PLATINUM2024

Veronica Robles Cultural Center

Brings You Closer to Your Roots - Te Acerca a Tus Raices

aka VROCC   |   East Boston, MA   |  www.vrocc.org

Learn how to support this organization
GuideStar Charity Check

Veronica Robles Cultural Center

EIN: 81-3595731


Mission

Veronica Robles Cultural Center's (VROCC) mission is to promote Latin American arts and cultures as an engine for stronger communities and economic growth. Our VISION: To create a vibrant and interconnected multi-generational community where all feel welcomed, valued, and empowered to drive social change and community action, through the diverse arts and cultures of Latin America.

Ruling year info

2016

Principal Officer

Veronica Robles

Main address

282 Meridian Street Basement

East Boston, MA 02128 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

81-3595731

Subject area info

Arts and culture

Entrepreneurship

Economics for youth

Population served info

Children and youth

Adults

Ethnic and racial groups

NTEE code info

Arts, Cultural Organizations - Multipurpose (A20)

Business, Youth Development (O53)

Arts, Cultural Organizations - Multipurpose (A20)

IRS subsection

501(c)(3) Public Charity

IRS filing requirement

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

Tax forms

Show Forms 990

Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Create stronger communities and economic growth. Veronica Robles Cultural Center addresses the social, economic, cultural, and artistic needs of East Boston, a predominantly Spanish-speaking neighborhood with nearly 50,000 residents and the largest foreign-born population in the city (57%). Our programming includes Dance, Music, Art, Leadership, and Cultural Entrepreneurship, as well as programs that support the health and well-being of our community. We are also fostering a culture that celebrates folk arts that honor the rich and diverse tapestry of Latin American countries, helping to elevate the image of immigrant communities in Boston and create a strong diverse, and inclusive community, where everyone feels valued, respected, and supported. Our organization has proven to be successful in reaching out to immigrant communities across the Commonwealth but we need financial support to fulfill the growing demand.

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?

Through the eyes of the youth

This initiative was first conceptualized as a response to the uptick in violence that has been occurring in East Boston and has resulted in the unnecessary deaths of several youth with ties to the community. We believe that providing a positive and supportive environment will help the youth build healthy friendship while using their free time in a positive manner to perform in the community and with this setting an example for other youth in the neighborhood that might be enticed in participating in gang activity and violence.

The Healthy Living through Art & Culture Youth Initiative is a program designed to engage high school youth in learning Latin American dances, perform, and exploring creative entrepreneurship through art, multimedia and the culinary industry as a potential career path. Most importantly, it is a positive method for youth to express themselves, learn, and share about Latin American cultures.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
Ethnic and racial groups

VROCC programs inspire audiences to reconnect with their roots, and teach others about how ethnic groups have had positive impact in our society through dance and music. The classes include dances and music from Mexico, Central America, South American and El Caribe.

Population(s) Served
People of Latin American descent
Adults

VROCC leads efforts that utilize the arts to cultivate cross-cultural connections between the Latino community and other diverse communities in Greater Boston. VROCC's youth musicians and dancers participate in cultural celebrations throughout the city and receive invitations to perform from prominent civic and cultural organizations.

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 participants engaged in programs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

People who were positively impacted by our Latin American arts and cultures programming. Including our signature events, performances at school, and 0-19 arts & culture classes

Additional revenue and wages generated attributable to the organization's efforts

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Revenue generated by our youth and adult cultural entrepreneurs.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

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 Mission at VROCC is to promote Latin American arts and cultures as an engine for stronger communities and economic growth.

VROCC started as a volunteer-based organization, and for the past 10 years has had to rely on the limited time of our members and founders. Led by Veronica Robles, who also started serving as a volunteer in the capacity of Administrator, Creative Director, Lead Artist, Educator, Event Planner, community outreach, and marketing since co-founding the organization in 2013. We seek to move away from a volunteer model to one where people are compensated for their work and can make a longer commitment to the organization and now employ 25 people out of which 6 are senior staff. Although volunteers will continue to be a cornerstone of our organization, we seek to compensate people for their work, so that their families can continue to thrive and can make a longer commitment to the organization.

Our community is growing in size and needs, and to support it we need to focus on capacity building and expansion; as well as strengthening alignment, financial support, human resources, processes and programs, and strategic marketing positioning.

Our vision is to create a vibrant and interconnected multi-generational community where all feel welcomed, valued, and empowered to drive social change and community action, through the diverse arts and cultures of Latin America.

In January 2020 we moved to East Boston Old Public Library Building on Meridian Street at the heart of East Boston. This is the most important part of our strategy because our new home is located within easy walking access to public transportation for families and individuals interested in participating in our programs.

We are at a point in our journey where we need a bigger space for our events and programs and we need the infrastructure to support it. This is why it is so critical for us to focus on capacity building and expansion.

Our strategic pillars include the following:
1. Alignment - create a high-quality teaching curriculum and create alignment in all we do
2. Financial support - increase recurring funding without restrictions
3. Human resources - recruit and retain top talent and provide development programs
4. Processes and programs - improve the efficiency of event production and cultural afterschool and summer camp enrichment
5. Strategic marketing positioning - develop a marketing strategy by funding partners and develop our volunteer outreach

Our organization has proven to be successful in reaching and serving Latino communities across the Commonwealth. We have a strong track record managing small grants, producing Latin American Cultural Celebrations, providing cultural enrichment services through performances and classes for kids, providing jobs for youth, and providing development programs for creative entrepreneurs. We have ethnic working groups, comprised of volunteers, who help to create enrichment programs and events to teach, promote and celebrate the diverse cultures within the Latin American countries that are not properly represented in the City of Boston and the state of Massachusetts such as Mexico, Peru, Colombia, Chile, Guatemala, Venezuela, El Salvador and other countries of Central America.

In 2023, VROCC was a recipient of the Culture Investment Grant. This funding will build capacity for arts and cultural organizations working in partnership with communities in Boston, uplift Boston's cultural sector, and reinforce equitable access to arts and culture by supporting communities of color in Boston who have been most impacted by long-standing systemic inequities and disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.

"Supporting these organizations through the Cultural Investment Grant program not only allows us to expand accessibility and equity in the arts sector, but also helps us make progress on so many other important needs-equity and wealth-building, housing stability and community-building, and supporting health and well-being in our neighborhoods," said Mayor Michelle Wu.

We also continue to reside at the East Boston Old Public Library Building, where the rent is considerably low compared to the former venue, and we can focus our revenue on programming and our growth strategy.

Our organization has a strong foundation and our mission is to connect with our target areas and communities by offering intergenerational arts, music, and cultural programming to all families and individuals interested in celebrating and perpetuating Latin American cultures. VROCC creates space for learning, fostering, and sharing arts, culture, traditions, and family values, and uses Latin American arts and cultures as an engine for stronger communities and economic growth. Stronger communities and economic growth, pillars of our organization, are made possible through collaborations with municipalities, state government, and human service providers across our state and local families.

As a Latin American cultural center, we provide a neutral space for Latinos to engage in cultural activities and share space with people from other cultural groups who wish to learn about our culture or share traditions of their own culture. We facilitate intergenerational relationships and learning opportunities around arts and culture, create job opportunities for youth in the traditional arts and culture fields, and support aspiring and professional artists and arts entrepreneurs in the city.

VROCC members are very active in helping to organize events that offer networking opportunities for seniors, adults, and young professionals of all ethnic backgrounds. These events encourage community unity around collective learning experiences and celebration and help families foster their cultural traditions and language.

Newcomers need support with the transition of adapting to their new life and culture and VROCC offers a welcoming environment that values their roots and cultural background and makes them feel at home--offering intergenerational and culturally oriented programs to families.

VROCC helps children and youth with Latino roots and who are first-generation US citizens to develop an understanding and appreciation for their ethnic background, cultural heritage, and Spanish language that helps to increase self-esteem and diminish the internal conflicts that lead to destructive behaviors that Latino youth are especially susceptible to. VROCC programs help the Hispanic youth integrate into the neighborhood, encourage their community involvement, and teach them discipline and confidence.

Through our programs, we hope to identify youth interested in pursuing a professional career in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) and to provide training, guidance, and access to academic resources available to pursue and achieve their goals. Since a big percentage of students in East Boston Schools are Hispanic/Latino or descendants, the need for arts and cultural programs that represent them is tremendous.

We train youth interested in careers in the performing arts to become paid assistants in dance classes for younger students on VROCC after-school and summer programs. One of our teachers today came to us when she was 6 and was inspired to teach.

We would like to partner with Schools and Academic Institutions to make sure more students benefit from VROCC programs during school and after school hours.

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 inform the development of new programs/projects, 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 ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback

Financials

Veronica Robles Cultural Center
Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31
done  Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant. info

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 2021 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

1.24

Average of 0.62 over 2 years

Months of cash in 2021 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

9

Average of 4.5 over 2 years

Fringe rate in 2021 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

0%

Average of 0% over 2 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Veronica Robles Cultural Center

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Veronica Robles Cultural Center

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

Veronica Robles Cultural Center

Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of Veronica Robles Cultural Center’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 2021
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation $0
As % of expenses 0.0%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation $0
As % of expenses 0.0%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $295,963
Total revenue, % change over prior year 0.0%
Program services revenue 17.9%
Membership dues 0.0%
Investment income 0.0%
Government grants 33.3%
All other grants and contributions 48.8%
Other revenue 0.0%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $248,360
Total expenses, % change over prior year 0.0%
Personnel 0.0%
Professional fees 40.7%
Occupancy 16.8%
Interest 0.0%
Pass-through 0.0%
All other expenses 42.5%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2021
Total expenses (after depreciation) $248,360
One month of savings $20,697
Debt principal payment $2,200
Fixed asset additions $11,377
Total full costs (estimated) $282,634

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2021
Months of cash 9.0
Months of cash and investments 9.0
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets -0.8
Balance sheet composition info 2021
Cash $186,117
Investments $0
Receivables $8,000
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $16,787
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 0.0%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 71.1%
Unrestricted net assets $0
Temporarily restricted net assets N/A
Permanently restricted net assets N/A
Total restricted net assets $61,004
Total net assets $61,004

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2021
Material data errors No

Operations

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

Documents
Letter of Determination is not available for this organization
Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

Principal Officer

Veronica Robles

Veronica leads VROCC to effectively serve the social, economic, cultural, and artistic needs of East Boston, predominantly Spanish-speaking. She is a Mariachi singer by trade and a cultural icon for Latinos in Boston. She has effectively utilized the power of arts and culture, to bring the community together by raising awareness of the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion. She empowers the youth by employing them and teaching them about their roots and culture. In addition to this, Robles is the co-founder and director of the VROCC, a non-profit organization that supports community action and economic growth in East Boston. Veronica Robles is a woman of courage and principles. As a cancer survivor, she lives her life to the fullest, filled with joy, passion, and love. Her work honors the memory of her only daughter Kithizia who passed away as a teenager. Kithzia was a beautiful dancer and loved her culture. The center honors her and exemplifies community love and respect.

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990

Veronica Robles Cultural Center

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.

Veronica Robles Cultural Center

Board of directors
as of 03/04/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Jose Lopez

LTV Productions Corp

Term: 2019 - 2027

Adriana Zubieta-Zavala

Global Network MX

Silvia Liendo

Daniella Priscilla Garcia

Universidad de Monterrey

Margot Valencia

Claudia Quinones

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 2/6/2024

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
Hispanic/Latino/Latina/Latinx
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: 01/10/2024

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.