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Vanguard Culture

Advancing San Diego's Creative Industries

San Diego, CA   |  www.VanguardCulture.org

Mission

Vanguard Culture is an inclusive 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to advancing San Diego’s Creative Industries. We provide award-winning arts journalism, cutting edge events, and professional development that create arts jobs, bring diverse communities together and inspire collaboration among the visual, performing, and culinary arts.

Notes from the nonprofit

In 2023 we transitioned to an all-volunteer nonprofit organization to hiring one part-time staff, our Executive Director. The staff outlined in this profile refers to our core team of volunteer writers, advisors, and board members who give their time, talent and treasure to make our work possible.

Ruling year info

2017

Executive Director

Susana Peredo Swap

Main address

703 Tarento Dr.

San Diego, CA 92106 USA

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EIN

81-2870845

NTEE code info

Arts, Cultural Organizations - Multipurpose (A20)

Community Coalitions (S21)

Employment Training (J22)

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?

Arts Journalism

Our arts coverage is comprised of THE BUZZ, featuring artist interviews, show reviews, and insight into San Diego’s Arts & Culture; ART SEEN, a series that highlights behind-the-scenes creatives from a variety of industries; POETIC LICENSE, featuring beautiful photo essays of artist studio visits by visual artist/curator Chi Essary; and our newsletter Vanguard Culture WEEKLY, featuring a curated calendar of San Diego’s best, most exciting, and unique cultural and culinary events.
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We believe in the importance of quality arts journalism because it clearly aligns with our mission to create arts jobs, bring diverse communities together, and inspire creative collaboration. Increased coverage of San Diego’s vibrant arts and culture scene helps to inspire new generations of arts supporters and patrons, which in turn supports arts jobs across the region. Since 2018 Vanguard Culture has received 45 Awards for Excellence in Journalism from the San Diego Press Club.

Population(s) Served
Artists and performers
Adults
Ethnic and racial groups

Vanguard Culture is an inclusive 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to advancing San Diego’s creative industries. Professional development in the form of industry workshops, lectures, panel discussions, and meaningful networking opportunities are a key component of our programming. We believe in providing industry professionals with the tools, resources, and opportunities to become better at their craft and to make a living doing the thing they love. Vanguard Culture partners with a variety of businesses and industry leaders to produce a diverse program that is meaningful, informative, and transformative for our creative community.

Population(s) Served
Artists and performers
Adults

Vanguard Culture events are different. We don’t just throw parties or host art shows. We produce innovative visual, performing, and culinary arts experiences that respond to the changes and challenges of our modern world. Our events provide opportunities for guests to connect in meaningful ways and be inspired by the visionary artists who participate in our programming. Our programmatic partnerships with some of San Diego’s most innovative arts organizations will leave you feeling that you’ve experienced something truly special that cannot be replicated.

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Examples of experiences that have occurred at our events:

1) Strangers were invited to sit together and connect with one another in a meaningful way. Participants had to shut their phones off for 10 minutes (or more), to answer 36 Questions that are scientifically proven to help people fall in love.

2) Local performance artist Larry Caveney offered 5 minutes of free advice or free compliments while sitting on a throne, loaned to us by the San Diego Opera.

3) An artist, a scientist, a poet, and a chef were each tasked with creating/presenting something in response to climate change. The highlight of the evening was Chef Stevan Novoa’s culinary interpretation, inspired by his personal experience of being belly-deep in water during Hurricane Katrina. His response? Pork belly.

4) Avant-Garde Costume Galas. We’ve hosted a few. Each time, we’ve welcomed 300+ wildly-costumed guests. Art installations, live dance performances, chef stations, and an Avant Garde Fashion Show in partnership with Fashion Week San Diego.

5) Our Artist @ the Table series invites the community to dine with some of San Diego’s most notable arts leaders in beautiful, art-filled private homes. Featured Chefs are tasked with creating an elegant 4-course menu inspired by the work of the artist.

6) Our recent SENSORIUM brought together over 550 guests, 80% of them Creative Industry Professionals. The event included: over 80 artists who transformed 15 condominium lofts of IDEA1 with immersive art installations; a blindfolded dining experience on the rooftop; 7 chef stations; an industry mixer with 10 different arts orgs; a 5-Senses-themed runway show by Fashion Week San Diego; live dance performances and much more. The event was featured on the National Geographic Channel.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Artists and performers

Where we work

Awards

Best First Time Filmmaker Award 2021

SoCal Film Awards

2 Gold Anthem Awards 2023

Webby Awards

Offical Selection & Best First Time Filmmaker Award 2022

San Diego Movie Awards

Official Selection; Silver Award: Best Drama; Honorable Mention: Cinematography; Honorable Mention 2022

Paris Film Awards

Official Selection 2022

Cannes World Film Festival

Official Selection 2023

San Diego Independent Filmmaker's Festival

Affiliations & memberships

Excellence in Journalism Award by the San Diego Press Club 2018

Excellence in Journalism Award by the San Diego Press Club 2019

Excellence in Journalism Award by the San Diego Press Club 2020

Excellence in Journalism Award by the San Diego Press Club 2021

Excellence in Journalism Award by the San Diego Press Club 2022

Excellence in Journalism Award by the San Diego Press Club 2023

Featured on the National Geographic Channel for innovative approach to programming 2018

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 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 collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, 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

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback

Financials

Vanguard Culture
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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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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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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.

Vanguard Culture

Board of directors
as of 10/31/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Susana Peredo Swap

Tatiana Sizonienko

Art historian, curator, and professor at several regional universities.

Chi Essary

Artist, writer and photographer who promotes and explores the intersection of art, science and the public.

Michele Lowenstein

Art Collector & Attorney

Keith Mautner

Forensic Accountant and Music Professional

Antonio Iannotta

Artistic Director of the San Diego Italian Film Festival

Herbert Siguenza

Accomplished Playwright, Producer and Founding Member of the performance group Culture Clash.

Heath Fox

Arts and culture professional and retired museum director.

Adriana Martinez

Independent curator, editor, writer and cultural activist.

Diem Jones

Thought leader, poet/musician, multi-disciplinary producer and program designer.

David Malmuth

Business leader, developer and former Vice President/General Manager of Disney Development Company-West.

Linda Caballero - Sotelo

Executive Director & Chief Curator of New Americans Museum & Immigrant Learning Center .

Clara Carter

Award-winning and seasoned meeting and event professional with over 20 years experience. President and Founder of the Multi– Cultural Convention Services Network.

Shaun Cassidy

International Business Growth I Financial Justice Strategist I Social Media for Business Early Adopter I Creative Entrepreneur| Business Builder| Economic Development Leader I Board Member I U.S. Air Force Veteran

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 ? Not applicable
  • 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? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 11/24/2022

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
Hispanic/Latino/Latina/Latinx
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 08/13/2021

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 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 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 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.