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.
After meeting a number of people who volunteer/work at the CPC, I've been consistently impressed with their dedication to the center, its classes, and their other programs. Having gone shooting with a number of past students and faculty, most have had nothing but positive feedback regarding their experience with the center. That's been a big reason why I've donated to the CPC in the past, and will continue to do so in the future.
Some reviews seem to focus on the internal politics of the center's past, or address the lack of a "star" photographer associated with the center. To me, that isn’t important. I evaluated three things before donating; 1) Is the CPC advancing photographic art in Chicago through education, outreach programs, and other events, 2) Do their plans for the future include expanding those programs to meet the changing needs of the community, and 3) Are they providing a needed benefit/service to the local community.
To me, all three questions were answered with a resounding yes.