Thanks from RAW

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Raw Art Works (RAW) is thrilled to announce that they have raised $175,000 at their annual BASH: Party with a Purpose fundraiser on Saturday May 19th, far exceeding their goal and total from last year’s fundraiser.

At RAW, kids are inspired to create extraordinary works of art, a strong community, and life-affirming futures. Since 1988, RAW has passionately pursued its mission to ignite the desire to create and the confidence to succeed, using the power of the arts to transform young lives, one artist at a time. In 1994, RAW established RAW Space in downtown Lynn. In 2008, the building was renovated and expanded to accommodate a large gallery, three art studios, and a film school.

RAW hoped to raise $140,000 at this year’s BASH. Last year, they raised just over $128,000. Funds were raised through tickets, corporate sponsorships, a live and silent auction of alumni art work, and sponsorships of youth artists. This year’s fundraiser represents 13% of RAW’s annual budget.

Kit Jenkins, RAW’s Executive Director, says “not only was the night an incredible affirmation of our youth, their art and the programs at RAW, but a reflection of the deep commitment and care of the community of supporters that we are so fortunate to call our friends.”

The artists whose work was represented in the auction are alumni of RAW’s program, most of who are current art school students or graduates of college art programs. The night also included a “Sponsor-a-Kid” portion of the live auction where guests raised an astonishing $56,300 in a matter of minutes.  “We are so thrilled with the community’s response to our Sponsor-a-Kid program, it is truly remarkable. This will directly support our effort to help more kids because a RAW artist” said Bruce Herring, Chair of the Board and Swampscott resident.

RAW thanks its corporate sponsors: lead sponsor Bank of America, along with Cell Signaling Technology, New England BioLabs, Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation, Urology Consultants of the North Shore, and LiquidNet for their generous support, along with their entire community of supporters who made this incredible fundraiser come to fruition.

RAW now offers over 40 free arts programs that include an award-winning film school, visual and expressive arts groups, summer and community programming, mentoring and leadership development programs, and paid teen employment. RAW serves over 1,100 youth each year through weekly groups and outreach initiatives. 88% of the young artists live in Lynn, and the rest represent the communities of Swampscott, Nahant, Marblehead, and Salem. RAW’s programs are designed to create a continuum of service to children and teens, aged 6-19, with increased challenge and responsibility at each developmental stage. RAW’s continuum culminates with Project Launch, a college access program in which volunteer mentors and RAW staff support students and their families through the college and financial aid application process. Over 90% of RAW’s graduating class of 2012 has applied to and been accepted to college.

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