HEART New Year Digest

We are thriving together!

HEART is awesome because of YOU.

by Farrah Hoffmire

HEART has been growing organically over the last two & a half years and keeps getting stronger with each new day. We are proud of our work, accomplishments, partnerships, volunteers and most of all-- our exceptional adult family!

HEART MISSION: To provide an innovative art and theatre community that promotes creative expression, independence, dignity and community integration for differently abled adults.


    Our GoFundMe Campaign raised almost $15,000 for a new van. We put $10,000 down on a $25,000 15 passenger van and were able to set some money aside for insurance, maintenance and gas for our field trips.
    Raised $16,500 in September. A big thank you to Heartist, Chris Peery's mom, Midge. She wrote over 50 letters to friends and family telling them how HEART has changed her and Chris's lives for the better and the donations just came pouring in. We are humbled and appreciative to have such good people in the HEART family.
    HEART established it's 1st annual fall fundraiser and raised almost $5,000. Look for this event again next Fall at the fantastic Pour House, who along with Founders Brewing were major contributors to the success. Congratulations to Shirley Livingston (aka; Austin’s Mom) for winning the grand prize Dutch Bicycle.
    Our PechaKucha Style! show and it's identity themed heART Gallery made a deep impression on the community and the Heartists were all very proud. We are going to find ways to bring back the PechaKucha format in the future. It was inspiring for Rae and I to see the Heartists do so well at this.
    We have continued our community partnerships with regular field trips to Blissful Dreams @ Tuxbury Farm and Carolina Studios. We are happy to be able to pay our partners for these experiences to ensure the relationships are sustainable. We also continue to get monthly nature tours with Barrier Island Eco Tours and art tours of the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art exhibits. We enjoy free monthly lunches at Rutledge Cab Co. and Hed-Hi Media continues to support us with video promotions. They invited HEART to their studios this past quarter to learn the behind the scenes of video production and we had a dance party! See photos in gallery above and watch video at bottom of this blog. We expect to begin working with even more community partners to create a great HEART experience in 2017 (more on that below).
    HEART was able to bring in more than we spent operating and ended the year with money in the bank. It has been a lot of work, and though any small organization doing this type of work will always struggle to some extent, it feels good to be sustainable.  See more below for our approach to fundraising and grants in 2017. Thank you all for your support.
    We could not do any of this without our caring, passionate, and dedicated volunteers. BoomTown! has been a staple since the beginning of our life and in late 2016; we had Cobble Hill join the family. We also have regular support from Jennifer Hartig, Jane Devilbiss, Kat Walker, Marisa Drake, Coleman Ott, Ryner Burg, Karen Anderson, Marion Von Kolnitz, Nicole Antonacci, Paris Knott, Eden Fonvielle & Noodle McDoodle of The V-Tones, and our house photographers; Reese Moore and Micheline Callicott.


    Now that we are an arts and performance organization, we want to apply for more grants to support our productions, raise the production value and help us continue partnering with great local artists and arts organizations. We also have applied for the Blackbaud grant (we did not get this last year) to pay off the remaining balance on the van, so that bill is not hanging over us. We will continue to apply for the Bakker Family Fund and MSSC grants, which we have received in the past. If you know of any community grants that would fit the work we are doing at HEART, please share the information with us.
    The HeART Shows have had an impact on Heartists and community alike. We are very fortunate to have received several invitations for the Heartists to perform out in the community. For the first half of the year these performances will stand in for our regular heART Shows. This gets the Heartists into the community and we could not be happier:
    • LUKE 14 BANQUET / NIGHT TO SHINE PROM: HEART was invited to kick the dancing off with a Flash Mob Dance Routine at this hugely popular Tim Tebow sponsored annual event at Seacoast Church. Professional Dancer / Choreographer, Stephanie Burg is volunteering her time to help us with this routine!
    • CATCH THE LEPRECHAUN 5K: HEART will receive 50% of donations raised and we will have a presence / performance at the after party in mid-March. Please, sign up to walk / run for HEART! Details to follow.
    • PICCOLO SPOLETO: HEART has been invited to perform in late May-early June! Details will be announced, but we are super excited to be part of one of Charleston’s premier art and performance events!
    We continue to be approached by members of the community looking to work with HEART. We are talking to the City of Charleston, Charleston Stage Company, Lewis's BBQ, Pure Theater, Center for Birds of Prey, and several other groups about working together this year.
    We feel like we have established a good reputation in the community and that with our fundraisers and other planned activities we can raise the additional money we need to raise to run the HEART program. We have had numerous acts of generosity that keep us confident we will keep this organization strong. Hopefully grants will help with this also, but of course when the fundraisers, heART Shows and other events come around any help you can offer in selling tickets or getting people to attend is always appreciated.
    HEART will host our 2nd annual  fundraiser on April 2 at Pure Theatre on King Street. This will be a ticketed event with food, drinks, and live music and performances provided.
    This Fall we will have our 2nd annual event at the Pour House and expect it to be bigger and better. Stay tuned for details as we head toward Summer. It will remain a free event, with a raffle and sponsors similar to this past year. We expect to expand a bit this year to provide space for more artists, vendors, and sideshow performers.
    I am gathering costs to start a weekend overnight camp this summer. I will share costs with HEART families and determine interest.
    I expect we will have regularly scheduled heART Shows in the late Summer and late Fall and we are talking with the Heartists about a lot of very cool ideas for these shows. Stay tuned to HEART!