Discover Roxbury, the neighborhood’s grassroots community and arts advocacy group, will be expanding thanks to a number of new grants this year.
“[The money] definitely sustains us and gives us a solid foundation,” said Derek Lumpkins, executive director of Discover Roxbury. “It also shows that these bigger organizations believe in the direction we are moving.”
With the new funding, Lumpkins said, the group will continue to implement its programming in the neighborhood, from its Holiday Pop Up Shop to its speaker series.
“A lot of people describe things in Roxbury as hidden gems, but we’re trying to move away from that,” said Lumpkins, who has been with the group as an executive director since 2010. “We want people to get out and tell their friends and family about what’s happening in Roxbury.”
Last year, the group had an operating budget of $185,000, and Lumpkins hopes the money will help the organization add new staff and expand its budget.
Currently, the group in addition to volunteers and interns has one full-time staff member and one part-time staff member. Lumpkins said he hopes to add another full-time, part-time, and intern to the group’s staff by the end of the year.
“It will allow us to not only be a better organization, but better reach out to the public and leverage future support,” Lumpkins said.
Last year, nearly 6,000 people participated in Discover Roxbury events, up from 4,400 participants in 2011, according to Lumpkins.
As the group aims to expand the events and activities it offers to the community it will also work to implement its "Strategic Plan" that was developed in 2011.
The plan highlighted areas that the group could expand and defined its role in the community and with other area nonprofits and organizations.
“We want to become more robust and have more of an impact in the neighborhood,” said Lumpkins.
The group will continue its work while it organizes and looks to expand. Currently organizers are preparing for Discover Roxbury’s “Black and White Party” in March.
To find out more about the organization or upcoming events, click here.