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L M Alcott Art Center Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts, Culture & Humanities, Arts Services, Performing Arts

Mission: To help nurture artistic talent, to provide a place to teach, learn, exhibit and perform in an environment that bolsters community, to bring together people of diverse cultures for a common cause: The Arts.

Results: Have been able to provide numerous artistic opportunities for many aspiring artists. Alcott is well known for first time exhibitors, first time actors and directors. Have been able to provide a home for several other not for profit theater groups over the years, have held many art exhibits for individuals as well as groups and have had many Plays, Concerts, Art Fairs, Car Shows and just about anything we have been asked to help make happen. We have been in existence now for sixteen years as a self sustaining Arts Foundation. We have awarded grants and scholarships, taught classes in several areas of the Arts, curated over three hundred Art Exhibits and produced several plays at the Alcott Arts Center. We have partnered with several groups at public functions and even been involved with national Arts programs including the National Endowment of the Arts' "the Big Read" program. Alcott has become a regional Arts Organization with interaction of Artists, Actors, teachers and sponsors from all over the area and country. It has been a unique challenge to start something from scratch but it has been a great experience to be thrown into the world of the Arts in this endeavor.

Target demographics: provide artistic opportunities for all.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 700 Students, 4 not for profit organizations,

Geographic areas served: Kansas City Kansas

Programs: Children's Theater Classes, Shakespeare in the Parking Lot Productions, ABC Positive Enrichment Program, Youth Summer Intern Program, Art and Craft Classes for Kids, Children's Theater Productions, Ceramic Classes, special effects make-up and sculpting classes and much more.

Community Stories

87 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

3 Brazin_Maven

Client Served

Rating: 5

Alcott Arts Center is an encouraging place for new and exciting workshops. Alcott Arts Center has been a supportive ally in the realization of Brazin Mavens Youth Welding Program !!! It is a hidden Gem within KCK!!

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Alcott Art Center does a fantastic job of keeping the arts alive and thriving in Kansas City, Kansas. They are connected to our community in many ways and are always working hard to make a positive difference, whether it be through live productions, gallery exhibitions or collaboration with other not for profit and service organizations. Their programming reaches across the lifespan from young to old. I'm thrilled to have them as an active part of our community.

2 Anna59

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Alcott Arts Center has been part of my life for the past 5 years, & I treasure each moment I spend with the wonderful people there. I'm a Lampwork Bead & Jewelry artist, & have had many opportunities to not only show my art through Second Saturday exhibits, but to also teach it! I was thrilled to teach an 8 week class this summer & really show off how I create my unique artwork. I'm also an avid theater participant, & have had made many wonderful friends & memories through such productions as "Comedy of Errors" (Stage Manager), "Heidi" (Co-Director), "Hamlet" (Co-Director), & "The Merchant of Venice" (Director). In addition to all this, I love volunteering my time at the Alcott with their numerous other groups & functions, including Halloween at the Alcott, Flying Asbinis Traveling Arts-Travaganza, Mid-Life Players productions & many more. I look forward to all that the Alcott offers, & being a part of the Alcott family for many years to come.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Alcott Art Center creates a unique experience for the community in original theater and arts. The staff, board and volunteers dedicate many hours of time and service to theater and the arts for the entire community, children and adults alike. Bringing the community together to produce excellence in the theater and arts experience, an important concept for all communities. Alcott Art Center continues to build this community and provide opportunities for activity, creativity and entertainment for the entire family. The atmosphere is friendly, well-managed and maintained, and welcoming everyone.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Alcott is amazing it is the heart and soul of the community. This organization makes it a point to welcome everyone. in order to keep organizations such as the Alcott running it certainly helps when the generosity of the community comes thru but when you see the energy of the people involved that dedicate their time and wear many hats to make this organization who wouldn't want to join this amazing group.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I attended a fall dinner fundraiser a couple of years ago, and it was very entertaining and for a worthy cause. I own rental property up the street from Alcott, and I appreciate all that they do to help the area and serve the local community. Please keep up the good works! It is fine and reputable people like the Greens that make the area a good place to live.

Wendy B

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

My grandson has gone to your art center and painted many things, as well as used art in many ways, and had such a great time there! He looks so forward to attending again in the near future. Thank you so much for being there and for al of your hard work to bring such a wonderful place to our area.

2 Susan279

Client Served

Rating: 5

This organization is exceptional at supporting the arts, especially for children. My son has really enjoyed participating in numerous activities, from Kids Day to Halloween, from painting classes to acting camps. We love attending plays and musical presentations, and look forward for continued fun with the L M Alcott Center!

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I attended a function last year at Alcott, and it was awesome. They had karaoke fundraiser, and it was a load of fun and for a very worthy cause. Thank you for all that you do. We donated a fridge to them last year, and hope that they can continue to do good works.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Alcott Arts Center is truly inspiring. I performed in a few of their Shakespeare productions and the Alcott team treats their performers like family. I am always welcome and I enjoy coming up to the other events throughout the year. It's a safe place and I've met some amazing fellow volunteers, artists, and performers that I otherwise may not have met. There is a great balance of events for children, teens, and adults.

On a more personal level, I met my husband through one of the productions we were both performing in. My stepson was able to perform in his first two real theatrical productions thanks to the generosity and open opportunities provided. He now wants to pursue theater and art thanks to the positive influences he has experienced at the Alcott. My husband and I also have a young son who loves visiting the Alcott. Chris always opens up creative art projects or play for him whenever we visit.

The Alcott also serves my neighborhood. I'm very proud that a positive and artistic institution is a part of my area. It is a great example of Wyandotte residents working hard to make their home a better and friendlier area. Due to this organization, I am more aware of being involved in local programs. They are always partnering with schools, the area food pantry, and artists to make our world better.

2 Arthur4

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Alcott Center helped me out with my first Art showing! Chuck and Chris are nice people and are always thinking of new ways on how to keep the Alcott Center alive and well.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I love everything about the L.M. Alcott Arts Center. The husband and wife team of Chuck and Chris Green have given their heart and soul to keeping this urban arts center alive and vibrant - and it shows! The Alcott is a truly grassroots effort, which does creates challenges, but it also makes it very authentic. The Alcott is always finding new ways to bring arts to our downtown Kansas City, Kansas area. Where they find the time and energy to continue this pace, I do not know. But I do know that our community would suffer if Alcott was not open and available to all walks of life in our town. They support our neighborhoods, and those who live in them. They support youth employment opportunities; they look for leadership development opportunities; they provide holiday events for young people - so that they might enjoy safe activities; they engage their supporters in helping them with major projects. These are faithful, loyal people who love the arts and love their community. The L.M. Alcott Arts Center is a gem and a blessing!

2 Sheryl N.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Alcott Art Center offers great free art events in an impoverished, art-starved area. And they do it with such a small budget. I volunteer every year for their Trunk or Treat event which guarantees low-income kids a safe, fun Halloween event. They work so hard to help the community that it is an honor to help them.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have known about the Alcott for years, but was never able to do anything until 2009. There, I was in a version of Shakespeare's "A Comedy of Errors." It was an amazing experience that created lasting friendships and a stronger connection to the community.

Since then i have been involved with other volunteer actives and has always been worth the time and effort.

I can truthfully say my life has been changed for the better since volunteering at the Alcott.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I am familiar with the good works that Alcott Arts Center has been involved with the past few years, and I think they are a wonderful non-profit organization that provides exposure to the arts to many local individuals, that may not otherwise be involved or have the opportunity to be involved in theater and acting classes. Chris and Chuck Green are a wonderful asset to the area, and I wholeheartedly support their efforts to expose the younger generation to the arts and culture. Good job! I wish them the best of success in all they endeavor to do.

Pete and Angela Gosserand

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am Elaine Grisnik, a local Kansas City, Kansas artist. My first exhibit at the Alcott in 2009 was a great experience. Chris and Chuck are so enthusiastic and spend many, many hours keeping this venue alive. The Alcott Center is a very positive aspect of the neighborhood. Not only are they restoring life to the once empty, deteriorating, school building, but they bring in a variety of artists, performers, and neighborhood youth to participate in activities. My mother, artist Marijana Grisnik has given presentations of her historic paintings of Strawberry Hill neighborhood of KC, KS to the youth at the center. The youth took pride in their own neighborhoods and were inspired to do paintings .

In 2010, I underwent brain surgery for a tumor. I could not paint after that. I visited the center to view a Second Saturday exhibit and was encouraged by Chris and Chuck to have another exhibit of paintings. By July, 2011 I had my first exhibit of paintings after brain surgery at the Alcott!

The Alcott Center has been a very positive influence in my life and deserves recognition. They truly change people's lives.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

The Alcott Art Center serves an important role in Kansas City, Kansas by offering a venue for local artists to exhibit their works. The center hosts many public events, and offers a variety of classes. Chuck and Chris Green are dedicated to insuring that this venue remains open and accessible to all types of art. The Green's are both active and involved in the local community, and their level of caring shows in the way they treat everyone who walks through the center's doors.
A couple of years ago the Alcott submitted a funding request to our local utility company. I am an elected board member, and head of the committee which reviews these requests. Our board saw the merit in the Alcott's activiteis and voted unanimously to approve the funds. These dollars have been wisely spent to offer additional classes which are open to all applicants. I have followed up with Chris Green to see how the funds have changed their approach, and was pleased to see that it has increased their scope of offerings to the community.

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

My Name is Chuck Green. I am proud to say that I am one of the co-founders and current President of the Board of Directors of the L. M. Alcott Art Center Foundation. It gives my life purpose. My wife and I have been involved with this organization even before it was an organization. Here's our story.
The L.M. Alcott Art Center or Alcott Arts Center as most know us was started in an effort to save a neighborhood school (Our building first opened in 1923 as the Louisa May Alcott Grade School, serving the Kansas City, Kansas public school system in that capacity until 1976 after which it was used as an Alternative High School and Curriculum Building) from becoming a minimum-security prison in 1999 in our mostly residential area. At the time our area was troubled with old abandoned truck stop buildings across the street from our school building and a less than desirable motel that rented rooms 15 minutes at a time.
Our community needed some hope! The founders (a group of local neighbors who lived close to the building and some other local business people) were given an opportunity to help create a positive environment in our own neighborhood. The Board of Education agreed to sell the building to an area NBR, the Central Avenue Betterment Association in that effort to bring about a positive change. This group had the building a little over a year when the original neighborhood people who petitioned the BOE to stop the sell to the prison were called upon to come back and help define a direction for this historic old school building.
We joined in and organized a fact finding committee to make sure that what ever was in the school would be something positive, that it would benefit a large variety of people and bring opportunities to the local KCK area, as well as preserve and restore our wonderful historic old building. Our committee, after a few months of searching for the best solution decided on the concept of something different for our area altogether, an Arts Center.
The Alcott Arts Center was designated as an all Arts facility in October of 2001.
The Central Avenue Betterment Association in early 2002 decided to sell the building to the Alcott steering committee (under the condition that the committee become a Kansas not for profit charity) and move back to the Central Avenue area. The committee filed for state not for profit incorporation with the help of one of Alcott’s past alumna’s and the attorney she worked for helped us file and receive not for profit status (approved in March of 2002) and has been know formally as the L.M. Alcott Art Center Foundation ever since.
LMAACF is a non-profit 501(c)(3), 509(a)(2) Public Charity dedicated to the appreciation, understanding, and production of the arts, with an emphasis on exploring and sharing the cultural diversity within our community.
We have been in existence now for twelve years as an Arts Organization. We have awarded grants and scholarships, taught classes and workshops in several areas of the Arts, curated over three hundred Art Exhibits in the three Alcott Galleries, produced several plays at the Alcott including an annual Shakespeare in the Parking Lot series of plays and have provided space for other Arts organizations to rehearse and produce and perform in the Alcott Theater. We have partnered with several groups at public functions and have even been involved with national Arts programs including the National Endowment of the Arts' "the Big Read" program. We make sure that everyone has the opportunity to participate regardless of social or financial status.
Alcott has become a regional Arts Organization due to interaction with artists, actors, teachers, filmmakers, poets, musicians and many other artistic and down right good people from all over the area and beyond.

It has been a unique challenge to start something from scratch (without any experience in this field) but it has been a great experience to be thrown into the world of the Arts in an endeavor to help save a community.
Our biggest drawback is that we have a building without a working heat source. We close at the end of October each year right after our annual Halloween Trick or Treat event for all of the area children, and we open back up at the beginning of March. If we were open year round we would thrive!
Thanks to all of the positive reviews from friends in the past Alcott was within the top thirty top rated not for profits organizations listed on this website (great nonprofits.org) in 2011.
The area around the Alcott Arts Center has since changed from the old scary rundown place to something we can all be proud of. The city has given much needed attention to the blight and brought economic redevelopment our way. The run down truck stop buildings and motel are gone, replaced by a multi-million dollar retail development. It is nice after enduring years of the looking at the sad state of the community to be able to drive up the street and see people get out of their vehicles and move around the area safely and enjoying the new look.
While we are sure that they did not bring the improvements to the area because of the Alcott Arts Center's existence, we are hopeful that they saw that we were a benefit to the greater community and that if we could make it work here, then they could too.
We are looking forward to a great future knowing that we are making life a little better for some and a lot better for many. There are so many first time artists and performers that have been provided the artistic opportunities through Alcott, which has been one of the biggest blessings.
Maybe, just maybe they will go on to be world renowned Artists in one form or another, and to think it would all have been made possible because people wanted to take ownership of their neighborhood and work hard to make sure something positive happened there.
Oh and by the way not only is The LMAACF self-sustaining but it has been operated and ran by unpaid/volunteer staff for all of the twelve years in service. There have been well over 40,500 hours of donated time given to this unique organization.
We have dedicated the past thirteen years of our lives to help make sure that Alcott continues to serve the greater community for another 90 years (hopefully more) and help bring a Positive Cultural Arts environment to the Kansas City, Kansas area.
My personnel history with the building goes back to my childhood. I went to grade school in this great old school building back in the 1960's, as did all of my siblings and my mother and her siblings back in the late 1920's, 30’s and 40’s.
When the school was put up for sale it had been vacant for a few years with over a hundred broken windows, which had been boarded up. It looked terrible and unfortunately fit right in with the area across the street. We (the neighborhood people) actually helped organized a neighborhood watch group (ironically named the Concerned Citizens Committee of Kansas City, Kansas) back in the 1990's after many issues with drug dealers and a hooker that tried to climb in the cab of my pick-up truck with me and my two young daughters.
It was at that point that we realized that if anyone was to make things in our community better, it had to start with the people most affected by the downturn, the neighbors.
As you have read things are much better these days but it has been a long journey.
I have been proud to have Great Nonprofits give Alcott this platform for exposure.
Everyone has had good things to say about the Alcott save one.
A couple of years ago some anonymously wrote a scathing review that I was floored by when I read it. I wasn't sure how to respond to something that volatile.
It wasn't so much an attack on the Alcott I guess, as it was more of an attack on me and my wife Chris.
If you read the other reviews on the Alcott part of this site, as I hope you will. You will see the negative review by a very hurtful and of course anonymous reviewer. It referred to an article in the Kansas City Star that was done about Alcott back in 2011.
Just to clarify my position with Alcott and life as a disabled person.
I have never been paid a single penny nor received any compensation from the L. M. Alcott Art Center Foundation/ Alcott Arts Center.
First off, I am a retired/disabled Journeyman Electrical Lineman and was injured in a fall while climbing a power pole in 1989 on my birthday; this was unfortunately an injury that has lead to lumbar spinal fusion with irreversible spinal cord damage resulting in what they call spinal arachnoiditis. In 1993 I suffered from acute shingles attack in my eye’s and across the right side of my head, unfortunately it is something that affects me to this day with severe nerve damage to my eyes, hearing and facial area over the years. The last diagnosis of my spine in 2005 was that I needed emergency surgery because the disk above the lumbar fusion was totally gone and the vertebra were grinding against each other splintering out into my spinal cord. The doctor told me at that point that he could do the lumbar surgery to fix me but that there was a 80 percent chance that he would paralyze or kill me in the process. I opted not to have that surgery.
I was also diagnosed at that time with herniated disks in my cervical spine from an injury in 2003 which required emergency surgery to fuse the vertebra together in an attempt to keep me from becoming paralyzed.
I haven’t been able to work for several years due to incredible pain associated with the damage and what I do for Alcott is the only things I do for anyone, including myself. It is a challenge to do anything physical and mentally, but Alcott is my therapy. I am not depressed because I have lost my livelihood (while I am not happy about it); I don’t see a shrink and do not take anti-depression medicine. Don’t drink nor do drugs and I try to be the best person I can be. All because Alcott distracts me from my life as a person who has lost almost all of the basic abilities to live and enjoy life as a mobile person.
I had to make a conscious decision many years ago, that if I’m going to hurt my body any worse it would be doing things for Alcott. I don’t often mow but if I have to I get on the zero radius mower, I chug along at a severely reduced speed in order keep from crying out in pain when hitting the smallest of bumps. I get up and talk to people for a few minutes here and there because there may not be someone else that is available to speak. I’m proud to do it but it comes at a price, as it is hard to talk and be able to understand what I am saying due to the nerve damage to my ears. I believe that Alcott actually helps keep me from sitting or lying around all of the time, thus keeping my muscles from deteriorating any more than they already have. We have always done our best to make sure that Alcott is a place of integrity and one that gives back more than it is given.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I'm an Assistant Professor of New Media and Informatics at Indiana University South Bend and a Time Based Media artist. The Alcott Art Center was one of my first exhibitions in undergrad at Kansas City Art Institute. They couldn't be any nicer people then the people at the Alcott Art Center.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I once took part in a New Media Art show there and the staff at Alcott Arts were incredibly kind and helpful, especially the owner Chuck. They gave us the room and respect to express ourselves creatively within a rich historical environment. This show was a really good resume builder too. I have been in many non profit art shows around the world and the support that the Alcott Arts Center gave surpassed many of those experiences. They provide great cultural events that are a necessity to any community, especially during a time where there is little support for the arts. Alcott Art Center deserves any support that they can get because they are the ones that keep hope alive for the arts.