AMERICAN BLUES THEATER
We Do Our Part
AMERICAN BLUES THEATER
The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.
Exec. Artistic Director
Gwendolyn Whiteside is a proud Ensemble member of American Blues Theater and has served as Exec. Artistic Director since 2010. Under her leadership, she created the nationally-recognized annual Blue Ink Award, implemented community service into the company's vision, and adapted the arts education program for Chicago Public Schools which serves over 4,000 students annually. She led American Blues through its reorganization in 2009, building the operational budget from zero to $1 million. She secured the company's first-ever operating reserve and endowment. Whiteside served numerous panels for the National Endowment for the Arts and sat on the national Board of Directors for Network of Ensemble Theaters and League of Chicago Theatres. She's a graduate of Northwestern University (BS), The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (MFA), and a Kellogg Executive Scholar in Nonprofit management (Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University).
Number of employees
Source: IRS Form 990
AMERICAN BLUES THEATEROfficers, directors, trustees, and key employees
SOURCE: IRS Form 990
There are no highest paid employees recorded for this organization.
AMERICAN BLUES THEATERBoard of directors
as of 09/23/2023
Board of directors data
Board leadership practices
GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.
Board orientation and educationDoes 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 oversightHas the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
Ethics and transparencyHave the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
Board compositionDoes the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
Board performanceHas the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes
Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.
The organization's leader identifies as:
Race & ethnicity
Equity strategiesLast updated: 09/23/2023
- 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 disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
- 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.
- 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 measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
- 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.