NAEF 2017 Year In Review

News From The Heart of Art in Natomas

Message from NAEF Director, Sierra Hersek

I wanted to take a moment to share some of the great highlights from 2017, and give you a sneak peak into the exciting projects coming in 2018 for the Natomas Arts and Education Foundation (NAEF).

After a hugely successful Big Day of Giving, raising over $16,000, we have awarded 18 grants to teachers across all NCS academies. In addition, we awarded a community grant to the new Paso Verde Elementary School in support of their art docent program.

Next year, we will set our Big Day of Giving goal even higher and host another family fun night in conjunction with Open House on the Blackrock Campus of Natomas Charter School. The event will include food trucks, music, games for the whole family, and the opportunity to learn more about the students and educators we support. We hope you will join us for fun, festivities, and fundraising on the Big Day of Giving – May 3rd, 2018!

NAEF continues to manage the Benvenuti Performing Arts Center and ensure the most professional environment for the hundreds of young artists who have the opportunity to perform on that stage. This year we enhanced the theatre by upgrading the existing fluorescent bulbs with modern, long lasting, LED fixtures. This $30K project is another example of how NAEF supports arts and education projects that are environmentally sound as well. The fixtures will be cost effective and use roughly 20% of the energy of the previous fluorescent fixtures.

Looking ahead, 2018 promises to be a big year for NAEF! We will produce our first ever Youth Theatre For All Summer Show. This project was awarded a Creative Economy grant from the City of Sacramento, which is a testament to the tremendous value it will offer the youth of our community. Children, ages 10-18, will have the opportunity to audition, and, if cast, perform in BYE BYE BIRDIE with NO FEE required. This is a wonderful chance for so many kids who might be interested in theatre and simply can’t afford the expense often associated with youth theatre.

After a successful first year, the NAEF Summer Arts Camp will be back again in 2018! With planning underway, we are looking at ways to expand and build on the great experience the students had last year. We will once again give kids exposure to visual arts, theatre, and dance. Registration will begin in early March.

These programs are evidence of our growth and the impact we have on the youth we support and we couldn’t do it without the support of our members and donors. We thank them for their ongoing investment and continued belief in our mission.

Happy Holidays!

Be a Part of the Art in Natomas

So Many Ways to Support

It is easier than ever to support arts and education in our community through NAEF. Here a a few simple, and tax deductible, ways you can ensure that you are a Part of the Heart of Art in Natomas:

NAEF Giving Tree Revealed

NAEF is thrilled to announce the installation of a Donor Giving Tree to the lobby of the Benvenuti Performing Arts Center.

NAEF Membership Giving Tree

The Giving Tree offers recognition to our Producer and Executive Producer level members with an engraved leaf on the the tree. The tree was designed and painted by NCS-PFAA junior Koleen Matias, pictured above. We are so thankful to Koleen for sharing her vision and talents!

Interested in purchasing a leaf for the Giving Tree? Visit our website and purchase your a Producer or Executive Producer membership today!

Especially for California State Employees

Through the Our Promise Campaign, a program offered to state employees to donate directly from their payroll, you have the option to donate to NAEF by writing in the Natomas Arts and Education Foundation in the donor form, through October 31st. If you are a state employee and interested in supporting NAEF through the Our Promise Campaign, please email Sierra Hersek at to receive our EIN# required for registration.

Your Big Day of Giving Donations Making a Difference

Your Donations are Reaching Students

Natomas Charter School – PFAA Art’s Departments would like to send a heartfelt thank you to the Natomas Arts And Education Foundation!

"A Christmas Carol" Production Photo

This Fall we mounted a large scale collaborative production of A Christmas Carol that required a lot of additional support. NAEF was able and willing to provide two much needed grants; a $500 grant for costumes and another $500 grant for the set.

The extra funds for costumes allowed us hire professional costumer, Shelley Russel Riley from The B Street Theatre. Having Shelley provided our cast and crew with the opportunity to work with an experienced industry professional. She not only created beautiful costumes for the show, she also provided an educational experience about the art of costuming the students would not have otherwise had.

The value of the extra funds for the set cannot be overstated! The set design was ambitious and required that an extension of the stage be constructed. This was an important element for the vision of the show and it absolutely enhanced the experience for both the cast and audience, but it added quite a bit to the budget. Because NAEF stepped in and provided the supplemental funds, we were able to create a special holiday experience for the 150 cast and crew members as well as the packed houses we played to.

Thank you, NAEF for supporting arts education in our community!

Karen Pollard
Director of A Christmas Carol

If you are a local teacher, administrator, or student with a project that aligns with our mission, please click here to learn more about NAEF grants. Our next grant application deadline is November 15th.

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