Northeast Community Center (NECC)
544 Wabash Ave
Kansas City MO 64124
Web and Phone Contact
Telephone (816) 231-7738
Fax 816- 298-6742
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 by investing in the positive development of children through music.
  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. Dave Collier
Board Chair Company Affiliation H&R Block
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1957
Volunteer Opportunities
Ways to donate, support, or volunteer

Northeast Community Center (NECC) and Harmony Project KC (HPKC), the flagship program of NECC, produce measurable results and improve the lives of students, families, schools, and members of our community. Our programs offer a positive antidote to some of the most critical challenges in our community, and can be powerful tools in the fight against school dropouts, crime, and poverty. You can donate through our website at or for our flagship program 

Embracing and Advocating for our Mission and Community 
  • Publicly support NECC’s mission
  • Bridge a connection between NECC and other important partners 
  • Attend a Harmony Project KC concert
  • Sign up for the HPKC newsletter on our website

Volunteering Time 

  • Teach or mentor Harmony Project KC participants
  • Join a NECC committee


  • Offer an individual one-time or recurring gift
  • Help NECC secure a foundation or corporate grant
  • Attend an NECC fundraiser

Contact us at:

The Northeast Community Center
544 Wabash Ave
Kansas City, MO 64124
(816) 231-7738 
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 by investing in the positive development of children through music.
  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
2018-19 Accomplishments: 
1. HPKC grew from 33 students in its inaugural year in 2015 to 170 in Spring 2019! This includes continued growth at our satellite location at Garfield Elementary.
2. Harmony Project KC was designated a PRESTO program by El Sistema USA. This designation was bestowed upon thirteen music education programs that are less than under five years old showing tremendous promise in working with under-resourced communities. 
3. At the request of HPKC parents, we launched English Language Learning courses in partnership with the United Way during program hours.
4. Quartets of HPKC students performed in the Kauffman Center's new Live in the Lobby series before the Black Violin concert, and was the Featured Performer at ArtsKC Inspiration Breakfast.
5. Harmony Project KC was designated as a recipient of the Metzler-Copaken Initiative, which provided us the opportunity to host the December concert at the iconic Folly Theater. The KC Star designated the concert as one of the must-see family events of the holiday season.
6. Students performed in front of international delegates from Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Morocco, and Hungary who were visiting to study arts programs that are social change agents. 
7. Growth of supportive services (Global FC) at the 555 Olive Center on our campus. 
2019-20 Goals:
  1. Harmony Project KC will serve 250+ students.
  2. Build support for the wraparound services at the 555 Olive Center on our campus. 
  3. Continue exploring ways to support the facilities and operational needs for the historic, five-building campus.
  4. Demonstrate ongoing academic impact of Harmony Project KC. 
  5. Implement year one of a three year, daytime pilot program of intensive music education for kindergarten, first grade, and second grade classes at Wheatley Elementary through a partnership with KCPS and SchoolSmart KC.
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, there are wraparound services available at the 555 Olive Center on our campus through a federal grant with NECC, the United Way, and the Housing Authority.

  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 partnering schools. HPKC students come from 25+ 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 continue demonstrating with strong integrity and transparency the impact of donor investment. 
  5. Board of Directors: Continue growing the NECC Board of Directors to provide the organization with the best guidance, leadership and oversight for our diverse and under-resourced community.
Service Categories
Youth Development Programs
Areas of Service
MO - Jackson County Urban Core
CEO/Executive Director/Board Chair Statement
Kansas City’s Historic Northeast is an ethnically diverse community (25+ languages spoken, according to the 2010 Census) 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 (Invest Northeast, 2013). 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 25 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 be 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 at the 555 Olive Center on campus.
  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 $517,827.00
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
Students engage meaningfully in the program by demonstrating strong attendance. (90%+ of students attend HPKC 90%+ of the time.)
Students develop a college readiness mindset and stay in school. (100% of students progressed to the next grade level. First Graduating Class: 2020)
Students identified as under-performing improve their grades. (65%+ of under-performing students improve grades in Science, Math, and or Language Arts in one year).
Students develop and demonstrate positive character traits. (85%+ pass the Character Assessment).
Students develop and demonstrate proficiency in musical knowledge and performance. (85%+ of students pass the musical jury).
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:  We 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
  • Grown from 33 inaugural students in 2015 to 170+ students in 2019. 
  • Hosted Yo Yo Ma on campus for workshops with students.
  • Performed at Kauffman Stadium, Folly Theater, Gem Theater, and three times at the Kauffman Center. 
  • Board-designated scholarship funding for HPKC graduates. (First High School Graduates: 2020). 

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 at the 555 Olive Center. 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 coordinating multiple services through case management. 
  • United Way has brought a family assistance program to NECC.
  • Start at Zero, Success by 6, and Happy Bottoms are early childhood programs on campus to support young families through intervention such as home visits, developmental activities and play groups, and diapers.
  • 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.
  • KC for Refugees and Global FC provide tutoring and enrichment for refugees.
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 hosts regular early childhood play groups at NECC.  
Happy Bottoms provides regular diaper pick-up opportunities. 
KC for Refugees provides hygiene kits to area refugees.
NECC hosted the first Spanish informational session by KC Scholars. 
CEO Comments

The wraparound services at the 555 Olive Center on campus 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
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.
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.
Title Development Director
Experience/Biography Kyla Pitts-Zevin is a Kansas City native with ten years experience advocating for underserved families and children. A bilingual Spanish speaker, Kyla has a background in educational program management and grant writing. She holds a Masters in Public Administration from Arkansas State University and a Bachelors in Human Development & Social Relations from Earlham College. Kyla is excited to promote the important work of the Northeast Community Center and Harmony Project KC.
Paid Full-Time Staff 5
Paid Part-Time Staff 3
Paid Contractors 21
Volunteers 50
Retention Rate 80%
Staff Diversity (Ethnicity)
African American/Black 1
Caucasian 5
Hispanic/Latino 3
Staff Diversity (Gender)
Female 7
Male 2
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management 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 at the 555 Olive Center, 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 students and alumni are Teaching Artists and Aides. The Musical Bridges program at UMKC has recently opened their summer camp to handful of our up and coming musicians.
  • 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


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Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. Dave Collier
Company Affiliation H&R Block
Term July 2018 to June 2020
Board Co-Chair
Board Co-Chair Mr. Michael Gordon
Company Affiliation Kansas City Symphony
Term Aug 2014 to July 2020
Board Members
Mr. Carlos CasasGoogle
Mr. Dave CollierBryan Cave
Ms. Shelly FreemanFreeman & Fowler, attorneys at law
Mr. Philip GlynnTravois
Mr. Michael GordonK.C. Symphony, principal flute/HPKC Advisory Committee
Mrs. Cathy HiersteinerRetired Social Worker
Ms. Mary McCarthyHallmark
Ms. Bethany PersaudKansas City Chamber
Ms. Natalie SparCopywriter, Gragg Advertising
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 10
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 5
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.We are currently seeking to diversify our Board to better reflect the community we serve. 



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Fiscal Year Start July 01, 2019
Fiscal Year End June 30, 2020
Projected Revenue $1,034,791
Projected Expenses $913,786
Spending Policy N/A
Form 990s
Foundation Comments
  • FY 2018, 2017, 2016: Financial data reported using IRS Form 990.
  • Foundation/corporate revenue line item may include contributions from individuals.
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201820172016
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$14,425$0$2,000
Individual Contributions------
Investment Income, Net of Losses$220,172$143,511$8,823
Membership Dues--$0--
Special Events$45,470$35,054$15,736
Revenue In-Kind$7,939$4,260$7,345
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201820172016
Program Expense$451,741$214,591$366,825
Administration Expense$145,400$60,450$132,152
Fundraising Expense$107,664$57,424$106,961
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.981.010.88
Program Expense/Total Expenses64%65%61%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue------
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201820172016
Total Assets$6,254,836$6,763,425$3,865,851
Current Assets$4,641,013$5,145,560$2,238,248
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$21,709$20,615$25,724
Total Net Assets$6,233,127$6,742,810$3,840,127
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201820172016
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities213.78249.6087.01
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201820172016
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201820172016
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- --Hall Family Foundation $30,000
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- --John W. & Effie E. Speas Memorial Trust $30,000
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- --Sunderland Foundation $30,000
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Other Documents
HPKC turns Four (January newsletter)2019View
Night in Napa2019View
May Recital2018View
Barbecue Fundraiser2018View
Yo Yo Ma Visit2018View
Night in Napa Fundraiser2018View
KC Star: HPKC at the Folly2018View
Night in Napa2017View
Barbecue Fundraiser2017View
March Newsletter2016View
Barbecue Fundraiser2016View
Support Letters2016View
KC Star Cover Feature Article2016View
NE News Concert at Museum2016View
News Story on Harmony Project Research - BBC2014View
News Story on Harmony Project Research - Reuters2014View
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. Dave Collier
Board Chair Company Affiliation H&R Block
Year of Incorporation 1957