About Mission

Our Mission

Founded by artists in 1928, SculptureCenter is a not-for-profit arts institution dedicated to experimental and innovative developments in contemporary sculpture. SculptureCenter commissions new work and presents exhibitions by emerging and established, national and international artists.

Our Programs

SculptureCenter's programs explore and reflect the current concerns of and around contemporary sculpture. Taking the history and legacy of sculpture as our foundation, SculptureCenter supports new ideas and artistic research, identifying the most compelling practices and experiments by todays artists.

In all of our programs, SculptureCenter provides direct support to the artists for the creation of new work, including production funds, curatorial support, and honoraria.

Our annual exhibition program includes one to three commissions by mid-career artists, ten to twelve projects by emerging artists, and three to five solo and group exhibitions. To facilitate deep public engagement and encourage dialogue between visitors of all ages, artists, and their work, SculptureCenter hosts free events and programs that complement our exhibitions, including lectures, panel discussions, readings, video screenings, performances, an annual block party, and other events.

In the fiscal year 2015, SculptureCenter presented nine acclaimed exhibitions featuring forty-six artists, including the following: Puddle, Pothole, Portal, an international group exhibition; the first retrospective of artist Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook; the 2015 In Practice program featuring sculpture, installation, video, multimedia works, and a performance series by fourteen emerging artists; a mini-retrospective of poetry booklets by the Buenos Aires based literature and art collective Belleza y Felicidad; the first solo museum exhibitions in the United States of Michael E. Smith and Magali Reus; Erika Verzutti's first solo exhibition in New York City; Michael Stevenson's The Fountain of Prosperity, presented in collaboration with the Coleccion Patricia Phelps de Cisneros; and a showcase of the design process by Steven Holl Architects for Hunters Point Community Library, a new civic building and public park along the Long Island City waterfront.

Additionally, SculptureCenter published five exhibition catalogues and offered fourteen free public programs including the following: a community day to inaugurate our newly expanded building that attracted 1,400 visitors; three SC Conversation events featuring artist talks and lectures; a Puddle, Pothole, Portal film program; a public launch of the second book of our Inquiries into Contemporary Sculpture publication series; three performances; and our annual Long Island City Block Party. SculptureCenter also launched Public Process, a public art and education initiative that provides high school students with the opportunity to select and commission a public artwork in Long Island City.

Stewardship

In pursuing our 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 our 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, 2015.

Revenue. In fiscal year 2015, SculptureCenter had total revenue of $2.69 million (compared to $2.98 million in 2014). Revenues were obtained from the following sources:

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

Expenses. Total fiscal 2015 expenses were $1.57 million (compared to $1.44 million in 2014) 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 2015, revenue exceeded expenses by 41.7 percent of total revenue (compared to 51.8 percent in 2014). The principal reason revenue exceeded expenses is that the City of New York and individuals made contributions toward the enlargement of our building.

During fiscal year 2015, we experienced a $77,000 loss on investments due to a decline in the stock market. This amount is not included in either the revenue or expense figures above.

Assets. Financial resources of SculptureCenter totaled $6.32 million on August 31, 2015 (up from $5.36 million on August 31, 2014) 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, 2015 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.

2015:

Exhibitions mounted: 9
Artworks commissioned: 73
Artists presented: 44
Square footage of exhibition space: 7,500 square feet
Staff members: 8
Interns and volunteers: 33
Annual attendance at exhibitions/events: 12,181
Website traffic (unique visitors): 83,367

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 Robert P. Russo, an independent CPA. (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. Among other things, the auditor searches for related party transactions; the current audited financial statements assert that there were none. 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.