Hyde Park Art Center’s Organizational Analysis

A Brief Description of the Organization

Founded in 1939, Hyde Park Art Center promotes contemporary visual art in Chicago. The Center brings “artists and communities together to support creativity in art” (Hyde Park Art Center, 2016, p. para. 1).


“Connecting the public to Chicago art and artists while supporting artists’ ability to take risks – the Art Center fosters creativity through making, learning about, seeing, and discussing art—all under one roof” (Hyde Park Art Center, 2016)

Mission Statement

“To engage diverse audiences in the work of Chicago’s artists, the Art Center makes space for transparent interaction with art and the artistic process, inspiring creative exploration and encouraging exchange between audiences and artists” (Hyde Park Art Center, 2016)

Vision Statement

The Hyde Park Art Center does not have a clearly stated vision statement.


“As Chicago’s only visual arts organization dedicated to ensuring that Chicago is a place where artists can practice and flourish, the Art Center continues to sustain this foundational spirit” (Hyde Park Art Center, 2016)


The Hyde Park Art Center does not expressly state these values, but they can be derived from various statements presented by the organization.

  • Inspires
  • Creativity
  • Professionalism
  • Inclusivity
  • Involvement
  • Outreach


  • High-quality arts education, supporting individual and community development
  • Exhibitions
  • Provides a platform for international, national, and local artists
  • Professional development for working artists
  • Teaching artists
  • Provides art courses
  • Provides a platform and space for artists, community members, and peer organizations
  • Make a donation appeal
  • Exhibitions and events
  • Proudly lists all sponsors
  • Support for artists, including a limited amount of financial aid
  • A functional board of directors
  • Get involved
  • Volunteer positions
  • Internship opportunities

Staff Positions and Volunteer Positions

For staff Administration

  • Administration
  • Executive Director
  • Deputy director
  • Marketing and communication
  • Director of development
  • Development associate
  • Finance and operations


  • Director of education
  • Teens program
  • Outreach programs
  • Director of schools and studios


  • Director of exhibitions and residency programs
  • Residency and special projects manager
  • Residency coordinator
  • Preparator and installation technician
  • Facilities manager


  • Curatorial fellow
  • Administration intern
  • Education assistant
  • Leadership fellow
  • Education curatorial intern

Teaching Artists

Columbia MFA

For volunteers



  • Opening receptions
  • Installation/de-installation
  • Artist and curator talks
  • Open studios

Special events/other

  • Festivals and community events
  • Welcome desk
  • Office and administration
  • Tuition exchange

All Sources of Funding

The Center generally relies on three sources of funding supported by hundreds of contributors, including anonymous donors.

  • Donations
  • Grants
  • Fundraising through events

Two Fundraising Events

  1. The Center hosted a special event dubbed 2016 Gala to raise funds through ticket sales for various events in honor of Theaster Gates and Linda Johnson Rice.
  2. The Center conducts an annual Holiday Art Sale to raise funds by retaining 25% of the proceeds from the sales to support education and studio programs.

The Board of Directors

  1. Chair- Richard Wright
  2. Vice-Chair – Julie Guida
  3. Secretary – Janis Kanter
  4. Treasurer – Justine Jentes
  5. Other members – Dawoud Bey
  6. Martha Clinton
  7. Louis D’Angelo
  8. Erika Dudley
  9. Lawrence J. Furnstahl
  10. Theaster Gates
  11. De
  12. idre Gray
  13. Diane Jackman
  14. Kineret Jaffe
  15. Lisa Kornick
  16. Edward G. Lance IV
  17. Trinita Logue
  18. Lauren Moltz
  19. John Oxtoby
  20. Yumi Ross
  21. Jason Saul
  22. Robert Sullivan
  23. Michelle Ha Tucker
  24. Angela Williams Walker
  25. Linda Warren
  26. Amanda Williams

Sustaining Board

  1. Tim Brown
  2. Sonya Malinda
  3. Sandra Perlow
  4. Melissa Weber
  5. Karen Wilson

Hyde Park Art Center does not define how the board members or directors are chosen, but membership for the public is open to all under various categories defined by contribution levels.

The Committee

  • Hyde Park Art Center’s Exhibitions Committee chaired by Dawoud Bey
  • Supported by Huey Copeland, Kelly Kaczynski, Sze Lin Pang, Jason Salavon
  • Members
  • Art Center staff members: Allison Peters Quinn, Peter Reese, and Kate Lorenz


Presently, the committee gets more than 100 artist nominations submitted by faculty artists and curators in Chicago and then reviews these submissions. The committee thoroughly assesses and narrows down to few artists who are selected for a final shortlist for a subsequent inclusion of their work in the exhibition.

The Chair of the Board guides the relationship between the committee and staff, and volunteers. The committee strives to create a stronger tie with the staff and volunteers to ensure that the committee’s roles support and complement the Center. Hence, no competition is expected. While the committee serves at the request of the Chair, committed members and specialists are expected to make up the committee to enhance governance of the Center and offer support to volunteers and staff.

The Center can still establish other committees, but the number should be restricted based on the number of staff, volunteers, interns, and resource limitations. Thus, an executive committee made up of the Board officers and other directors can help the Center to handle delicate issues and financial affairs. The executive committee should also focus on the recruitment of board members, nominating committee members, reviewing the board structure, and promote learning opportunities for the board. The Center also requires a fundraising committee to handle issues related to philanthropy and grants. Further, it should have an ad hoc committee to evaluate the progress of other committees, results, and enhance transparency at the Center.

Innovative Ways to Utilize All Volunteers and Staff

For increasing attendance, staff and volunteers would research for available mailing lists for associations and organizations who could benefit from the Center through exposure. Additionally, staff and volunteers can create a publicity stunt to increase pre-event exposure and attract media attention. Finally, staff and volunteers can initiate partnership opportunities with other organizations and business leagues for attendance and mailing lists.

Staff and volunteers can enhance affinity to the Center by creating local awareness of the organization (Rehnborg, 2009). They would identify specific individuals who need to get involved by reviewing potential participants and partners; recruiting participants and members from diverse backgrounds and viewpoints; reviewing representation from different sectors of the community, and create an environment that allows a greater diversity of people and organizations to participate. They can also reach out to potential beneficiaries and contributors; develop a plan for engaging new generations of people and organizations; and finally, review previous practices for necessary adjustments.

Staff and volunteers ensure increased funding by utilizing new online fundraising techniques, such as Web optimization of the Center’s Web site so that donors can easily find it. Every special event held at the Center should provide an opportunity for fundraising and sales of artworks.

Expanding Outreach

The Center can enhance its outreach to the government by presenting policy papers that promote arts in Chicago. It should also align its strategic goals with government policy efforts in attempts to promote arts and creativity.

The Center should also assess representation across various sectors to determine specific business entities that should be involved but are currently not. They can create a partnership and mutual relations that focus on promotions and support.

The media can significantly assist the Center by working together to promote events. In this case, the Center must ensure that it creates events associated with a publicity stunt to attract media attention. The media, for instance, local dailies and magazines can help the Center to identify other related organizations or potential partners in specific areas.

New audiences are critical for the sustainability of the Center. The Center should create conditions that promote diversity to encourage minorities to participate by communicating messages that appeal to target audiences. It should focus on identifying potential beneficiaries of the Center from new generations through evaluating changing practices and future developments of the Center and communities.

Rewarding and Retaining Volunteers, Board, and Staff

Volunteers and board members are motivated by similar factors that motivate other employees. That is, the Center should focus on rewarding, appreciating, and recognizing all staff, board members, and volunteers. During interviews, potential employees, volunteers, and board members should be evaluated for specific roles and their fit with organizational culture and vision. The Center should provide support, training, and development for all personnel. Opportunities to acquire new skills, overcome challenges, and advance change will enhance satisfaction and involvement among all personnel.

Rewards and praise should be innovative, including monetary, open recognition, excellence service awards, complimentary training opportunities, open communication, one-on-one engagement with volunteers, employees, and board members to discuss their ideas and methods to enhance their inputs. Certificates of recognition, promotion for employees, and moral supports could help to retain personnel. Further, a well-defined career path and personal development also help in employee retention.


The center should develop political relationships by working with lawmakers who are influential on arts policy and budget, and members of special-interest groups where the arts intersect with other policy issues. The Center should also develop an alliance and grassroots advocacy to advance an active and informed network of art advocates for grassroots awareness. Besides, it should also take part in a statewide alliance of advocates to promote public support for arts. Communication with other arts advocates should be clear to ensure that the Center is current about state and federal laws that affect arts (National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, n.d).

Strategic Analysis for the Center (SWOT)


  • More than 70 years of experience
  • Strong, hundreds of donors and supporters
  • Strong links with communities
  • Strong leadership, a board of directors, internship, and volunteer programs
  • Creates multiple opportunities for artists
  • A knowledge-sharing community
  • A stronger resource center for arts and culture
  • Has nurtured good relations with stakeholders

  • Challenges with sustained marketing activities
  • More physical space may be required to accommodate current and future needs
  • A need for a broader membership engagement from communities, interns, volunteers, and lawmakers
  • Currently operating with few committees to support staff, the board, and volunteers
  • Few sources of funds

  • Financial support from donors, anonymous contributors, and other supporters is not always guaranteed
  • Local engagement and purchase
  • Recruitment and retention of the best talents and board members
  • Volunteers seek to experience and skills from the Center rather than provide the same
  • Marketing and promotional challenges
  • A lack of a clear strategic plan
  • Possible changes in regulations – 501(c)3 for tax exemption

  • More fundraising opportunities using new technologies
  • Art promotion beyond local communities through media, advertisement, brochures, and other events
  • Partnership with other related organizations
  • Increase volunteer involvement
  • Revamp special events for fundraising
  • Advocacy opportunities

The Business Environment for Not-for-profit Center Compared with For-Profit Organization

The most important element of consideration between a for-profit organization and a not-for-profit organization is the reason for their existence. The Center operates in an environment in which profit is not an important issue, but it rather focuses on serving communities and humanity. Conversely, traditional for-profit organizations are aggressive in their attempts to generate more profits for entrepreneurs, shareholders, and to cover costs of operations. A not-for-profit organization channels its resources in supporting the art center and artists while for-profit organizations are concerned with developing the best products and services to meet the diverse needs of consumers.

The Center almost entirely depends on donations and grants from organizations, individuals, and the government. For-profit organizations, on the other hand, depend on sales revenues, which generate incomes. Additionally, they also work with creditors and suppliers to fund some investments. The Center is required to use donor funds to meet the needs of the art community and benefit other stakeholders, but traditional for-profit firms use their incomes as they may deem fit.

The Center is registered for income tax exemption under the tax code 501(c)3. Conversely, for-profit organizations are expected to meet all tax obligations due to the state and federal governments. Moreover, donors also receive tax incentives on the amount donated. Further, directors are not liable for any debts.

In the recent past, many nonprofit organizations have focused on new models and marketing strategies to sustain their operations while for-profit firms concentrate on corporate social responsibility to support communities (Singh & Mofokeng, 2014; Clark, 2012).

For-profit organizations and not-for-profit organizations also differ in human resource practices. All workers in profit-oriented have salaried employees with few unpaid interns, but the Center has a considerable number of interns, volunteers, and permanent staff.

Good Events

Enhanced community engagement will ensure that the Center can activate all its facilities throughout the year to change Chicago as a city in which arts exposure transforms lives and improves the well-being of residents.

Major improvements can assist the Center to introduce new technologies and green building initiatives to enhance sustainable practices while protecting the environment. These are considered capital improvements, which can position the Center as the future of arts in Chicago.

The Center also requires more robust endowment funds to lessen massive dependence on short-term sources of funds. Reliable funds will ensure optimal support for artists.

Bad Events

Some bad events that can ruin the Center include some observed scandals in the art world. They include controversial exhibitions, record-breaking auctions, and violent cases by artists (Cascone, 2015). For instance, in the recent past, a photographer claimed that he attained a new record for the most expensive photograph globally at $6.5 million. This announcement led to skepticism and confusion among art lovers and critics. Art Basel Miami Beach witnessed the most shocking incident after a man attacked a woman. This vicious crime damaged the reputation of the Beach. Finally, sexual imagery also stirs the art world.


Cascone, S. (2015). Huffington Post. Web.

Clark, W. (2012). Introducing strategic thinking into a non-profit organization to develop alternative income streams. Journal of Practical Consulting, 4(1), 32-42.

Hyde Park Art Center. (2016). Web.

National Assembly of State Arts Agencies. (n.d). Arts advocacy checklist for arts organizations and advocates. Web.

Rehnborg, S. J. (2009). Strategic volunteer engagement: A guide for nonprofit and public sector leaders. Texas: RGK Center for Philanthropy & Community Service.

Singh, S., & Mofokeng, M.-A. (2014). Analysis of what makes a nonprofit organization sustainable: Specific reference to revenue diversification. Interdisciplinary Journal of Contemporary Research in Business, 6(4), 393-429.