(RED BANK, NJ) -- The Count Basie Center for the Arts and Bank of America have announced the sixth of twelve area nonprofits to be recognized during THE GIVING YEAR, the yearlong initiative to recognize and reward organizations for their contributions to the regional community. QSpot will receive $1 from every Count Basie Center ticket sold in June, along with tickets for the organization’s clientele and volunteers.
Founded in Asbury Park in 2005, QSpot fosters the health, well-being and pride of NJ’s LGBT and allied community by providing resources, referrals, education, and outreach. The organization’s LGBT Community Center is a gathering spot for NJ’s LGBT and allied community, a place where individuals, groups and families can go to be social, have fun, find support and grow. As the only LGBT community center serving the region, the organization also provides education, advocacy, and support for LGBT youth, seniors, parents and families of LGBT persons, mental health counseling, 12-step recovery groups and more.
"Over 250 people each week rely on QSpot for vital support, services, and social engagement,” said John Mikytuck, QSpot Executive Director. “Ensuring QSpot is always available for those in need is at the top of our priorities. We simply could not do that without on-going support from our community and business partners like the Count Basie Center for the Arts and Bank of America, and we're incredibly grateful for it."
"QSpot works tirelessly to provide our LGBTQIA+ and allied community members a place for support, creativity and connection," said Alberto Garofalo, President, Bank of America New Jersey. "We know that diverse backgrounds and experiences make us all stronger, and by partnering with QSpot, we can help ensure New Jersey's LGBTQIA+ community has a safe inclusive space to gather, share experiences, and feel supported."
“As we celebrate Pride Month and recognize the contributions and importance of LGBTQIA+ communities, artists and leaders, we’re honored to highlight the important work of this transformative organization,” said Jeremy Grunin, Chairperson, Count Basie Center for the Arts. “QSpot’s abundance of services – from mental health counseling and advocacy to their recognition of the role the arts can play in fostering unity and equity within a community, is aligned with the Basie Center’s mission and ideals.”
Bank of America and Basie Center employees and board members started reviewing applications following announcement of THE GIVING YEAR initiative on Giving Tuesday last November. THE GIVING YEAR will focus on organizations serving causes related to arts and culture, health / wellness, food insecurity, diversity, equity and inclusion, or financial management or other services to underrepresented populations.
Organizations interested in consideration for THE GIVING YEAR may learn more and apply for consideration at www.thebasie.org/thegivingyear. Organizations need only apply once – qualifying applications will be considered on a rolling basis throughout 2023.
THE GIVING YEAR will last throughout 2023, with the Count Basie Center for the Arts donating $1 from every ticket sold to one of twelve area nonprofits, with a different organization highlighted each month. Organizations will be eligible to receive up to $15,000 during their month, in addition to complimentary tickets for distribution to their volunteers and / or their beneficiaries.
Upon announcing THE GIVING YEAR last November, Basie Center and Bank of America officers presented the initiative as an opportunity to use the organizations’ platforms to highlight important work and causes throughout their service regions. In January, mental health nonprofit Shore House was announced as the inaugural Giving Year recipient, receiving $15,000 from the Basie Center and its patrons.
“The Count Basie Center is a unique nonprofit organization,” Basie Center Board Chairperson Jeremy Grunin explained. “In addition to our work in arts education, from classrooms in under-resourced communities to professional development opportunities for teachers, we have world-renowned performing artists on our stages almost every evening. We recognize the platform that affords us, and we feel it’s right to use that platform to highlight other organizations attending to vital causes in our region.”
“Bank of America and the Count Basie Center share many causes and concerns, especially the betterment of our communities,” said Bank of America’s Garofalo. “During ‘The Giving Year,’ we’ll use our long-standing partnership and platforms to highlight and reward the efforts of twelve area nonprofit organizations, whose commitments to our region help those who need it the most.”
“Part of our responsibility as a nonprofit organization is to look inwards and say, ‘What more can we do?’” said Adam Philipson, President and CEO, Count Basie Center for the Arts. “And because we have this status as a place where world-class musicians, actors and performers come to play, we also have this opportunity – and responsibility – to lend our visibility to others. Bank of America and the Basie Center want THE GIVING YEAR to become a pedestal for organizations that deserve to have their hard work and purposes known and recognized.”
July’s beneficiary organization will be announced later this month.