Life Pieces To Masterpieces

Creating Art . . . Changing Lives

aka LPTM   |   Washington, DC   |  http://lifepieces.org

Mission

LPTM harnesses creative expression to help Black boys and young men transform their lives and communities as they develop character and leadership, becoming catalysts for positive change in their communities and the world. The Human Development System (HDS) gives them the chance to develop a solid foundation for navigating challenges, clarifying their beliefs, and realizing their sense of purpose. Through their art, they express the unique gifts they bring to the world, gain creative tools for decision-making, and develop consistent and caring relationships with their peers and adult mentors. Rather than focusing on existing deficits, LPTM centers on the environment staff, mentors, and Apprentices can create together, supporting resilience and strengthening multiple developmental assets.

Ruling year info

2003

Executive Director

Ms. Mary Edith Brown

Main address

5600 Eads Street, NE - 4th floor

Washington, DC 20019 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

52-2076894

NTEE code info

Arts, Cultural Organizations - Multipurpose (A20)

Educational Services and Schools - Other (B90)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

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?

After school Arts & Education Program (AEP)

AEP engages 75 elementary and middle school youth in an arts-based process that channels their life experiences through acrylic and fabric stitched collage paintings, original poetry, prose, oratory, movement, music, and cinematography. Apprentices (recognizing student roles as partners) share life experiences as the basis for creating paintings. Our signature colorful, sewn, canvas collages illustrate a shared story and reflect their courage to create their own destiny, a way of sewing their "life pieces" into "masterpieces" - their art, the lives they lead, and communities we build together. Conducted five days per week from 3:15 – 6:15 pm, AEP also provides rigorous homework assistance, tutoring, literacy training, and math skills development. As an Apprentice moves through the age-based classes, Treehouse (ages 3-5), Kings I (6-7), Kings II (8-9), and Legacy (10-13), he becomes eligible to become a Junior Mentor and a participant in the Saturday Academy program.

Population(s) Served
Men and boys
People of African descent

SA provides 15 14-18 year-olds with academic support; college and career readiness training; Black male development; leadership knowledge and skills; financial literacy; artistic expression; and public speaking practice, to prepare them for post-secondary success. SA Apprentices meet three Saturdays per month from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm for 90 minutes of academic tutoring with mentors, followed by workshops critical to personal and professional success. Apprentices also serve as mentors to younger Apprentices year-round. Over the past two decades, 100% have graduated from high school and entered college or other post-secondary training. During the 2020-21 school year, all received either partial or full academic scholarships. SA also challenges participants to discuss and determine how they might impact local and national issues. They’ve spoken out on topics from gun violence to education funding on local and national news, have testified to the City Council and to Congressional staff.

Population(s) Served
Men and boys
People of African descent

Our summer program engages 70 boys and young men ages 3-14 daily from July through early August, focusing on the study of a new foreign country each summer. The program incorporates three core strategies: 1) math and literacy education designed to prevent summer learning loss; 2) promoting creative self-expression; 3) and discovering and exploring the cultural similarities and differences between our community in DC and foreign nations. Activities build on LPTM's school-year focus of learning and growth in a safe, loving, and supportive environment and reminds our youth that they are global citizens. Though they have different life experiences and different cultures from youth growing up in other parts of the world, our boys see the connection too, and discover that they, and many of their peers around the world, are on similar paths as fierce advocates for peace and justice. Junior Mentors from the SA program also provide individual math and literacy tutoring for younger boys.

Population(s) Served
Men and boys
People of African descent


Informed by our 26 years of experience in human development and co-led by LPTM Apprentices, these interactive workshops (built on our Human Development System) provide a safe, non-judgmental environment for people of all backgrounds to explore the implications of race, gender, sexual orientation, cultural background, and identity in how we see ourselves, each other, and the world. We have conducted workshops for students, parents, community members, and groups ranging from the World Bank to the U.S. State Department to American University, exploring the lenses through which they see life; and without guilt, blame or shame, identifying the “isms” that keep them from being fully connected to others. These workshops have consistently enabled individuals across cultures to explore racial equity, inclusion and implicit biases in such a way that they can begin to see and experience themselves and others as an integral and valued part of shared humanity.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Art by Life Pieces - "Creating Art...Changing Lives". LPTM Apprentices (as part of AEP activities) have created artistic masterpieces for 26 years, and their artwork has been displayed in such venues as Children's National Medical Center, The World Bank, NBC's Today Show, Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, DC Mayor's Office, and private Foundations throughout the District of Columbia. Each colorful, sewn, acrylic-on-canvas collage illustrates a shared story and reflects the Apprentices' courage to create their own destiny - and turn their "life pieces" into a "masterpiece". Art by Life Pieces provides a source of earned income from sales of LPTM paintings and fine apparel derived from the paintings. In 2018, we successfully introduced high-quality LPTM art-derived ladies’ scarves and men’s and boy’s ties to the market, and in 2021, we added t-shirts, hats, and other apparel with designs based on LPTM paintings.

Population(s) Served
Boys
Men
People of African descent

In September 2021, we launched our first in-school program for both boys and girls, conducting our signature social-emotional and arts-based programming during the school day to four classes of 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students at Drew Elementary. Each month, scholars receive one three-hour session that teaches them how to make positive decisions utilizing our Human Development System. Additionally, we are facilitating two 90-minute social-emotional professional development sessions, one per semester, with Drew Elementary’s 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade teachers and educational aides. Even though this in-school program is in its pilot phase, LPTM has been contacted by over 10 schools in the DC area who are hoping to purchase our Color Me Community Education and Professional Development curriculum. Over the next several years, we are looking to expand our in-school program to other parts of the DMV area and beyond.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Adults

Where we work

Awards

Top 100 MBE's 2019

Capital Region Minority Supplier Development Council

Affiliations & memberships

Top 100 MBE's 2019

Leadership Greater Washington 2019

DC Alliance for Youth Advocates 2019

Global Ties U.S. Citizens Diplomat Award 2022

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total number of works in collection

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Men and boys, Children and youth, People of African descent

Related Program

Art by Life Pieces

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

These are primarily the canvas on canvas paintings that are LPTM/s signature artwork, with each work a group project for multiple Apprentices.

Total number of works developed

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Men and boys, Children and youth, People of African descent

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

LPTM youth collaborate to decide on a life experience to make the topic of their painting and then make their masterpiece together by painting, cutting, arranging, and sewing pieces of canvas.

Hours of programing delivered

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Men and boys, Children and youth, People of African descent

Related Program

After school Arts & Education Program (AEP)

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

This metric encompasses all programs. Data for 2020 reflect delivering a hybrid virtual, in-person indoors and in-person outdoors programs, yielding a higher one year number.

Total number of exhibitions

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, People of African descent, Men and boys

Related Program

After school Arts & Education Program (AEP)

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

There have been 4 exhibitions already in the first four months of 2022, indicating a substantive increase for the current year.

Total number of audience members

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, People of African descent, Men and boys

Related Program

Art by Life Pieces

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Reflects in-person audiences prior to online events and subsequently includes online audiences for exhibitions, videos, and other works. 2020 included 3 one time events of over 40000.

Hours of mentoring

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, People of African descent, Men and boys

Related Program

After school Arts & Education Program (AEP)

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Tracking began in 2021. All programs and hours include a mentoring component.

Number of youth who demonstrate that they have developed social skills (e.g., interpersonal communication, conflict resolution)

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, People of African descent, Men and boys

Related Program

After school Arts & Education Program (AEP)

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This number was tracked for the first time in 2021 through an external evaluation - it is the percentage (versus raw number) of students demonstrating improved skills. Target was 40%.

Number of students who demonstrate improved overall literacy

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, People of African descent, Men and boys

Related Program

After school Arts & Education Program (AEP)

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This number was tracked for he first time in 2021 through an external evaluation - it is the percentage (versus raw number) of students demonstrating improved skills. Target was 40%.

Number of students who demonstrate the desire to succeed in the academic setting

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, People of African descent, Men and boys

Related Program

After school Arts & Education Program (AEP)

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This number was tracked for he first time in 2021 through an external evaluation - it is the percentage (versus raw number) of students demonstrating improved skills. Target was 40%.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

In the broadest sense, LPTM strives to reach the goal of having 100% of our apprentices graduate high school and go on to secondary education as well as grow into responsible, intelligent, engaged gentlemen, scholars, artists, and athletes who are able to create their own destiny. Our boys and young men learn that they are part of a far-reaching community and are introduced and exposed to different cultures as global citizens. The goal of the LPTM human development system is to create positive, forward-thinking decision-makers who are able to overcome difficult situations. Our artistic system strives to allow our apprentices to release their emotions and experiences through artistic expression.

Specific program outcomes/objectives can be seen as independent measures (e.g., academic performance, social-emotional growth) and as intermediate outcomes in the process of developing into responsible, intelligent, engaged individuals able to create their own destiny and positively impact the lives of others. Outcomes incorporated within the most recently completed external evaluation (attached to this profile), include:

-- 40% of LPTM students will improve their Math and/or English Language Arts (ELA) grade during the 2020-2021 school year, as measured by the change in their grade between the first and last grading terms.

-- 25% of LPTM students will meet or exceed expectations in Math and/or ELA by April 2021, as measured by achieving levels 4 or 5 on the PARCC standardized assessment.

-- 40% of students will demonstrate increased engagement with learning, as measured by the Academic Engagement component of the S-EA and classroom observations, as well as anecdotal information from interviews with key staff at students’ day schools.

-- 40% of students will demonstrate social-emotional learning in one or more key domains, including socialization and relationships with their parents and other positive adults, as measured by the Social-Emotional Assessment (S-EA) and classroom observations.

In addition, the impact of the Color Me Community program that began in the 2021-2022 school year is being assessed through holistic social-emotional assessments of the students, surveys of their public school teachers, and feedback from the teachers themselves and school administration on the impact of the program on the teachers' instruction and classroom environment.

Additional organizational goals include:
-- Codifying and clarifying our teacher training process, including a teacher manual that provides specific guidance on the incorporation of HDS into all learning elements.
-- Expanding Color Me Community Education and Professional Development program within DCPS and into DC public charter school networks.

Life Pieces To Masterpieces’ work is based on the theory that any human being with a strong foundation (purpose, premise, and process) and the proper tools has the power to create his or her own destiny. Our Human Development System is a concrete set of beliefs that address the challenges that our young people and their families face through artistic expression, increased self-awareness, and positive decision-making. It is a proven system that has elevated our Apprentices to discover a more positive perspective focused on preparing for their own future and giving back to their communities.

The LPTM Shield of Faith, inspired by the color wheel, is a decision-making tool that reminds Apprentices, mentors, staff members, and volunteers of the core values of Life Pieces To Masterpieces. Each value is associated with a color, so that when an apprentice sees a particular color throughout the day, he is reminded of LPTM values. Values include loving, giving, language, arts, discipline, leadership, spirituality, and meditation. The Shield serves as a behavior management tool for the young boys; for the older boys, it is a jumping-off point for deeper discussions about values.

Our Process: LPTM 4 Cs
Life Pieces To Masterpieces employs the 4 Cs as part of our curriculum:

• Students CONNECT to themselves and to their classmates.
• They CREATE -- homework, artwork, and poems.
• They CONTRIBUTE -- sharing their work and their thinking with a greater community.
• And they CELEBRATE their successes.

The HDS and its expression through the 4 Cs are more than a program component. The HDS lives within each program component and guides each daily activity, including the Arts and Education Program, the Saturday Academy, the summer program, Color Me Community (both community and school-based components), and Art by Life Pieces. [Each program is described in detail in the prior discussion of programs.]

Two aspects distinguish LPTM from the great majority of programming for young Black men, and programming for youth in general:
1) Rather than being an intervention or a service delivered at a point in time, our boys and young men become part of the LPTM community, participating throughout their elementary and secondary school years and into college and university. Among our current staff, there are three men who literally grew up in the program.
2) Rather than attempting to teach the concepts of equity and inclusion (as many programs do, largely outside of the context of what it means in the daily lives of youth) in an effort to support change, LPTM youth and the adults who participate in Color Me Community become agents of change in their families, their communities, their workplace, and among their peers. These youth and adults ARE the change, carrying the principles of HDS into institutions built on inequity with traditional barriers to participation by people of color and those in low-income neighborhoods.

Our core expertise is in comprehensive youth development for African American boys and young men built upon the Human Development System. Our entire staff has received extensive training in the District of Columbia’s Advancing Youth Development (AYD) outcomes. Of these outcomes, we track self-efficacy, temporal orientation, safety and structure, and membership and belonging. Our curriculum is the vehicle through which our youth development outcomes are achieved. Our methodologies have been recognized by The Catalogue for Philanthropy since 2003, we have been featured in a book called Rhetorics for Community Action by Dr. Phyllis Ryder of George Washington University, and we are currently a finalist for the Mayor’s Arts Award in the Innovation in the Arts category.

Every staff member, teacher, volunteer & partner receives training in the LPTM HDS quarterly to understand who they are within the context of LPTM's mission, vision & activities. This ensures that all who touch our mission see themselves as contributing to the organizational culture through unique innate creative abilities that can contribute to the advancement of our mission, with a sense of equality and a partner connection with our boys & young men, with the understanding that our boys have gifts to share with them just as they have gifts to share with our boys. Staff also receive the tools necessary to build environments of love, security, & creative expression inside & outside the classroom.

In addition to our own internal training, we have several other resources to support staff & volunteers. By being located on the 4th floor of Dr. Charles R. Drew Elementary School, we are a partner with DCPS & have a valued relationship with the Office of Partner Engagement. Our LPTM youth, staff & volunteers have access to Drew's teacher training opportunities on-site, & we in turn provide training to the staff & administration at Drew. Another resource is our membership with DC Action for Children, which provides training opportunities & conducts advocacy on behalf of youth programs in the District. We also partner with DC Reads of American University, Education Pioneers, The George Washington University Neighbors Project, Maya Angelou Public Charter School, ARCH Development Organization, and The Washington and Lee University Shepherd Internship program.

Looking at th emost recent external evaluation:
ACADEMIC GROWTH
- 100% of our eligible students have graduated from high school and have been accepted to college or post-
secondary training.
- 11 of 22 students, or 50%, improved their Reading grade, exceeding the target of 40%.
- 12 OF 29 students, or 41%, improved their Math grade, just above the target.
- The percentage of students improving was higher for both Reading and Math than the target.
- The percentage of Apprentices demonstrating academic growth exceeded the target of 40% for all key factors
among Tree House and Legacy Apprentices.
- Across all groups, 48% or more of all Apprentices demonstrated growth in the key academic factors,
exceeding the target in each case.
OUTCOMES: ENGAGEMENT WITH LEARNING
- The percentage of Apprentices demonstrating engagement exceeded the target of 40% for both key factors
among Tree House and Legacy Apprentices. For Kings Apprentices, growth was just under the 40% target.
- Across all Apprentice groups, over half (52%) or more of all Apprentices demonstrated growth in all three
academic factors, exceeding the target in each case.
OUTCOME: ENGAGEMENT WITH LEARNING, SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL ASSESSMENT
- 56% more of Apprentices in all three groups indicated growth in their learning engagement, looking at the
combined average for the cluster of 7 factors measured. This exceeds the target of 40%.
- 64% or more of Apprentices in two of three groups indicated growth in their learning engagement, looking at the
combined average for the 8 factors measured. This exceeds the target of 40%. One group, Legacy, fell below the
target, but with 31% of Apprentices still showing growth.
- 74% or more of Apprentices in two of the three groups indicated possession of the cluster of the desired Social-
Emotional Assets, looking at the combined average for the 5 factors measured. For the Legacy group, an average
of 37% possessed the cluster of assets, approaching the target of 40%.

Additional outcomes are described in the Metric section, following.

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 demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Young Black Men and Boys, girls and boys at Drew Elementary School, Ward 7 and 8 communities, and communities of color throughout DC's Wards, government, and non-profit service providers and educational institutions.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Case management notes, Community meetings/Town halls, Core Capacity Assessment Tool,

  • 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,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We changed our afterschool program activities based on our students' feedback. When our students asked for more science and STEM instruction, we asked George Washington University's Society of Physics Students to come to LPTM and facilitate science experiments with our participants. We changed our meditation schedule based on students' requests for meditation before each class rather than simply at the end of the day. During parent phone calls, LPTM parents asked for additional homework support, so we restructured our program to allow for 50% more homework and tutoring time.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    LPTM has always believed that our Apprentices have a role in co-creating the program, which is why they are called Apprentices, not students. We believe that Apprentices should have the right to express their feedback and opinions on the activities they are participating in. There has never had to be a shift in power because Apprentices have always shared power with staff and leadership.

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

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time,

Financials

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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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Life Pieces To Masterpieces

Board of directors
as of 5/9/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Raymond Covington

Retired/U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Term: 2018 - 2023

Mary Brown

LPTM Co-founder and Executive Director

Lamell McMorris

Edward Jones Investments

Damon White

Evermay Wealth Management

Susie Stevens

Faith Based Charities in the DC Metropolitan Area

Phyllis Ryder, Ph.D.

George Washington University

Howard Rosenstock, Esq.

Hogan Lovells

Josephine Robinson

District of Columbia Education Research Collaborative at Urban Institute

Shawn Hardnett

Statesmen Boys

Dylan Tally

McKinsey & Company

Lisa Darr-Feldner

Booz Allen Hamilton

LaKendra McNair

M&T Bank

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 ? No
  • 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? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 03/29/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American/African
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 09/09/2019

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.