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Nonprofits honored as Neighborhood Builders

East End Arts Council's school education director, Steve

East End Arts Council's school education director, Steve Watson, at the council's 40th birthday party at East End Arts Gallery in Riverhead. One of the nonprofit's programs, the East End Arts School, which opened in 1995, offers art, music and theater classes for its 500 students. “This is a community school of the arts. We have a wide variety of programs for everyone,” Watson says. “It’s amazing to see the wonderful impact that the arts has on people from the young to the old.” (Jan. 15, 2012) Credit: Ursula Moore

Two Long Island nonprofit organizations have been recognized as Neighborhood Builders with each receiving a $200,000 grant provided by Bank of America’s 2011 Neighborhood Excellence Initiative.

The East End Arts Council in Riverhead and the Hispanic Counseling Center in Hempstead were recognized for their contributions around Long Island. In addition to the unrestricted grant, each will receive leadership training.

“It was such a relief” during these tough economic times, said Stephanie Smith, marketing and public relations manager for the East End Arts Council. “The funds will go toward general operating expenses and for beefing up and letting us continue our School of Arts.”

The council holds several annual art events throughout the year including the Teeny Awards, which recognizes high school students for their achievements in school theater programs.

The Hispanic Counseling Center is a bilingual program that helps Hispanic families around Long Island dealing with substance abuse, mental health issues and alcoholism. “We are absolutely thrilled to have won the Neighborhood Builders Award,” executive director Gladys Serrano said. The grant will be used to build the center’s presence in the community and help it better serve the families involved.

For more information on the organizations, visit or



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