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2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Copernicus Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Human Service Organizations, Human Services

Mission: The Copernicus Center is a community center sponsored by the Copernicus Foundation and primarily the Polish community for the benefit of Chicago and the northwest side communities. Its mission is to promote Polish cultural events in Chicago and to serve the needs of the multicultural communities in Chicago. The Center houses a historic theater, classrooms, and other venue spaces for events and meetings.

Results: Total underwriting for community and charitable causes exceeds $200,000 annually for the 5th year in a row. WOSP Benefit - First event sponsored 3 years ago raised $15,000 for child health care, second year raised $25,000 and last year's event raised over $80,000 for children's hospitals Community Meetings, Workshops, & Events: Flu Shots, Voting, Tax & Health Seminars, Election Information, Various Information Fairs, Farmer's Markets, OSHA safety seminars, ESL classes, Christmas tree lighting/entertainment. The Copernicus Foundation underwrites or supports a MINIMUM of 12 OTHER nonprofits annually. Our Programs: 1.) English as a second Language classes ( 6 days a week ) 2.) Underwriting support for Paderewski Symphony orchestra 3.) Underwriting for Polonia Ensemble dance group 4.) Underwriting support - Agata Paleczny Children's Theaterworks 5.) Underwriting support - Scena Polonia - theatrical program 6.) Underwriting of WOSP event ( last year raised over $ 60,000 for children's hospitals 7.) Sponsor of neighborhood Sunday Farmer's Markets for Jefferson Park 8.) Sponsor and underwrite community events ( Aldermanic debates, community meetings, Chamber of Commerce meetings, Police Community outreach meetings, Social Security seminars, OSHA safety seminars, official neighborhood polling location, Flu Shot Clinic, and more...

Target demographics: Community health & information seminars, Community meeting space, underwrite performing art groups & students, Raise funds for children with medical needs, underwrite ESL classes, Support other non-profits via Venue usage

Direct beneficiaries per year: 5000

Geographic areas served: Metro Chicago

Programs: 1.) English as a second Language classes ( 6 days a week ) 2.) Underwriting support for Paderewski Symphony orchestra 3.) Underwriting for Polonia Ensemble dance group 4.) Underwriting support - Agata Paleczny Children's Theaterworks 5.) Underwriting support - Scena Polonia - theatrical program 6.) Underwriting of WOSP event ( last year raised over $ 60,000 for children's hospitals 7.) Sponsor of neighborhood Sunday Farmer's Markets ( held in our Parking lot ) 8.) Sponsor and underwrite community events ( Aldermanic debates, community meetings, Chamber of Commerce meetings, Police Community outreach meetings, Social Security seminars, OSHA safety seminars, official neighborhood polling location

Community Stories

28 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

I brought my Christmas Show to the Copernicus Foundation. The staff was very helpful and went beyond to help in every way to make my show a success. The techs did a great job!

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Copernicus Foundation is a very special nonprofit organization. They have underwritten expenses for two important programs we have presented at their venue. This support has helped our organization to realize our mission, and grow artistically.

The efforts of the Foundation to renovate their Theater, and to provide it for diverse programming benefiting the community, is exemplary. Their willingness to collaborate, and deliver, with other nonprofits puts them in a leadership position in Chicago. Their emphasis on live performance, and cultural exchange, mirrors our organizations's commitment. American Music Festivals is grateful for their support, vision, and the amazing service that they provide.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

It would be difficult for me to imagine the cultural life of our large Polish-American community in Chicago without the Copernicus Center, a venue of the Copernicus Foundation. After its recent renovations the Copernicus is now gorgeous, functional, clean and comfortable. It has become the heart of Polish – American cultural life in Chicago, and it is the home of many great organizations. Especially now – when Not-for-profit cultural Organizations in Chicago experience difficulties, many of them receive support, help and advice from the Foundation and its talented, dedicated members and staff. Thank you Copernicus Foundation for your dedication to our community!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We have been to many events hosted by the Copernicus Foundation and they have all been a great time. The taste of Polonia makes the Copernicus Center a great focal point for the huge Polish population in Chicago. The Taste of Polonia's mix of Ethnic foods, traditional polish entertainment, American entertainment, rolled together in a block party setting create a great way for non-Polish Chicagoans to experience great Polish culture.



Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am an employee of a nonprofit, social services organization serving Chicago area residents. Over the course of this year, we have organized several community workshops and informational seminars at the Copernicus Center. The foundation provided us with beautiful and functional meeting space and assistance of their amazing staff. We are very grateful for their support for the community projects.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Copernicus Foundation is a very vital and important part of Polonia Ensemble's mission of preserving and promoting Polish culture in the US and abroad. As a recipient of free venue usage at the Copernicus Center and support from the Copernicus Foundation, we are able to pass onto the next generation the treasures of Polish song and dance. The Copernicus Foundation deserves much praise from all our dancers, parents and audience, because without their continued support and generosity, all of this would not be possible.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a great organization. The dedication and hard work shown by every member, staff, and volunteer has always impressed me. 2013 was my 10th or 11th Taste of Polonia. What a wonderful event.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Copernicus Foundation has progressed significantly the past few years. We are now an organization that operates revenue generating facilities for the betterment of the foundation and ultimately the many different groups, clubs and organizations we help support. The Polish Community in Chicago has embraced our efforts and we look forward to continuing our mission as the cultural hub of Polonia in the Midwest.

Board Member

Rating: 4

I am deeply impressed by the dedication and tireless efforts of the many board members, staff members and volunteers with which I have had the pleasure to serve at the Copernicus Foundation. Copernicus is a cornerstone of the community and continues to expand its scope and mission.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteered at the Taste of Polonia festival last year and had a great time helping at the kid's tent :)

Client Served

Rating: 4

I just had my wedding at the Annex a couple of weeks ago. Great Venue! Great people! The perfect place for what we wanted. If you're looking to rent a loft space, without the high price, definitely consider the Annex. The staff was completely flexible to whatever we wanted inside the Annex and how to decorate it. I would certainly rent it again.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Great place and wonderful atmosphere. Friendly and helpful staff!
I went there a couple of months ago for a concert! I will definitely come back!!!

Vanda S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My name is Vanda Shulga. I've been volunteer for taste of Polonia for many years. It is fun festival. Many businesses using this opportunities to demonstrate their services. The money we raise are going to help polish association to help poor, to provide services to local community, to maintain Copernicus building. 2 years ago Governor Quinn stopped by. This year congress woman Topinka. This polish foundation is engaging local community to make it peacefull and happy place to live. I hope polish foundation will grow and present more opportunities for everyone to engage and help communities around this location.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Beautiful building ,great location and very nice people.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was a volunteer at May Fest this year. It was such a great experience! I had the opportunity to help the staff set-up and take-down the event. It was really cool working behind the scenes of such a great festival!

Board Member

Rating: 5

The charity was initially formed to promote Polish culture and maintain its knowledge for generations to come. The 2000 person movie theater now actually is a performing arts theater as well, complete with dressing rooms etc. What started out as a Polish only project has now evolved into one of Chicago s top concert viewing arenas as well as community centers, complete with classrooms. meeting rooms and offices for community ]organizations , came take a look at anytime,5214 w. Lawrence ave, just off the Kennedy expressway.

Tina50

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I never knew the Copernicus Centet existed until a friend invited me to see a concert there. It is a true gem in Jefferson Park. A wonderul place to hear music - they have all kinds of fun shows - or to have a private event. The theater is so gorgeous and the building in general is well kept. I hope more people will discover it like I have because I will keep coming back!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Over the past few years I've volunteered at the Copernicus Center for various festivals and events. The center does sponsor a variety of events, seminars and theaters with roots in the NW side and beyond. When I needed a flu shot, they were supporting a free clinic, when my friend was clueless regarding the impending health care changes- they co hosted seminars on it. Anyone concerned about the speeding cameras which will be installed or how the city's budget will be spent? You bet Copernicus Center will be sponsoring a free meeting hosted by local city and state political offices.
Gotta love those Polish fests, too!
People from the Chicago area know the tower and they may even remember coming here when it used to be a movie theater many years ago, but its really come a far way in terms of renovations, the events it hosts and the wide variety of cultures which now call it home. Polish-American with a flair of the international! Oh and transportation wise- this can't be beat. CTA/METRA & new and improved parking options.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Beautiful theater, real gem on Chicago's map of Polish and International culture.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Great place, beatiful theater, friendly and very helpful staff!!! We rent the stage few times for a kids show. And we'll do again this year . It's great to see a big improwments - thank you and congratulations!
ap