with our monthly donors shortly.

“Rise Above and Go Beyond” We truly reached our mission and wish every one of you success and happiness in the future.

We feel so fortunate to have built the 1214 Foundation/NewArts family together with such love, respect and joy. We are forever changed by the magical time spent with all of you! Please let us know where you are rising above and going beyond in the future.

Love — Michael Baroody, Michael Unger, Maryrose Kristopik, Gina Mazzariello, Armel Kouassi and many more…

The organization has also put out a call to interested volunteers and past members for assistance sorting, labeling, cataloguing, and taking pictures of everything in the troupe's possession as it is preparated for donation. Anyone able to assist should contact Maryrose Kristopik at inzerokristopik@gmail.com.

The first session is planned for Sunday, August 21, 11 am-5 pm. Lunch will be provided.

The organizers say that everyone who helps will be able to take home some swag/spirit wear. Friends and parents are encouraged to volunteer together.

"We hope many of our NewArts family members will turn out as it is too great a task for only a few," the notice states. "There will be future dates; so please let Maryrose know if you would like to help in the future."

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