I am a young artist, working in an interdisciplinary fashion, based in southern Connecticut. Artspace accepted and supported my proposal for a two-day, site-specific performance piece in response to the old New Haven Armory, in conjunction with their 2014 City-Wide Open Studios Alternative Space Weekend. Although I have used the gallery in recent years as a resource to encounter provocative exhibitions and regional artists, this was my first experience professionally working with the space. By offering this opportunity, and the financial backing, to present my work at the armory, Artspace gave me the means to bring my studio practice to another level. It allowed me to take new, important risks. Not only do I now have a key piece to add to my portfolio, but a more focused and charged momentum with which to move forward. As well, the entire Artspace staff is a wonderful, rigorous group. They are intelligent, passionate people striving for challenges, critique and meaning. Their feedback, from concept to technique to context, is useful and wholly meant. It is rare to find such authenticity. This experience solidified my understanding of this space as a key resource for working artists both inside and outside the New Haven region.
As a new member to the Board, I have been impressed with a number of aspects of Artspace. I'd like to highlight three of them: 1) The commitment of the staff and volunteers to the mission and success of the organization; 2) The integrity and dedication of the executive leadership and visual arts committee; 3) And the quality, breadth, and depth of the programming. For a small arts organization, it is able to deliver events much larger, and much more ambitious, than its size would suggest, because of these factors.
Artspace fulfills so many different roles in New Haven's art world; as a place for emerging and established artists to show work; as a place to go and connect with art and artists from all over; as an organizer of community events such as the annual Open Studios and outdoor art projects; as a venue for a wide variety of art related events, and more. I am continually impressed by the range of activities/events and the high level of art that Artspace presents. Over the past 2 years I have volunteered in a variety of capacities in artspace events, and have greatly enjoyed the professional and creative atmosphere it maintains.
Artspace recently completed its June 30th fiscal year and I’m excited to say that it ended with a profit. Just as encouraging, early indications point to another positive financial year for June, 2012 with clear momentum building for the future.
Artspace has been successful in expanding its revenue sources to include grant funding from the National Endowment of the Arts, Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, the Community Foundation of Greater New Haven and other local foundations that were instrumental in the organization’s past. This spring also saw the return of its successful annual Gala benefit. These are exciting additions that strengthen the existing revenue base, minimizing the risk of over reliance on a few donors.
This past year also brought changes in leadership, including the executive director and certain board of director positions. The board of directors, charged with the organization’s governance, now comprise of individuals from diverse backgrounds including legal, finance, banking, medical, and artists from the community. The Board and management understand true fiscal discipline that brings long-term stability, requires implementing necessary expense reductions to complement the revenue increases. Accordingly, annual budgets are developed, reviewed and approved with a focus on operating with minimal administrative overhead. This will allow Artspace to use its new funding sources to expand its programs and mission in a fiscally sane way. The organization administrative costs approximate 10% of its total expenditures.
Artspace, as with many local non-profits, has the daunting challenge of balancing the realities of the economy with the program vision that is at the core of its mission. There are no easy solutions and additional, hurdles are to be expected. However, the financial transformation achieved this year.
Review from Guidestar
A non-profit gallery that focuses on presenting both local and international works of contemporary art, Artspace is very close to my heart in the service that it provide to the greater public: firsthand experience with, and education about, the arts, regardless of patrons’ social or economic classes.
As a volunteer gallery sitter at Artspace, I was able to take part in Artspace's wealth of different programs, from art openings to artist workshops to educational outreach programs for teens. I found these experiences very rewarding -- discussing the idea of the contemporary still life with an exhibiting artist, or seeing children's eyes light-up as you explain to them that they're allowed to interact with an art piece, are both wonderful feelings.
Artspace’s various opportunities for children and young adults exemplify the kind of programs that we need to further promote and expand the fine arts.
Artspace is a crucial part of the CT cultural scene. I am an artist recently commissioned by Artspace to participate in the 2010 Student Apprenticeship Program. This program brings 12 - 15 New Haven high school students, 3 - 4 college-age interns, and a professional artist or artist team together to collaborate on a large-scale public project. I cannot speak highly enough about the benefits of this program! It is a wonderful way to involve students in the arts; it is a great "practice job" for students; it provides a great opportunity and career boost for artists interested in getting involved in public work; it provides meaningful internships for college students who hope to work in the arts (my interns were wholly responsible for the entire education program that accompanied our artwork); and it is a great way to keep New Haven vital and filled with creative work. to The fact that projects are accomplished in a mere three weeks and with a minimal budget is a testament to the energy and enthusiasm of all involved (and especially to the fertile & supportive environment fostered by Artspace.) And the SAP project is typical of what Artspace does best: creating partnerships between artists and community members for the benefit of all involved.
Review from Guidestar
Artspace not only brings fresh art to the people, it brings people to the art. I count myself lucky to be a self-taught artist living and making art in New Haven--it has a democratic art scene at which Artspace stands in the center from my perspective. Opportunities such as City Wide Open Studios, shows such as Scrawl that solicit talent from local artists, and artist education series such as Brainard Carey's presentations on obtaining grants and breaking into shows and galleries, are ways Artspace supports and enriches the experiences of new and established artists.
Review from Guidestar
Artspace is unique in that it is inclusive rather than exclusive while maintaining curatorial integrity. What I find so refreshing and forward thinking about Artspace under the directorship of Helen Kauder is that she is interested in how visual art and live contemporary performance coexist. Artspace is fast becoming a nucleus for artists of several genres to experiment and thrive. As a result more people in the community come together to learn about art forms they may not be otherwise familiar with. I have to admit that I have a crush on Artspace so this review while biased stems from experience. I am the Artistic Director of Adele Myers and Dancers, a contemporary dance company dually based in CT and NYC. I have performed twice at Artspace at Helen’s invitation and each time I have found the experience to be illuminating in my own trajectory as an artist. Those in attendance have also been overwhelmingly enthusiastic about simultaneously experiencing visual art and live performance within its unique architectural frame. As a member of the New Haven community, I regard Artspace as a barometer for fresh perspectives in contemporary art and am always curious to see what is happening next. The only things I think Artspace needs is more funding and support. They are trying hard to have a broad vision with few resources which is challenging for any organization.
Review from Guidestar
I first became closely involved with Artspace as a non-voting member on the board, a year long position I took on through the Yale School of Management's Board Fellows program. I have been impressed by the vision and commitment to sustainability and fiscal responsibility exhibited by the current director, Helen Kauder. Her relentless pursuit of creative, cutting-edge programming and her strong grasp of the organization's finances are an incredible asset to Artspace.
Review from Guidestar