THE COFFEEHOUSE PROJECT®
Our Mission: To enhance people's lives through participatory music making, regardless of their situation or abilities.
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.
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 (Becca) 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.
Marilyn Tuzzo (Volunteer Extraordinaire) is a retired public school educator (Latin, Peer Leadership, ESL) with an M.Ed. in International and Overseas Teaching and Administration from TCNJ. Marilyn is committed to supporting causes which are empowering, healing and joyful. Inspired by her experiences with The Coffeehouse Project programs, she has sought new musical endeavors, including completion of the Level 1 Sound Healing course through Atma Buti School.
Nicole Lohrbeer (President) has been an instructor at Mesa Community College for the past 15 years. A lifelong educator and coach, she founded Change inSight Consulting LLC to help people and organizations create dynamic change.
Sacha Forgoston (Secretary) is a mathematics lecturer at Rutgers University. As a teacher, she is dedicated to helping people learn to master new skills.
Lawrence Barber (Treasurer) 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.
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.