Blackwood Theatre Organ Society

aka Blackwood Arts   |   Harrisville, PA   |  blackwoodarts.org

Mission

Our mission is to promote the performing and visual arts, which we accomplish through concerts, silent films, art appreciation programs, art workshops and garden tours at the Blackwood Estate. Most of our performances feature a restored 1930s vintage Wurlitzer theater pipe organ that comes to life through the mastery of the finest theater organists of both national and international acclaim. Our art workshop features an accomplished artist who provides individual attention to improve the techniques of our attendees. Our program in the elementary school program encourages the children to use their imagination when painting and stresses the importance of being bold, while putting less emphasis on fine details. The programs funded from all of our events benefit the youth of our community.

Ruling year info

2000

CEO

Benjamin Robertson

Main address

118 Blackwood Ln

Harrisville, PA 16038 USA

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EIN

25-1833591

NTEE code info

Music (A68)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Our vision is to improve the lives of children and youth in our underserved area. We achieve this outcome by using art and music as a catalyst for encouraging students to reach higher academic levels and experience greater success in life.

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?

Make-A-Wish Benefit Concert

Each July a concert is held at Blackwood featuring an acclaimed theater organist performing on the Wurlitzer theater pipe organ. All donations are received by a representative of Make-A-Wish.

Population(s) Served
Non-adult children

A dinner concert featuring nationally and internationally acclaimed theater organists and pianists are held each October at the Blackwood Estate. The proceeds fund scholarships for high school seniors wishing to pursue a career in music education or performance.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents

Each year a field trip for 4th grade students at an elementary school attend Blackwood to hear music performed on the Wurlitzer theater organ and see a short silent film accompanied by an acclaimed theater organist. This program introduces the students to music in the hopes of encouraging them to join the band program. Blackwood Arts raises funds at events during the season to purchase band instruments for the elementary school. Most recently our organization has raised funds to purchase electronic tablets that will display music lessons and allow students to learn at their own pace.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

BA provides day-long workshops for aspiring artists with individualized instruction on improving their painting skills with emphasis on color, composition and design. BA produces a one-hour presentation by an accomplished illustrator of children’s books. This event encourages the children to use art for creative expression in bold ways, with less emphasis on fine details and placing more emphasis on to thinking outside the box.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Adults

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Donations made at benefit concert for Make-A-Wish Foundation

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

Make-A-Wish Benefit Concert

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

This concert is held at Blackwood Arts, in which a renowned theatre organist is featured. All donations from our guests are received directly by a representative of Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Total dollar value of scholarhips awarded each year.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Students

Related Program

Music Scholarships

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

High school students in our regional area compete for scholarship awards to study undergraduate music education and/or performance. Annual competition is juried by professional musicians.

Number of children who attend the annual children's program to encourage them to join their elementary school band.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Students

Related Program

RHYTHM Project (Raising the Hope of Youth Through Harmony and Music)

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, Blackwood Arts was not able to host the field trip for the local elementary school in 2020.

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.

Through the good works of Blackwood Arts, our Make-A-Wish Program gives families of children with life-threatening conditions a special experience. Our Scholarship Program has awarded talented musicians in our area with funds to help pay for undergraduate study in music. Our goal is to continue these two programs sustaining our contributions through the foreseeable future. The RHYTHM Program is a developmental program to encourage music studies starting at the elementary school level. BA hopes to inspire these children to begin their music studies by seeing and hearing the power and joy in music. A special event at Blackwood, features a 1930-vintage Wurlitzer theater pipe organ similar to one played in today’s performances at Radio City Music Hall. An internationally renowned theater organist demonstrates the full range of the organ’s 1,200 pipes, instruments and sounds by playing contemporary music from their favorite films and accompanying a short silent movie that shows the role of music in creating mood and emotion in films. How very captivated they are as the organ rises from the floor below!
This event is the first and most important step in the program. It is our belief from over 20 years of published research in the neurological sciences that students entering the band program at the earliest time frame possible will gain a life-long interest in music and thereby perform better academically, socially and psychologically. The goals for the program
Phase 1 Goal: Continue the field trip event in the RHYTHM Program for the foreseeable future.
Phase 2 Goal: Dedicate one concert each season to donate proceeds to purchase new instruments so that any student interested in the band program can participate.
Phase 3 Goal: Provide supplemental musical training to the students by securing a partnership with a local university to engage music education students in their third and fourth year of studies to develop music lessons on Chromebooks using specialized software for musical education.
Phase 4 Goal: Establish a student teaching partnership with the music department of a local university to give the children additional classroom time and give the undergraduate students college credit for their student teaching.
Phase 5 Goal: Replicate the RHYTHM Program in other county schools at the junior and senior level to spread the gift of music and its benefits to a larger population in the county.
For the Estate Tours and Art Appreciation Programs, the goal is to sponsor at least one program per year

Blackwood Arts has both program-specific strategies and general strategies to take our programs to higher levels of performance. Program specific strategies include:
Sustain the existing partnership with the administration of the local elementary school. Develop a partnership with the administration of the school district to establish entry into the upper school music program at the appropriate time.
Attend school concerts to show support for the program and to allow students, parents and teachers to get to know the BA personnel who are working to implement the RHYTHM program.
Sponsor student ensembles before BA concerts or during intermission to showcase talents to the audience.
Continue to dedicate one annual concert to benefit the school in purchasing instruments or other items to improve their music program.
Assist band parents with their fundraising events for the band program. Provide consultation services or make volunteers available.
Assist school officials with pre-production activities for a band concert open to the community. Be sure to attend the concert and get recognition in the concert program for your contribution.
Establish partnership with music department of local universities to integrate a student teaching program in the elementary school.
Consider new feature artists, vocalists, pianists, jazz ensembles for our concerts.
General strategies include activities intended to publicize our events and expand our donor base:
Visit local businesses with brochures to introduce BA to community merchants with the objective of getting future commitments for donations.
Seek out organizations of local businesses and speak at their meetings to publicize BA.
Continue membership in Butler Tourism, which advertises the Blackwood Arts programs in brochures located in over 70 kiosks in the county.
Join organizations of businesses and nonprofit organizations to network with organizations of similar interests. Spread the word about BA and its contributions to the community.
Advertise events in the local paper and other platforms to increase patronage at BA and school events.

The current Board of BA consists of individuals, including the CEO of Blackwood Arts, President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and various committee heads. None of these individuals receive compensation their services. BA has formed seven working committees that provide the energy and knowledge to keep the most important work of the organization running smoothly.
Finance and Grants: Headed by the Treasurer, who is responsible for preparing the annual budget and financial reports, presenting results to the Board and recommending actions to ensure the financial stability of BA. Oversees BA investments and financial accounts, interacts with independent auditor and investment advisor, and complies with GAAP. Volunteers assist in performing bookkeeping tasks, researching grant opportunities, and writing proposals for funds to supplement our revenue streams.
Governance and By-Laws: Headed by the President, who is responsible for devising strategies that enable BA to achieve long-range goals and objectives. Ensures that governance documents are consistent with Federal and State regulations. Presides over Board meetings. Works directly with the CEO to ensure that strategic plans are well formulated and executed.
Social Media and Publicity: Headed by the CEO, who is responsible for ensuring the technical quality of BA’s social media sites, oversees the currency of site content, and interacts with outside technical support when necessary to improve or maintain the site.
Hospitality: Headed by Board Member who is responsible for recruiting and organizing volunteers who serve at events to prepare and clear the facilities, greet guests and arrange for refreshments.
Scholarship: Headed by a Board Member, who is responsible for executing the annual scholarship awards program. Distributes scholarship announcements to area schools and media outlets. Reviews applications and recommends applicants for audition with the adjudication board. Notifies winners and arranges for their participation in the annual recital to recognize their achievements.
Facility and Instrument Maintenance: Headed by a Board Member, who is responsible for maintaining and improving the facility, as well as the stage equipment and instruments used in concerts. Organizes volunteers who set up and breakdown concert seating, and related tasks on the days when performances are held at Blackwood.
Program: Headed by the CEO, who is responsible for developing the annual program of events and contracting for artists for the scheduled events. Oversees the preparation of the annual newsletter, which announces the details of upcoming events for the season and initiates the annual fund drives.
BA compensates independent firms for legal counsel, CPA services, IT services and investment advisory services.

Over the past 30 years, Blackwood Arts has developed and sustained the Make-A-Wish, Scholarship, and the RHYTHM Program, all of which have improved the lives of children and youth in our region. These programs have historically operated successfully. However, the current restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 crisis have posed new challenges for the upcoming year - music scholarship auditions must now be done online and the field trip for the elementary school students must be cancelled as this is an auditory and visual experience which cannot be duplicated by a remote presentation.

We have begun the implementation of the RHYTHM Program, which aims to improve the lives of elementary school children in the initial phases of the program, and expand into middle and high schools within the county. BA has already donated many new instruments to the school and is working on a partnership to supplement musical training with software solutions and supplemental tutoring to replace lost funding for the arts with budget cuts.

Altogether these three programs have contributed over $780,000 toward the children and students in our regional community. Once the Covid-19 crisis has passed, we believe the trend will continue in an upward direction.

As the RHYTHM Program evolves into its next phases, we expect to involve not only students but also their parents, the administration of the school, teachers and elements of the local university to come together to supplement the music program in county schools. The expected result of introducing an enriched music program at all levels of education is the development of youngsters who strive to perform become better academically, socially and psychologically because of the benefits that music education and the support of significant others in their lives provide.

Our Arts Appreciation Program has held three separate events since 2017 and our Estate Tour Program has held five events since 2018

Financials

Blackwood Theatre Organ Society
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Operations

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

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Blackwood Theatre Organ Society

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

William (Bill) Markus

Blackwood Arts

Term: 2017 - 2020

Linda Brown

Retired teacher

Arthur Coddington

Retired Chemist - Merck Pharmaceuticals

Anna Digby

Retired - Accountant, paralegal and administrative manager of patent law firm and several nonprofit organizations

Bill Markus

Self Employed Geopolitical Lecturer

David Diffenderfer

Retired - Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories

Roy Peffer

Retired Heavy Equipment Operator

Carole Wolfe

Office Manager, Utz Insurance

Bob Zellers

Chief Engineer, ABC Polymer Industries

Haley Wiles

Hourly Shift Supervisor and Bartender Max & Erma's Restaurant

Benjamin Robertson

Retired Co-Owner Blackwood Galleries

Jay French

C0-Owner TJ Haaland Antiques

Marjorie Foster

Retired owner of hardware store and current music teacher

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 02/08/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data