Linking Learning and the Arts

aka ArtsConnection   |   New York, NY   |
GuideStar Charity Check


EIN: 13-2953240


To address the educational challenges of the 21st-century, ArtsConnection’s research-based arts programs create socially just learning environments. Our programs support literacy, communication, creativity, collaboration and critical thinking. ArtsConnection’s partnerships include and strengthen the diverse voices of NYC’s children and youth, cultivating their arts and academic skills for success in a changing world.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Ms. Rachel Watts

Main address

45 West 34th Street Suite 1210

New York, NY 10001 USA

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Subject area info

Arts education

Elementary education

Secondary education

Out-of-school learning

Population served info

Children and youth

Ethnic and racial groups

Low-income people


NTEE code info

Arts Education/Schools (A25)

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 education

ArtsConnection is one of the largest and most comprehensive arts education organizations in the country, offering and valuing a multiplicity of art forms through culturally sustaining curricula led by professional artists trained in arts education pedagogy. Our student programs provided during the in-school and out-of-school-time (OST) hours, family engagement initiatives, artist and teacher professional development, and research into the efficacy of our work all contribute to a comprehensive approach, nationally recognized for its quality, design, and impact across diverse learning communities. Organizational achievements include 13 major, multi-year research grants received since 2001 from the U.S. Department of Education, recognition unprecedented in the field of arts education.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

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

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
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


Average of 0.59 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 0.8 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 18% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Sep 01 - Aug 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data


Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Sep 01 - Aug 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


Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Sep 01 - Aug 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of THE ARTS CONNECTION INC’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.

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Business model indicators

Profitability info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation $239,427 -$224,990 $240,505 $787,941 $185,832
As % of expenses 4.4% -4.3% 5.4% 19.5% 4.0%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation $205,545 -$230,012 $228,505 $771,386 $164,026
As % of expenses 3.7% -4.4% 5.1% 19.1% 3.5%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $5,196,905 $6,811,718 $4,826,526 $5,165,768 $4,436,089
Total revenue, % change over prior year 22.0% 31.1% -29.1% 7.0% -14.1%
Program services revenue 31.2% 26.1% 20.5% 23.0% 29.7%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Government grants 25.4% 46.7% 37.4% 39.1% 41.9%
All other grants and contributions 43.4% 27.2% 42.1% 37.9% 27.4%
Other revenue 0.0% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 1.0%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $5,449,988 $5,263,848 $4,436,401 $4,032,702 $4,663,639
Total expenses, % change over prior year 10.6% -3.4% -15.7% -9.1% 15.6%
Personnel 70.9% 72.5% 77.3% 71.6% 74.0%
Professional fees 11.1% 9.1% 8.3% 13.5% 11.5%
Occupancy 5.3% 5.9% 5.8% 4.1% 6.6%
Interest 0.5% 0.4% 0.7% 0.0% 0.1%
Pass-through 1.0% 1.9% 0.4% 1.1% 1.0%
All other expenses 11.3% 10.3% 7.5% 9.7% 6.8%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Total expenses (after depreciation) $5,483,870 $5,268,870 $4,448,401 $4,049,257 $4,685,445
One month of savings $454,166 $438,654 $369,700 $336,059 $388,637
Debt principal payment $0 $0 $300,000 $34,320 $570,127
Fixed asset additions $0 $20,871 $15,000 $0 $0
Total full costs (estimated) $5,938,036 $5,728,395 $5,133,101 $4,419,636 $5,644,209

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Months of cash 1.1 0.5 1.0 1.7 0.8
Months of cash and investments 1.1 0.5 1.0 1.7 0.8
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 0.2 -0.4 0.1 0.5 0.8
Balance sheet composition info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Cash $505,172 $238,646 $364,555 $570,557 $327,777
Investments $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Receivables $1,429,658 $2,782,008 $1,286,464 $2,103,746 $1,448,758
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $210,148 $231,017 $246,017 $265,635 $310,223
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 98.5% 91.8% 91.0% 90.4% 84.4%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 31.3% 24.5% 47.0% 44.5% 41.2%
Unrestricted net assets $73,451 -$159,954 $70,530 $201,167 $342,963
Temporarily restricted net assets $1,303,416 $2,515,894 N/A N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $105,250 $105,250 N/A N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $1,408,666 $2,621,144 $960,317 $1,460,127 $899,028
Total net assets $1,482,117 $2,461,190 $1,030,847 $1,661,294 $1,241,991

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Material data errors No No No No No


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

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

Executive Director

Ms. Rachel Watts

Executive Director Rachel Watts is a multidisciplinary arts educator who has focused on creating and advocating for meaningful and equitable programming for young people during her 20 years in the Arts Education and Youth Development fields. She assumes the new leadership position after serving ArtsConnection as Director of Teen Programs and DEI Initiatives. She has held multiple leadership positions in the field, including Director of Education at Ballet Hispanico, Director of The MYC Youth Center in San Rafael California, where she created a state- of-the-art facility focused on developing teen leadership skills through the arts and technology. She has taught undergraduate students in the Art Education Program at City College in Harlem and serves on the board of the NYC Arts in Education Roundtable where she Co-Chairs the Advocacy Committee.  She is currently a doctoral student in the CUNY Graduate Center Urban Education program.

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990


Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

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


Highest paid employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of highest paid employee data for this organization


Board of directors
as of 05/10/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board co-chair

Ms. Debra Peltz

Compass Realty

Term: 2007 -

Board co-chair

Mr. Robert Pruzan

Centerview Partners

Term: 1996 -

Patricia M Carey

Debra Harounian Peltz

Robert A Pruzan

Lynne S Katzmann

Lisa Plepler

Linda LeRoy Janklow

Theodore S Berger

Robert W Downes

Ada Ciniglio

David Monn

Emily Ford

Douglas Schoen

Jawad Haider

Josephine Magliocco

Nduka Nwankwo

Iris Lior Posternack

Tibisay Salerno

Amy Sung

Louise Hartwell White

Laurie Cumbo, Ex-Officio

NYC Department of Cultural Affairs

Caroline Kim

InSung Cho

Marcella Gift

Erica Sutton Friedman

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 6/30/2022

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
Black/African American
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation


Equity strategies

Last updated: 04/20/2021

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

  • 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.
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 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.


Fiscal year ending

Professional fundraisers

Fiscal year ending

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 Schedule G

Solicitation activities
Gross receipts from fundraising
Retained by organization
Paid to fundraiser