PLATINUM2023

Contemporary Art for San Antonio

Inspire. Nurture. Innovate.

aka Contemporary at Blue Star   |   San Antonio, TX   |  contemporarysa.org

Mission

The mission of Contemporary at Blue Star is to inspire the creative genius in us all by nurturing artists through innovative contemporary art. The Contemporary was founded for artists by artists in a grassroots movement in 1986 as an annual exhibition. Today, the Contemporary presents nearly 15 onsite and offsite exhibitions each year, with complementary public programs designed to extend the contemporary art dialogue. We also provide creative youth development programs Creative Classrooms and the MOSAIC Student Artist Program. For San Antonio artists, we provide career development and international exchange through our Berlin Residency Program. Contemporary at Blue Star is a WAGE Certified organization, committed to paying artists for their creative contributions to our programs.

Ruling year info

1986

Executive Director

Ms. Mary Heathcott

Main address

116 Blue Star

San Antonio, TX 78204 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

74-2419615

NTEE code info

Visual Arts Organizations (A40)

Art Museums (A51)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

IRS filing requirement

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

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2022, 2021 and 2020.
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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The Contemporary's programs respond to the following needs: • The development of a variety of programs that support critical thinking and dialogue on contemporary art (National Art Education Association); • The reduction of barriers to public participation in high-quality programs for audiences of all ages (adults, children, families) (National Endowment for the Arts); • The creation of participatory experiences—not merely viewing, but interacting to create meaningful learning encounters (National Assembly of State Art Agencies and Wallace Foundation); and • The support of more culturally diverse programs (The Cultural Planning Group). Locally, we address community needs as identified by SA2020 by increasing: • Attendance for arts and culture; • Economic impact of creative sector; • Employment in creative industries; and • Audience satisfaction with arts and culture.

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?

MOSAIC Student Artist Program

The MOSAIC Student Artist Program is an innovative program that stirs the imagination and inspire people of all ages while connecting the Contemporary to the San Antonio community in fun, original ways. Under the mentorship of area artists, MOSAIC Student Artists (ages 13-18) receive year-round, intensive studio arts instruction alongside professional development opportunities. Student Artists also curate their own onsite and satellite exhibitions, lead hands-on activities throughout the community for area youth, and complete public art projects that inspire our entire community.

The first cohort of MOSAIC students are college graduates with BFAs, re-investing their skills and talents within the community. Alumni have enrolled at the University of Texas, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Southwest School of Art, and the Brown University/Rhode Island School of Design, among many other prestigious programs.

Students from all area high schools are encouraged to apply.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
At-risk youth

The Contemporary's longstanding commitment to contemporary artists in the San Antonio is carried through the Berlin Residency Program in partnership with the German nonprofit Kunstlerhaus Bethanien. Each year, four San Antonio artists travel to Berlin for 3-month residencies. The vibrant international art community positively impacts their careers and fosters professional and creative connections. Upon their return, each artist presents an exhibition at the Contemporary.

To further the international exchange dialogue, the Contemporary also invites artists participating in the KB program to San Antonio. For example, we hosted exhibitions by Norwegian artist Bodil Furu and Swedish artists Patrik Elgstrom and Jenny Magnusson.

Population(s) Served
Artists and performers

Contemporary at Blue Star hosts over twenty exhibitions annually within its four distinct gallery spaces targeting local, international, emerging and established contemporary art and artists. The development of the Contemporary’s events and programs have created a social and economic revitalization in the surrounding King William, Lavaca, and Southtown neighborhoods, and it is an anchoring cultural institution in the King William Cultural Arts District.

First Fridays are another collaborative partnership for the Contemporary and local neighboring businesses. The event now involves over 10,000 participants on the first Friday of each month, including students, art patrons, families, and artists who view the art on exhibit at numerous galleries, shops and other businesses that now thrive in the community.

Population(s) Served
Adults

For this in-school program, the Contemporary's Artists-in-Community translate their studio practice into hands-on activities aligned with class curricula to encourage creative, critical, and exploratory thinking.

The program immediately addresses the lack of arts education in area schools, and also attendance rates. In one school, where A-I-C Emily Fleisher works with the entire second grade student body, attendance often dropped to 50% -- but there was near 100% attendance on art days. As elementary attendance statistics are extrapolated to high school graduation rates, the impact this program will have will be measured over the course of ten or more years.

Currently, the Contemporary is working with artists Theresa Newsome, Joey Rivera, and Edward Warren Harris in Wright Elementary in Harlandale ISD.

Activities developed for this program are available on bluestarcontemporary.org.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

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.

Number of participants engaged in programs

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

Adults

Related Program

Exhibitions

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Onsite visitorship by calendar year. The pandemic severely affected attendance.

Total dollars paid to artists

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

Artists and performers

Related Program

Exhibitions

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Results are by Fiscal Year, October - September. In 2016, BSC became a WAGE Certified Organization (wageforwork.com), and we pay artists according to WAGE's scale, based on our operating expenses.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

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 Contemporary inspires the creative genius in us all by nurturing artists through innovative contemporary art.

In 2023, we aim to:
• Invest in equitable practices to increase accessibility and reach;
• Support artists at all stages of their development;
• Increase reach of art education by expanding current programs;
• Ensure financial stability in a challenging time; and
• Demonstrate forward-thinking initiative and future focus.

Our strategies are:

• Establish equity committee;
• Learn more about our audiences' needs through data collection and analysis;
• Maintain commitment to WAGE Certificiation;
• Expand Creative Classrooms through new partnerships;
• Build stronger relationships with MOSAIC Student Artist Program alumni;
• Identify and align staff for fundraising efforts and donor stewardship;
• Collaborate with peer organizations and CAUSA (Culture and Arts United for San Antonio); and
• Prioritize programming quality.

The Contemporary:

• Is Open and Inclusive — We are welcoming and open, with a diverse groups of supporters and audiences. The Contemporary is a place for everyone, with contemporary art as the common denominator.

• Is a Home for Innovative and Progressive Exhibitions — We focus on contemporary art, with no compromises. Our exhibitions are challenging and cutting-edge, and include emerging and established artists.

• Has a Comprehensive and Integrated Approach to Art Education — We are committed to multi-tiered education that includes professional development opportunities for students, and artists as educators in our public programs.

• Maintains a Commitment to Best Practices in Museum Management — We are committed to stewarding relationships with funders and responsible, community-centered fundraising. We are committed to a strong staff and Board.

• Is a Partner for Artists — The Contemporary advocates for artists and offers development opportunities through programs like the Berlin Residency and our WAGE Certification.

• Invest in equitable practices to increase accessibility and reach: Expanded reach to include Spanish-language press releases and exhibition collateral. The Contemporary moved to free admission for all in Summer 2020, and participates in programs like Blue Star Museums and Museums for All to reach new audiences seeking free engagement with the arts.

• Support artists at all stages of their development: The Contemporary maintains its commitment to WAGE Certification, even during these financially challenging times. MOSAIC continues to meet in a hybrid schedule for its teen artist participants, with a focus on visiting artists to strengthen the students' networks and art-making knowledge. Recorded webinars on "How to Apply for Stuff" uploaded to the Contemporary's YouTube channel. During the pause of the Berlin Residency Program (due to pandemic-related travel restrictions), the organization launched a collaboration with Darmstädter Sezession (Darmstadt is one of San Antonio's sister cities) in Summer 2021.

• Increase reach of art education by expanding current programs: Creative Classrooms has expanded in exciting new ways; not only did it grow its reach from one school to the entire Harlandale ISD K-5 population, it has grown through new partnerships with University Health, Brighton Center, and the San Antonio Food Bank.

• Ensure financial stability in a challenging time: With the re-alignment of the Visitor Engagement Representatives to the development office, the Contemporary is investing in its capacity to nurture relationships with donors. BSC is embracing the principles of Community-Centric Fundraising to guide its efforts. The Contemporary also paid down significant debt left from its 2016/17 capital projects. The organization secured its largest single charitable gift ever in December 2022.

• Demonstrate forward-thinking initiative and future focus: Expanding in-person programming to also reach audiences through their computers and smart phones. Artists continue to be the center of our programming efforts, which include artist talks, artist walks, film screenings, collaborations, Family Saturdays, and more. The Contemporary is a leading partner with CAUSA (Culture and Arts United for San Antonio) and its Creativity Counts campaign, which advocates for the arts and culture sector and its long-term sustainability.

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, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

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

    We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently, The people we serve tell us they find data collection burdensome, 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

Contemporary Art for San Antonio
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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
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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • 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.

Contemporary Art for San Antonio

Board of directors
as of 03/14/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Patty Ortiz

Catriona Morrison Cavender

Hornberger Fuller & Garza Inc.

Andrew Sherwood

Dykema

Charlie Biedenharn

Bakery Lorraine

Lauren Kate Holt

Homemaker; Philanthropist

Patty Ortiz

Artist; Liberty Bar

Joy LeFlore

Jefferson Bank

Patrick Attwater

One80 Solar

Ricky Armendariz

UTSA; Artist

Monica del Arenal

Artist; Architect

Alissa Howard

Whataburger

Jennifer Ling Datchuk

Texas State University; Artist

Catharine Tarver

H-E-B

Loretta Kerner

CPS Energy

Lachlan Miles

Philanthropic Consultant

Grant Herbon

Oracle

Jay Podjenski

South Texas Blood & Tissue Center

Mark Barile

Capital Group

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 3/14/2023

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
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 05/18/2021

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 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.