Scranton Cultural Center Receives Grant from SACF

Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple | Scranton PA

The Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple received a $5,000 Critical Needs Grant from the Scranton Area Community Foundation to assist with restroom upgrades.

The Scranton Cultural Center houses 26 restrooms, eight of which were in great need of repair and refurbishment. To safely and efficiently serve the community, corrective measures were needed to ensure that bathrooms are accessible, safe and clean to both the public and the organization’s staff.  Hosting hundreds of events per year and approximately 80,000 visitors, the SCCMT is highly utilized. The continued success of the SCCMT and its services depends heavily on the ongoing preservation and modernization of the building. That, along with challenges presented by COVID-19, it was vital to undertake hygiene upgrades for the protection of the public and staff.

Marywood University Presents “The Magic Flute”

Marywood University’s Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance is collaborating with the School of Architecture in creating a full-scale production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. The production marks only the second time in Marywood’s history that its students will perform a complete opera with orchestra.

The stage director for The Magic Flute is A. Scott Parry, who is on the faculties of Manhattan School of Music and New York University and has directed productions at professional opera companies across the country, including New York City Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, Dallas Opera, Chicago Opera Theatre, Indianapolis Opera, and Pittsburgh Opera. The Music Director and Conductor is Rick Hoffenberg, D.M.A., co-chair of Marywood’s Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance.

Marywood’s production of The Magic Flute is made possible in part by a grant from the Community Events Fund of the Scranton Area Community Foundation, which supports non-profit organizations hosting community events which add value to the overall community and enrich the lives of those in our area.

Performances are free and open to the public and will be held in the Munley Theatre of the Sette LaVerghetta Center for Performing Arts on Saturday, November 12, at 7 p.m., and on Sunday, November 13, at 2 p.m. Additionally, there will be a compressed version of the opera performed for local middle school and high school students on Thursday, November 10, at 10 a.m.

SACF Laura Ducceschi Named to City & State’s 2022 Nonprofit Power 100 List

The Scranton Area Community Foundation today announced that President and CEO, Laura Ducceschi, has been named to City & State’s 2022 Nonprofit Power 100 List.  The statewide nonprofit power list recognizes the most influential public officials, philanthropic leaders, and executives leading the sector throughout Pennsylvania over the past year. 

The inaugural list recognized Ducceschi and other nonprofit, philanthropic, and public officials who have had to “adapt, improvise, and overcome” to be able to effectively serve their clients and communities.  City & State writes, “The organizations featured in 2022 Nonprofit Power 100 have triumphed in their efforts to provide everything from cash assistance to legal representation, food deliveries to waterways protection, despite the constraint on fundraisers, reduced government funding and declining philanthropic support.”  

Under Ducceschi’s leadership, the Scranton Area Community Foundation has nearly quadrupled its charitable assets under the Foundation’s management and has granted nearly $30 million in grant and scholarship funding. In addition, Laura led the foundation in the development of the COVID-19 Response Fund, one of the first in the country established by a community foundation, which quickly raised and distributed more than $1.4 million for nonprofit organizations; and NEPA Gives, which has raised nearly $3 million dollars for nonprofit organizations in only 72 hours.

City & State cites, “As president and CEO of the Scranton Area Community Foundation, Laura Ducceschi oversees over 280 charitable funds and foundations with more than 90 million in assets.  Under her leadership, the foundation distributes $6 million in annual grant making to support various quality-of-life programs throughout the Lackawanna County region.  Ducceschi, who assumed the role 10 years ago, has spearheaded various initiatives, including a training center for nonprofit leaders, an animal welfare collaborative, and NEPA Gives, a regional fundraising partnership.”

“I am honored to be named to City & State’s Power 100 Nonprofit list,” said Ducceschi. “This recognition is a testament to a visionary Board of Governors and the diligent work of the Scranton Area Community Foundation team.  It is indicative of our deep respect for, and commitment to, the donors and the communities that we serve.”

Ducceschi has also spearheaded Women in Philanthropy, NEPA Moves, the NEPA Learning Conference, NEPA Thrives, and other community initiatives. She also manages the NEPA Health Care Foundation and the Robert H Spitz Foundation. She has established multiple national partnerships throughout her tenure, which have brought additional resources and programs to Northeastern Pennsylvania.

A trusted community partner since 1954, The Scranton Area Community Foundation works in partnership with donors to transform lives through organized philanthropy. In addition to the Scranton Area Community Foundation, other foundations included in the Power 100 Nonprofit list include William Penn, Philadelphia, Richard King Mellon, John Templeton, Pittsburgh, Delaware County, and GlaxoSmithKline, and as well as the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Heinz Endowments.

A Northeastern Pennsylvania native, Ducceschi has an MBA in Organizational Management from Drexel University’s Lebow College of Business; and received a fellowship to pursue her MA in Communication from the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. She has a BA in Communication from the University of Scranton, where she graduated summa cum laude. Ducceschi is a Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP) and a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE). She is Certified in Change Management from Cornell University, Design Thinking from Harvard Extension, Nonprofit Board Governance Consulting from BoardSource, and Lean Six Sigma.

Ducceschi received the Outstanding Fundraising Professional Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals- NEPA Chapter; the Founder’s Award from Meals on Wheels; the Excellence in Diversity Award from Penn State University-Scranton; the Executive Mentorship Award from the Allan P Kirby Center at Wilkes University; and was recognized as a top 25 Women in Business from the NEPA Business Journal.

She is a member of the Geisinger Advisory Board, a Trustee of the Schwartz-Mack Foundation, and a Trustee on the Scranton Life Board.

Scranton Cultural Center Receives Grant From Scranton Area Foundation

The Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple received a $25,000 Community Needs Grant from the Scranton Area Community Foundation to assist with HVAC repairs.

“The last significant upgrade to our system happened about a decade ago,” said Deborah Moran Peterson, Scranton Cultural Center Executive Director.  “We are grateful to the SACF for this Community Needs Grant which helped to support us financially with this expense.”

The funds received will be utilized to complete deferred maintenance and COVID related upgrades to the SCC’s HVAC systems, including repair of mechanical chillers and cooling towers, as well as improvements that ensure energy efficiency of air circulation throughout the most utilized areas building.  The overall goal of the project is to create a better heating and cooling system that will lead to increased utilization and efficiencies, as well as cost savings over time.