Were you one of the hundreds in attendance at the North End’s ultimate welcome back from summer party? On Thursday, September 19, we held our fourth annual Fall Soirée, a community fundraiser dedicated to elevating the stature of music and performing arts programming in Boston. 

This dynamic evening featured arts advocacy, Little Italy’s finest fare, and live music. One of the most heartwarming moments of the evening for our faculty and staff was watching community members of all ages and stages gather together for the common purpose of advancing the accessibility of the arts. 

We’re humbled to announce that we raised over $21,000 during the special raffle before the event and throughout the fundraiser. The money raised will support NEMPAC’s annual fund, a critical revenue stream for our 501(c)(3). As many of you know, tuition payments from our music school and ticket sales from our performing arts center do not cover all of our operating and production costs. 

We offer heartfelt gratitude to all who participated in the 2019 Fall Soirée, and we’d like to take a moment to spotlight six stakeholder groups whose support helped make the evening a resounding success:

1. Faculty Members 

Our decorated faculty members empower rising and seasoned artists alike through private and group music instruction, as well as education courses in the following disciplines:

  • Creative Movement
  • Music
  • Performing Arts
  • Theatre
  • Voice

Stefano Marchese, a NEMPAC instructor and music director, reflected on the impact of the Fall Soirée, “This fundraiser is very important because it gives students access to music education. This beautiful night changes the life of some young musician or young child who is struggling. Music can change the struggle into opportunity and joy.”

2. Families

The parents and extended family members of our students have a special way of showing up for NEMPAC. They dutifully drive their kids to and from private and group music instruction, as well as music education classes. They volunteer to set up and break down events hosted by our music school and performing arts center. They teach their children the intrinsic values of community and connection that the arts imbue. The list goes on. 

Donna Wells, a NEMPAC music parent at the Eliot K-8 Innovation School, explained, “The North End is full of lots of organizations, but NEMPAC is always at the top for being at all the schools, helping the most children, and putting on lots of events. My kids have taken private lessons, and they loved it. They’re always quite happy with the teachers. Mr. M is always a favorite!” 

3. Sponsors

A diverse array of businesses and community partners champion and fund our mission in the community. We owe a debt of gratitude to this year’s Fall Soirée sponsors:

The outstanding attendance—Rafi Properties was present in full force with a group of 10 employees from the company— and the generous financial support of all of our sponsors elevated the evening as a whole. For example, guests raved about the wider selection of premium craft beers, wine, Italian coffee, and catered cuisine at this year’s fundraiser.

4. Volunteers

Our band of volunteers is to NEMPAC what the camera, lighting, and sound crews are to a professional performance. What do we mean by this analogy? 

We mean that our volunteers are committed men and women who work behind the scenes to make sure our community events and performances go off without a hitch. Without their time and talents, our work in the community would simply not be possible. We express sincere appreciation to the band of volunteers who supported the 2019 Fall Soirée.

In addition, we’d like to take a moment and extend our deepest gratitude to Meghan Denenberg and Dinero Jelley, two students from our music school. These students enlivened and enriched our fundraiser by giving special guest performances. We are in awe of the immense talents of these student performers. 

5. Board Members 

Our growth over the years is a true testament to the dedication of our board of directors. As arts advocates, they stand with the community and help the organization evolve. 

Leigh Ann Steele, a board member and music parent at NEMPAC, stated, “The Fall Soirée is a wonderful event that brings neighbors together while helping to provide funds and resources needed to bring affordable music and performing arts programs to the Boston community. Additionally, the Soirée is a key part of our efforts to provide music education to public schools in the North End and Charlestown. More specifically, proceeds from the fundraiser will be used to expand NEMPAC’s programming to the Warren Prescott and Harvard Kent schools in Charlestown. As a parent and Charlestown resident, I am thrilled to see them expand their efforts into Charlestown.” 

Doug Bowen-Flynn, a music parent and the vice president of NEMPAC’s board of directors, said, “NEMPAC provides the art that brings a community together. From when our daughter was born and we connected with other parents at Family Music Makers to working with kids on plays to seeing professional performances, we were connecting with our community through art. That is what community is all about and it makes the North End vibrant and special. Our community is united around inspiration.”

6. Government Officials

Not a day goes by at NEMPAC when we don’t stop and think about how fortunate we are to operate in a city led by government officials who advocate for music and performing arts. We were honored to welcome State Representative and Chair of Ways and Means Committee Aaron Michlewitz and State Senator Joe Boncore to this year’s fundraiser. 

While attending the Fall Soirée, Senator Boncore reflected, “NEMPAC is an incredible organization that unites the community and brings people together to enjoy the arts and the urban landscape. Exposing children no matter what their socioeconomic status is to music education is something that NEMPAC does so well and something that no community should go without.” 

We are a community of advocates, musicians, and performers who come together to empower artists of all ages and abilities. Our Party on the Prado was a true testament to this fact. 

What was your favorite moment at the fourth annual Fall Soirée?