GOLD2023

Community Art Center Inc

To cultivate an engaged community of youth whose powerful artistic voices transform their lives, their neighborhoods, and their worlds.

Cambridge, MA   |  www.communityartcenter.org

Mission

Founded in 1937, the Community Art Center is a neighborhood institution committed to our mission: to cultivate an engaged community of youth whose powerful artistic voices transform their lives, their neighborhoods, and their worlds. We believe in the power of young people. We believe in the power of artistic expression. We believe in taking care of ourselves and each other. We believe in creating positive change in our neighborhood & beyond.

Ruling year info

1972

Principal Officer

Ms. Erin McCarty

Main address

119 Windsor Street

Cambridge, MA 02139 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

04-2496097

NTEE code info

Arts Education/Schools (A25)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Our organization receives a large portion of funding via State subsidies. We primarily serve a low-income community, and many families are able to access our school-age childcare programs through voucher and income-eligible programs. In the past, this has reasonably covered our expenditure costs, but not offered much room to develop and grow our programming. When Coronavirus hit, it decimated funding from this source. And it became ever more clear that we needed to expand our development efforts. While we were once able to provide childcare services to nearly 80 children, Covid capacity restrictions limited our facility to less than 1/3 of our students during this time. It revealed how vulnerable we were, and how reliant we had come on this source of support. We will need to diversify our funding, in order to shore up our ability to continue to provide programming in good times & bad.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

School Age Child Care Program (SACC)

Youth ages 5-12 participate in The School Age Child Care (SACC) Program where they become creative problem solvers through a hands-on arts curriculum. SACC uses an arts based approach to address the difficulties our youth face that are brought on by trauma, special needs, poverty, immigration, racism and lack of access to key resources. Each activity that the students are involved in allows them time for self-exploration through the arts and the ability to work towards leadership roles. Our youth are inspired artistically in Focus classes and Choice classes covering disciplines including the visual arts, dance, theater and media arts. Junior Leadership Groups and intermediate level arts classes prepare pre-teens for success in high school and beyond. SACC activities sequence up to a final, interdisciplinary performance at the end of the school year, and an outdoor community event during the summer.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

Youth ages 13-19 enter the Teen Media Program (TMP) and become creative technology users by participating in media arts and literacy activities. TMP offers a sequenced, multi-year curriculum that uses artistic expression to develop new technology and creativity. Artistic Growth is fostered through facilitating the creation, presentation and critique of media arts work. Personal Development is rooted in celebrating the inherent strengths of teens while filling gaps in their experience and knowledge. Community Engagement is encouraged through exposure to community resources, the invitation to work towards social change, and leadership opportunities. Media Foundations classes introduce youth to the digital arts and media literacy. They hone their creative voice in Video, Photo or Digital Arts Studio. Concrete professional skills are built in advanced Leadership Groups including Youth Council and DIYDS!! Crew - which curates, coordinates and leads our national film festival.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Ethnic and racial groups

Community members of all ages participate in the Art Center's year-round Community Programs. The Art Center's Community Programs use arts based activities to connect divided spaces and a divided community and grow the level of civic engagement of Cambridge's most isolated residents. All Community Programs either provide a platform for the stories and artwork of our youth, are organized by our youth, and/or work to strengthen the communities and families our youth are a part of. Current Community Programs include: year-round art events for community members to come together, explore, learn and celebrate and include the outdoor summer events, our public art initiative, This Is Where We Live, Work and Create, as well as family engagement activities that include Art Therapy based classes for families and cultural outings.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Ethnic and racial groups

Where we work

Awards

Coming Up Taller Award 2006

National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards

Finalist Social Innovation Forum 2008

Root Cause

Finalist Social Innovation Forum 2011

Root Cause

Creative Activist Award - Eryn Johnson, Executive Director 2012

ArtCorps

Central in Motion Award (With Novartis) 2013

Central Square Business Association

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

We will need to diversify our funding, by working with businesses & philanthropists who align with our ideals and mission. We need to enhance our individual giving efforts, and outreach to corporate donors, and build longstanding relationships with supporters. This will allow us to scale our programming, and hire and retain quality staff.

We will need to be able to clearly and accurately convey the work that is being done at Community Art Center, and how it has affected lives. Our messaging needs to be reflective of the youthful and positive energy that exists at the organization, and the meaningful creative contributions we've provided to the community.

We will need to build a development database that better tracks and records our individual giving, and our efforts to reach donors.

We will need to make stronger connections with the companies and businesses, particularly in our own community.

We will need to ensure that our organizational structure is right-sized and appropriately staffed to accommodate our work, from a programming , operations and fundraising standpoint.

What the Community Art Center specializes in, is creative capital and resourcefulness. The staff is professional, highly-capable and dedicated. They care more than most, and this is evident in how they show up. Many of our staff are practicing artists, or have an arts background. This has been one of our greatest assets. This has stretched our capabilities, as we are able to internally source a lot of work that many organizations outsource. We have invested in a new database system, which will assist us in growing our donor base and increasing our capabilities. We will continue to build our infrastructure with a view to organizational efficiency. Additionally, our organization has established city and governmental relationships that add to our capabilities. And lastly, we have a strong Board of Directors that is heavily invested in seeing the Community Art Center serve youth and families at its fullest potential.

We have successfully pivoted & navigated our programming during a global pandemic. We have invested in a development database and undergone a conversion that will allow us to better track our outreach efforts to donors, and help us identify individual giving cycles. We have established an Annual Fund appeal schedule. We have undertaken a website re-design to more accurately reflect our messaging to families, children, youth, and prospective donors. We are making inroads with local businesses and companies that have a national footprint. Many large biotech, technology, and life science companies are a part of our community, and want to find ways to participate in making this community a healthy & thriving place. We will continue to build upon these relationships, and find ways to work together. Next steps will include strengthening our organizational structure, by assessing and filling gaps in staffing needs. With increased funding, we will be able to grow our programming, adapt to technological needs, accommodate greater participation from area youth, thereby providing them with future opportunities. Documenting the historical relevance of Community Art Center over its 80+ YEARS is another endeavor we hope to embark upon. Community Art Center houses THE LONGEST RUNNING YOUTH FILM FESTIVAL IN THE COUNTRY, and we intend to build greater national exposure for this program & the youth who participate in this festival.

Financials

Community Art Center Inc
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Community Art Center Inc

Board of directors
as of 11/13/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Dr. Priscilla Sanville

Lesley University

Term: 2022 - 2025


Board co-chair

Ms. Nicola Williams

The Williams Agency

Term: 2022 - 2025

Priscilla Sanville

Lesley University

Alan Schwartz

No Affiliation

Selvin Chambers

LifeScene - Family & Children Services of Lynn

Nicola Williams

The Williams Agency

Telma Salvador

Cambridge Trust Bank

Sana Ghafoor

Pfizer, Inc

Chris Hastings

GBH - WORLD Channel

David Odo

Harvard Art Museums/ Georgia Museum of Art

Elena Stone

Retired Faculty, University of Massachusetts, Boston/ Artist & Social Justice Educator

Kenneth Williama

MIT Investment Management Company, Dir. Real Estate

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 11/13/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 11/07/2020

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.