THE COFFEEHOUSE PROJECT
Our Mission: To create opportunities for all kinds of people to participate in music making activities that will enhance their lives.
Our Values: We believe that music is a means to achieve personal wellness and develop community; we practice inclusiveness and encourage commitment to shared outcomes. Ability levels will always vary but enthusiasm and dedication are universal.
The Coffeehouse Project Inc. is a a registered 501(c)(3) community music organization dedicated to providing arts education, with a focus on music making in the community, through classes, workshops, presentations and performances. Programming is directed toward people living in New Jersey who, otherwise, might not have outlets for artistic expression. Populations served include children and adults with special emphasis on providing music-making opportunities for seniors and people with additional needs.
This program is made possible, in part, by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State and administered by the Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission through the State/County Partnership Local Arts Program Grant.
Our Board of Trustees:
Christine Clause (President) is an advocate for adults with developmental disabilities and their caregivers. She is currently a Support Coordinator for Neighbours Inc. and the owner of Body & Soul Nutrition, LLC.
Gordon Keil (Secretary) is a musician and retired CEO/COO with a track record of both building and turning around businesses. His last COO gig was with Spirit Music Group.
Shawn Mahieu Ortiz (Treasurer) is a creative Public Relations professional as well as a strong believer in the importance of music in the life of young people on the autism spectrum.
Weatherly Boehmer helps non-profits for a living through website development and online marketing. She is a past-president, and has served for over ten years on the Board, of the Front Royal/Warren County United Way.
Lawrence Barber is an LPN and administrative assistant who has spent years studying education. He values giving back through volunteering and serves on the board of String of Pearls Animal Shelter.
Sacha Forgoston is a professor of mathematics at Rutgers University. As a teacher, she is dedicated to helping people learn to master new skills.
John Ruán Fitzpatrick (Founder, CEO and Artistic Director) has more than twenty years of experience as an educator, a musician and a support for individuals with special needs. He earned an MA in Community Music at the Irish World Academy in Limerick, Ireland.
Rebecca E. Kaian (COO and Music Leader) can’t remember a time when she wasn’t singing; most recently, a 14 year stint with her local community choir gave way to singing in a rock band, learning the guitar in earnest and writing songs. Becca is a former social research scientist and current marketing manager who earned her MBA from Rutgers University and has a passion for working with start-up companies/organizations.
Chris Gardella (Music Leader) has been a musician as long as he can remember. From a very young age, he was playing guitar, piano, bass, and learning how to craft songs. He started teaching his classmates how to play in middles school, and never looked back.