SkyART

realizing limitless potential through the arts

aka SkyART   |   Chicago, IL   |  www.skyart.org

Mission

SkyART provides free, safe, open spaces where young people are empowered and new connections are made. Accessibility – we remove barriers – promoting participation in our programs, connection with other institutions and communities, and access to the broader world. Responsiveness – we innovate – adapting programs to the evolving context within which we work, fostering civic engagement, cultural democracy and social well-being. Totality – we are committed to reaching the whole person – recognizing that every participant has a unique life experience characterized by their own needs, assets and interests. Stability – we are a consistent presence – the "third place" after home and school, where participants develop meaningful relationships and experience a feeling of extended family.

Ruling year info

2004

Executive Director

Sarah Ward

Main address

3026 E 91st Street

Chicago, IL 60617 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

South Chicago Art Center

EIN

75-3152211

NTEE code info

Arts Service Activities/Organizations (A90)

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 2019, 2018 and 2017.
Register now

Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

SkyART operates in areas of Chicago where there are very few other cultural opportunities that are free, consistent, and of such defining quality as those provided by our organization. Through our programs, we hope that our participants not only develop art ability and knowledge, but also critical and creative thinking, interpersonal and communication skills, academic and social skills, self-discipline, and so much more. Our ultimate goal is to transform the lives of young people who call these parts of the city home; to not only “be there" for them, but to help them reach their limitless potential.

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?

SkyART Programs

SkyART offers a broad range of free visual art programs to young people ages 3-24 in the Studio, in Schools, and in the Community. Our defining innovative approach, the SkyWAY, is a shift in perspective that blurs the lines of formal art education and centers on art-making as an inherently educational experience. It is a pedagogy based on responsive lesson plans, and on more open and more deeply engaging creative processes. The key elements of the approach consist of connecting, seeing, creating, and reflecting. Guided by a collaborative cohort of resident teaching artists, participants are immersed in a world of imaginative possibilities, invited to explore a broad variety of creative forms and activities. From sculpting to cooking, from 3D printing to painting, young artists are encouraged to follow their curiosity, moving freely and exploring at their own pace. The SkyWAY balances individual empowerment and collaborative action, with community-building as a central component of the curriculum.

SkyART’s target population is typified by the South Chicago community, where residents work hard to overcome high rates of poverty, unemployment, and crime. In this mostly Latinx and African American neighborhood, the most recent census data indicates that 43% of households fall below the poverty line, 20% are unemployed, and 19% have no high school diploma; the Chicago Police Department report shows that 22% of crime complaints were filed in this neighborhood, and more than 98% of children are eligible for free or subsidized lunch as tracked by the Chicago Board of Education. One-third of this at-risk population are youth under twenty years old, a vibrant group who are eager to express themselves and develop their abilities. Dealing with the real-life impacts associated with such statistics is a challenge that we are honored to help our young people face.

SkyART operates in areas of Chicago where there are very few free cultural opportunities that are consistent, and of such defining quality as those provided by our organization. Informing and driving the work of the organization is a deep understanding of the transformative power of art and its capacity to stimulate intellectual, emotional, and social growth. At SkyART, participants are invited into a world of imaginative possibilities that go beyond the individual, to positively impact the larger community and the city as a whole. Moving forward, SkyART's goal over the next two years is to expand our free art programs to new communities in need — the West Side neighborhoods. Our ultimate goal is to transform the lives of young people who call these underserved parts of the city home; to not only “be there” for them, but to help them reach their limitless potential.

Population(s) Served

Studio Programs take place at the SkyART Studios in South Chicago. The Studios are open after-school Wednesday to Friday, and programs are defined by a new and innovative approach we call the SkyWAY, which blurs the lines of formal art education and focuses on art making as an inherently educational experience. The SkyWAY is rooted in collaboration and experimentation as key tools of art-making, education, and critical thinking. Guided by a collaborative cohort of resident teaching artists, participants are immersed in a world of imaginative possibilities, invited to explore a broad variety of creative forms and activities. From sculpting to cooking, from 3D printing to painting, young artists are encouraged to follow their curiosity, moving freely, and exploring at their own pace. The SkyWAY balances individual empowerment and collaborative action, with community-building as a central component of the curriculum.

The Studios are also open on Tuesdays and Saturdays for our teen program, Project 3rd Space (P3S), a year-long program for high school-aged young adults who are serious about art and see it as a pathway into their future. The program is meant to be both a crucial bridge between high school and meaningful post-secondary educational and career opportunities as well as an encouraging environment for self-discovery, communication, and collaboration. The core of the P3S experience is a weekly open studio session that combines focused skill-building and open exploration offered in three 10-week sessions in fall, winter, and spring. Informed by the SkyWAY approach described above, the community is thoughtfully and consistently cultivated through collaborative processes, shared meals, field trips, group critiques and exercises, and a variety of other collective activities.

Population(s) Served

School Programs take place in our network of partnering schools on Chicago’s South Side, including Classroom Residencies, After-School classes, and Parent/Teacher Workshops.

Classroom Residencies are led by SkyART Teaching Artists, who will conduct several art sessions for multiple grade levels at partner schools. Youth participants are able to use art as a means to express their ideas and develop their art-making, critical thinking, and collaboration skills.

After-School classes offer progressively structured art making opportunities for students out of the classroom setting. These are offered in 5 to 30-week courses, meeting 1-2 days per week, at partnering CPS, charter, alternative, and parochial schools.

Parent/Teacher Workshops expose adults to different art techniques and projects, with the goal of inspiring participants to learn new ways of communicating with their children and students.

Population(s) Served

Community Programs take place at facilities that are coordinated by partnering community organizations and range from 1-day workshops to multi-week art courses, all maintaining the same high-quality instruction and content that define our Studio and School Programs. Community partners include the Chicago Public Library, the Chicago Park District, Rebuild Foundation, UChicago Arts + Public Life, Brainerd Park Apartments, Juvenile Temporary Detention Center, and DuSable Museum of African American History.

To complement activities in our Studios, partnering schools, and community organizations, we also coordinate Cultural Field Trips throughout the year to bring SkyART participants to institutions across the city such as the Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art, Museum of Contemporary Photography, and Smart Museum of Art.

Population(s) Served

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 free participants on field trips

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Studio Programs

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Trips to multiple art museums, events, workshops, and other exploratory art experiences for our participants. We typically bring 20-40 young people on these cultural immersion trips.

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.

Our ultimate expectation is to transform the lives of young people who call these parts of the city home and to open them up to their creative potential. Through our programs, young people gain fundamental art knowledge and exposure to cultural assets of the city. Moreover, they gain experience in art techniques and exposure to art and artists. Additionally, though we do not specifically track social and emotional learning, or academic success beyond our programs, numerous studies have shown a clear link between early exposure to art and an improvement in each of these areas.

SkyART programs are designed to best respond to the wide range of needs and experiences of young people ages 5-24. They manifest as Studio Programs, School Programs, and Community Programs, and work cohesively, sharing resources and building a creative community between the various locations where they are conducted.

Studio Programs take place at the SkyART Studios in South Chicago and are designed to engage a broad range of participants with varying levels of expertise. The Studios are open 3:00-6:00PM five days a week, and programs include daily Open Studio time, a weekly Art Basics course, Experimental Studio courses, Registration-based courses, Cultural Field Trips, and Advancement in the Arts opportunities for young adults who see art as a catalyst in their future.

School Programs take place in our network of partnering schools on Chicago's South Side. Programs include Classroom Residencies, After-school classes, Parent/Teacher workshops, and Advancement in the Arts opportunities for select students.

Community Programs take place at facilities that are coordinated by partnering community organizations and range from 1-day workshops to multi-week art courses. All Community Programs maintain the same high-quality instruction and content that define our Studio and School Programs. SkyART’s target population is typified by the South Chicago community, where residents work hard to overcome high rates of poverty, unemployment, and crime. In this mostly Latinx and African American neighborhood, the most recent census data indicates that 43% of households fall below the poverty line, 20% are unemployed, and 19% have no high school diploma; the Chicago Police Department report shows that 22% of crime complaints were filed in this neighborhood, and more than 98% of children are eligible for free or subsidized lunch as tracked by the Chicago Board of Education. One-third of this at-risk population are youth under twenty years old, a vibrant group who are eager to express themselves and develop their abilities.

SkyART operates in areas of Chicago where there are very few free cultural opportunities that are consistent, and of such defining quality as those provided by our organization. Informing and driving the work of the organization is a deep understanding of the transformative power of art and its capacity to stimulate intellectual, emotional and social growth. At SkyART, participants are invited into a world of imaginative possibilities that go beyond the individual, to positively impact the larger community and the city as a whole. Moving forward, SkyART's goal over the next two years is to expand our free art programs to new communities in need — the West Side neighborhoods. Our ultimate goal is to transform the lives of young people who call these underserved parts of the city home; to not only “be there” for them, but to help them reach their limitless potential.

Programmatic Goal 1) Bring the SkyWAY approach that has redefined our Studio Programs in FY18 into Schools and Community Programs: This past year, all SkyART Teaching Artists who led workshops with our partner schools created lesson plans based on the SkyWAY model, composed of four components: connecting, seeing, creating, and reflecting. To develop new institutional partnerships and further introduce the SkyWAY approach to a broader audience, SkyART participated in an exhibition of artistic partners at the DuSable Museum of African American History and introduced the SkyWAY model to many new partner schools such as Bret Harte Elementary, Wadsworth Elementary, and the Jessie Owens Community Academy.

Programmatic Goal 2) Expand Project 3rd Space: This past year, SkyART added extra skill-building hours and organized more field trips to Chicago cultural institutions for the Project 3rd Space participants. The number of Project 3rd Space participants doubled (increased by 114%) during the fiscal year 19, and teens’ artworks were awarded “Best Art Exhibit” at the 2019 Project Innovation STEAM event. SkyART increased P3S programming hours from below 3,000 to 4,000 and added wrap-around services including Art Therapists collaborating with Teaching Artists. To facilitate international collaboration and widen P3S participants horizons, a group of nine participants was selected through an application and interview process, to be part of a cultural exchange trip between SkyART and Centro Cultural de Anahuac, a K-12 school in Mexico City. These participants were able to visit Mexico City, where they created the artwork, learned about Mexico’s culture, and bonded with local art communities.

Programmatic Goal 3) Lay the foundation to expand to new locations and neighborhoods beyond our current reach, including West Side communities, particularly in working with teens: Recently promoted as the Assistant Director of Programs, Devon VanHouten-Maldonado has been searching for prospective locations and conducting site visits to establish a SkyART branch in the West Side neighborhood. Through online research and community needs study, SkyART has identified the needs of its free art programs in the under-served West Side communities, and further targeted its participant base: one-third of the at-risk population are youth under twenty years old, a vibrant group that is eager to express themselves and develop their abilities. Our development department is identifying potential funding sources to ensure the feasibility and sustainability of this expansion project.

As is often the case in an underserved community, rising above the stereotypes associated with statistics can be very challenging. Since 2001, our studio on 91st Street has been a place where young residents of South Chicago can do just that. And during our 16 years of operation, we have reached out to other South Side communities facing similar challenges. Through our School Program, we've nurtured partnerships with public, private and charter schools on the South Side to bring the visual arts to schools with little or no arts programming and to enhance classroom achievement by integrating the arts with existing curriculum. Through our Community Program we've connected with other, non-school program partners, including The Chicago Public Library, The Chicago Park District, Metropolitan Family Services, The YMCA, Boys and Girls Clubs, Claretian Associates and several others.

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), Community meetings/Town halls,

  • 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,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, 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?

Financials

SkyART
lock

Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.

Subscribe

Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our 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.

Operations

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

lock

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.

lock

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.

SkyART

Board of directors
as of 10/14/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Roberta Kramer

Heritage Auctions

Theaster Gates

University of Chicago, Arts + Public Life

Becca Schanberg

The Kindling Group

Morgan Hughes

Airbnb

Christopher Dubose

HSA Commercial Real Estate

Jennifer Marlowe

Wintrust Wealth Management

John O'Malley

William Blair & Company

Joe Reinstein

Performics

Jeanne Rogers

Arthur J. Rogers & Co.

Barb Markoff-Eggener

ABC7 News Chicago

Froilan Nunez

Hispanic American Construction Industry Assn.

Jacqueline Terrassa

Art Institute of Chicago

Steve Wolff

National Kwikmetal Service

Mark Peterson

Insurance Care Direct

André Washington

Sidley Austin LLP

LaShana Jackson

R1 RCM Inc.

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 10/14/2020

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
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 10/14/2020

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 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.