, Newburyport, MA

September 13, 2013

NEF announces campaign to raise $170,000 for auditorium

Newburyport Daily News

---- — NEWBURYPORT —The Newburyport Education Foundation has announced a campaign to raise $170,000 for lights, sound equipment and curtains for the Molin/Nock Auditorium in the next year.

“With the renovations at Molin/Nock, the auditorium is getting a tremendous face-lift, but lights, sound equipment and curtains are not included in the budget,” said Jeff Gray, NEF president.

“This focus on performing arts is part of our ongoing effort to renew and enhance technology in the Newburyport Public Schools to positively impact the student experience. The auditorium is long overdue for new technology.”

The NEF is a nonprofit organization working as the vehicle for community members and organizations who want to give to the Newburyport Public Schools. The NEF works in conjunction with the superintendent’s office to fund technology, literacy and other critical resources not included in the school budget but that fit in with the strategic plan for the district.

“Our goal is to help give students every resource possible to truly excel,” said Gray. “Thanks to our generous donors, we are on track to meet our goal for our 2011-2013 campaign and we voted unanimously to add this improvement to our fundraising efforts.”

A recent gift to the NEF from the Woodman family honoring local jazz musician and legend Les Harris Jr. is a significant jumpstart to this effort for the arts. The Woodmans chose to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary with a jazz concert and honor Les Harris through the NEF’s Donor Recognition program. Their gift will benefit the music programs in the schools, with the specific use to be determined.

The NEF hopes that others in the community will support this significant improvement to the auditorium space for two reasons.

“Not only will the auditorium be a valuable resource for grades 4-8 and improve their learning environment, we expect the community to utilize this premier performance space,” said Gray.

Since it was founded in 2004, the NEF has brought $2.2 million in philanthropy into the Newburyport Public Schools. Recent significant enhancements to the schools include the state-of-the-art Institution for Savings Library and Media Center at the high school, the Strem Chemicals Inc. Robotics lab at the middle school, the Newburyport Five Cents Savings Bank World Language Lab, the Institution for Savings Science labs, a music lab, numerous computer and technology upgrades, literacy resources, Partnership Grants with the community, and much more.

For more information about the Auditorium Lights-Sound-Action! Campaign and ways to donate, visit