Autism Community Theatre Inc

A great place to make friends!

aka ACT Workshop   |   NEW YORK, NY   |  www.actworkshop.org

Mission

Autism Community Theatre is a creative and accepting community-based BITOC that engages teens and young adults on the spectrum in fun and authentic theater activities. Through guided immersion in theatre work, this neuro-diverse group of BIPOC actors is learning how to “play” in ways that strengthen communication skills, reciprocity, theory of mind, flexible thinking and imagination. The result of our work is a strong sense of belonging, of community and, over time, an ensemble emerges.

Ruling year info

2017

Principal Officer

Gina DeMetruis

Main address

POB 256

NEW YORK, NY 10026 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

81-4420303

NTEE code info

Theater (A65)

Autism (G84)

Performing Arts (A60)

IRS filing requirement

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

Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Autism spectrum disorder is a pervasive neurodevelopmental disorder that affects one in 68 children. The core characteristics of autism include deficits in social-emotional reciprocity, communication, understanding relationships and sharing imaginative play. ACT recognizes the power of theatre to address these core deficits while building community. Playwright Thornton Wilder succinctly stated the power of theater as, “. . . the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being." ACT also recognizes the disparity of programs available to different communities. For this reason, we offer our workshops at no cost in the hopes of attracting BIPOC who may have never considered theater as a viable outlet for their teen or young adult.

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?

ACT Workshop

Autism Community Theatre (ACT) is a nonprofit, community based BITOC that engages teens and young adults on the spectrum in fun and authentic theater activities. Through guided immersion in theatre work, this neuro-diverse group of BIPOC actors is learning how to “play” in ways that strengthen communication skills, reciprocity, theory of mind, flexible thinking and imagination. The result of our work is a strong sense of belonging, of community and, over time, an ensemble emerges.

Population(s) Served
People of African descent
Indigenous peoples
People of Latin American descent
People of Asian descent
People with disabilities

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.

Total number of students participating in private lessons

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

Adolescents

Related Program

ACT Workshop

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The private lessons refer to the 1:1 support our participants with autism receive during our Saturday workshop programs as well as the 1:1 playwriting programs.

Number of teachers retained after 12 months

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

People with intellectual disabilities, People of African descent, Indigenous peoples, Young adults, Adolescents

Related Program

ACT Workshop

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Our Teachers refer to paid and volunteer teaching artists who have been with Autism Community Theatre since 2017.

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.

It is our hope that, through continued practice, we can begin to document and share our workshop model so that others can replicate our community-based workshops in their own communities. We have already received several requests, from within and outside of the United States, for information on our workshops for this purpose.

The first underlying goal is to support individual growth through clear workshop routines, the use of modeling, shaping behaviors, graduated guidance, a high ratio of supporting players/teaching artists to actors and, of course, lots of specific positive reinforcement.

The second goal is to create an ensemble feeling where actors support each other regardless of levels of skills.

Autism Community Theatre has been offering free workshops since 2016. Each year culminates with a performance share and dance party at the Bernie Wohl Theatre or at a public school.

Autism Community Theatre held its first workshop in October 2016 with only 2 actors. We have continued to build an ensemble and most actors continue from year to year. The workshop has grown to include a playwriting component and has collaborated with outside youth theatre groups including IMPACT Repertory Theatre.
We seek to continue to partner with other community arts organizations, to expand our reach by adding additional workshops and to invite guest teaching artists for special workshops including puppetry, movement, mime and songwriting.

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.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Our current participants include BIPOC teen and young adults on the autism spectrum with a range of communication and intellectual skills. We outreach to, and welcome, neurodiverse participants from all backgrounds. Our workshops are offered free of charge to all who participate.

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

    Surverys, informal feedback and statments of support.,

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

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    During the pandemic, Autism Community Theatre used two methods to continue our work: online Zoom sessions and in-person meetings in Central Park. Parents' feedback informed our decisions as to the best times for our outdoor sessions.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    We feel there is a very fluid conversation between staff, actors and their parents in terms of choices made for our programs. Actor/parent input and feedback for our ending show and end of year celebration is always actively sought as well and may include requests for extra 1:1 rehearsals, augmentative communication devices or the like.

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

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, 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?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

Autism Community Theatre Inc
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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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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.

Autism Community Theatre Inc

Board of directors
as of 05/01/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Gina DeMetruis

Diana Barros

NYC Principal, Retired

Pam DeMetruis

Sound Editor

Karen Doherty

NYC Teacher

Kenneth McGrory

Pres, Rabo Securities USA

Barbara Fazio- McGrory

LCSW

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? Not applicable
  • 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? No
  • 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? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 5/1/2022

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
BIPOC
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 05/01/2022

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 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 use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • 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 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.