GOLD2023

Strawtown Art & Garden Studio

Nature, Art, Children

aka Strawtown Studio   |   Garnerville, NY   |  www.strawtownstudio.org

Mission

Strawtown’s mission is to create and provide learning experiences that connect young people with the natural world through art and science discovery. As a team of artists, naturalists, and educators, we also seek to model and inspire environmental stewardship.

Ruling year info

2013

Executive Director

Laurie Seeman

Main address

PO Box 263

Garnerville, NY 10923 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

45-3205679

NTEE code info

Arts Education/Schools (A25)

Environmental Education and Outdoor Survival Programs (C60)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Earth Art After School

Notice what’s happening in nature: weather, daylight, trees, wildlife! In this outdoor nature art class, we watch the workings of nature over time, and let our questions be our guide. We make art related to our discoveries, learning new skills with a variety of materials. This is a place for imagination to grow and to work out new ideas. In these weekly classes, children are seen for who they are, are encouraged in creative expression, and develop kind friendships.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Families

In our Summer program, children explore outdoors, build dwellings, pick berries, play games and make art with natural materials in a small group setting. They have time to observe different plants and animals and get to know them. We guide children through artful questioning of the world, where we often make first-time discoveries. This is what kids love so much about Strawtown – it’s always new and exciting.
Our nature, art and science program is truly engaging all day long.

Children spend their days at our scenic location at the base of Hook Mountain on the Hudson River, called Marydell Faith & Life Center. At this exceptional place, where meadow, woods, river and mountain meet there is a rich diversity of life to discover. It offers splendid outdoor play spaces for adventuring and nature immersion. With all of this plus our endless artful pursuits, every child is filled with the joy of creative possibility all day long.

Our staff are specially trained as artists, educators, and naturalists. A high staff-child ratio assures individual attention. Like all Strawtown programs, our Summer program follows our philosophy of Nature-Connected education.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Families

In a Strawtown Community Workshop participants of all ages enjoy one another’s company while drawing inspiration from nature and learning creative skills. Workshops center around a theme in nature, and incoporate both scientific learning and artistic expression with natural materials.

With Strawtown everyone is an artist. We provide all materials, instructive guidance, and take care of setup and cleanup. Workshops are offered for all ages, and can be a one-time event or a series.

Community Programs are designed for:
Festivals, Nature Centers, Special Events, Scouts, Healing Groups, and Staff Development

Population(s) Served
Families
Children and youth
Adults

The “Meet Your Creek” Program offers hands-on outdoor art and natural science experiences for local youth and their families. A goal of the program is to introduce the young people to their local waterways, from where they begin at their headwaters, to where they flow through urban environments. Participants are engaged in activities that allow them to “get to know” the significant role their waterway plays in the local watershed. They learn about the natural wonders as well as the human impact from development and pollution, and what we can do to help restore and protect the water and their habitats.

Population(s) Served

Strawtown Studio started offering facilitator trainings so that more people could bring the powerful nature-based art experiences to their own learning groups. This training is designed for all who are looking to bring children into a natural, holistic world of learning: teaching artists / creatives, educators / facilitators, parents / grandparents, homeschoolers, and community center leaders.

Participants learn how to integrate the worlds of nature, art and science into fascinating lessons that keep children’s authentic love of learning alive. A goal of the program is for them to return to their learning group, classroom, organization, or family inspired with new perspectives, practices, materials, tools and a deeper connection with the natural world. They also gain on-going support from the teaching network

The Strawtown Facilitator Training Covers:
-Introduction to the Strawtown principles and methods
-Developing nature appreciation and seeing the world through an artistic lens
-Orienting for place-based education
-Setting up outdoor studios and bringing nature into the home/classroom
-Establishing safety practices
-Encouraging children’s curiosity, skills, and discoveries
-Mentoring children through attentive teaching and dialogue
-Harvesting natural materials and combining with fine art supplies, tools and techniques
-Cultivating creative community relationships

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth
Children and youth
Families
At-risk youth
Children and youth
Families

Where we work

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Financials

Strawtown Art & Garden Studio
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Strawtown Art & Garden Studio

Board of directors
as of 02/28/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Cathy Quinn

Rockland County Dept of Health (Retired)

Bari Lewart

Volunteer Counseling Services

Cathy Quinn

Rockland County

Matt Shook

Palisades Interstate Park Commission

Laurie Seeman

Strawtown Studio

Joanna Dickey

Strawtown Studio

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 3/1/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

Transgender Identity

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data