THE CURRENT INC

Stowe, VT   |  www.thecurrentnow.org

Mission

The Current is a member supported, nonprofit center for contemporary art whose mission is to enhance the human experience through the visual arts. We produce major critical politically/socially/environmentally themed exhibitions featuring internationally and nationally recognized artists and local Vermont artists and artwork. We offer free public programs, progressive art education, and scholarships for individuals and school tours. We operate with the conviction that meaningful, formative art experiences be available and accessible to all people regardless of age, class, race, ability, religion, gender, and geography. One of our core goals and impacts is to ensure accessibility to quality arts experiences and educational opportunities for underserved and disadvantaged rural communities.

Ruling year info

1983

Executive Director

Rachel Moore

Main address

PO Box 411

Stowe, VT 05672 USA

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Formerly known as

Helen Day Art Center

EIN

03-0284825

NTEE code info

Visual Arts Organizations (A40)

Arts Education/Schools (A25)

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

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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?

Youth & Teen After School Classes & Summer Camps

Helen Day Art Center is the place to embrace curiosity and explore creativity. We offer experiential learning opportunities for students at all levels of artistic development and encourage new and experienced artists to investigate, take risks, build skills and be part of the meaning-making. Helen Day Art Center’s overarching educational programs consist of summer camps, after-school classes, and workshops that provide youth and teens extensions and enrichment through the arts outside of the traditional educational setting.
We offer after school classes for ages 4 up to 6th grade, from sculpture to sewing classes, set and costume design, Japanese storytelling, and robotics. Our teen classes include filmmaking, stained glass, animation, fashion design, and drawing for comics.
Helen Day Art Center aims to nurture creative thinking, problem solving, and skill building in youth and teens through a variety of the class offerings. It is imperative that meaningful, formative arts experiences be available to all people regardless of age, income, or rural location. Through our Summer 2016 Creative Youth Initiative, we strived to reach those who would most benefit from engagement in the arts by addressing issues that would encourage participation. According to a recent HDAC program participation survey, one in three children attending exhibits and classes at HDAC are from low to moderate income households.
With support, we aimed to create inclusive programming that allows us to provide the highest-quality experiences to all children and families in Northern Vermont while increasing our community outreach with a specific focus on engaging low-income families along with engaging teenagers through offering relevant, engaging programs.Youth participation in the arts can change lives. Studies have shown that engagement in summer arts education programs has a measurable impact in deterring delinquent behavior and truancy problems, while also increasing overall academic performance.

Helen Day Art Center’s Creative Youth Initiative programs served over 100 youth ages 4-17 throughout Lamoille County and the surrounding region. Through camp and class offerings ranging from filmmaking, photography, and robotics to cartooning, textiles, and painting, students are engaged in programs that nurture the capacity for creative & critical thinking skills, creative judgment and a host of other mental processes. The camps and classes cultivate a culture favorable to critical thinking including discussion, inquiry, problem solving, decision-making, and a free exchange of ideas which play an important role in preparing young participants to be successful in the 21st Century.

Population(s) Served

The Art Center is the place to embrace curiosity and explore your creativity. We offer experiential learning opportunities for students at all levels of artistic development and encourage new and experienced artists to investigate, take risks, build skills, and be part of the meaning-making. We offer classes for adults such as four different unique weekend workshops in abstract painting, seasonal landscape painting in pastel and watercolor, a variety of drawing classes, digital photography, storytelling, and steamroller printmaking, along with learning how to create stained glass pieces.
Our students consist of practicing artists, first-time artists, and artists who haven’t created in many years. Our adult workshops offer students a place of experimentation, exploration without judgment, and the time and space designated to making art. Most of the feedback from our course evaluations share the happiness of having a dedicated time and place to just make- which is something of a hard-to-find luxury in everyday busy lives.
Either learning something new, exploring new materials, breaking outside your comfort zone, having an excuse to make art, or simply wanting to meet new friends with a common interest, adult education classes Helen Day Art Center provide the space, place, and permission for these needs.

Population(s) Served
Adults

We produce approximately 9-12 exhibitions per year in our galleries. We have progressive programming that balances challenging critical and thematic exhibitions - generally sociopolitical - with community based exhibitions and events. We are free to the public, and offer a wide range of public programs associated with our exhibitions, and have an active education department. We have had exhibitions such as "Surveillance Society," "Made in China," "Migration," "Puente: and exhibition of Cuban artists," "Unrest: Art, Activism & Revolution," "Fractured: Works on Paper," along with numerous solo exhibitions. Artists we've exhibited have ranged from emerging artists to artists like Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, Waafa Bilal, Adrian Paci, Alice Neel, Jenny Holzer, Hung Liu, Huang Yan, Ellsworth Kelly, Henry Moore, Lara Baladi, Pedro Reyes, Olafur Eliasson, Kiki Smith, Leonardo Drew, Pat Steir, Natalie Jeremijenko, and Shirin Neshat.

Helen Day Art Center brings the highest quality experiences to our region in order to make connections, create dialogue, and showcase the work of both established and emerging artists.
The Art Center is driven by an ambitious curatorial vision shaped by the pursuit of meaning in contemporary art which pursues exhibitions that address relevant topics in daily life where the artists and artworks included add valuable perspectives to complex social, political and cultural dialogues. Recent exhibitions on the topics of Activism, Surveillance, Migration, Masculinity and America, Iraq, and the human condition are examples.
The Art Center features nine to twelve exhibits annually, including contemporary art, cultural exhibits, members’ art show, and student shows.
Recent exhibitions have featured contemporary photography, sculpture, painting, mixed media and installation artwork from Vermont, New York, Pennsylvania, New England, Canada, China, Mexico, and from the perspective of journalists, muralists, dissidents, environmentalists, travelers, cartoonists, and Native American artists.
Helen Day Art Center produced the first Vermont exhibit ever selected as a “Critic’s Pick” by art magazine, ArtForum (Wafaa Bilal: Agent Intellect exhibition 2010). Selected recent past exhibitions and artists are listed here for reference with regard to the Art Center’s curatorial vision:

Fractured / Works on Paper
Sarah Amos, Dawn Clements, Leonardo Drew, Olafur Eliasson, Peter Fried, Beka Goedde, Joan Grubin, Kiki Smith, Jane South, Kazue Taguchi, Etty Yaniv - This group exhibition of works on paper examined fractured space through the lens of structure, optics, and narrative and how those constructions/deconstructions create new meaning, new perceptions, and new truths.

Unrest: Art, Activism & Revolution:
Lara Baladi, Steve Lambert in Collaboration with the Yes Men, Murad Subay, Public Studio, Packard Jennings, Shirin Neshat, Michael Rakowitz, Claire Fontaine, Pedro Reyes - Artists have been at the forefront of revolutions for centuries, producing work that has an immediate political impact, or is responding to civil unrest. This exhibition took its inspiration from the Arab Spring and looks at the impact that artists have on political and social reform in countries like Egypt, Yemen, Israel, Palestine, Iran, and the United States. Unrest looks at artists as activists, revolutionaries, and visionaries.

Pat Steir: Drawings
World renowned NYC painter Pat Steir exhibit her prints and drawings for a large solo exhibition. Video of Pat Steir by Stowe artist Molly Davies accompanies the work. Spanning our Main and East Galleries and includes a diverse selection of drawings from Steir’s studio. Pat Steir is a significant figure in the context of art history and in contemporary art today. Steir is known for her large-scale paintings which are in the collections of such museums as the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York City), the Museum of Modern Art (New York City), the National Gallery of Art (Washington, D. C.), the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis),the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York City), the Tate Gallery (London) and the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York City).

Exposed., The Art Center’s annual outdoor sculpture exhibit, is installed on our grounds, along Stowe’s streets, and recreation path every summer, for the last 25 years, for three months. Exposed. is one of the largest and most diverse sculpture exhibits in New England and is enjoyed by over 70,000 residents, tourists, school groups, and individuals who visit Stowe.

The Art Center also supports emerging and professional regional artists by including them in exhibitions with internationally established artists, and hosting gatherings and professional development workshops to provide training on crucial topics such as marketing strategies, networking, and career advancement. Exhibits include public events such as films, panel discussions, and talks with artists and curators.

Population(s) Served

Helen Day Art Center collaborates with educators to prepare 1,500 students per year for in-depth docent-led tours of current exhibits. Many of the Art Center’s young visitors have never been to a gallery or museum. The education coordinator and curator work closely with teachers and undergraduate professors to design classroom lessons relating to exhibits, as well as detailed education packets and materials for the lesson. By preparing students before they arrive, and then providing a rich, docent-led exhibition tour, along with activities that build on their classroom lesson, the exhibit tours deliver a uniquely meaningful experience. Our partnerships with these schools grow stronger yearly and result in greater arts integration into the classroom for students, and greater recognition by educators, administrators, and students of the role of art in public dialogue.

Population(s) Served

Helen Day Art Center offers a variety of exhibitions, public programming, and events that give back to our members, community, instructors, and volunteers. Members Art Show, Student Art Show, and Best of the Northeast Masters of Fine Arts exhibitions give back to our members, families, and students who continually support us and stay involved. Best of the Northeast Masters of Fine Art biennial exhibition shows graduate students who feature promising emerging artists. The Student Art Show features works from Stowe Elementary School, Stowe Middle School, Stowe High School plus guest schools from the area.
Members Art Show coincides with Festival of Lights and Family Day at Helen Day Art Center. The holiday spirit is filled with showing appreciation to those in your life that you hold dear, and for the Art Center, that means displaying artwork from our members alongside the trees and lights that are donated by local businesses and community members. During this time, we invite friends and family of our community to our free Family Day event, where one can decorate gingerbread houses with students of New England Culinary Institute, create winter-themed crafts, and play games.
Exposed. walk-about, that happens on the opening of the outdoor exhibition, is a tour given by the curator. During the 2 hour long walking tour, free appetizers and drinks are provided.
Along with giving back to our members, sponsors, families, and supporters, Helen Day invites our instructors and volunteers for a free BBQ as a “thank you” for all of their support throughout the year, and as a way to bring this subsect of our community together.

Population(s) Served

Helen Day Art Center’s Annual Steamroller Printmaking Workshop is a day filled with big machinery, colorful inks, and large sheets of plywood to make some truly massive prints in a parking lot. Artists, novices, families, and curious passers-by all get into it up to their elbows. It’s an all-day affair fostering instant community, fast learning, and beautiful art products.
Participants learn how to carve a woodblock, ink it, and watch as a steamroller rolls over it to create a unique print of their own. It is an all inclusive day learning how to make art in community.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

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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 are aiming to increase our sustainability and support our core programming, Additionally, we aim to create outreach programs, increase the level of support we offer exhibiting artists, increase our brand recognition through marketing efforts and partnerships, and increase presence in the town of Stowe by occupying storefronts on a temporary basis for exhibits, performances, and public lectures.

We are currently working with individual donors and granting organizations to propose support in these specific areas. By increasing staff hours, and adding new positions, we are able to support the programming goals with great effectiveness and success.

We have written complete and comprehensive plans in each area to ensure success of these new programs. We have secured partnerships to support these efforts. We are confident that with the financial support, we can attain our goals and continue their success.

With increased staff and staff hours, we are able to execute this plan to its fullest. We have the programmatic details in place, as well as partnerships for most of the goals. The implementation process would be carefully executed and likely take 1-5 years to reach all goals.

We have raised brand recognition, begun the process of marketing in national and international publications, and begun the process to hire a Development Director and increase staff hours. We seek to hire a Marketing position, double our Marketing expenses, increase support for Exposed and direct that to invest in artists and work of higher caliber, start our outreach program.

We have had residencies for artists in the galleries to start that goal, but are seeking to work with real estate agents (partnership in place) to secure short-term use of buildings for artists to use during residencies.

We began a partnership with Generator Makerspace to assist with the “hands-on" activities in the galleries, which will start Fall 2017. They are currently sponsoring our exhibition with artist Natalie Jeremijenko and providing in-kind support for activities.

Financials

THE CURRENT 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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THE CURRENT INC

Board of directors
as of 10/19/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Jay Ericson

Diane Arnold

Adam Blue

Gunnel Clarke

Ellisa Doiron

Christopher Doyle

Giulia Eliason

Jay Ericson

Brian Hamor

Remy Joseph

Diane Looney

Lisbeth Roncarati

Molly Triffin

Lance Violette

Yu-Wen Wu

Jill Zborovancik

Greg Popa

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? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • 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? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No