ALBANY PARK THEATER PROJECT

Creating a More Justice and Beautiful World

Chicago, IL   |  www.aptpchicago.org

Mission

Albany Park Theater Project (APTP) creates transformative experiences that forge an inclusive community of youth artists, adult artists and audiences to envision and build a more just, equitable and joyful world. APTP’s teen ensemble and adult artistic team collaborate to devise world-class original theater that amplifies and illuminates the voices and experiences of our immigrant and first-generation community.

Ruling year info

1997

Producing Artist Director

David Feiner

Main address

PO Box 25072

Chicago, IL 60625 USA

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EIN

36-4125560

NTEE code info

Theater (A65)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Minority Rights (R22)

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 Theater Ensemble

As members of the high school ensemble, teens become immersed in an artistic environment that places a premium on excellence, respects the voices and opinions of teenagers, and produces original theater productions that are reviewed by professional critics as some of the best in Chicago and stimulate dialogue about important issues. The ensemble produces one new, world-premiere production per year.

The primary artistic goal of the ensemble is to collectively write, choreograph, compose, and stage performance works on an ongoing basis. To reach that goal, teens are constantly in motion at APTP: in theatrical training workshops, becoming fluent in dramatic structure, stagecraft, and a variety of performance styles; in seeking out a wide range of real-life stories from neighborhoods throughout Chicago, focusing on working class and immigrant communities; in creative sessions where they brainstorm music, movement, and staging ideas for a new play; in rehearsal for one of APTP’s full-length theatrical works; and finally, on stage in front of an audience comprised of both frequent theatergoers and newcomers to theater. In all, there is some form of artistic activity happening at APTP 50 weeks per year.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents

The creative process at APTP helps teens develop social-emotional skills such as critical thinking, the ability to set and achieve ambitious goals, teamwork, creative problem solving, and cross-cultural competency. To complement these skills, and to help our teen artists toward ambitious futures, APTP has a complement of youth development initiatives: tutoring, mentoring, leadership development, college counseling, and early-career support.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents

APTP conducts in-school programs for 7th-9th graders at three local public schools. APTP uses its proven method of developing teens without prior theater experience into confident storytellers and performers through creative drama and theater making based on real-life experiences. The focus of these programs is on bridge building across cultures and supporting social-emotional skills. APTP teaches specific performance techniques designed to help students understand the variety of ways of making an impact on an audience, while increasing their own range of expressive ability. Students also participate in writing exercises to find their voice and build their personal stories. Many of the students join APTP’s core ensemble once they reach high school.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents

Where we work

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.

As a theater based in one of the country's most diverse neighborhoods, and a historical port-of-entry for immigrants, APTP has a vision for equity and inclusion in the arts. For 20 world premieres and counting, APTP has explored and challenged racism and prejudice, both personal and structural, by showing audiences worlds outside their own, represented by people with lived experience in those worlds, and based on the direct testimony of people about their own lives.

APTP has the following overarching goals for its work:
• Teen ensemble members will become proficient in the language of the arts and create dynamic theater that thrives in Chicago's theater landscape. This goal is measured through participation, the number of rehearsal hours, retention rate among the youth ensemble, and the artistic product of the ensemble.
• APTP teens will recognize their ability to lead lives of significance—and embrace what it takes personally and educationally to do so.
• Through creative drama and theater making, APTP will support social-emotional skills among students at two local middle schools.
• APTP's theater productions will highlight and amplify stories and voices that often go unheard, and in doing so, will foster dialogue about community issues and expand access to the arts to those who do not normally think of themselves as theatergoers.

Albany Park Theater Project was founded in the belief that the arts can play a significant role in building strong communities—and exceptional young people. APTP impacts up to 10,000 people per year through original theater created by the high school ensemble, youth development, and school-based programs.

The Creation of Original Theater: Collaboratively created by the high school-aged ensemble and its artistic directors, APTP’s performances are always inspired by real-life stories gathered through interviews conducted by company members. Youth ensemble members serve as ethnographers and artists, seeking out a wide range of real-life stories, which they then nurture into performance—considering multiple possible staging strategies and devising text, movement, and music ideas. The content and style of APTP’s performances demands and inspires an especially high degree of presence and stakes in its teen artists—they often remark that they’ve been entrusted with a sacred responsibility to do justice to someone’s story.

Theater Education: In order to maintain and further the company’s reputation for artistic excellence, ensemble members participate in intensive, year-round performance training, which is continuous throughout a teen’s tenure with APTP. APTP also emphasizes the appreciation and critique of artistic work by taking teen ensemble members to multiple arts events in Chicago each year. In all, teens in the ensemble spend 10-60 hours a week, year-round, for 4-6 years, creating art.

Youth Development: The creative process helps teens develop social-emotional skills such as critical thinking, the ability to set and achieve ambitious goals, teamwork, creative problem solving, and cross-cultural competency. APTP builds on those skills through youth development supports: mentoring, tutoring, leadership opportunities, college counseling, assistance in finding summer jobs and internships, and alumni support. APTP stands out for nurturing exceptional achievement in teens without pre-screening them—there is no selective admission process.

Middle School Programs: APTP holds in-school creative drama programs at three local public schools. The focus of these programs is on bridge building across cultures and supporting social-emotional skills. The programs include workshops for 7th-9th grade students and a year-ending public performance by those students for the entire student body, teachers, and families. Many of the students join APTP’s core ensemble once they reach high school.

Since its founding in 1997, APTP teens have created 22 original plays, performed for more than 50,000 people, opened their neighborhood’s first performing arts space, and toured to universities, festivals, and community organizations. Their artistry has earned numerous awards, including the Midwest Light of Human Rights Award from the National Immigrant Justice Center, the Coming Up Taller Award from the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, the inaugural Luis Valdez Award for Arts Activism from the Alliance of Latinx Theatre Artists, and the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. In 2018, APTP made its first international appearance at The National Theatre of Scotland’s Exchange Festival, the the only U.S. company invited to participate.

APTP has a reputation for consistently producing innovative, fearless, emotionally affecting theater, with rave reviews from Chicago's major critics and other theatrical observers. Chris Jones of the Chicago Tribune hails APTP as “one of Chicago's more remarkable artistic institutions," and Time Out Chicago says “the company's reputation for artistic excellence is well earned." Robert Falls, Artistic Director of the Goodman Theatre, calls APTP “one of the finest companies of its kind in the country." Learning Curve, APTP's most recent production that put audience members in the shoes of CPS students and teachers, was featured in The New Yorker and appeared on the 2016 “top ten" theater lists for The Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times, and Time Out Chicago.

APTP performances bring people together across ethnicity, race, class, geography, and age. At 2016's production of Learning Curve, for example, 61% of audience members were under the age of 45, 41% were from households of low to moderate income, 45% identified as a race/ethnicity other than Caucasian, and close to 40% were new or infrequent theatergoers.

Offstage, APTP demonstrates the positive impact that participation in the arts can have on young people:
• 90% of alumni since 2015 are in college. All will be the first in their families to earn a degree.
• At least 60% of alums in college are anticipated to graduate by the age of 25, nearly matching the 80% rate for students from households in the top income quartile in the country.

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 shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Case management notes, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, 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,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    APTP's online programming for youth during the pandemic was influenced heavily by the youth it serves (frequency, topics, etc.)

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

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

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time,

Financials

ALBANY PARK THEATER PROJECT
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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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lock

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.

ALBANY PARK THEATER PROJECT

Board of directors
as of 12/15/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Deborah Reznick

Polk Bros. Foundation

David Feiner

Albany Park Theater Project

Tamar Frolichstein-Appel

Upwardly Global

Robert Hoyt

Blue Hall Capital LLC; Hoyt Family Foundation

Mourtaza Ali

Melio & Associates

Reena Bajowala

Ice Miller

Stephen Brokaw

Salesforce

Miguel Rodriguez

KIPP Bloom College Prep

Mark Harris

Illinois Science & Technology Coalition and Institute

Pamela Meyer

Meyer Agile Innovation

Helen Jameson

Health Policy Consultant

Rebecca Rugg

University of Illinois-Chicago; Dean of the College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts

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 12/15/2020

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
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 12/15/2020

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 employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • 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 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 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.