In a time of rapid change for education in the United States, community learning is an increasingly important endeavor to provide opportunities for a more comprehensive and meaningful experience in learning.

To address these issues and take advantage of the opportunities and resources available to learn about Russian folk arts, a visionary group of people with Russian backgrounds formed an educational institution called the New Russia Cultural Center.

It is an educational non-profit organization working in collaboration with formal educational institutions such as public and private schools, libraries and museums. A target audience of such collaboration is students attending elementary, middle and high schools in the Northeastern New York State.

The Center offers educational and cultural programs to people of all ages and especially in youth providing a rich experience in Russian folk art and culture. The geographic boundaries for the provided educational services currently include Capital District region of the New York State. Currently, the Center Youth Outreach Programs take place in the regional educational institutions, such as private and public schools, libraries and local community centers.

Our school programs are unique because they allow students as well as teachers the opportunity to learn about Russian folk art and rich cultural heritage of Russia through first-hand experience.

In addition to school programming the Center carefully nurtures partnerships and affiliations to provide enhanced educational resources for the local communities and the participating institutions. The Center works in collaboration with several museums and community and art centers to arrange traveling exhibitions in the Northeastern New York State on a wide range of topics related to traditional Russian arts and culture.

Our organization has a long-range goal to secure future funding in order to continue benefiting people in our service area for many years to come. In 2015 after completion of construction of a stand-alone structure, the Center will conduct educational services in its own facility located in the Capital District of the New York State.

Upon construction of its own facilities, the Center will provide educational and cultural services to the general public such as exhibitions, dance and musical performances, Russian folk arts workshops, Russian cooking and language classes.

The Center facilities construction is scheduled for completion in the end of 2015. A freestanding complex will include an auditorium, an exhibition gallery, a conference room, classrooms and office. All facilities are to be enhanced with Russian decor and architectural embellishments to provide a greater Russian cultural ambience.

To serve public more completely, the New Russia Cultural Center requests a Challenge Grant of $500,000 that will be matched three to one to provide $2 million toward the construction of the Center facilities.

Operational structure of the Center will be the following. The Cultural Center, the owner of the building, acts as a landlord or lease holder to the individual business residing within the establishment. Potential tenants are a spa-type facility (Banya - Russian Steam Room), restaurant with Russian cuisine, Russian Food and Gift Shops. All rent revenue will be payable to the Center's administration. By establishing lease agreements with tenant companies, the Center will position itself as a self-funded base non-profit organization.