Chicago Arts Center Achieves Financial Revitalization
Actualizing results from an ongoing partnership with Executive Service Corps (ESC) of Chicago, the Beverly Arts Center (BAC) hosted a press briefing on Thursday, September 26 to announce plans for the nonprofit's financial revitalization. This announcement demonstrates a return to financial stability and BAC's ongoing commitment to vital visual and performing arts for residents of southwest Chicago, a goal of the city's new arts & culture implementation plan for "strengthening arts in the community," according to Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
The announcement addresses years of concern about financial trouble at BAC and rumors that the institution was on track for closure. BAC began working with ESC in 2012 to turn the situation around, engaging Nancy Abbate, an experienced nonprofit leader, as Interim Executive Director and John Donaker, ESC consulting expert in financial management and board development. Abbate, Donaker, and an ESC consulting team audited BAC financial issues and engaged the Board of Directors in problem-solving and building solutions.
Matthew J. O'Shea, Alderman of Chicago's 19 th Ward, announced one such solution, the "BAC Challenge" which stipulates that if BAC raises $500,000 in support from community citizens, business and philanthropic donors in the next year, Fifth Third Bank will reduce their $4 million mortgage debt by $2 million.
"Our public/private partnership shows that even in these difficult economic times, reasonable solutions can be reached with creative thinking, genuine compromise, and shared respect," said Alderman O'Shea. Citing the importance of the BAC's partners, including ESC, in realizing this opportunity, he continued, "We are similarly indebted to Nancy Abbate and John Donaker of Executive Service Corps who have worked side by side with us, preparing a variety of reports and forecasts about the viability of the BAC."