Northeast Community Center (NECC)
544 Wabash Ave
Kansas City MO 64124
Web and Phone Contact
Telephone (816) 231-7738
Mission Statement
The Northeast Community Center (NECC) serves the growth, development and education of its diverse neighborhood, providing residents with increased access to educational, cultural and social opportunities.
Harmony Project KC, NECC's flagship program:
  1. Promotes the healthy growth and development of children through the study, practice and performance of music.
  2. Builds stronger communities.
  3. Develops children as musical ambassadors of peace, hope, and understanding amongst people of diverse cultures, background and beliefs. 
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Laura Shultz
Board Chair Mr. Philip Glynn
Board Chair Company Affiliation Travois
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1957
Financial Summary
Revenue Expense Area Graph

Comparing revenue to expenses shows how the organizations finances fluctuate over time.

Source: IRS Form 990

Net Gain/Loss:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.
Mission Statement
The Northeast Community Center (NECC) serves the growth, development and education of its diverse neighborhood, providing residents with increased access to educational, cultural and social opportunities.
Harmony Project KC, NECC's flagship program:
  1. Promotes the healthy growth and development of children through the study, practice and performance of music.
  2. Builds stronger communities.
  3. Develops children as musical ambassadors of peace, hope, and understanding amongst people of diverse cultures, background and beliefs. 
Background Statement NECC has been an anchor in Kansas City’s Historic Northeast District for nearly 80 years. Founded as an extension of the original Italian Mission, and built by Dr. John Bisceglia and his wife Isabella, NECC originally offered support to mostly immigrant families through youth programs, childcare and education, adult literacy, and medical care. As the Historic Northeast shifted over the years new waves of immigrants arrived. Throughout these shifts NECC continued as a bedrock of support offering basic social services and job training for those in need. In 1999 NECC created and housed an independent charter school, Scuola Vita Nuova (School of New Life), to educate neighborhood children grades K-8. For the first six years, the Community Center supported the school financially. The charter school enjoyed 16 years of success on our campus before moving in July of 2014 to larger quarters nearby. In 2015 NECC launched Harmony Project KC, an intensive music education program for low-income children. The launch was financed by the Community Center, while major fundraising began to create an ongoing self-sustaining and expanding program. The goal of HPKC is to increase academic potential for underserved youth through year-round music lessons and ensemble and orchestral participation. In addition, research has shown that Harmony Project increases character development and social skills through its mentoring program.
Impact Statement
2017 Accomplishments: 
  1. HPKC launched an outreach initiative at Garfield Elementary in partnership with Kansas City Public Schools, serving approximately 19 new students.  
  2. Harmony Project KC hosted world-renowned cellist Yo Yo Ma, providing students experiences such as a master class and visits to each classroom.
  3. HPKC was invited to perform at the Future Stages concert at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. 
  4. Students made significant academic strides: 100% of HPKC students progressed to the next grade, held strong attendance records (90%+ of students attended 90%+ of days), and approximately 65% of under-performing students made progress of at least one letter grade in science, language and/or math.
2018 Goals:
  1. Build support for the wraparound services of NECC. 
  2. Continue exploring ways to support the facilities and operational needs for the historic, five-building campus.
  3. Demonstrate ongoing academic impact of Harmony Project KC. 
  4. Discern a path forward to continue to grown HPKC, while maintaining high quality programming.
Needs Statement

The Northeast Community Center will continue to meet the complex, broad needs in the community in order for families to thrive. NECC is a stronghold in the community. Located on a beautiful and historic campus, NECC provides wraparound services that empower families to be safe and stable enough to access youth development programs like Harmony Project KC. 

  1. Partnering Support Services: Families in our area face poverty, high crime rates, and language barriers. Through established and new community partners, we are able to provide a variety of supportive services.
  2. School Participation and Support: Harmony Project KC requires healthy participation and support from area schools. They serve as the primary grounds to recruit students. More importantly, they are the primary institution responsible for ensuring academic success. Coordination between school and Harmony Project is critically important.  
  3. Expansion: Reach as many students as possible within our funding capabilities. This will drive a need for more staff and volunteers in order to be able to continue to provide quality programs.
  4. Development: We need volunteers who can help us identify new donors and friends. In 2018, we will need to raise over $500k to support NECC and HPKC.  
Service Categories
Youth Development Programs
Areas of Service
MO - Jackson County Urban Core
NECC sits prominently on the corner of Independence Boulevard and Wabash Avenue, just east of The Paseo. We serve the seven neighborhoods just east of downtown Kansas City that make up the Historic Northeast Neighborhood of Kansas City. With a population just under 150,000 and 20,000 diverse families with children under the age of 14, Kansas City’s Historic Northeast Community has active neighborhood associations, historically significant architecture, affordable housing, and close proximity to Downtown Kansas City. Our community also faces considerable challenges. Area schools report dropout rates as high as 40%, 36% of residents live in poverty, and the KCMO Police Department has designated the Northeast as one of the most violent areas in Kansas City (Invest Northeast October 2013).
CEO/Executive Director/Board Chair Statement
Kansas City’s Historic Northeast is an ethnically diverse community with active neighborhood associations, historically significant architecture, and close proximity to the heart of downtown. Our community also faces considerable challenges. Area schools report dropout rates as high as 40% and 36% of residents live in extreme poverty. The Northeast Community Center is committed to improve our neighborhood, serve our neighbors, and address these current issues.
Our flagship program, Harmony Project KC, works with youth in an intensive 5 hours per week program of music instruction with free instruments, lessons and mentoring. Students from 22 area schools attend 3 days a week, after school and on Saturdays, and will be followed throughout high school as long as they are enrolled in the program.
Independent researchers from Brown University, Northwestern University, and University of California – Berkeley, have demonstrated the study of music has resulted in improved academic performance, behavior, mood, and self-esteem. Evidence demonstrates this is particularly true in the lives of children in low-income neighborhoods. Music study also develops character-traits and skills such as responsibility, discipline, cooperation, strategic thinking, time-management, and task-persistence that enables students to maximize their potential and become productive members of the community. In short, studying music will keep kids in school and improve their academic performance and, in turn, lay the foundation for future academic and professional success.
In order for families to access educational and enrichment programs like Harmony Project KC, they must have the supports in place to safe and stable. That's where the other important services at NECC come in. Without the wraparound services provided through our partnerships, the viability of Harmony Project KC would be in serious jeopardy.
Since its inception in 2015, Harmony Project KC has developed an exciting track record of improving academic outcomes for under-performing and under-served students. NECC's challenges moving forward are to:
  1. Fundraise to meet the needs of HPKC.
  2. Find a balanced way to scale our program with an eye towards quality.
  3. Support its partner services.
  4. Maintain the beautiful, historic five building campus that has become a treasure of the Northeast over the decades.
It will be a challenge--but an exciting one. The mission of the NECC and our Strategic Plan drive us forward with vision and purpose to serve this community moving forward.
Harmony Project KC is a research-based, intense program that provides music instruction, practice, performance opportunities and character development to underserved children, with the goal of keeping them in school, improving academic performance, and developing a college readiness mindset. Learning to play an instrument takes patience, persistence, and focus -- the same qualities needed to excel in school and beyond. 
The project includes:
  • Musicianship classes in music reading, composition, rhythm and pitch
  • Two after-school sessions per week
  • One-on-one support from peer mentors
  • Saturday orchestral and chamber ensemble practices and performances
  • Music instruments and lessons for all enrolled students at no cost
  • Field trips to concerts at venues throughout the city
  • Character Development, and a referral network for community resources
  • Leadership class for longstanding students 
HPKC is a community safety initiative that engages students in productive after-school and weekend activities, building a healthier and safer community for all.
Program Budget $344,888.00
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Music Instruction
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years), ,
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success
  1. Students will stay in school/100 percent will stay in school when enrolled. 
  2. Increase academics. /At least 60% will show academic improvement by one letter grade. 90% advance one grade level per year.
  3. Learn to read music and play an instrument. /At least 85% will move from basic musicianship level to the instrumental level. 85% at basic will progress to a more advanced instrumental level.
  4. Students will develop mindset about ability to learn, grow, finish school and go to college. /Using our character development assessment, teachers will evaluate students twice a year. At least 85% of students will pass character assessments. 
  5. Retrain developing brains through sustained music learning and improve language learning, math achievement, effective listening, patience and persistence, and focus. /Youth will graduate and attend college, a university, or technical school. 100% of our students will graduate high school, and 90 percent will go on to college.
  6. 90% of our older students will pass an accredited leadership program and become mentors to a younger strings students.
Long-Term Success
  • Develop accountability, responsibility and teamwork through daily practice, rehearsing, and performing within small ensembles and large orchestras of peers.
  • Develop confidence and courage by performing music for audiences during scheduled recitals and orchestral programs.
  • Retrain developing brains through sustained music learning and improves language learning, math achievement, effective listening, patience and persistence, and focus.
  • Foster social inclusion by uniting participating students across barriers of class and culture.
  • Require school enrollment Students can only participate in NECC’s Harmony Project if they are enrolled and adequately performing in school.
  • Reduce exposure to negative influences by engaging youth after school hours when they are at greatest risk of abuse, criminal activity, and drug and alcohol use.
  • 100% high school graduation and college acceptance.
  • Students will remain in the program their entire childhood (an average of 7 years).
Program Success Monitored By
As affiliates of a national movement Harmony Project KC has committed to rigorous tracking and evaluation, including the following data:
  • Music and Character Development: We track progress of our students through juries, recitals and teacher reports. Teachers will also chart character development (i.e. responsibility, commitment, community).
  • Program Participation: Using the state-of-the-art Efforts to Outcomes data system, we will capture student achievement data, demographics, and program attendance.
  • Academic Performance: Harmony Project KC requires participants to provide report cards. We use Efforts to Outcomes data system to track academic grades, school attendance rates,  graduation rates, and college acceptance.
  • Student/Parent Surveys: We conduct these surveys to measure the program's progress towards our goal of enabling positive change in our students. This survey includes basic before and after assessment of character development, behavior, family relationships, self-esteem, etc.
Examples of Program Success
Participants in the Harmony Project nationwide consistently defy the odds. A recent survey showed:
  • 90% showed improved focus and discipline
  • 73% improved academic achievement
  • 100% remained enrolled in school
  • 100% graduated from high school and attended college in 2016

After completing our second year: 

  1. 100% of our students stayed in school
  2. Of the 85 enrolled, 70 % in one year's grading period increased their grade in either English Arts or Math by one letter grade. All our students in August 2016 advanced to the next grade level for the 2016/17 school year.
  3. Low attrition rate, only 2 students left the program due to family relocation/scheduling conflicts. Attendance rate for 2016 was 93%.
  4. Our program tripled from 35 students when we launched in 2015 to 100 students on campus and 40 in our outreach program in 2017.
  5. 100% of our students have learned to read music and play a musical instrument
  6. All students passed the character building assessment, which is 50% of their grade.

NECC families face many challenges. Outside of Harmony Project KC, NECC has a growing referral network for families requiring additional resources. We partner with peer agencies to provide support on our campus. Our aim is to expand this support to include a circle of programming to support the development of children and our community.  Current and potential partners include:

Housing and Urban Development has entered into a partnership on our campus, moving both the Housing Authority and United Way offices to campus to offer social services.

  • Kansas City Housing Authority is on campus helping coordinate the multiple services. 
  • United Way has brought a family assistance program to NECC.
  • Success by 6 is an early childhood program on campus to support parents as they become their child's first teacher. 
  • Kansas City Public Library has a computer lab on campus for families with barriers to access. 
  • Literacy KC is an initiative helping build literacy skills in area adults. 
  • Jewish Vocational Services provides translation services.
  • Case management services.
Category Human Services, General/Other Personal Social Services
Population Served Families, ,
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success Short-term success is evidenced by the addition of new programs, and increased access to service for families in the Northeast. We are in the midst of collecting more in-depth data. 
Long-Term Success
To provide educational, expansive and supportive programming to help the community thrive. 
These services are available through a partnership with the United Way and the Housing Authority. Long-term success will be predicated upon developing a sustainability plan to ensure continued services are available.  
Program Success Monitored By
Results will be monitored by all partnering agencies involved.
Examples of Program Success Success by 6 is hosting early childhood play groups at NECC. 
CEO Comments

The wraparound services at NECC enable Harmony Project KC to deliver its maximum impact. Without the supportive services that make families safe and stable, children would be unable to access HPKC. We believe the partnership of these programs working together enable us to best serve the Northeast.

Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Ms. Laura Shultz
Term Start Nov 2007
Compensation $100,001 - $125,000
Experience NECC’s Executive Director is Laura Shultz. Laura has served as a Peace Corps volunteer and Registered Pediatric Nurse in Seoul Korea, a military surgical and pediatric nurse across the globe, and a commercial photographer working in Brussels, Belgium, Washington D.C., and Kansas City with published photos in “Time”, “U.S. News and World Report”, “Fortune” and “Parade” magazines. She has served on multiple Boards in leadership positions for over 20 years, usually involving issues surrounding underserved families. Laura has served as NECC’s Executive Director for ten years overseeing all operational and financial management and community outreach. Her position has included student scholarship guidance and social service assistance to families. She has a 20-year history of Business experience, Board participation and leadership in the nonprofit community of Kansas City.
Co-CEO/Executive Director
Term Start 0
Compensation Last Year
Senior Staff
Title Program Manager of Harmony Project KC
Experience/Biography Paraguayan violist Gloria Britez-Scolari relocated to the Kansas City area in 2012. She performed with the City of Asuncion Symphony Orchestra (OSCA), Camerata Miranda, and the YOA Orchestra of the Americas. Passionate about the importance of music education, Gloria taught at various El-Sistema inspired programs such as Sonidos de la Tierra, UMKC Musical Bridges, and is a founding teacher at Harmony Project KC. Gloria holds a Masters Degree in Viola Performance and a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management and Innovation from the University of Missouri - Kansas City. Currently performing with the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas, the Topeka Symphony Orchestra, Gloria is excited to start this new chapter with the HPKC family.
Paid Full-Time Staff 5
Paid Part-Time Staff 2
Volunteers 14
Paid Contractors 19
Retention Rate 80%
Staff Diversity (Ethnicity)
African American/Black 1
Caucasian 4
Hispanic/Latino 2
Staff Diversity (Gender)
Female 6
Male 1
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Plans & Policies
Organization Has a Fundraising Plan Yes
Organization Has a Strategic Plan Yes
Management Succession Plan No
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
NECC and Harmony Project KC partner with the following institutions to provide the best possible programming for our youth participants:
  • Harmony Project LA NECC models its program after the Harmony Project LA, one of the nation's largest nonprofits solely dedicated to music education for youth in low-income communities. Harmony Project LA has been recognized nationally as one of the most effective arts-based youth programs in the nation, including recognition from the President’s Committee on the Arts & Humanities.
  • United Way and Housing Authority partner on our five building campus to provide community services to families, such as Success by 6, Literacy KC, Success by 6, Jewish Vocational Services and the Kansas City Public Library.  
  • The Kansas City Symphony has been an early supporter of Harmony Project KC. Several of its musicians are volunteering to teach and to sit on our Artistic Advisory Board. Board member Mike Gordon, principal flutist, chairs the Artistic Advisory Committee and Michael Stern, Music Director, offers ongoing counsel and support. 
  • Conservatory of Music and Dance at University of Missouri – Kansas City Several faculty, students, and graduates are volunteering as advisors and teachers. 
  • Partnerships with post-secondary institutions help our students and their families be best prepared for college, enable us to collaborate and interpret data, and partner with high quality teaching artists. Post-secondary partners include: William Jewell College, KCUMB, and Park University, KU. 
United Way Member Agency2018
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the government? Yes
CEO Comments
Our Harmony Project KC Program Manager, Carmen Espinoza, is currently out on maternity leave. She was able to partner with Gloria Britez-Scolari, a long time teaching artist with HPKC, in the months leading up to her departure to bring her up to speed on the management side of HPKC. 
In April 2018, we hired Kyla Pitts-Zevin as NECC's new Development Director to oversee grant writing and donor relations. 
Our continued successful contracting with teaching partners is due, in large part, to the quality of referrals that we receive from UMKC and William Jewell.  
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. Philip Glynn
Company Affiliation Travois
Term Jan 2016 to Dec 2019
Board Co-Chair
Board Co-Chair Mr. Michael Gordon
Company Affiliation Kansas City Symphony
Term Aug 2014 to July 2020
Board Members
Mr. Dave Collier Bryan Cave
Ms. Shelly Freeman Freeman & Fowler, attorneys at law
Mr. Philip Glynn Travois
Mr. Michael Gordon K.C. Symphony, principal flute/HPKC Advisory Committee
Mr. Joseph Hintz American Century Investments
Ms. Jenny Kuykendall Community Volunteer
Mrs. Johanna Marolf Formerly with H&R Block
Ms. Johanna Marolf Formerly H&R Block
Ms. Mary McCarthy Hallmark
Ms. Bethany Persaud Kansas City Chamber
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 9
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 4
Female 6
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 3
Board Meeting Attendance % 95%
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 12
Standing Committees
Board Governance
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
CEO Comments

Our Board has been a critical component of our success at NECC. They have provided expertise from diverse professional fields, advocacy for HPKC within the arts community, and been integral to our success in fund development. Each has been a generous contributor of time and funds.

Fiscal Year Start July 01, 2017
Fiscal Year End June 30, 2018
Projected Revenue $724,932
Projected Expenses $719,122
Spending Policy N/A
Form 990s
Foundation Comments
  • FY 2015, 2014, 2013: Financial data reported using IRS Form 990.
  • Foundation/corporate revenue line item may include contributions from individuals.
Detailed Financials
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$247,310$185,189$83,278
Administration Expense$216,411$169,084$142,958
Fundraising Expense$11,051$0$0
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.630.891.49
Program Expense/Total Expenses52%52%37%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue2%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$3,889,357$3,613,483$3,622,914
Current Assets$2,289,384$2,016,231$2,020,795
Long-Term Liabilities$13,017$11,572$8,000
Current Liabilities$8,404$6,232$8,547
Total Net Assets$3,867,936$3,595,679$3,606,367
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities272.42323.53236.43
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201520142013
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Organization Comments Through our partnership as a United Way agency, we are currently undergoing a financial audit. It has been an in-depth and positive process. As of April 2018, it is nearly complete. 
Organization Name Northeast Community Center (NECC)
Address 544 Wabash Ave
Kansas City, MO 64124
Primary Phone (816) 231-7738
Contact Email
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Laura Shultz
Board Chair Mr. Philip Glynn
Board Chair Company Affiliation Travois
Year of Incorporation 1957