News From The Heart of Art in Natomas

Message from Board President, Charlie Leo

The Natomas Arts and Education Foundation (NAEF) Board is looking at the year ahead and planning some exciting activities, but first a look back at what we have been up to recently.

Thanks to a concerted effort by the NAEF Board, we are now officially a membership organization and have enrolled over thirty members at a wide range of membership levels, including our first Executive Level membership from City Councilperson Angelique Ashby.  This is a great start to what will be an ongoing process for years to come, so please join now and help us reach our goal of 100 members by June 2018.

The NAEF Board is also excited to welcome Josy Miller, Ph.D. as the newest addition to our Board. Currently, Josy is an Arts Education Programs Specialist for the California Arts Council and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience as a theatre director, scholar, and educator to the NAEF Board. Josy received her Ph.D. in Performance Studies from the University of California, Davis, where her work focused on contemporary Shakespeare performance. Her proven passion for arts and education will strengthen our team and we all look forward to working with her.

As you likely know, one of NAEF’s largest contributions to the community is the ongoing support and management of the Benvenuti Performing Arts Center.  In addition, this year, we have committed $16,000 to NAEF Grants. Thus far we have awarded over $10,000 in grants to twenty educator-recipients, including Natomas Charter School and the newest school in Natomas Unified School District, Paso Verde Elementary.

As mentioned in last quarter’s newsletter, international outreach will continue to be a very important component of NAEF’s objectives. NAEF received a verbal commitment of continued funding from the Anderson Foundation of the One Voice project. Planning is underway for One Voice – Costa Rica with a scouting trip, including students and educators, currently planned for Spring of 2018 and a follow up in 2019.  Our heartfelt gratitude goes out to The Anderson Foundation for their generosity, creativity and on going belief in the One Voice mission.

Looking ahead, we are excited to announce that, for the first time in our history, we will participate in Giving Tuesday, a global day of giving.  Giving Tuesday is celebrated annually on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving. The purpose of Giving Tuesday is to celebrate and encourage giving. This will be an opportunity to contribute to NAEF as well as many other organizations around the world. Keep an eye out for more information from NAEF about Giving Tuesday in the near future.

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.

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 employees and interested in supporting NAEF through the Our Promise Campaign, please email Sierra Hersek at to receive our EIN# required for registration.


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

The Giving Tree offers recognition to our Producer and Executive Producer level members with an engraved leaf on the the tree. The design, seen below, was created by NCS-PFAA junior Koleen Matias. She will be hand painting the plexi glass panels that will then be installed along the staircase in the Benvenuti lobby. We hope to have the Giving Tree installed and ready to be unveiled during the NAEF Christmas Carol pre show event, in December.

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

NAEF Membership Giving Tree Design
NAEF Giving Tree Design

Your Big Day of Giving Donations Making a Difference

Your Donations are Reaching the Classroom

With over $10,000 in NAEF grants given away this year, we wanted to highlight a few projects funded through these grants and the teachers and students positively impacted by your generous donations.

NAEF 5th Grade Science Grant Recipient

“Science has been quite exciting and interesting in 5th grade. These hands on activities have given the kids incredible learning opportunities. As their teacher, I’ve noticed an increase in their engagement and their desire to learn. However, these opportunities would not have been possible had it not been for the Natomas Arts and Education Foundation (NAEF) who funded some of the materials and supplies for these experiments. So thank you NAEF!” Kham Vue – 5th Grade teacher Star Academy

NAEF High School Art Grant Recipient

“Hip-Hop Goes Global brings together a range of students from all PFAA departments to expose students to, explore the elements of, and expand student perspectives on the impact of Hip-Hop culture locally and globally.” – Jim Vetter, Art Teacher

“We are so thankful that NAEF supports this valuable project. The grant that we receive allows us to invite members from the local Hip-Hop community to meet with our students and share their expertise in a variety of fields.  This includes masterclasses on spoken word, breaking and graffiti art as well as in-class lectures on the history of Hip-Hop in the U.S.A.” – Gareth Love, Language Arts Teacher

Leave a Comment