RIOC announced today the Roosevelt Island organizations selected and funds
awarded in 2022 Public Purpose funds.
According to RIOC:

The Roosevelt Island Public Purpose Fund (the Fund) has announced $150,000
in grants to 13 nonprofits working to benefit Roosevelt Island residents and
enhance their quality of life. 

Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) was created in 1984 by the
State of New York to plan, design, develop, and maintain Roosevelt Island.
RIOC asked The New York Community Trust (The Trust) to administer its public
purpose grants this year and created the Roosevelt Island Public Purpose
Fund in The Trust.

“We are proud to assist these dedicated nonprofits in their service to the
Island,” said RIOC President and CEO Shelton Haynes. “The New
York Community Trust’s expertise improved the grantmaking process this year
and will help the grantees strengthen their operations for the future.”

The grants support a range of projects aiming to make life on Roosevelt
Island more enjoyable and equitable: from enrichment classes for older
adults and improving services for people with disabilities to supporting the
island’s visitor center and putting on orchestral concerts. 

The Fund previously provided a grant of $50,000 to Community Resource
Exchange, one of the city’s most distinguished nonprofit consultant
agencies, to provide a series of free nonprofit management workshops to
grantees and other Roosevelt Island nonprofits. The workshops for nonprofit
volunteers and leaders will share information about best practices in
nonprofit management, governance, and fundraising.

The Trust aimed to simplify the application and reporting processes for
nonprofits, while ensuring grants support important programs and services
for Roosevelt Island residents–including educational opportunity, cultural
enrichment, improved health, and a better environment.  

The grant application process began in February, and closed on March

The Trust convened an independent, five-person advisory committee made up of
members of the Roosevelt Island community to review applications and make
grant recommendations. The committee members live or work on the island;
have nonprofit and/or public service experience; and reflect race, age, and
gender diversity. Members were anonymous during the review period to keep
the process fair and confidential. Their names and affiliations are:

  • Carlos Chavez, manager, Roosevelt Island Library
  • Katherine Teets Grimm, MD, pediatrician, Roosevelt Island Pediatrics, Mt.
  • Jennifer Ifil-Ryan, global director of experience at Nike; former director
    of education at The High Line
  • Sharon Pope-Marshall, executive director of CIVITAS; Community Board 8
  • Carl Weisbrod, senior advisor at HR&A Advisors; former chairman of the
    New York City Planning Commission

In April, the committee met to discuss each application and to collectively
make decisions about grantees and grant amounts. They prioritized
organizations with a history of commitment and a proven track record of
serving Roosevelt Island; that filled a critical gap in services to
historically under-resourced communities (such as low-income populations,
communities of color, older adults, and people with disabilities); that
clearly articulated project outcomes and activities; and that aimed for
long-term engagement with beneficiaries.

The grant recipients are: 

The Carter Burden Network: $5,000 to provide culturally responsive
services to Korean-speaking Roosevelt Island residents. 

 iDig2Learn: $12,000 to support a food and compost
initiative, educational outreach, and a tree survey. 

 Island Kids: $20,000 to provide need-based scholarships
to 18-20 children and families for the Island Kids Summer Camp.

 Leonardo Suarez Paz’s PIAZZOLLA 100: $1,000 for general
operating support.

 Main Street Theatre and Dance Alliance: $20,000 to
provide 40 need-based scholarships and work-study placements, and 15

 PTA PS/IS 217: $12,000 to provide movement classes from
the National Dance Institute for 160 school children ages 3 to 6.

 Roosevelt Island Concerts: $10,000 to hold a chamber
music and orchestral series on Roosevelt Island. 

 Roosevelt Island Disabled Association: $20,000 to
provide food pantry, field trip, and transportation services to people with
disabilities on Roosevelt Island.

 Roosevelt Island Historical Society: $5,000 to support the
Roosevelt Island visitor center and outreach activities. 

 Roosevelt Island Living Library / Life Frames: $16,000 to
provide gardening, nutritional, and wellness classes on Roosevelt Island,
prioritizing older adults and people with disabilities.

 Roosevelt Island Senior Association: $12,000 to provide weekend
and evening classes for older adults.

 Roosevelt Island Visual Art Association: $16,000 for the “Open
Arms” community partnership and exhibition series.

 Wildlife Freedom Foundation: $1,000 for general operating


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