The Grant is FUNDED!!! The Creative Oasis: Youth Arts Project Will be SPRINGING UP!!!

For weeks I’ve been holding on to confidential info about the grants and scoring on December 14th, 2015 for the New Bedford Cultural Council (NBCC). I’m not much of a fan of having to keep ANYTHING bottled in…especially GREAT NEWS!!! I’ve been more giddy than anything. But NOW is the time! The CREATIVE OASIS: YOUTH ARTS PROJECT grant I submitted (offering FREE art sessions in New Bedford) HAS BEEN FUNDED!!! At this time I have yet to ask where my grant landed in the grand scheme of the numbers. All I know is it sounded like it received high scores from my fellow council members. I had to recuse myself from voting on my own and a few of the ones related to the Renaissance Community School For The Arts, of course. What I didn’t know was that I’d find out how much the grants would be receiving in funding. THAT’S when I perked up again!



The CREATIVE OASIS: YOUTH ARTS PROJECT will operate during the Spring holiday break of 2016, in New Bedford, Massachusetts this April 18th-22nd. There will be several 1 1/2 hour FREE art activities between 11am-5pm. (11am-12:30pm, 1pm-2:30pm, 2:45pm – 4:15pm) at our three locations. The locations are the Andrea McCoy Recreation Center, Dennison Memorial Community Center and Southcoast RAPPP Program.



The meeting went WAAAY LONGER than it was suppose to due to a technical malfunction in the calculating equipment. A laptop crashed. We had to do it all again individually. There we were in City Hall‘s Ashley Room, all sitting around the table waiting our turn. I looked around thinking, “This is a room full of some SHARP people!” The hidden gem in it all was that it gave me ALL KINDS of time to talk to members, including the former NBCC president Shelly Cardoos. Shelly is currently with the E For All helping businesses and entrepreneurs get on the right track. I also learned from Shelly my friend Jeremiah Hernandez, of U.G.L.Y.* Gallery fame, is working with her! I look forward to working more with them in the near future.

A Mastermind to mention

I’d like to give a SPECIAL THANKS to  Krysten Lynch Callina at Mastermind Adventures for putting E For All on my radar! Also, for introducing me to the home school community, volunteering her time to help market and promote the Creative Oasis. Also for being a GREAT consultant and Friend!


Microsoft Word - Letter of Support - Fitz.docx

Back to the funding, huh? As the numbers were crunched and we went back through the long list of grant we found out which would be funded, how much, and which were denied. The MOST that could be requested was $4,000. Due to the amount of grants, no single grant is able to receive the full amount in order to spread the wealth. ALL the grants were of some service to educate, entertain, beautify and enrich our lovely City of New Bedford. I applaud ALL those who took the time and energy to improve our community with there ideas and programs. As was repeated to the Standard Times by Jill Horton, “We WANT to fund as many grants as possible!” That’s DEFINITELY the vibe I got from the process and the other members. It wasn’t pleasant seeing some GREAT ideas get denied.

Call me, three stacks

Microsoft Word - Letter of Support - Fitz.docx

The CREATIVE OASIS: YOUTH ARTS PROJECT was #33 on the list as it approached I was toying around with numbers I’d be happy with as I heard the others. Then I hear, “Fitzcarmel LaMarre-Creative Oasis will receive $3,000.” I knew I was being looked at so I had to maintain my composure. I was going NUTTY on the inside! I’m talking, I used ALL of my restraint to not pop out of my seat and dance like James Brown in the chair and on the table. I was smiling HARD as the Cheshire Cat as few members immediately congratulated me. I did well to hide the excitement, but I did dance in the rain on the way to my Prius.

Almost didn’t happen, tho!

Microsoft Word - Letter of Support - Fitz.docx“Am I THAT Lucky?” I thought. HELL NO!!! I worked my a$$ off and asked the right people the right questions to get it done to the BEST of my ability. I will admit, there was a time in there I wanted to NOT follow through. I got the notice of my budget not being detailed enough and that I had a week to get it back. Also, wonky budget that were resubmitted were docked points. I was SLAMMED with work at the time too. But I left my ego out of it and did the work amid all the viable, legitimate excuses and distractions.

Follow the feeling

Microsoft Word - Letter of Support - Fitz.docx

This was the first grant I’ve ever attempted to write. It kinda all came about at a NBCC meeting I was going to for information, for myself and Gallery X. Deb Smook asked me about what my idea was that I was coming to get information for. I was tooling around with the CREATIVE OASIS: YOUTH ARTS PROJECT idea after my artMOBILE run this last Summer. I rambled, off the top of my head, the idea I had for FREE (or low cost) fine arts classes for New Bedford youth over the Spring vacation (April 18th-22nd). From the response I got from the room, I KNEW I needed to follow through with it. After speaking with Jill Horton-Simms, (Board Member and Chair on the NBCC) I knew how big to go with it…REALLY BIG!!!

I love it when a plan comes together

Writing this grant helped me to collect my thoughts and polish the idea with dates and a budget. The commitment letters likely helped too. I didn’t have commitment letters from ANY artists…but I got them for ALL THREE VENUES. Southcoast Health’s RAPPP Program will host our north end, with three main fine art activities and crafts for younger school age children. The Andrea McCoy Recreation Center will be the central location. They will have six activities, and crafts for younger school age children. Our south end location will be the Dennison Memorial Recreation Center, with six fine art activities, and crafts for younger school age children.

Another SPECIAL THANKS to Sean Hargraves and Joe Neves at Dennison, India Russell and Mary Raposa with New Bedford Parks, Recreation & Beaches, and Cindy Guilbeault with the Southcoast Health’s RAPPP Program for the use of your venues FOR FREE…AND getting those commitment letter back to me SO FAST.

It ain’t over

Screenshot 2016-01-02 14.29.41

The grant got funded but CREATIVE OASIS: YOUTH ARTS PROJECT is NOT completely funded…yet. There will be paint night fund raisers, social media campaigns for donations to follow to make SURE this project happens. YOU, my friends get to watch the magic happen! Behind the scenes and right up front, up close and personal. My drive comes from this: If public schools systems and political folks want to squeeze arts from the public educational system and increase standardized testing, fine. We’ll just supplement that loss and quench that thirst at The Oasis.

hit me up!



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;o) Fitz

#BigGoalHunting #TheBlackBobRoss #TheArtGuy #FastFoodArtist #NewBedfordArtists


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