November 23, 2021

#NonprofitNovember: Essex Art Center

by joeyphoenix

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#NonprofitNovember is highlighting Creative Collective’s nonprofit Business Members in a series of featured interviews. These short features will grant some insight into how these nonprofits have grown and developed through the years and how they plan to use what they’ve learned to further their respective missions in 2022. 

This Holiday season, follow the hashtag #NonprofitNovember to learn more about the nonprofit organizations in the communities, and discover how to support their ongoing efforts in a meaningful way. 

What is your role within the organization and what is your organization’s mission?

My name is Monica Manoski. I’m the Executive Director of the Essex Art Center in Lawrence, MA. We’re on a mission to make art accessible and inclusive and to positively impact our community.

What’s something you are proud of / something you achieved this year as an organization?

This year, by offering 75% off to Lawrence residents 18 years and younger, we doubled the number of Lawrence youth engaging with our programs. It’s powerful to hear from families who used to take turns sending their kids to participate in our programs. Now, they can send all their kids together, and they’re signing up for multiple courses each session. And it doesn’t get much better than hearing the students talk about their classes. Two twin boys regularly come into our office, brag about how “totally awesome” their class was, and show off their latest creations. This is a credit to our fantastic faculty. 

Tell us a time that you saw your vision in action?

This summer, at our Grand Reopening Fiesta en la Calle, we saw our vision of more fully serving the residents of Lawrence come to life. The community showed up in a big way. We had 1,827 people visit our galleries that day and an estimated 2,5000 plus who convened outside. The whole day was a celebration of local art and culture. You could see the magic on the smiling faces of people enjoying summer treats and in the sway of bodies vibing to the music. The most impactful part was seeing artists of all ages share their art with the community and hearing them describe how and why they made their work. 

What is something unique about your organization?

Our exhibition program focuses on highlighting the work of regional artists, especially those who have been historically underrepresented, including women and BIPOC. And our current exhibitions are bilingual, so folks in the community can access the information in English and Spanish, which is essential because Lawrence is predominately Hispanic/Latinx. 

Who is your organization for?

Our organization is for art lovers, art makers, and anyone interested in engaging in cultural discourse. Even if you “don’t get art” or “can’t draw a straight line,” we welcome you to come on in and experience what we do. You might just leave feeling or thinking a little bit differently than you did before. That’s the power of art. 

Where can people find out more about your organization and support its ongoing efforts?

You can learn more about our current events, exhibitions, and classes on our website:, or you can follow Essex Art Center on Instagram @essexartcenter. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on the generosity of businesses, individuals, and foundations to ensure we can offer our high-quality arts education programs and exhibitions. If you can support our work, please do!

Creative Collective’s 2021 #StayLocal Campaign

Initiative encourages community to shop small and support local small businesses this November and December

It’s time for #StayLocal2021 – follow the hashtag for the best of local eats, drinks, experiences, and shopping North of Boston.

The approaching Holiday season is putting people in the shopping, eating, and drinking mood as small businesses across the North Shore are gearing up for the busiest time of the year. Following up the successful 2020 #StayLocal campaign, Creative Collective is launching #StayLocal2021, encouraging individuals to shop and support small this upcoming holiday season. Learn more.