22 Jan

Healey-Driscoll Administration Announcement Includes NewVue Communities’ Affordable Housing Project in Athol.

Fitchburg– Chosen as one of 26 projects to receive funding to develop affordable housing while preserving two historical buildings, the Residences at the Park is a development project in Athol that will bring new life and purpose to the Riverbend and Bigelow Schools.

Today, NewVue Communities Executive Director, Marc Dohan and Athol Town Manager, Shaun Suhoski, were in Boston to celebrate the awards with other recipients committed to addressing the housing crisis across the state.

Athol Town Manager, Shaun Suhoski said “We are fortunate to have a strong partner in New Vue Communities, with the amazing support of the Healey-Driscoll Administration, to bring life to a pair of shuttered former school buildings.  A program that provides needed affordable housing, restores two historic buildings, adds modern apartments for senior citizens, and rejuvenates a neighborhood will surely have generational benefits for the town of Athol and the North Quabbin region.”

Read the full announcement made by the Healy-Driscoll Administration including appreciation expressed by NewVue Executive Director, Mark Dohan for this critical funding.

a group of people standing in a field next to a building.

3 Nov

Fitchburg Arts Community Groundbreaking Draws a Big Crowd of Fans

Derek Craig, Board Member,

Thursday, November 2, 2023, a very large and enthusiastic crowd gathered on Academy Street to celebrate the Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Fitchburg Arts Community. While the temperature at 10 am was a chilly 39 degrees, guests arrived with warm hearts, ready to celebrate the long-awaited milestone. NewVue Board Member Derek Craig welcomed guests and jumpstarted a series of meaningful comments from several public officials, funders, and others who have played a large role in moving the project forward. “This project is going to be more than just buildings. It’s going to be a canvas for creativity, culture, and connection, with 68 spaces for artists to live, create, and showcase their work. We are not just building homes; we’re crafting a vibrant hub that will enrich and elevate Fitchburg’s art scene,” said Craig. While construction equipment could be heard humming in the background, Mayor Steven DiNatale, State Senator John Cronin, and State Representative Micheal Kushmerek each spoke to the value of the Fitchburg Arts Community and the stamina of NewVue, the City, and partners to see this project through ten years of progress and challenges.


Ed Agustus, Secretary of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities, and Dan Rivera, President and CEO MassDevelopment, made time to celebrate with the city and offered their congratulations for the unique reuse of three historic buildings and the impact of the project in our community and throughout the Commonwealth. In a follow-up to the event, Dan Rivera said “It was an honor to take part in this celebration, which was the culmination of 10-plus years of hard work by NewVue Communities and so many partners. Breaking ground on the Fitchburg Arts Community was an incredible milestone, and we can’t wait to come together again soon to cut the ribbon on this important project.”

NewVue Executive Director Marc Dohan led the ceremony, and while not so tall in stature, it was clear that he has a heart as big Texas for affordable housing projects and, more specifically, what the Fitchburg Arts Community will mean for the residents and businesses of the City of Fitchburg and the region.

Enjoy watching a video of the full groundbreaking ceremony beautifully captured by Nathan Glenny, Executive Director, Fitchburg Access Television.


Below is a list of all event speakers. Each offered congratulations for the accomplishments thus far, comments that will clearly fuel the work of everyone moving forward.

Event Speakers

Marc Dohan, Executive Director, NewVue

Derek Craig, Resident of North of Main, NewVue Board Member

Stephen DiNatale, Mayor, City of Fitchburg

John Cronin, State Senator

Michael Kushmerek, State Representative

Jake Mastrandrea   Aid to Representative Lori Trahan

Ed Augustus, Secretary of Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities

Dan Rivera, CEO, MassDevelopment

Roger Herzog,  Executive Director, CDAC

Mark Teden, Vice President of Rental Housing and MassHousing

Moddie Turay, CEO, Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation

Nick Capasso,   Executive Director, Fitchburg Art Museum

Michael Williams, Relationship Manager, NeighborWorks America

Tom Gray, Board President, NewVue

Dolores Thibault-Muñoz, Deputy Director, NewVue

31 May

NewVue Communities Receives $150,000 Housing for Everyone Grant from TD Charitable Foundation


Fitchburg, MA, May 30, 2023 – NewVue Communities, the leading community development corporation in North Central Massachusetts was recently awarded a $150,000 Housing for Everyone grant from the TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®. NewVue Communities is one of 37 non-profit organizations selected from more than 450 applicants to receive a Housing for Everyone grant as part of the TD Charitable Foundation’s signature grant initiative that has helped support organizations that are focused on providing affordable housing and affordable housing services since 2005.

In recent years, the housing affordability crisis has continued to be a financial burden on families. As individuals and families across the country struggle with an exponential rise in rental costs and inflation, affordable housing providers face increased hardship given the growing demand for affordable rental units and emergency rental assistance.

The grant will help preserve affordable housing in Fitchburg’s North of Main Neighborhood. This neighborhood is the focus of a comprehensive community development plan and was the focus of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s Working Cities Challenge. NewVue Communities will focus on 52 apartments in three NewVue-owned buildings with renovations and system upgrades.

“We are very grateful to the TD Charitable Foundation for supporting this work. This funding will strengthen our capital and operating budgets and will accelerate NewVue’s comprehensive community development work throughout North of Main,” said Marc Dohan, Executive Director at NewVue Communities.

“The work NewVue Communities does to support the Fitchburg community and its residents is invaluable,” said Sheryl McQuade, Regional President of Metro New England, TD Bank. “NewVue Communities plays a critical role in providing access to safe, affordable housing, and the TD Charitable Foundation is excited to support their work preserving affordable housing in Fitchburg’s North of Man Neighborhood as part of this year’s Housing for Everyone grant competition.”

Through the 17th annual Housing for Everyone grant competition, the TD Charitable Foundation awarded $7 million across the Bank’s Maine-to-Florida footprint and Michigan to help support affordable housing organizations that focus on preserving affordable rental housing in their work to deliver rental assistance, rehabilitating affordable rental housing properties, and build organizational capacity to address resident sustainability for the long-term. Since 2005, the TD Charitable Foundation has given more than $49 million to non-profit and charitable organizations through the Housing for Everyone grant competition and helped support more than 550 affordable housing projects and initiatives.

The Housing for Everyone grant competition supports TD’s longstanding commitment to community enrichment through TD’s corporate citizenship platform, The TD Ready Commitment, which actively promotes inclusivity, economic vitality, and environmental wellbeing, enabling people of all backgrounds to succeed in a rapidly changing world.

To learn more about Housing for Everyone and for a full list of this year’s grant recipients, please visit https://stories.td.com/us/en/article/td-charitable-foundation-awards-7-million-to-37-non-profits-helping-preserve-affordable-rental-housing.


About NewVue Communities

NewVue is the leading community development corporation (CDC) in North Central Massachusetts. As a community-based non-profit organization, NewVue’s mission is to improve the quality of life for low and moderate residents in North Central Massachusetts through community development. NewVue works to: improve and stabilize neighborhoods; promote small business development; and build the economic, physical and personal assets of local communities and their residents. To learn more about NewVue Communities, visit newvuecommunities.org or contact Kerry Flathers, Director of Development and Communications at kflathers@nvcomm.org.

About the TD Charitable Foundation 

The TD Charitable Foundation is the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, one of the 10 largest commercial banking organizations in the United States. Since its inception in 2002, the Foundation has distributed over $300 million through donations to local nonprofits from Maine to Florida footprint and Michigan. More information on the TD Charitable Foundation is available at https://www.tdbank.com/corporate-responsibility/the-ready-commitment/funding-opportunities/.

Release Date: 5/30/23

Contact: Kerry Flathers

Director of Development and


kflathers@nvcomm.org 978-870-2474

27 May

Congressman McGovern Brings Great News to Athol

US Congressman James P. McGovern

On Friday, May 26, 2023, US Congressman James P. McGovern greeted NewVue staff, Athol Board of Selectmen members, and supporters of NewVue and Athol residents to announce that he has personally secured $1,000,000 in federal funding to help construct 53 units of affordable housing in Athol. The NewVue Communities Riverbend-Bigelow Schools Project was funded as part of the omnibus appropriations bill that passed the House and Senate in December and was signed into law by President Biden. The development will preserve the historic schools and add a new building designed for seniors.

Some comments from Congressman McGovern included: “This development will help address the pressing issue of affordable housing in our communitieis. I extend my sincerest gratitude to Town Administrator Shaun Sahuski and NewVue’s Executive Director Mark Dohan for their invaluable leadership and relentless efforts in championing affordable housing and community development. The NewVue Communities Riverbend-Bigelow Schools Project will infuse New life into this community and generate commercial demand in Downtown Athol – all while preserving the historic significance of these schools built over 100 years ago.”

(Left to Right) Rebecca Bialecki, Athol Select Board,
Marc Dohan, Executive Director, NewVue,
Congressman James P. McGovern,
Andy Sudjak, Athol Select Board,
Shaun Suhoski, Athol Town Administrator

The development will preserve the original 1912 Ellen Bigelow School and the 1907 and 1937 portions of the Riverbend school. The historic buildings occupy a single town block [3.25 acres] set amongst several single-family houses, nearby places of worship and other small local businesses. Situated between both schools is a new social core articulated in a new addition. The building will extend off a central lobby extending to a wing of new apartments designed for an aging generation. Family units with two and three bedrooms bring new life to old classrooms with unique living spaces. Contemporary conveniences are provided to seniors in newly constructed units that stretch out from the common core in a distinct, traditional straightforward style. A two+ story addition, aligned with the primary floors of the existing schools, will be constructed connecting both historic buildings to a new residential section providing twenty-one-bedroom units.

5 May

NewVue Communities Graduates 65 Stewards

NewVue Communities celebrated the graduation of 65 stewards on Wednesday, May 3 at the Highland Baptist Church in Fitchburg. Presented with certificates of completion, the graduates represented cohorts who participated in training series focused on the arts, youth and civic engagement, childcare entrepreneurs, and community organizing. The program is designed to provide residents with leadership development in a number of topics that equip them with the tools to impact the quality of life in their communities.  

Marc Dohan, Executive Director for NewVue welcomed the audience and recognized the work and leadership of each graduate, and acknowledged the important partnerships that the steward training program has developed over the years. This past year, NewVue partnered with Fitchburg Cultural Alliance, The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, the Wachusett Area Social Justice Alliance, the Health Equity Partnership (of the Community Health Network of North Central Massachusetts -Region 9) and Empower Children for Success. He noted that what started as the first cohort of ten students in 2018 is now a group of over 300 stewards.

Ines Palmarin

Guest speaker, Ines Palmarin, is the Working Cities Challenge Manager of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and Co-Leader of the Leaders for Equitable Local Economies. Leaders for Equitable Local Economies is a pilot initiative that aims to support leaders who are working to make their local economies more inclusive. Ms. Palmarin worked closely with Marites MacLean and Beth Robbins to offer training opportunities to those interested in the childcare profession. Ines said, “the early childcare initiative, as you can see from all the caps and gowns is real. By launching graduates into the early childcare career path this evening, you have already leveled up opportunities not only for the graduates and their families but also for the Fitchburg community. It takes not just leadership but the willingness to want to work together toward a shared vision.”

Beth Robbins, a community steward leader also addressed the graduates. Beth spoke of her journey as a steward. “I became a steward in 2019 because I wanted a place where I belonged, and I could reach my own goals and those of my community. NewVue was that program that was the gateway for me to be able to connect with other people who shared a heart for stewardship and were looking to do some really good things in the community. It opened doors to meeting people and growing in leadership.”

Anyone interested in becoming involved in NewVue Communities’ Steward Leadership Development Program isencouraged to reach out to Francisco Ramos, Director of Community Organizing, at framos@nvcomm.org.

29 Mar

NewVue Communities Chooses Dolores Thibault-Muñoz as its New Deputy Director

NewVue Communities is excited to welcome Dolores Thibault-Muñoz in the newly-created position of Deputy Director. Dolores started in the role on March 10th and will be overseeing NewVue’s housing services, community organizing, small business development, and fundraising and communications teams.

NewVue’s Executive Director, Marc Dohan said, “Dolores brings a combination of skills, leadership experience, and an understanding of the region’s economic development needs that will support NewVue’s mission, strengthen our programs and stretch our impact. She offers a breadth and depth of human service experience in a variety of work settings, and we are fortunate to have her join our team.”

Dolores Thibault-Muñoz

Dolores moved to Fitchburg, MA in 2006, where she became the executive director of the Cleghorn Neighborhood Center.  She then became interim executive director of Growing Places and House of Peace and Education Inc. Dolores has served on multiple boards of local organizations. She was also the first Latina elected City Councilor in the City of Fitchburg. Dolores graduated from DePaul University with a BA in Women’s and Gender Studies with a concentration in Public Policy and graduated with a JD from The Massachusetts School of Law. She most recently was a criminal defense attorney who represented indigent clients for the Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS), Massachusetts’ Public Defender Agency in Worcester County. She currently lives in Gardner, MA.

Dolores Thibault-Muñoz stated, “I look forward to taking the best of what I have learned thus far in my nonprofit leadership roles and pairing it with the exciting work in my role at NewVue. It is clear I have joined an organization that has the best interest of the community at the forefront of its work. Sometimes a change makes you feel like you have arrived back home. Returning to nonprofit community-based work in North Central Massachusetts feels very much like home.”

27 Mar

NewVue Communities and Fitchburg Civic Forum Partner to Encourage Civic Engagement

The NewVue Communities Stewards program presents a special municipal election year series of free workshops in partnership with the Fitchburg Civic Forum starting Wednesday, March 30, 2023. The four sessions will be held at the Fitchburg Cultural Alliance at 675 Main Street in Fitchburg.

These workshops are for anyone interested in learning how to run for office, or the protocols for applying to serve on boards and commissions in Fitchburg. From 2008 until the pandemic, the Fitchburg Civic Forum organized a variety of educational opportunities to increase civic engagement and help residents learn how to serve the city that they love. This Civic Ambassador Stewards Training offered with the guidance of Francisco Ramos, NewVue Communities’ Director of Community Organizing will provide a unique opportunity for the public to learn about public service.

Francisco Ramos explains, “although the forum is focused on the City of Fitchburg and community institutions, it is open to all area residents. It will include a presentation on the procedures of registering signatures for nomination papers, organizing a campaign, and voter outreach.”

“Our tradition is to help guide interested individuals on a step-by-step strategy that will help guide them in their area of interest, whether it be serving as an appointed official, or putting oneself forward as a candidate,” says Fitchburg Civic Forum founder Sally Cragin, who also serves as a Councilor-at-Large on the Fitchburg City Council. “In the past, we have had residents from every surrounding town and we welcome everyone.” Ward 6 Councilor Derrick Cruz is also an organizer for this workshop series.

“Programs like these are invaluable in promoting the democratic process and encouraging civic engagement from all of our citizens,” said Fitchburg Mayor, Stephen DiNatale.

Attendance is FREE and open to all. Workshop dates are March 30, April 5, April 13, and April 19, 2023, from 6:30 to 8 pm.  If you are interested in participating or have questions, please contact Francisco Ramos at framos@nvcomm.org

20 Mar

“Donuts With Delegates” and Great Dialogue

St. Patrick’s Day at NewVue Communities kicked off with a gathering of board members, staff, stewards, and delegates to discuss current economic development issues and budget priorities. Donuts With Delegates was an annual event before COVID, and this was the first time since the pandemic that NewVue hosted this event. Donuts With Delegates is an opportunity for staff to share current work, legislative priorities, and requests for support for community development-related budget issues. The gathering was held in person at NewVue Communities, 470 Main Street in Fitchburg.

Staff and guests gather in the NewVue training room.

Senator John Cronin, Representative Natalie Higgins (Leominster) and Rebecca Hess, Aid to Representative Michael Kushmerek (Fitchburg), heard firsthand the impact of the Community Investment Tax Credit Program and the Agency’s ability to leverage operational funds typically not supported through grants and other funding sources.

Additionally, the delegation heard more about the need for affordable housing and small business programs, home ownership and supporting healthier homes. Equally important addressing climate change as well as advocating for increased opportunities for childcare were also raised as topics for discussion by members of the community that are graduates of NewVue’s Stewards Training. Senator Cronin and Representative Higgins and Ms. Hess listened wholeheartedly and voiced their support for NewVue’s key legislative priorities.

Executive Director, Marc Dohan, talks with Board Member, Derek Craig, Representative Natalie Higgins, and Senator John Cronin.

Senator Cronin and Representative Higgins and Ms. Hess provided the group with an overview of their assigned committees on the state legislature and the work that each of those committees would focus on moving forward.

Marc Dohan, Executive Director at NewVue said, “the opportunity to sit and talk about what we see as priorities and to know they match strongly with the interests of our state legislative delegation is exciting. Senator Cronin, Representative Higgins and Representative Kushmerek have always been supporters and advocates for our mission. Their participation in our Donuts With Delegates event certainly reminded us of that strong support.”

As a member of the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations (MACDC), NewVue Communities joins community development corporations across the Commonwealth to help drive the policy agenda for the 2023/24 legislative session. View all of the MACDC priorities related to advancing racial and economic equity by creating healthy communities:


9 Aug

Riverfront Park Draft Stage Plans to be Reviewed

On Thursday, August 18 at 5:30 pm, Tom Skwierawsk, Executive Director for Community Develpment and Planning, Fitchburg and Marc Dohan, Executive Director, NewVue Communities, will faciliate a discussion about the Riverfront Park drafts stage plans. The discussion will take place at RiverFront Park.


a flyer for the riverfront park stage coming soon