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2020 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

39 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I attended a Polish concert last fall at Copernicus Center — the most beautiful historic theater in Chicago. Great place, awesome acoustics, friendly staff, easy parking. Loved the experience overall, I would recommend Copernicus Center if you want to see a concert.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

My Daughter and I had such nice time. When we got there the staff was all so kind and helpful. The stage setting and sound made watching the show so pleasant. I would definitely recommend them to others.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have worked multiple concerts and events at the Copernicus Theater. This is a gorgeous venue, and was newly renovated. Located right off the freeway at Lawrence, it's easy to get to. Its surprisingly big too, with a 2 story theater, and a separate banquet room. Lots of possibilities for performaces and events. The schedule of shows were so diverse, from comedy shows to Gordon Lightfoot to Eastern European parties to Latin concerts and more. The management is great to work for, and event staff is on point. I highly recommend checking it out!

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Copernicus Center serves the northwest side of Chicago for corporate and private events. They have live concerts, movies and bingo. Every Labor Day they host the Taste Of Polonia. This is a very clean theatre and it has its own parking lot. The bus line let's you off in front of the building. Also the Jefferson Park Blue Line is down the block.

2 Nick S.4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Copernicus Foundation showed me a vibrant and wonderful slice of Polish culture and the community here in Chicago. They bring in great international artists and provide a much needed venue for these performances. I highly recommend people get involved with The Copernicus Foundation.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I came to see a show and I really enjoyed my experience the show was amazing and great and I love the architecture of the theatre that was so cool to see I will for sure come back with friends and family.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I went ot a show at the begining of the year with some friends and had a great time. Everything was resonably prices and we enjoyed ourselves without going broke. We will definatly check out more shows there once we're able to go out again.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My husband and I were involved in an organization that held a fundraiser at Copernicus Theatre. They were extremely easy to work with during the whole process and very knowledgable on how to help us make our event great. Our quests had a great time and the staff was friendly and very helpful.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was at the Copernicus Center once, about 2 or 3 years ago while visiting Chicago. A friend of mine took me for a Tributosaurus show. That was amazing- music, atmosphere, drinks... A very nice lady, I believe her name was Yola, helped me locate my phone I left in the restroom. I definitely need to go back!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I come to this facility once in a while and it's always fun. Staff is very helpful and this old-style building is amazing!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A great foundation that donates back to the local community.

1

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

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I currently volunteered at the recent Taste of Polonia festival over labor day weekend. The staff at the Copernicus were very kind and helpful. The events itself was a lot of fun! Great food and great music! I really appreciate what the Copernicus Center does for not only the Polish-American community, but also the surrounding neighborhoods by throwing such a great festival. I will definitely volunteer again next year!

Board Member

Rating: 5

Great foundation, great people, great atmosphere, great events. Overall outstanding big improvements.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Copernicus Cultural Center is a very nice place to hang out. The best entertainment during Taste of Polonia for the whole family. Check the concerts schedule and bar menu. Prices are reasonable. Enjoy!

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Great organizations. Provides a fantastic venue for many of the charities I support.

Donor

Rating: 5

They don't advertise all of the good that they do enough. Most people don't know all the good the foundation/center does: English as a second language, supporting the community with a meeting space (costing them electricity, personnel, etc) to donating to local hospitals, and more. They are currently sponsoring a benefit for a toddler with cancer. It's a low key HERO in the Chicago community.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Copernicus Center is a community center that is rich in culture. It is a wonderful venue for many different types of occasions and always has awesome live music! The organization also does a great job supporting the community it serves. I wish I lived closer to the center so that I could enjoy it more.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Copernicus Center has something everyone can enjoy with it's 2,000 seat theater and the new Annex area for entertaining, parties, and corporate events. The diverse venues include tribute bands, dance groups, improvs, ultimate fighting, and so much more! The Copernicus team has worked so hard to keep this theater current through their multiple renovations. Even though Taste of Polonia festival on Labor Day weekend is their largest event, there is much more than this going on here on a daily basis! Check it out on their newly updated and easy to navigate website!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a community and program developer, I know the importance of "belonging" and "community." The Copernicus Center, through the support of the Foundation, has enriched more than just the Jefferson Park area. Its programming reaches residents throughout Chicago and enriches many lives.