PLATINUM2024

DETROIT CREATIVITY PROJECT

Learning to improvise is life-changing.

aka DCP   |   Farmington Hills, MI   |  www.detroitcreativityproject.org

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DETROIT CREATIVITY PROJECT

EIN: 46-4485478


Mission

Six in 10 Detroit schoolchildren live in poverty. Many students will face challenges because of that. They have lower literacy rates, are more likely to skip school, and less likely to graduate than their peers outside the city. We're on a mission to change that. Through The Improv Project we're giving these young people tools to succeed at school and in life. Improv training helps our students build confidence and communication skills. It also shows them what's possible when they keep an open mind, practice, and persevere. Their teachers tell us these young improvisers attend school more regularly, participate in class, and are making academic progress. The best part? These lessons endure after improv class ends.

Ruling year info

2014

President

Marc Evan Jackson

Executive Director

Nancy Hayden Edwards

Main address

30000 Northwestern Hwy

Farmington Hills, MI 48334 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

46-4485478

Subject area info

Arts education

Performing arts

Youth organizing

Population served info

Children and youth

Economically disadvantaged people

Students

NTEE code info

Arts Education/Schools (A25)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Performing Arts (A60)

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

We believe every child should have the opportunity to succeed, no matter where they live or their family's income. The majority of the students we serve are economically disadvantaged. Many are counted in the following statistics about Detroit schoolchildren: Six out of ten school children in the city live in poverty. That rate increased 25 percent between 2008 and 2015. Only 1 in 10 children are proficient readers when they reach 3rd grade. And 1 in 4 won’t graduate from high school. Unless something changes there is an enormous risk that despite all their potential, many of these youth will grow up and continue to live in poverty. The Improv Project offers these young people the tools they need to change that story. Please read on to learn more about our programs and how they are helping provide tools to Detroit's young people.

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?

The Improv Project

The Improv Project is a ten week course in theatrical improvisation provided at no charge to middle and high school students in Detroit. The program has been offered both during the school day and as part of after-school programming. A gift of $170 provides a child's tuition for one semester of improv training.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
Economically disadvantaged people

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 students enrolled

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

Economically disadvantaged people, Adolescents, Children, Preteens, Adults

Related Program

The Improv Project

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The Improv Project serves youth in Grades 3-12 and adults who work with them in Detroit, Dearborn, Hamtramck, and the Downriver area. Note: COVID lockdowns impacted enrollment in 2020 and 2021.

Number of youth who demonstrate that they have developed social skills (e.g., interpersonal communication, conflict resolution)

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

Economically disadvantaged people, Adolescents

Related Program

The Improv Project

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Reported as a %. This data is being collected by University of Michigan as part of a 3-year study. The study is showing a statistically significant impact on social skills and reduced social anxiety.

Number of youth who demonstrate motivation to learn

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

Adolescents, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

The Improv Project

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Reported as %. UM found that student comprehension of the main principles of improvisation was 88 percent. Student engagement is another proxy for motivation. 94% report being engaged in the program.

Number of students per teacher during the reporting period

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

Ethnic and racial groups, At-risk youth, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

The Improv Project

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We staff our improv classes to maintain a student:teacher ratio of 15:1.

Number of students who receive scholarship funds and/or tuition assistance

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

Ethnic and racial groups, At-risk youth, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

The Improv Project

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The majority of students in our programs have all of their tuition covered by donations and grants. In 2022, there were 32 youth whose organizations paid part of the cost of teambuilding workshops.

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.

The Detroit Creativity Project engages young people in Detroit and neighboring cities through the art of improvisation. Our mission is to inspire and empower our students to reach for their potential through creative experiences that foster social and emotional learning and build literacy.

Social and emotional learning (SEL) has been shown to positively impact academic outcomes, as well as promote behaviors like sharing and empathy, improve attitudes toward school, and reduce anxiety and depression.

The arts are also increasingly recognized as a valuable component of STEM programs, or STEAM, because they foster a curiosity for learning and creative approach to problem solving.

We focus on developing and funding quality programs for Detroit area students who would not otherwise have access because of where they live or their family's income.

We established an Artistic Advisory group in 2016 to develop a new applied improv program that would more directly foster social and emotional learning for our students.

That new course was piloted with 74 Detroit high school students in the winter of 2016. We plan to bring this program to 4 schools this fall.

We have developed a set of school selection criteria to ensure that our programs serve youth who would not otherwise have access to this type of programming.

We evaluate our programs twice yearly, and include feedback from students, classroom teachers, and our teaching artists to continually improve our programs and ensure their compliance with State performance standards for the performing arts.

Our partners for The Improv Project and the applied improv program include:

The Schools. Each school provides classroom space and a school representative, who is our program liaison.

Y Arts, the arts division of YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit. We collaborate with Y Arts to administer our programs. We work closely with Margaret Edwartowski, Executive Director of Arts, to provide daily program oversight, conduct staff background screenings and orientation, coordinate program evaluation, and help facilitate annual professional development for the teaching artists.

The Institute for Arts Infused Education, Marygrove College. We will be using new evaluation tools developed with Mary Lou Greene, Director of the Institute for Arts Infused Education at Marygrove College to evaluate our programs in 2017-18.

The Improv Project began in 2012 with 100 middle and high school students and now serves over 750 youth annually. Our students represent a diversity of ethnic and cultural groups from Detroit, Hamtramck, River Rouge, and Dearborn. Most of our students live in under-resourced communities and are considered economically disadvantaged by federal measures.

We continue to expand our programming by developing relationships with new schools and nonprofit service organizations who are interested in providing youth improv training.

The UM study shows that we have the greatest impact when our students are engaged in our programs. We continue to focus on strategies to improve student participation and their overall school attendance. In April 2016, Dr. Paul Hernandez led our teaching artists in a full day of training in techniques to more fully connect with at-risk youth.

We are committed to working with our partners and Detroit area improv theaters to promote increased diversity in the improv community and in our teaching artist team. We do this, in part, by seeking out opportunities for our graduates to perform and further their improv training. We are currently working with a local improv theater on a plan that would provide tuition support for our graduates who are interested in continuing their improv training.

We began an internship program in 2017 to work toward increasing the diversity of our teaching artist team. Our senior teaching artists have been mentoring an intern artist who brings Spanish-speaking capability to our teaching staff.

This fall we are also collaborating with a new partner to provide our teaching artists with a series of workshops focused on social justice and cultural competency.

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 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 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, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • 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 continue to address this issue by finding new ways to reach people.

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
NET GAIN/LOSS:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Liquidity in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

29.01

Average of 22.84 over 9 years

Months of cash in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

5.7

Average of 4.7 over 9 years

Fringe rate in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

9%

Average of 2% over 9 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

DETROIT CREATIVITY PROJECT

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

DETROIT CREATIVITY PROJECT

Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

DETROIT CREATIVITY PROJECT

Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of DETROIT CREATIVITY PROJECT’s financial trends applies Nonprofit Finance Fund® analysis to data hosted by GuideStar. While it highlights the data that matter most, remember that context is key – numbers only tell part of any story.

Created in partnership with

Business model indicators

Profitability info 2015 2019 2020 2021 2022
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation -$2,073 $194,247 -$73,772 -$32,797 -$948
As % of expenses -2.6% 111.4% -28.8% -15.4% -0.4%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation -$2,073 $194,247 -$73,772 -$32,797 -$948
As % of expenses -2.6% 111.4% -28.8% -15.4% -0.4%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $77,295 $335,444 $188,646 $183,337 $252,152
Total revenue, % change over prior year 0.0% 0.0% -43.8% -2.8% 37.5%
Program services revenue 28.8% 0.8% 0.0% 3.8% 2.2%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 0.0% 0.0% 0.2% 0.0% 0.1%
Government grants 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
All other grants and contributions 71.2% 99.2% 99.8% 94.1% 97.7%
Other revenue 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 2.1% 0.0%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $80,768 $174,304 $255,847 $213,339 $218,101
Total expenses, % change over prior year 0.0% 0.0% 46.8% -16.6% 2.2%
Personnel 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 16.4% 76.4%
Professional fees 22.6% 3.3% 14.7% 11.4% 5.6%
Occupancy 4.3% 0.3% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Interest 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Pass-through 58.4% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
All other expenses 14.8% 96.4% 85.3% 72.2% 18.0%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2015 2019 2020 2021 2022
Total expenses (after depreciation) $80,768 $174,304 $255,847 $213,339 $218,101
One month of savings $6,731 $14,525 $21,321 $17,778 $18,175
Debt principal payment $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Fixed asset additions $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total full costs (estimated) $87,499 $188,829 $277,168 $231,117 $236,276

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2015 2019 2020 2021 2022
Months of cash 7.1 15.1 7.1 6.9 5.7
Months of cash and investments 7.1 15.1 7.1 6.9 5.7
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 6.0 14.9 6.7 6.2 6.0
Balance sheet composition info 2015 2019 2020 2021 2022
Cash $47,503 $219,078 $151,937 $122,489 $103,921
Investments $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Receivables $0 $5,000 $4,940 $1,275 $55,698
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 5.1% 0.0% 0.0% 0.6% 2.2%
Unrestricted net assets $40,070 $216,358 $142,586 $109,789 $108,841
Temporarily restricted net assets $5,000 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $0 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $5,000 $7,720 $14,291 $17,086 $52,085
Total net assets $45,070 $224,078 $156,877 $126,875 $160,926

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2015 2019 2020 2021 2022
Material data errors No No No No No

Operations

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

Documents
Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

President

Marc Evan Jackson

Marc Evan Jackson serves as the DCP President. In 2011 he founded The Detroit Creativity Project with several Los Angeles-based performers whose careers began in Detroit. Marc is an actor, improviser, writer and comedian. He moved from the Second City Detroit to Los Angeles in 2001. He has taught improv at Second City Hollywood and in 2003 formed a long-form improv group of other Second City alumni called The 313, an homage to Detroit. Marc has become best known for his work on NBC's The Good Place and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and as Sparks Nevada in the live stage show The Thrilling Adventure Hour. His recent film credits include Jumanji, Kong: Skull Island, and 22 Jump Street. He is also a contributor to the after-school literacy program 826 LA.

Executive Director

Nancy Hayden Edwards

Nancy has over 20 years of experience working in education and professional entertainment both for nonprofit, for-profit, and governmental entities. She earned her BA in Theatre with a minor in Arts Administration from Western Michigan University and a Musical Theatre degree from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Ms. Edwards has designed training curriculum for the Theater Departments at Michigan State University and the California Institute of the Arts, The Second City, and Oklahoma Film & TV Academy (OFTA). She served as the Associate Artistic Director and the Artistic Director for The Second City. Ms. Edwards has also taught improvisational theatre to youth and adults of all skills levels. She was a teaching artist in The Improv Project in the DCP’s first classes in 2012 before serving as the head of the DCP’s Artistic Advisory Group in 2015. She moved back to the Detroit area in 2022 to become the DCP’s Executive Director.

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990

DETROIT CREATIVITY PROJECT

Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Compensation
Other
Related
Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization

There are no highest paid employees recorded for this organization.

DETROIT CREATIVITY PROJECT

Board of directors
as of 02/22/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Marc Jackson

Unexpected Company, Inc.

Term: 2022 - 2025

Tiger Veenstra

Clinical Psychologist

Beth Hagenlocker

Grace Veterinary, Inc

Marc Evan Jackson

Unexpected Company

Carl Evans

Glasser & Associates, PC

Jon Carr

Second City Chicago

Kimberley Liddell-Love

DPSCD/Cass Technical HS

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 2/22/2024

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
Male, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

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

Equity strategies

Last updated: 06/13/2022

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 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 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 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.