2018 UNITY Annual Report

Page 1

2018 Impact Report


“You blessed me down to my very soul. Musically, you guys are outstanding. But your worship and your heart for God and your expression to Him is what makes the musical talent all that more special. What a HUGE blessing. Thank you!!” - Doug Stitt, Performance Attendee Total 2018 Audience Count: 20,000+










$55,000 $11,039




$104,250 $9,125 174

Student Thank You Dear Donors, I am so thankful to have the privilege to be in the Voices of Unity Youth Choir. I am 10 years old and am in 4th grade at Cedar Canyon Elementary. I have been a member of the choir since May 2016. My favorite part about being in the choir is singing and going on trips. I loved going to Kings Island a few years ago and always enjoy going to the UNITY Empowerment Camp every year. My favorite concert was when we performed at Sweetwater Sound with Addison Agen. I have so much fun in the choir, made good friends, have the best life coach, and am so appreciative of all the hard working ladies helping us. The most wonderful and incredible thing I have ever experienced that really changed my life is being in the choir. I appreciate knowing people like you, that never think twice to give the way you do. I’m so blessed to be a part of the UNITY family. Sebastian Soto

I am 12 years old and am in 6th grade. I have been a member of the Voices of Unity since 2014. My favorite part about being in the Voices of Unity is singing and learning new life lessons. My favorite performance was the Disney concert because it was so fun and exciting. The lesson that stands out to me the most that Mr. White taught is to keep going when things get hard and to never stop trying. I am so thankful and grateful for all your support. Thank you for all you do and for your commitment to Unity Performing Arts Foundation! Julian Soto



To all of the donors and volunteers, thank you for investing your interest, attention, and commitment to the mission of Unity Performing Art Foundation in 2018. Without your support, our work would be extremely difficult to execute effectively. We are very blessed to have people who believe in our mission and are proud to talk about our success to those in their circle of influence. Our 18th year and 17th season has presented us with a gift that we have been waiting to receive for eighteen years, and that gift is the Unity Program & Training Center on the campus of IVY TECH in Fort Wayne. This partnership has been in the making for three years and has now become a reality. Of course, all of this was all made possible by those of you who contributed to our “Propelling and Equipping Our Youth Through the Power of the Arts” Capital Campaign. The center is now open for business, and we have been able to implement the additional programs that have been in our vision plan for years. If you haven’t been by to see our state of the arts facility, please contact our office at 260-481-6719 and schedule a tour. I’m also very excited by the number of high schools and college graduates this year. We had several high school students who received four-year full ride scholarships for college. That’s exciting!!! The young people who stay in the UNITY environment from childhood up to their college life, all seem to have a dialed in focus and drive for excellence. The preparation they received while in UNITY has helped them stand out on their campuses and in their classrooms. Many of them entered their freshman college year prepared, alert and ready to participate and even lead groups on campus. In 2019, our goal is to extend our reach and expand our capacity as we prepare to reach and touch more students with our substance-based programming model. Our focus is to build long-term and quality relationships with young people and not just merely serve them. We believe in developing our youth to be successful and contributing adult leaders; this requires focusing on the person more than their talent. At UNITY, we are committed to an intentionality of shaping and developing their skills and providing genuine support for them on their journey to adulthood. That’s the UNITY EDGE! Please consider standing with us and fueling us in 2019, so that we can continue IMPACTING youth for generations to come. Thank you,

Marshall White Founder/ CEO Unity Performing Arts Foundation 4

Meet The Board Marshall White

Tim Smith

Unity Founder/CEO

Abundant Executive Living, LLC

Davyd Jones

Jim Markiton

Raymond James Investments

Retired JD Products

Maureen Bobilya New York Life Insurance Company

Daniel Nolan Retired Fort Wayne Community Schools

Brian Hamil Hamil, Lehman & England

Marc Silver

Retired Sweetwater Sound

Les Baggett SCORE

Phil Terrill

Leonard, Hammond, Thoma & Terrill

From the Chairman of the Board 2018 marked a milestone achievement in our organization with the opening of the Unity Performing Arts Program & Training Center located on the Ivy Tech Northeast campus. The opening of this facility gives the organization an opportunity to reach more youth in our community to help them develop their character, artistry, and leadership skills. You have made this possible! Whether you have been a parent who supports and drives your children to and from rehearsals, a friend or relative who has encouraged the children, a donor who has provided financial support, a Unity Performing Arts Foundation board member, or just a community member that supports our events and concerts, you have been an integral part of the success of this organization. UNITY’s educational programs have impacted hundreds of children from across NE Indiana over the years. From elementary school age children to teens, young people come here to unleash their creativity, follow their dreams, and experience something new. As chairman of UNITY, I am grateful to play a small part in helping to ensure that we continue to develop our young people. On behalf of the board of directors, I want to thank you for your support of Unity Performing Arts Foundation in 2018. Your input has meant a lot to this organization but most importantly, it has meant a great deal to our children. Sincerely,

TIM SMITH Tim Smith, President/CEO, Abundant Executive Living


2018 Staff Members

Marshall White Niyoki Chapman Evelyn Frierson Founder & CEO

Windy Cobb-Johnson Lee Powers Office/Volunteer Coordinator

Facility & Program Manager

Operations/Donor Relations Manager

Graphic Designer/ Multimedia Coordinator

Lebo Malatse Alumni/Student Coordinator

Elise Davis

Helga Portela

Program Director/ Events Coordinator

Financial Assistant

Brittany Allmon Cathi Schenkel Program/Office Assistant

Program/Office Assistant

Marie Sims

Director’s Assistant/ Artistic Coordinator

Debra Yoder Office Assistant

Staff Contractors:

Jacqueline Barros Office Assistant

David Alvarez

Student Development Coordinator

Jaron Sims Set-Up Team Coordinator

Aaryn Eady

Nicole King

Program Coordinator

Grant Writer/ Copywriter

Having been around for nearly a decade, I have literally seen varying forms of transformation and success happen for the young people involved with this organization. I have watched children go from the ‘plan’ to ‘full execution’ with regard to their aspirations and goals. It has been a very humbling experience to see how people invested in people can make an enormous difference! I have been involved with UNITY in several capacities from volunteer to choir mentor, from contractor to staff, and even I keep evolving. The vision of this organization is solid and the outcome, with the proper amount of application and dedication, is of great value! -Evelyn J. Frierson

Personnel Information New Hired Employees: 6


Total Employees:


Total Contractors:


Staff Contractors:


2018 Financial Overview Contributions Private Support


Concert Funds


Foundations Grants


Government Funds


Other Income


In-Kind Services


Major Gift Pledge

Total Contributions



Operating Expenditures Growth & Sustainability (Fundraising, Relocation, Replication)


Administrative Operations


Concert Productions


Program Operations


Total Expenditures



Unity Program & Training Center

3800 North Anthony Blvd., Door 27, CC1743, Fort Wayne, IN 46805

UNITY’S Program & Training Center (PTC) opened its doors at the Ivy Tech

Northeast Campus in Fort Wayne on January 16, 2018. The UNITY PTC offers traditional and non-traditional artistic training in various arts disciplines. Our signature artistic focus, The Soulful Art Forms, is the hallmark of our training. This focus will attract and reach many youth and adults from various backgrounds and cultures who want to learn musical and artistic forms not usually addressed or taught in traditional artistic settings.

Youth Development Programming

UNITY has a unique platform that incorporates youth empowerment and leadership development into the artistic training our members receive. Our Substance-Based Programming model provides our students’ empowerment training that equips, educate, exposes and prepares them to be ahead of their peers. Now at our new Training Center, we will be able to expand our specialized training to other youth organizations and establishments. Program offerings include, but are not limited to Leadership Training, Career Planning, Masterclasses, Computer Technology, Financial Planning, Academic Mentoring, Entrepreneurship, Health & Wellness and much more.

LOOKING AHEAD - Dance & Oratory Preparatory Program Courses - COMING SPRING 2019 The UNITY Oratory Program Preparatory Course (Oratory PPC) will begin in February 2019 and will introduce youth to the art form of oration (public speaking) in preparation for the launch of the full oratory program in the fall of 2019. The Oratory PPC will offer youth ages 11 and older the opportunity to train and develop both their technical and artistic public speaking abilities through various disciplines including expressive speeches and creative storytelling. The UNITY Dance Program Preparatory Course (Dance PPC) will begin in February 2019 and will introduce youth to the soulful art form of dance in preparation for the launch of the full dance program in the fall of 2019. The Dance PPC will engage youth ages 6 to 19 and will provide a platform for youth to learn and the foundations and basics of mainstream, soulful styles of dance, 8 perform including African, hip-hop, lyrical and praise, tap, and jazz dance.







VIP Open House - April 17, 2018 Photos by Lee Powers

Photos by Steve Volderman











33.93% 23.21%

$50,000-99,000 $25,000 - $49,000


$24,000 or less





Caucasian 60.71%

Bi-Racial African America



139 Alumni who attended college in Indiana



96 Alumni who attended college out of State

92% of VOU students have been retained in the program for one year or more


Alumni who studied/travelled internationally

2018 High School senior graduates who are pursuing higher education


2018 High School seniors who entered the workforce


533 199 86 12 3 Alumni

Students who attended college

Grad School

Students Graduated



Alex Eady

Indiana University Major: Journalism Minor: Spanish Member from 2005-2012

Aliyah Byrd

Ball State University Major: Social Work Member from 2004-2014

Janiesha Menson

Indiana State University Major: Health Administration Minor: Business Member from 2005-2008

DaShaen Jordan

Ball State University Major: Critical Science Member in 2005

Tiffany Blevins

Indiana Tech Major: Health Care Administration Member from 2007-2008

Briana Alvarez

Indiana University Purdue University - Indianapolis Major: Photography Member from 2006-2014

Colby Flye

IPFW Major: Information Systems Member from 2013-2014


High School Senior Graduates

Alondra Alvarado

Age: 18 Graduated from Horizon Christian Academy Voices of Unity Youth Choir 2014-2016

Caitlynn Flaningan

Age: 18 Graduated from Concordia High School College Attending: University of Southern Indiana Voices of Unity Youth Choir 2011-2014

Amina Matata

Age: 19 Graduated from Concordia High School College Attending: Concordia University of St. Paul Voices of Unity Youth Choir 2012-2018

Chanel Burks

Age: 18 Graduated from Concordia High School College Attending: IPFW Voices of Unity Youth Choir 2010-2018

Ja’Dajah Hogue

Age: 18 Graduated from Snider High School College Attending: Indiana State University Voices of Unity Youth Choir 2017

Brooke Person

Age: 17 Graduated from Firestone High School (Akron, OH) College Attending: American Music and Dramatic Academy in New York City Voices of Unity Youth Choir 2008-2016

Tysen Chambers

Gyneiya Davis

Jordan Hudson

Camille King

Age: 19 Age: 18 Graduated from Concordia High School Graduated from New Haven High School College Attending: DePauw University College Attending: University of Indianapolis Voices of Unity Youth Choir 2007-2018 Voices of Unity Youth Choir 2013-2018

Age: 17 Graduated from Bishop Dwenger College Attending: Ivy Tech Voices of Unity Youth Choir 2010-2015

Age: 18 Graduated from Bishop Luers High School College Attending: Earlham College Voices of Unity Youth Choir 2011-2018

Gisele Loya

Lily Schenkel

Age: 18 Graduated from Snider High School College Attending: Indiana State University Voices of Unity Youth Choir 2015-2016

Age: 18 Graduated from North Side High School College Attending: Indiana Tech Voices of Unity Youth Choir 2015-2018

1st UNITY Valedictorian

Samia White

Age: 17 Graduated from Cornerstone College Prep High School (Valedictorian) College Attending: Xavier University of Louisiana Voices of Unity Youth Choir 2017-2018


2018 High School Graduates Not Pictured: Isaiah Adams, Jareem Bailey, Alan Bermudez, Desyre Langhorne, Shonte McBride, Alyssa Reid, Traci Roe

Family Spotlight Parent Testimony

“UNITY is a very supportive and resourceful environment with a good support system.. Mr. White and his staff have created an atmosphere of safety, an assurance that as a mother or a youth that “you’re not alone in whatever you go through or have been through. I have seen a change in their character and behavior. VOU is bringing out hidden treasures that I wasn’t able to see before or didn’t know how to enhance or pull them out. “ -Tomeko Doughty How do you like the Voices of UNITY? Jawyonne - So far so good. Jaylan - I like it! What impact has UNITY made for you? Both - School/behavior/ how I treat my mom everything. UNITY has made a positive impact on us, teaching us responsibility, sharing our minds to go beyond normal expectations. Why are you in the choir? Jawyonne - Because my mom said I have to do it. Jaylan - Mr. White asked me if I wanted to be in the choir and then he challenged me with vocabulary words , and I said “Yes”!

Jaylan Doughty, age 9 Jawyonne Hill, age 12

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned? Both - Respecting others, and myself. How long have you been in the choir? Both - about six months. What’s your favorite thing you’ve been able to do with UNITY? Both - Perform. I am looking forward to going to the Empowerment Camp coming up. How much fun do you have? Have you made new friends? Jawyonne - It has its moments, but for the most part I enjoy it. Yes, I made new friends. Jaylan - I made a lot of new friends, I have fun with the choir.


Expression Creative Writing Program

1st Expression Recital - May 22, 2018


Chad Blackmon-White & Cindy White 14

Expression is UNITY’S creative writing program where students study various styles of writing and are given vital literary foundations for effective expression to become powerful creators and presenters of the written word. Students are also encouraged to experiment with and/or create new forms of written expression after learning about other forms of writing that have helped shape the literary landscape. To combat the steady increase each year of students who have poor reading and writing skills, UNITY provides a fun and unique environment to inspire youth to read more and write better. We pose the challenge this way: If you can’t read, you can’t write. If you can’t write, you can’t communicate effectively. If you can’t communicate effectively, both in writing and in the oral presentation of writing, your job and life opportunities will be limited. Students will learn about our country’s great writers and the essential ingredients of good writing, then apply those skills to their own writing and oral presentation of writing.

Expression Student Spotlight Isabel Alfaro, age 14 UNITY Member since 2016

My name is Isabel Alfaro. I am 14 years old and I am in 8th grade at Towles New Tech. I have always loved to write, and I have been doing it since I was 5 years old. In school, I learned the basics of writing, and then that was it. There was no place where I could freely express myself, receive valuable feedback, and have continuous support specifically for writing. Only having basic writing knowledge led me to feel frustrated. I found it hard to be able to express myself through writing. Then in the summer of 2016, my mother suggested that I join this writing class, Expression. She thought it would be a good fit for me, and I wanted to become better at writing, so I said yes. Joining Expression has been one of the best opportunities of my life. Every week I get to come to a place where I can freely express myself, where I can learn and grow, and discover parts of myself and my skill that I never knew about. Expression is a safe place where I feel comfortable sharing my ideas and work, and where I can count on my peers and my instructors to give support and constructive feedback. At Expression, we learn about authors and different methods and styles of writing, we respond to writing prompts, and do all kinds of fun, creative writing activities. This is truly an amazing place to grow and develop your writing skill. After being in Expression for almost 3 years, I have learned so much about writing and I have grown and improved greatly. One valuable thing Expression has taught me is that you can write about anything, absolutely anything. I can write a story based on a sentence I heard from somebody passing by, or from a simple object I see on the ground. This hugely impacted my approach to writing and has changed how I write. Expression has taught me so much and really allowed me to see my potential. I am forever grateful for your donations and support that allows young people like myself to experience this amazing opportunity. Thank you again for all that you do for Unity Performing Arts Foundation.


Family Spotlight Lewis Miller, age 15

Parent Testimony “Lewis has always had a big heart, however, we see him putting that forward more now that he has joined UNITY. We see his love of music and a way to channel it in a positive manner. We see more respect from him. We see him caring about his grades and putting an effort forth. Most of all, we see him looking to the future and believing that he is valuable.” -Mike & Angela Miller How do you like the Voices of UNITY? I love the Voices of Unity. It is has given me a chance to prove my talent. What impact has Unity made for you? That I am not alone, no matter what. Why are you in the choir? I am in the choir because my friend Jordan Bridges sought me out. God put it on his heart to get me involved. What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned? Never to say no to opportunity How long have you been in the choir? I joined in August 2018. What’s your favorite thing you’ve been able to do with Unity? I loved singing in the Praise Celebration concert. How much fun do you have? Have you made new friends? I love it, I have had so much fun and have made friends who have my back. Do you feel like UNITY is a supportive environment with a good support system? I feel that VOU has been there for me when I felt down. Mr. White is amazing and has taught me a lot. Every kid needs someone to have their back. 16

Alumni Spotlight

Aaryn Eady - UNITY Alumna, 2005-2011

Voices of Unity alumna, Aaryn Eady, is a true example of the “full circle” impact of the organization’s pledge, “we will reach back to give back.” The organization’s CEO, Marshall White, approached her about joining the choir at 10 years old and told her, “you’re a leader.” He extended to her the opportunity to grow and develop the natural leadership potential he saw in her. Aaryn joined the choir at 11 years old in February of 2005. Aaryn was shy and timid when she joined VOU; her confidence was hidden behind emotional sensitivity and fear of speaking or singing publically. However, Aaryn was quickly supported by positivity and reassurance from peers and adult mentors in the choir. She began to come out of her shell and slowly built up her confidence to recite the organization’s foundational statements in front of choir members. With public speaking coaching and training from Mr. White, Aaryn was able to develop the skills and confidence to speak in front of larger audiences. By age 14, she was a youth ambassador and spokesperson for UNITY, delivering presentations of the foundational statements in English and Spanish in front of large audiences. Aaryn demonstrated the organization’s standard of “excellence and nothing less” through her leadership in the choir, citizenship at home, and achievement in school; she was mentored by older choir members and was coached in various choir leadership roles. She became a choir leader at age 15. At age 16, she joined the VOU Youth Council as a secretary. Aaryn became the Youth Council President at 17 and was offered multiple opportunities to engage in various pre-college training seminars and workshops. Aaryn was a consistent VOU member for 7 years and in 2011, she graduated from high school with honors and started college at Indiana University Bloomington. While in college, Aaryn remained connected to UNITY and supported the choir at concerts. She became a volunteer youth mentor at her local Boys & Girls Club in 2012 to remain connected to her passion for youth development and to make her own positive investment in the lives of young people. Aaryn graduated from IU Bloomington in 2016 and began a full-time position as a Program Director with Boys & Girls Club. Her role included implementing and managing new youth programs for over 100 youth in the community. Aaryn fulfilled the organization’s pledge in 2018 when she returned to UNITY Performing Arts Foundation as a Program Coordinator. She combined her developed professional abilities with her passion for the organization and made a commitment to further the vision of UNITY. As a Program Coordinator, Aaryn develops, designs, and plans new artistic and youth development programs in UNITY. She embodies strong character, sound leadership ability, and confidence both personally and professionally, all skills that she developed as a youth in UNITY. Her understanding of the organization’s mission and her own experience in VOU helps her to remain connected to the organization’s purpose of building and shaping successful and high-achieving young leaders and adults. As an alumna, Aaryn is an example of how the UNITY impact comes full circle. From her first exposure to the organization in 2005 to 2019, Aaryn has experienced the positive life impacts of UNITY for almost 15 years. She is a positive role model to current UNITY members and serves as a UNITY ambassador by sharing her story with the community. Aaryn shares that if she had not been a part of UNITY, “I would have gotten in my own way of my ability and my potential.” Aaryn is one of four alumni that are currently on staff at UNITY. 17

Dan Nolan

Voices of Unity Youth Choir Mentor & UNITY Board Member Daniel Nolan has been a part of the Unity Performing Arts Foundation since 2005. He initially came on due to the kids. As a school administrator, having served 31 years with Fort Wayne Community Schools and ten years as an Executive Director at Old Fort YMCA, he enjoys being active among the youth. Youth Development is his passion and through UNITY he has the opportunity to continue with fulfilling it. Youth Development through the arts allows him utilize his vocals while continuing to empower students. Daniel is a retired administrator and a Jack of all Trades when it comes to UNITY. Not only is he a mentor but also a singer and board member of the organization. He has a hand in each branch that focuses on the students, parents, and continuing programs that coach students to becoming great leaders. Daniel says, “I love working with kids and enjoy being a part of their development.” I’ve been blessed by the UNITY organization and the children I’ve worked with. I’ve dedicated my life working with parents and young people.” Years of being a football coach has Daniel prepared for the years of students that come to the organization and transform before his eyes. Not only does he come to the weekly rehearsals and perform with the students; Daniel has traveled with them as well. His top two most memorable experiences are: “Traveling with UNITY to the World Choir Games in China which resulted in winning gold, as well as singing with Kirk Franklin in the First World Choir Games on American soil in Cincinnati, Ohio.” UNITY has allowed this longtime coach, administrator, and mentor, to continue on with his life’s devotion and work: youth of all ages and backgrounds in greater Fort Wayne.


Volunteer Hours TOTAL HOURS: 3,193.22

Social Media 4,555



LIKES ON FACEBOOK @voicesofunity

LIKES ON FACEBOOK @unityperformingartsfoundation

INSTAGRAM FOLLOWERS @unityperformingartsfoundation




TWITTER FOLLOWERS @unityperformingartsfoundation

SUBSCRIBERS ON YOUTUBE @unityperformingartsfoundation

VIEWS ON YOUTUBE @unityperformingartsfoundation


is through your brilliance you will rule, but it is “ Itthrough your poor behavior you will be ruled. ” -MARSHALL WHITE

Unity Performing Arts Foundation Administrative Office - Purdue University Fort Wayne Rhinehart Music Center

UNITY Program & Training Center

2101 East Coliseum Boulevard Suite 230B Fort Wayne, IN 46805

Ivy Tech Northeast 3800 Coliseum Blvd., Fort Wayne, IN 46805 Door 27, CC1743

Office: (260) 481-6719 • 260-481-0726 fax

Office: (260) 755-2662


World Champion Voices of Unity Youth Choir Unity Performing Arts Foundation




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