ANNOUNCEMENT: Spark Media Project to Merge with Mill Street Loft

Spark Media Project to Merge with Mill Street Loft

Two flagship agencies are joining to form a premier arts and media educational organization.

Two of the Hudson Valley’s leading arts organizations, Mill Street Loft and Spark Media Project, have announced plans to merge, beginning with a transitional affiliation that starts on January 1, 2017.

Effective January 1, Spark Media Project will become a subsidiary of Mill Street Loft, and the two organizations will merge to become a new organization later in the year. Carole J. Wolf, founder and executive director of Mill Street Loft, is stepping down after 36 years but plans to continue serving our community in other ways. Nicole Fenichel-Hewitt, executive director of Spark Media Project for the past 10 years, will head both organizations until the merger is finalized, and continue to serve as executive director of the new merged entity. With combined missions of fostering self-expression and personal development through the arts, the merging of these two organizations is a natural fit. This would not have been possible without support from the Dyson Foundation and New York Council of Nonprofits (NYCON).

Carole Wolf founded Mill Street Loft 36 years ago and devoted herself to the organization as its executive director, building it into a major nonprofit multi-arts educational center. Spark Media Project was founded as Children’s Media Project in 1994 by former Executive Director Maria Marewski, who lead its efforts until 2008 and defined the organizations role as a cornerstone to the Poughkeepsie arts and culture scene. Nicole Fenichel-Hewitt, her successor, has dedicated her professional career to a diverse range of work in the humanities and arts. Over the past decade at Spark she helped grow the organization to include programs such as Forge Media, Spark’s apprentice production house; and the Reel Expressions International Youth Film Festival. Its name was changed to Spark Media Project as a way to promote inclusivity of youth of all ages.

“I’m very excited about all of the possibilities the merger of our two organizations brings,” states Carole Wolf. “Each organization provides a different set of strengths and resources that will enhance the experience and educational opportunities for those served. I have worked closely with Nicole over the years, and I am confident in her abilities to lead this transition and guide the new organization into the future.”

“It’s been an inspiring experience to see Spark transform from its roots as the Children’s Media Project into an organization that provides more than 2,000 youth with the opportunity to learn media arts and workforce-readiness skills annually,” says Nicole Fenichel-Hewitt. “Over the years, I’ve witnessed some of our youngest students grow into talented, working media professionals. It was a privilege to take the reigns of CMP/Spark to continue the work Maria began, and I’m just as thrilled to continue the mission Carol has developed at Mill Street Loft. As we look towards the future, I’m excited to see what we can do together.”

Additional information about the new organization, including a new name, combined mission, program information and more will be made available.