CHEBOYGAN AREA ARTS COUNCIL INC

Cheboygan, MI   |  www.theoperahouse.org

Mission

The Mission of the Cheboygan Area Arts Council is to promote and encourage cultural and educational activities within the Straits Area of Northern Michigan, and to provide services that stimulate and encourage participation and appreciation of the arts within all segments of the community and to showcase the Historic Opera House.

Ruling year info

1974

Board Chairperson

Deborah Johnson

Main address

PO Box 95 403 N. Huron St.

Cheboygan, MI 49721 USA

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EIN

23-7242656

NTEE code info

Arts Council/Agency (A26)

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

In 2020, we are working to keep the Cheboygan Area Arts Council afloat despite closures, cancellations and refunds. Our Opera House is closed by government orders until further notice. Our dance programs are cancelled for the summer. We are still refunding from our busiest spring season that never happened. Our biggest funding sources, dance and programming in the Opera House are cut off indefinitely. We are focusing on what we know we can do, rather than what we might not be able to do due to COVID. We are taking our Youth Art Show, the Annual Art Festival and our Resident Artist, Nathan Towne, online. We are streaming concerts and building a You-Tube Studio. We are having committee and board meetings by Zoom. We will be offering art classes, guitar lessons, creative writing classes and computer programming classes online. Not only do we need to bring in income, we need to keep our staff working and most importantly we need to inspire our community.

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?

The Cheboygan Opera House

Built in in 1888 by renowned architect Frederick Hollister, this Richardson Romanesque Revival style building is called "The Jewel of the North." Home to the Cheboygan Area Arts Council , the Opera House serves as a base for community theater, town hall meetings, concerts, celebrations, school programs and other community events.

Population(s) Served

Several thousand children come to the Opera House from all over Northern Michigan for a free educational performance at the Historic Opera House. Sponsored by Citizens National Bank for over 20 years this show bring excellence in the arts to many children from an impoverished rural area, for many their first experience in live performance. Performers include Grammy nominated Trout Fishing in America.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

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.

The mission of the Cheboygan Area Arts Council is to promote and encourage cultural and educational activities within the Straits area of Northern Michigan, and to provide services that stimulate and encourage participation and appreciation of the arts within all segments of the community, and to showcase the historic Cheboygan Opera House. In accordance with our five year strategic plan, in 2019, we brought our ticket sales online, created a new website, increased social media, revamped our usher training system, created the first ever Cheboygan Area Youth Arts Council and re-instituted our visual arts committee.

One goal is to encourage participation in and appreciation of the arts to a wider spread community that is more inclusive of marginalized and underrepresented populations. We are doing this by forming more grass roots committees with representatives from the community to lead and volunteer in these committees.

Another goal for 2020 is to keep our "non-essential" arts and culture non profit afloat during the pandemic, despite show closures, cancellations, refunds and and government shutdowns. We will focus on what we know we can do rather than struggling with what we might not be able to do in 2020. We are taking our Youth Art Show, our Annual Art Festival and our Resident Artists, Nathan Towne, online. We are building a You-Tube Studio and a recording studio. We have started online art classes. We may open an online storefront for local artists. While we may not be able to fill our Opera House to capacity, we will continue our commitment to the arts in Northern Michigan.

Our main strategy is to enlist the community to help. We are in the process of forming four new groups, Chamberfest Cheboygan, the Secret Opera Society , Cheboygan Area Youth Arts Council and Art Vision Cheboygan. Brought to us by a group of chamber music lovers, the Chamberfest Committee did fundraising to pay for 6 of the world’s top chamber musicians to perform at the Opera House in 2020.

We inaugurated the “Secret Opera Society,” a monthly meeting of Opera lovers who moved from a patron’s living room to use the giant screen and new 4K projector at the Opera House to show operas, missing from our stage for years. When we approached the Metropolitan Opera to rent movies of operas to which they hold copyright, they gave us permission to show the movies, as long as we did not charge for them OR advertise. And so the “Secret” Opera Society was born and grew as patrons spread the news word of mouth. To bring free Opera back to Northern Michigan at the request of the community is a large undertaking.

The first ever youth arts council, Cheboygan Area Youth Arts Council formed with 17 founding members. The group voted on projects, including starting a rec band and working with Art Vision Cheboygan to paint a picnic table for public art in the park. We are giving a voice to the young people in non profit organization and stewardship. https://www.facebook.com/groups/143367493064387/

Art Vision Cheboygan is a grass roots movement starting with a charrette put in place with Michigan State University’s County Extension to make a city wide plan for public art through Cheboygan. The charrette included public participation, polling at 3 different locations and an online survey to find out what kind of art the public wants. An active committee with 25 volunteers at every meeting the group is collaborating with the city to fix and paint picnic tables in Festival Square, put up public art along the chidlren’s trail and bring bright, colorful art to Festival Square, the public’s top three places for artwork. https://www.facebook.com/artvisioncheboygan/

Most importantly we will be taking as much as possible online and engaging through social media.

One goal of 2019 was to bring diversity and inclusivity to our board, staff and patrons. With board members terming out, we brought in five new board members. Two are under forty and two under thirty. One is a circuit court judge, two are artists and one a music teacher. With the rapid growth of the Opera House in terms of programs and attendance in 2018, we devoted 2019 to hiring staff who could help us maintain sustainable growth. We brought in five employees under 40. Three are artists, one is a high school student and one has a doctorate in classical studies with a focus on Greek theater.

In order to improve fiscal oversight, we restructured our bookkeeping system. For years we ran books and payroll in the busy opera house office with the executive director and administrative assistant doing the oversight. In 2019 we hired an off-site bookkeeper, Kristen Darrow, to do payroll and reconciliation, as well paying unemployment and payroll taxes. The new accountant also helps with our yearly audit and works with our new board treasurer and executive director to make sure that transparent monthly financials are presented to the board.

It took almost two years to get our banking system online, our credit card processing in order , and our bank enabled to use authorize.net in order facilitate online ticketing. With the ticketing system in place, we unveiled our new website, the first real update in 20 years. The new website, through Wordpress, allows blogging, secure online donations and memberships, and allows us to create our own forms, thus enabling interactive activities like our first online essay contests. Our “about” section includes links to our Cultural Data profiles, Guidestar, strategic plan and annual reports. https://theoperahouse.org/about/

With the help of our new art director, Lisa Dorrance, we put together our first real newsletter in many years as a membership drive. We circulated it by bulk mail to the new mailing list we have been collecting for 2 years, now consisting of over 12,000 individuals and businesses. (see attachment number***). We also did a Facebook “like” drive to increase our likes to over 2000. We increased our Constant Contact list to over 1200 with the new newsletter link on our website. We added a new Instagram account and continue to add in-house videos to our Youtube page as we plan for our Youtube Studio.

We define quality as programs that not only entertain, but bring something more, an educational element, an aspect of culture or diversity, or a caliber of skill not normally found in Northern Michigan. We also look for programs with a message. We brought the Air Force Woodwind Quartet, the Air Force Brass Uplifter and the full Coast Guard Band on their Northern tour. The Coast Guard Band has not been at the Opera House in decades. All exhibited extraordinary skill and training and brought full houses. Other examples of high quality programming include:
Voices Without Borders promotes, supports, and sponsors choral music, dance, and other related activities for young people in our schools and communities throughout Greater Northern Michigan and to offer similar opportunities to promote friendship and understanding through music and dance between children and youth from around the world who are invited to participate in VWB programs.

Vienna Boys Choir is the world's foremost children's choral group. It is also among the oldest of all musical organizations, having been founded pursuant to an Imperial decree of Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I on July 7, 1498; the Emperor wished boys' voices to be added to the choir of the Imperial Chapel or Hofkapelle. This established a tradition of having the boys sing in weekly Sunday masses in the Imperial Chapel of the Hofburg Palace in Vienna, a tradition that continues today.

Joshua Davis was raised in the folk tradition: the music, the social movements, the land. He writes songs that blend the roots of American music with gritty rock n’ roll and vintage soul. Performing Songwriter Magazine called the result, "Some of the liveliest and most rocking roots music around.”

Trout Fishing in America: Four-time Grammy Award nominees Trout Fishing in America bring their memorable lyrics and folk/rock sounds to children across America for 40 years. Ezra Idlet and Keith Grimwood have won multiple parents’ Choice and Indie Awards with songs like “When I was a Dinosaur,” “My Hair Had a Party Last Night” and “The Window.”

Nathan Towne is the Artist in Residence at the Cheboygan Opera House. Nathan is a multi-instrumentalist from the Central Coast of California and a private music instructor,. Nathan writes, arranges, and performs original music as a soloist and tours with Blind Melon.

What's next is to develop a recording studio to allow local musicans to record and produce in the Opera House while we are closed to the public.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time, It is difficult to identify actionable feedback

Financials

CHEBOYGAN AREA ARTS COUNCIL 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.

CHEBOYGAN AREA ARTS COUNCIL INC

Board of directors
as of 06/09/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Deborah Downing

Steve Brisson

Mackinac Island Historical Preservation

Mike Eckdahl

lawyer

Shannon Cooley

artist

Katie Mallory

Jenny Haydn

Cheboygan School Board

Aaron Gauthier

Circuit Court Judge

Randy Elliot

River Terrace Inn

Pam McCabe

retired school teacher

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 10/26/2019

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

Leadership

No data

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 10/26/2019

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 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.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • 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.