Promising Practices Program

Administering Organization

Midtown Utica Community Center

Program Name

Post-Resettlement Community Center

Program Objectives and Unique Needs Addressed

MUCC's mission is to build a flexible, multi-cultural community that serves the refugee and low-income community center and welcomes all. MUCC provides space for community members of all ages to study, learn, teach, solve problems, and celebrate culture and community in a wide variety of ways. We act as a bridge between the refugee community and the community as a whole, and seek to connect people in our city with each other.

Program Description

MUCC's vision is to support the refugee and low-income population of Midtown Utica by providing educational and cultural programs, solving problems by connecting community members with other agencies and resources, and promoting a safe community environment for people of all ages and cultures. We partner with local nonprofits, organizations, and schools to enhance opportunities for funding,  community building, community service, and education. We foster community by hosting holiday meals, neighborhood meetings, job training, and a variety of ethnic celebrations to which all are welcome. Our aim is to encourage environmental responsibility in everything we do and teach our community about green living. We do not duplicate resources that are already available in the city, but we help people who are having trouble accessing those resources or need help beyond that which is provided by others. Our organization is flexible and able to adapt to changing needs of its community.

Resource Materials Used in Program

Midtown Utica Community Center-
International Artists of Utica-

Groups Served by Program

Resettled refugees, low-income people, students, volunteers, artists, and community groups

Program Funding

Our center is completely run by volunteers. We function through donations and get support from small grants for our international artists.

Program Staffing and Required Staff Training

We are a 501c3, run by volunteers, many of whom are also educators. We have a large team of volunteers who are trained in-house.

Program Evaluation

We evaluate our success mostly based on the contact hours, programs completed, and people served.

Program Outcomes

 Below are estimates of the people served and in what ways by our organization:

  • Drop-in center attendees: 200/week
  • Community members seeking information or assistance with questions: 40-50x/week
  • Educational and cultural programs in the afternoons: 5x/week
  • Tutoring hours: 12 hours/week
  • Students receiving tutoring: 40 students/week
  • Culturally-specific or religious services using space: 5x/week
  • Food & nutrition programs with local organic farms and agencies: 2x/week seasonally
  • Health and wellness programs: 2x/month
  • Internship opportunities: 3-5 people/week (average)
  • Community service or volunteer hours: 30 hrs/week
  • Crisis assistance: 1x/week
  • Refugee advocacy: 15x/week
  • Coordination with local colleges and universities: 3x/week
  • Cultural and educational events provided at other agencies: 2x/month
  • Large-scale cultural and multicultural events at MUCC: 6x/year
  • Web presence and related research for educating community: Daily
  • Storytelling and Media connections (sharing stories): 3x/month
  • Language support groups: 1-2x/week
  • Private use of space for dance, book groups, celebrations: 3x/week 
  • Research assistance: 1x/month
  • College student orientation and cultural-competency training: 10x/year, 200 students

Additional Comments

Here are some of our favorite videos featuring MUCC:
MUCC eats-
Don Dancers from MUCC-

Program Contact

Chris Sunderlin

Program Dates

This program began in April 2014 and is still operating as of March 2017.