About Mission

Our Mission

SculptureCenter leads the conversation on contemporary art by supporting artistic innovation and independent thought highlighting sculpture's specific potential to change the way we engage with the world. Positioning artists' work in larger cultural, historical, and aesthetic contexts, SculptureCenter discerns and interprets emerging ideas. Founded by artists in 1928, SculptureCenter provides an international forum that connects artists and audiences by presenting exhibitions, commissioning new work, and generating scholarship.

Core Values

Investment
We deploy significant institutional resources - from research and technical expertise to funding and sustained curatorial dialogue - to support artists before, during, and after their exhibitions.

Inclusiveness
We recognize that diversity enriches cultural dialogue and is essential to innovation. We regularly work across borders and generations and seek to reflect and embrace multiple viewpoints in programming, hiring, visitor relations, and facility planning.

Independence
We operate independently of market interests and, to the extent possible, fund production and exhibition costs through fundraising. The artists we showcase are represented by a diverse group of galleries and often by no gallery at all.

Transparency
We are transparent in our interactions with artists, audiences, donors, and other constituents. We share information internally and externally regarding our programs, financials, and other metrics while fostering a culture of openness.

Rigor
In programming and in governance, we are rigorous in our pursuit of new ideas. Our exhibitions, public programming, and scholarship are thoughtful, well researched, and precise in their scope. Our governance and operations are disciplined and efficient.

Our Programs

SculptureCenters programs explore and reflect the current concerns of and around contemporary sculpture. Taking the history and legacy of sculpture as our foundation, we consider the ways that artists are thinking about three-dimensional work. In supporting new ideas and artistic research, SculptureCenter identifies the most compelling practices and experiments that relate to the history of sculpture.

SculptureCenter introduces emerging artists, commissions major work of the highest quality in New York, and provides direct support to the artists for the creation of new work, including production funds, curatorial support, and honoraria.

As a non-collecting museum, SculptureCenters annual exhibition program includes 1-2 commissioning programs by mid-career artists, 10-15 projects by emerging artists, and 3-6 solo and group exhibitions in addition to an exciting series of special projects by emerging artists through In Practice, an open call program, and Public Process, a public art and education initiative for high school students. SculptureCenter continuously offers a dynamic series of free public programs and events that feature artist talks, performances, film screenings, and concerts, as well as publications.

In fiscal year 2016, SculptureCenter presented 7 critically-acclaimed exhibitions and a public art installation featuring 27 artists including: Lichen! Libido! Chastity!, the first United States solo museum exhibition of Anthea Hamilton, which went on to receive a 2016 Turner Prize nomination; the first solo museum exhibition in New York by Gabriel Sierra; the first solo institutional exhibition of Rochelle Goldberg; a new solo project by Jessi Reaves as part of SculptureCenter's Now Showing series; and new and existing work by Leslie Hewitt in collaboration with cinematographer Bradford Young. SculptureCenter presented two group exhibitions including: In Practice: Fantasy Can Invent Nothing New as part of SculptureCenter's signature annual open call program that featured sculpture, installation, video, multimedia, and performance works by 15 emerging artists; and The Eccentrics, a group exhibition and performance series showcasing 8 international artists. In summer 2016, SculptureCenter debuted Meridian (Gold) along the East River waterfront, a public art installation by Mika Tajima commissioned through SculptureCenter's inaugural Public Process program and which received over 100,000 visitors.

Additionally, SculptureCenter published 5 exhibition catalogues and offered 14 free public programs including: SC Conversations series of artist talks and lectures; a Community Opening Day to celebrate the debut of Mika Tajimas installation; 5 performances; and SculptureCenter's annual LIC Block Party which was attended by 1,500 visitors. SculptureCenter also launched First Saturdays in the Loft family art workshops and HOLDING SPACE, a series of music performances featuring vanguard acts, and continued the second year of Public Process, a public art and education initiative which provides high school students with the opportunity to play a central role in commissioning and presenting a public artwork in Long Island City, Queens.

Stewardship

In pursuing SculptureCenter's mission, we are aware of the public trust inherent in being a tax-exempt organization dependent upon contributions from the public. Accordingly, we make every effort to operate effectively, efficiently, and ethically. In this section we provide accountability information about SculptureCenter programs. The information is divided into three categories: Financial Data, Non-Financial Data, and Safeguards.


Financial Data

The following information is taken from the audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended August 31, 2016.

Revenue. In fiscal year 2016, SculptureCenter had total revenue of $1.98 million (compared to $2.69 million in 2015). The decrease in revenue was due to reduced contributions from the City of New York for the enlargement of our building, which was substantially completed in fiscal year 2015. Revenues were obtained from the following sources:

There were two fundraising events during the year: the Gala and Lucky Draw.

Expenses. Total fiscal 2016 expenses were $1.79 million (compared to $1.57 million in 2015) and were distributed as follows:

Program expenses include curatorial and exhibition costs.

We attempt to operate on a break-even basis, that is, to expend only the revenues we raise. For fiscal year 2016, revenue exceeded expenses by 10.4 percent of total revenue (compared to 41.7 percent in 2015). The principal reason revenue exceeded expenses in both years is that the City of New York made contributions toward the enlargement of our building.

Assets. Financial resources of SculptureCenter totaled $6.61 million on August 31, 2016 (up from $6.32 million on August 31, 2015) and were distributed as follows:

Note that SculptureCenter has no collections.

Liabilities and net assets. SculptureCenter's liabilities and net assets as of August 31, 2016 were distributed as follows:

Note that SculptureCenter has no short- or long-term debt.

Non-Financial Data

Although financial data are important, they do not tell the whole story. Here we present selected non-financial indicators of program effectiveness.

2016:

Exhibitions mounted: 9
Artworks commissioned: 57
Artists presented: 27
Square footage of exhibition space: 7,500 square feet
Staff members: 8
Interns and volunteers: 30
Annual attendance at exhibitions/events: 11,185
Website traffic (unique visitors): 93,058

Safeguards

SculptureCenter maintains policies and safeguards intended to assure that its mission is accomplished in an ethical and legal manner and that it continues to merit the public trust inherent in its tax-exempt status. Some of the principal safeguards are as follows:

- SculptureCenter is governed by a Board of Trustees, all of whom are independent of the organization. No Trustees receive compensation or do business with SculptureCenter except to purchase goods and services from SculptureCenter on no better terms than available to non-Trustees.

- SculptureCenter's annual financial statements are audited by Lutz and Carr, independent CPAs. (Copy available upon request.) Although the principal purpose of the audit is to provide reasonable assurance that the financial statements are free of material misstatements, the audit also addresses financial and reporting risks and internal control risks, and each year the auditor submits recommendations for improvement, which are implemented whenever feasible. The audit process is actively overseen by the Audit Committee of the Board of Trustees.

- Because SculptureCenter is exempt from income taxes under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, it has obligations to continuously meet the rigorous standards for tax exemption. It demonstrates this annually through the filing of Internal Revenue Service Form 990, "Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax." This Form discloses many facts about our mission, programs, financial results and position, compensation, and stewardship. Much of the information in the Form 990 is summarized on this website; moreover, the Form is a public document, available online from GuideStar or by request from SculptureCenter.

- Curatorial decisions are made by the Chief Curator (who is also the Executive Director) and the Curator or Guest Curators. The Board of Trustees has no role in the curatorial process of the organization. The Board periodically reviews the program schedule to ensure the programs are fulfilling the mission.