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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Child Day Care, Children & Youth

Mission: Our mission is to foster a broad community of photographers who practice and appreciate the art of photography by offering a variety of classes and exhibition activities; sustaining a corps of volunteers; sharing our cameras with overlooked and underserved communities; and providing a vibrant, welcoming environment in which all this happens.

Results: The Chicago Photography Center continues to increase its class offerings, reach new constituencies and develop new opportunities to under-served communities.

Target demographics: General public

Community Stories

7 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

4 Steven13

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I went here first around five, six years ago and was met by the founder and director at the time and he was extremely rude to me. He knew me and my work and purposely went out of his way to try humiliate me. I have been around the block a few times, I wasn't going to intimidated. Then I heard he was terminated. I decided to give the place another chance. Since then I have been back numerous times, from openings to benefits. I was soon asked to be an instructor there and have been since. I find CPC to be a wonderful and supportive community of people who care about the world of photography. They are a committed bunch and I will always be part of this community.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Chicago Photography Center is a wonder organization and I love attending their events. They are extremely professional and friendly to all who visit them and an asset to the community at large. Keep up the fine work CPC!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

What a mess. Spend your $ elsewhere. Do not think the people at the top care about the students or even teachers. Large turnover in staff? Wonder why?

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

A wonderful resource for teaching photography, and being able to interact with other passionate photographers, both professional and amateur. I have taken many classes on different aspects of photography, and have used their facilities for post production. I especially like that they have darkroom facilities for black and white film developing. I really enjoy the hands-on process of film developing, I just wish there were more film photographers joining me!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I signed up for a introductory camera class at the CPC in January of 2011 without ever owning a real camera. In less than two years, I have already been able to have my photos exhibited in shows both here and in London, England. All of that made possible by the hard work and commitment of the wonderful instructors and staff at The Chicago Photography Center. I know is sounds cliche to say that an experience is life changing, but my life has been enriched beyond belief, thanks to the CPC. Not only can I say that the CPC made me the photographer that I am today, but I can also say that it has helped me grow as an individual and has opened the door to opportunities I never knew existed.

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

I attended Photo 1-3 from 2008-2009. Initially I felt attending these classes was a valuable experience. Very quickly things began to change for the worse. I had no idea why the Photo 1 instructer was asked to leave and no reason was given. What was explained was that the school was headed in a different direction and that it was time for change. What has seemed to change is the students no longer seem to be the number one priority. I was made to feel out of place and not good enough to show my work. I compared my experience with a friend that attended Photo 1 in 2010. He also expressed dissapointment in that the school is not interested in promoting students work or showcasing it, for that matter. This school is only interested in promoting the work of the staff. What sense does that make?! I have been shooting as a hobby over 11 years and have attended many different photography classes including workshops and college courses. All I can say is this place isn't worth the time or money.

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

I once volunteered with this organization, and took a variety of classes. I even exhibited my work there. But it's changed in recent years and I no longer want to be a part of what they do. I don't know why Karen E. would refer to comments as “defamatory, libelous and untrue”-.- the person was speaking the truth about the organization's default. Maybe Karen wasn't there when the initial deal was made and prefers to concentrate only on "current affairs". I was there, I saw what happened. This organization has a checkered past, with obligations they are not meeting.
I understand that the current Board is not going to advertise these behind-the-scenes problems. But prospective students should know that the organization isn’t on the soundest of foundations.
Aside from all that, I have found other schools in Chicago for photography classes where the emphasis is placed much more on student work, not that of professionals. If you are looking for a place to begin (or continue) your own photographic journey, and are interested in showing your own work in a public gallery, CPC may not be right for you. My work has been exhibited at other photography galleries in Chicago. I have taken classes at other schools where the concentration is on teaching fundamental through advanced photographic skills and digital printing. They have sophisticated digital labs with excellent computers and printers. They employ very experienced and gifted teachers whose goal is to bring out the very best in their students’ work. These teachers aren’t involved because they want to exhibit their own work, they are involved because they want to encourage and inspire students. Do a search for "photography classes in Chicago", and read websites from other schools. CPC is by no means the only game in town.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The CPC stands at the forefront of bringing interesting, diverse exhibits into the neighborhood. I've had the delight of attending their gallery openings and fundraisers, and have found them to be a worthwhile cause. Although I don't take pictures, a number of my friends have taken classes at the CPC. Their feedback is that the courses are well-organized, and the instructors really know their stuff. A true asset to Chicago!