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Coping with Confidence Paralysis

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Mar 20, 2017 Advocacy, Career Mamma, digital story telling, Illustration, Leadership , , , , 0 Comments

I finally fired off an email reply to an organization. This is not my first inquiry. It’s not an unsolicited email. It is a response to an almost year long quest to gain an interview (or series of interviews) with their experts for one of my programs (hopefully I’ll be able to share details in [...]

Commander in Tweets, Leading Through the Tangled Webs of Social Media

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Mar 6, 2017 Advocacy, Career Mamma, Colors, digital story telling, Grant Writing, Illustration, Leadership , , , , , , , 2 Comments

During a casual weekend phone chat with my buddy, Artist and Art Gallery Owner Sarah Ellen Smith, we galloped into a topic that has been on my mind a great deal. The diminishing focus on engaging truthful storytelling, and the emphasis on catchy headline and byline communications have us both very worried about our country’s [...]

This Metabook is Mega Cool!

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Jan 14, 2017 Advocacy, Career Mamma, digital story telling, Illustration, News, Photography, Storytelling , , , , , 0 Comments

Every once in awhile, I get a lucky break! This December I was in the right space at the right downtime. A colleague of mine named Tatiana Bacchus asked me to review a literary project for a new digital medium called a Metabook™. She worked as the Production Coordinator, and was so excited to tell [...]

Taking Time to Take Care

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Jan 9, 2017 Advocacy, Career Mamma, Leadership, News, Photography, Storytelling , , , 1 Comment

Last year was great in so many ways and then not so great in a few other ways, especially toward the end of the year. I observed so much grief and loss, I felt like I had to cheerlead my way out of 2016. Several clients called me with big concerns over the funding trends that might [...]

Putting the “HAPPY” in Happy Halloween!

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Oct 31, 2016 Advocacy, Career Mamma, digital story telling, News, Photography, Storytelling, Technology, Video , , , , 0 Comments

It’s been a ridiculously busy post-summer/autumn season! Tons of grant writing opportunities, too much travel, tons of new clients and new projects for Arts In Action and no complaints at all! Even as I write this, I have some deadlines looming and a Halloween costume to throw together, but I didn’t want another day to [...]

An Eye Opening Internship!

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Jul 21, 2016 Advocacy, Grant Writing, Internship Wisdom, Leadership, News, Storytelling , , , , , , 0 Comments

The past few weeks working at Arts In Action have been amazing! It has really been a hands on experience and I have been able to learn so much. It may seem obvious to others, but what I have learned is a lot of work goes into non-profits, more than I originally thought. One is in [...]

La Vita è Bella!

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Jul 7, 2016 Advocacy, Grant Writing, Internship Wisdom, Leadership, News, Travel , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

Hi! I’d like to introduce myself, I’m Beca Kubak and I am going to be a junior in college this fall! I study Economics and Marketing and then will minor in Retailing. I am so happy to call myself a Gamecock and love attending the University of South Carolina. In the beginning of my summer [...]

When Grant Writing Equals Grant Winning!

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May 20, 2016 Advocacy, Career Mamma, Grant Writing, Leadership , , , 1 Comment

As a non-profit consultant that makes a majority of my income from preparing grant proposals for clients, I am often asked what constitutes a winning proposal. The quick answer is this, a formula that needs to become your agency’s priority. It looks like this: A passionate and well written proposal + a balanced and detailed project [...]

How NOT To Do It!

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Apr 9, 2016 Advocacy, Career Mamma, Grant Writing, Leadership, News, Photography, Storytelling , , , 0 Comments

In the early 90’s, I landed an internship at a progressive non-profit agency in New York City that served as an incubator to musicians, performance artists and multi disciplinary artists. I both loved and hated my experiences there. It was where I was first introduced to Adobe Photoshop, where I learned about the National Endowment [...]

Really… Have You Walked in My Bunny Slippers?

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Mar 2, 2016 Advocacy, Career Mamma, Colors, Illustration, News , , , 1 Comment

Being a parent is at once the most wonderful and stressful experience in many persons’ lives. The wonder and the worry that accompany the raising of a child never ceases to amaze me. Thankfully, a myriad of modern amenities have emerged to help with the day-to-day challenges of parenting. Things like video baby monitors, minivans [...]

Self-Determination is for Everyone!

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Feb 18, 2016 Advocacy, Career Mamma, News, Photography , , 0 Comments

How many of us live self-determined lives? How often do we take the time to map out our personal dreams and desires in a practical and realistic way? In Live Oak, Florida this January, two trainings were held that explored these questions and other topics related to Self-Determination. Diane White and myself are the trainers for [...]

Moving Toward Meaning

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Dec 22, 2015 Advocacy, Career Mamma, News, Storytelling , , , , , , 1 Comment

In the last two blog-posts, guest author Erin Dalton shared her poignant thoughts about blending instead of balance, a welcomed perspective for many of us who are busy beyond belief. This weekend I participated in a conversation that took the “blending theory” to another level. Every few months, and sometimes once a year, I remember [...]

Balance, Blurring, Blend!

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Nov 24, 2015 Advocacy, Career Mamma, News , 4 Comments

Introducing Erin Dalton, Arts In Action’s newest Writer! Erin holds a BA in English from Loyola University in Maryland. Before becoming a full-time mom, she worked as a Project Manager for the Vice President of University Communications at Cornell University. This is Erin’s triumphant return to the professional world that is populated by actual adults after taking a [...]

Busy Is, As Busy Does…

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Nov 10, 2015 Advocacy, digital story telling, Grant Writing, News, Photography , , , , , 2 Comments

Because we have been busy, busy, busy at Arts In Action writing so many proposals, it’s been awhile since we have posted our grant wins…but recently we have received phenomenal news, I hope you don’t mind if we share… * $30,000 grant to UIH from the Merancas Foundation * $10,000 grant to UIH from ETS * $13,000 [...]

Plankton & Plastics & Beautiful Art

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Oct 1, 2015 Colors, Illustration, News, Photography, Presentations, Storytelling, Technology , , , , 2 Comments

Treks to Vermont to expand and stretch my mind are familiar to me. I spent three years at Goddard College in Plainfield from 2007 to 2010. When I cross the state line, my brain automatically opens up a wee bit wider and new stuff pours in! Especially when I spend time with Artist Extraordinaire – [...]

Of Land and Local and Really Great Art!

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Aug 23, 2015 Advocacy, Colors, Illustration, News, Photography, Storytelling , , , 0 Comments

Most of my summers, since graduating from Goddard College in 2011, I have had the opportunity to connect with my residency buddies. Sometimes the reunion occurs in Asheville, NC. Sometimes it is just a solo visit with one of my artist friends at my home, or at theirs. I try to reconnect each year with [...]

A Most Powerful Story, Introducing Laura Minutello!

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Mar 9, 2015 Advocacy, Illustration, News, Photography , , , , , 2 Comments

As many of you know, I work with the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council on some Self-Advocacy projects geared toward assisting persons with Developmental and/or Intellectual Challenges the opportunity to make their voices matter.  In fact, our tagline is MY VOICE MATTERS! Below is the latest article written by Laura Minutello.  Laura is FLSAA’s (Florida Self-Advocacy [...]

Citizens, Not Shut-Ins!

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Jan 26, 2015 , , , , , , 1 Comment

For the last decade convincing Human Resources departments large and small to take the leap and to take a chance and hire a person with a disability was the focus of advocates far and wide…especially in Florida.  While the jobs figures for employees with disabilities are mixed, JVS Manager of Program Administration, Bob Parkinson said that [...]

Square Wheels Need to Come Full Circle

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Dec 17, 2014 Advocacy, News, Photography 1 Comment

If you have been following my posts, you have probably already met Tricia Riccardi; an inspirational Self-Advocate professional colleague of mine, living and raising a daughter in the Orlando area of the sunshine state! Recently, Tricia had to endure a medical procedure called a tubal ligation. A tubal ligation is a surgical procedure for female [...]

When Inspiration Wins, Failure is Far, Far Away!

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Dec 11, 2014 News, Photography , , , , , 3 Comments

I am still recuperating from an amazing whirlwind experience at the FL SAND Annual Conference that took place from December 5 to December 7th at the Florida Mall Hotel and Conference Center in Orlando, Florida.  This conference is fully supported by the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council and the Arts In Action team plays a major role [...]

Love is a Mirror

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Oct 15, 2014 Advocacy, News, Photography, Storytelling , , , 2 Comments

Tricia doesn’t normally like to admit that she has a disability. She was born an able bodied individual and treated when she was a child, as an able bodied kid. It’s been daunting for Tricia to view herself as someone with a disability. She tells me that folks with disabilities don’t see their disabilities until an [...]

Right on Target!

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Sep 30, 2014 Advocacy, News, Photography, Storytelling 2 Comments

As a parent that is diagnosed with a developmental disability, Tricia worried that Brielle would not be on time with all of her cognitive and physical development. But Brielle is right on target and started walking at eleven months old! This has made life easier for Tricia and her husband, but in some ways, more [...]

When Your Biggest Roadblock is Society

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Aug 5, 2014 Advocacy, News, Photography, Storytelling , , , 2 Comments

Tricia always dreamed of having kids some day. Realizing that for most people with a disability, this dream never has a chance to be actualized, she knew it was rooted more in fantasy than reality. That didn’t stop Tricia from dreaming and it didn’t stop Tricia’s instinctual yearning to be a mother either. Society has [...]

Obsolete Then, Obsolete Now!

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Jul 10, 2014 Advocacy, Grant Writing, News, Photography, Program Management, Storytelling , , 2 Comments

On April 8, 2014, the Justice Department announced it entered into an agreement that will resolve violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for approximately 3,250 Rhode Islanders with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). The landmark ten year agreement is the nation’s first statewide settlement to address the rights of people with disabilities to receive state funded employment [...]

The Intersection of Motherhood & Advocacy

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Jun 26, 2014 Advocacy, News, Photography, Presentations, Storytelling , , , , , , , , 17 Comments

Meet Tricia. Mother. Advocate. College Graduate. Smart Phone Photographer. Blogger. Tricia’s warm smile and frequent Facebook posts of her toddler daughter Brielle are typical of a new mom who has taken to cell phone photography and many of the photographic apps available on the market. Tricia catches each developmental milestone for her friends and family [...]

You Learn Something New…

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Jun 20, 2014 Advocacy, News, Photography, Presentations, Program Management, Storytelling , , , , 0 Comments

Not too far from my new hometown near the Delaware River there is a magical place called Grounds For Sculpture!  I had the chance to attend a Cultural Access meeting yesterday hosted in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, The New Jersey Theater Alliance, The New Jersey Council on the Arts and the [...]

Team Grant Writing: A Free eBook Resource

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Apr 25, 2014 Grant Writing, News, Program Management, Storytelling , , , 3 Comments

Combining my two loves…that is what this eBook project is all about!  For some time now, I have wanted to write and illustrate a book on grant writing…but I wanted my version to be different. Different because most of the books I have read on the subject have been dry and unremarkable. I was going for pizzaz, and [...]

So Easy, A Kid Can Do It!

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Apr 22, 2014 digital story telling, News, Photography 1 Comment

Some of my favorite childhood memories are from times spent with my siblings and our cousins. We always played football, wiffleball or kickball together, ate lots of watermelon and had silly seed spitting competitions afterward. While the grown-ups talked, laughed and drank Italian sambuca into the night, we basked in the security of playing with kids [...]

Finding Grants…Seek, Search & Communicate

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Apr 12, 2014 Advocacy, Grant Writing, News , , , 0 Comments

I get asked often about the methods I use to find grant opportunities for my clients. The truth is, grant opportunities are everywhere. Sure, I have purchased several grant list serve plans and I get updates every day on new and existing grant opportunities that show up neatly in my email in-box.  But honestly, some [...]

The Amazing Bluetooth Teethers!

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Mar 10, 2014 Advocacy, Photography, Presentations , , , 2 Comments

I love interacting with college and high school age students. I love the energy that is apparent in the hallways and the cafeterias on campuses. Our country’s future right there, exposed, raw and beautiful.  Once I get past the attention seeking, shock value behaviors, once new students and I have had the chance to simmer [...]

Say “Cheese”! Annual Giving: Messaging With Images

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Feb 11, 2014 Advocacy, Colors, Illustration, News, Photography, Portfolio , , , , , 0 Comments

I have two local tax exempt clients based in Trenton, NJ that were looking for a new and different way to enhance their annual appeals. I suggested that we add photos of actual clients, programs and participants (you guessed it) IN ACTION!!  It was a no brainer for me and my SLR camera! I work [...]

The $500 Digital Story Solution!

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Feb 9, 2014 Illustration, News, Photography , , , , , 2 Comments

Well, I did it! I produced a 3.5 minute iMovie about our recent family trip to Punxsutawney, PA for Ground Hog’s Day. Here’s the thing, I completed the entire project on my iPad Mini. So why I was inspired to take this challenge? For a few years now I have been traveling around the U.S. [...]

Answer This Grace—Best Video Editing Software-GO!

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Jan 23, 2014 News, Photography, Presentations, Storytelling , , 0 Comments

Well, it’s difficult for me to give you a definitive answer on what is the best video editing software. I am now and always have been partial to Apple products.  Because I am an artist first and then business person second, Apple computers have always been my top pick. I’ve found most Apple products to [...]

Effective Imaging and Some Welcomed Luck!

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Jan 22, 2014 Photography, Presentations, Storytelling , , , , 6 Comments

During my webinars and live presentations, I am often asked to talk about what types of images get the most attention on social media sites and what types of videos get the most hits on YouTube and Vimeo. Although I respect these types of questions and often think about how I can create effective imaging [...]

A Day of Caring!

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Jan 13, 2014 Advocacy, News, Photography 2 Comments

One of my favorite places to be on any given school day is Millhill Child & Family Development in Trenton, NJ! What a lovely organization from head to toe! First, the organization is steeped with a long and successful history of supporting families in a city that has faced and is still facing many challenges. [...]

Arts In Action Welcomes Rachel Clark to our Team!

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Dec 1, 2013 Grant Writing, Photography , , , 1 Comment

Arts In Action is pleased to welcome Rachel Clark to our grant writing team!  Rachel Clark is an experienced educational professional and community ambassador. Graduating in 2009 from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education, Rachel followed her passion working as a teacher in the elementary school system. Rachel is certified [...]

The Elephant in Your Wallet!

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Nov 24, 2013 Advocacy, Grant Writing, News , , , , 3 Comments

At a dinner with friends on this past Friday night, my curious, extroverted 8-year old daughter asked my buddy Snehah if she could have some money. It was an innocent request. Snehah was multi-tasking and transferring a wad of cash from her jacket pocket to her purse while patiently entertaining my daughter’s barrage of questions. [...]

Omaha, Where the Smart, Nice, Creatives Live!

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Nov 11, 2013 Photography, Presentations, Storytelling , , , , , 0 Comments

Many, many thanks to everyone who attended my Digital Storytelling presentation and all day workshop at the NONPROFIT SUMMIT OF THE MIDLANDS! Special thanks to Erika Conces who did a masterful job in coordinating and organizing pretty much every aspect of the event! You were a gracious host packaged with some really entertaining stories! Also [...]

Free Training For Floridians with Developmental Disabilities

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Sep 26, 2013 1 Comment

Join the Route to Self-Determination team as we set out to provide three trainings in the State of Florida for individuals with developmental disabilities beginning on October 14 in Miami, in White Springs on October 16 and in St. Pete on October 18. Contact me if you have any questions at gracealfiero@gmail.com Follow these links [...]

Hello Milwaukee! Goodbye Milwaukee!

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Sep 18, 2013 1 Comment

It was really wonderful to spend time with the community heroes and she-roes who attended the 7th Community Engagement in Research (CEnR) Conference, Community & Academic Partnerships: Learning from the Past, Building for the Future! (WOW! that is a mouthful!) I met some great folks and I hope to keep the dialogue going about digital [...]

Introducing Richard Chapman, M.A., An Amazing Self-Advocate Specialist

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Aug 5, 2013 Advocacy, Illustration, News, Photography, Presentations , 2 Comments

What a summer it has been!  One of my favorite and most memorable experiences thus far this summer was meeting Richard Chapman for the first time in Orlando, FL.  Richard was recruited by Amy Woodard, MSW, Arts In Action’s Research Manager (you all know her as SuperAmy) to work with us on FDDC’s FL SAND [...]

Giddy Up! An Arts In Action Internship!

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Jun 11, 2013 Advocacy, Grant Writing, Presentations, Program Management, Storytelling , , , 10 Comments

Hello Arts In Action community and blog readers! My name is Hallie and I will be your trusty cyber intern this summer. Why a virtual internship, you might ask? Well, lucky for me, Grace-Anne has allowed me to learn from the team at Arts In Action through technological communication and my own personal experiences here [...]

Are You the Winner?

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Apr 25, 2013 Advocacy, Grant Writing, News 1 Comment

DID YOU WIN YET? Every month at Arts In Action, we give away a very cool “SO SO Happy” Siq character flash drive* chock filled with files and data about Digital Storytelling, Grant Writing, Social Media, Happenings and Articles that relate to the non profit industry. We ship it to your office or home, free, [...]

GMN Digital Storytelling Resources

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Mar 22, 2013 Grant Writing, Photography, Presentations, Print Design, Program Management, Storytelling , , , , 3 Comments

Thank you to everyone who attended my Digital Storytelling Presentation at GMN entitled “Imaging Your Results”. I had a great time meeting all of you and have provided the resources and 2 pdfs of the presentation as downloads for your files.  Please feel free to contact me if you are ever in need of a [...]

Photos from the NAEA tour at Evergreen’s Cultural Arts Center in Ft. Worth, TX

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Mar 9, 2013 Advocacy, Colors, Photography, Presentations , , 5 Comments

Had a great time at the NAEA tour of the Cultural Arts Center at Evergreen Life Services in Ft. Worth! Karen Towery, Alicia Johnson, Kim Fincanon and the crew did a great job touring the NAEA participants of the facility! We even got to see a graffiti wall being created before our eyes! Many thanks [...]

Congratulations to the folks of Smart with Art!

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Mar 8, 2013 Advocacy, Grant Writing, Photography, Presentations , , , 1 Comment

Amy Friedman of Smart with Art is the winner of the free Siq Flash Drive that I gave away yesterday at my presentation at the National Art Education Association’s annual convention in Ft. Worth, Texas! Congratulations Amy! I had a great audience with great questions and a lively discussion about grant writing and digital storytelling! [...]