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Kennedy Heights Arts Center’s Organizational Portfolio Essay

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Updated: Jul 4th, 2021


The management of arts organizations depends on maintaining the work of such five components as leadership and governance, the development of programs to address the mission, financing, marketing, and community involvement. The modern industry of arts organizations is discussed as rapidly developing and challenging, and much attention should be paid to analyzing how organizations can achieve success in this context (Rosewall 32-48).

Kennedy Heights Arts Center (KHAC) located in Cincinnati, Ohio, was founded in 2004 to preserve Lewis Kennedy’s mansion and address the community’s needs in the area of arts. Being established as an organization solely based on volunteers’ initiative and efforts, KHAC developed in a large art center. The purpose of this portfolio is to describe the aspects of leadership and governance, mission-based programming, financing, marketing, and audience development related to KHAC.

Leadership and Governance

In 2008, Ellen Muse-Lindeman became the Executive Director of KHAC, and now she leads the team of professionals in cooperation with the Board of Directors headed by Bill Lennard. Thus, the major decisions regarding the organization’s development are made by the Board and Ellen Muse-Lindeman. The corporation’s organizational structure is based on several units and teams responsible for performing certain tasks related to KHAC’s key activities. Thus, there is the Events Organization unit coordinated by Tausha Cox and the Exhibitions and Public Art unit headed by Mallory Feltz.

The Arts Engagement and Learning unit is headed by Brittany Vernon, and it also includes a team of art educators. Additionally, financial analysis and accounting services in the organization are provided by Mairi Huizinga. Furthermore, there are staff teams that manage operations in Kennedy Mansion and Lindner Event Center as the main facilities of KHAC (Kennedy Heights Arts Center). Marketing and community involvement goals are realized by the directors of the listed units.

Furthermore, there are also coordinators, teams, and instructors responsible for the organization of regular and seasonal exhibitions, art classes for the youth, art classes for adults, summer camps, and outreach programs. Much attention is paid to realizing the principles of inspirational leadership in the corporation and attracting volunteers from community members (Kennedy Heights Arts Center). The members of the Board of Directors work to promote the mission of the organization in the community and attract sponsors.

Mission-Based Programming

All the programs proposed for community members in KHAC are developed to address the organization’s mission and associated goals. Thus, KHAC’s mission is “to enhance the life of the surrounding community through arts and cultural experiences that embrace diversity, foster creativity and build community” (Kennedy Heights Arts Center). In order to fulfill this mission, KHAC proposes accessible programs for all representatives of the community to enhance their art development, cultural progress, and interaction.

Arts programs and initiatives include exhibitions and installations on different topics, such as gender and race issues, organized in Kennedy Gallery and Lindner Gallery. There are also regularly scheduled arts events, including jazz festivals and celebrations (Kennedy Heights Arts Center). These art projects allow KHAC to realize its mission in terms of uniting community artists and other members to create opportunities for their collaboration.

KHAC has several educational and cultural programs that are effective in stimulating the cultural and creative development of the youth and adults in the community. The organization offers regularly conducted art and dance classes for the youth, as well as such projects as Teen Photo Storytelling and Stop Motion Animation. Teen Artists for Change (TAC) is one of the programs oriented toward supporting young artists and writers from the community. Adult classes are performed on such topics as drawing, using mixed media, using pastel, acrylic painting, and others (Kennedy Heights Arts Center).

Thus, KHAC successfully organized 70 classes and workshops to promote young people’s creativity and art skills. KHAC actively supports children’s development and education in the area of arts through summer camps, including dance, theater, and music activities, as well as visual arts (Kennedy Heights Arts Center Inc. 2-4). Artists in Residence is one more KHAC initiative oriented toward guaranteeing the interaction of artists and community members. Outreach programs are also promoted by the organization in educational institutions of Cincinnati to inform the public about KHAC’s activities and contribution to the community.

Finance and Development

KHAC is a non-profit arts organization that is funded with the help of cooperating with foundations, such as the Greater Cincinnati Foundation and George and Margaret McLane Foundation among others, and receiving grants. Furthermore, the organization is sponsored by various community and business stakeholders, including Pleasant Ridge Community Council and Kennedy Heights Community Council.

The partners of the organization that provide additional aid are ArtsWave, Ohio Arts Council, and National Endowment for the Arts (Kennedy Heights Arts Center). In spite of the fact that the participation in the majority of KHAC’s programs and attendance of exhibitions are free, financial resources are additionally received through renting facilities and sales in the KHAC’s Art Shop.

According to the annual report of 2018, the organization’s total income was $360,520, and the total expense was $298,021 with a net income of $62,499. The revenue was gained through programs ($119,432), grants ($112,208), contributions of donors ($70,780), and rentals and sales ($58,100) (see fig. 1). Accordingly, operating expenses included $245,956 for the programs’ organization and performance, $28,733 for administration costs, and $23,333 for fundraising and marketing activities (see fig. 1). Much attention is paid to realizing fundraising strategies and activities coordinated by the Executive Director because this effort guarantees the attraction of more sponsors.

KHAC’s revenues and expenses
Fig. 1. KHAC’s revenues and expenses, 2018 (Kennedy Heights Arts Center Inc. 9).

Marketing and Communications

The development of the marketing strategy and the realization of marketing plans is coordinated by Ellen Muse-Lindeman and the directors of the units. One of the purposes of marketing strategies is to inform as many community members as possible about KHAC’s new programs and events. Another purpose is to notify potential sponsors and donors about KHAC’s activities and their potential contribution to the community’s progress.

Currently, marketing is realized through the organization’s blog posts based on KHAC’s website, press releases informing about coming events, online advertisements, and business pages in social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter (Kennedy Heights Arts Center). Advertisements related to facility rentals are available on the organization’s website.

The marketing strategy of KHAC is closely connected with its fundraising activity. Therefore, much attention is paid to target advertising and the development of networks with the help of social media. KHAC’s account on Facebook has 2,687 followers, and the organization’s account on Twitter has 224 followers (Kennedy Heights Arts Center). Marketing and advertising with the help of social media require minimal financial resources, and this approach is suitable for KHAC. However, the organization needs to attract more interested people in the community and Ohio to expand the base of its donors.

Audience Development and Community Engagement

The goals of KHAC and its activities are directly associated with the audience development and the active engagement of community members to realize the organization’s mission. From this perspective, all the learning programs implemented by KHAC are aimed at developing community members with a focus on the needs and interests of children and adolescents. Art and dance classes are available for children and young people on a regular basis, and their purpose is to develop individuals’ skills in art, music, and dancing (see fig. 2).

The art class for children
Fig. 2. The art class for children (Kennedy Heights Arts Center Inc. 8).

Teen Artists for Change is the most popular community-oriented program of KHAC that involves working with diverse young artists to guide them in completing their creative projects. During this program, mentorship is performed by professional community artists. Furthermore, 28 art-making summer camps have been organized since the corporation’s establishment to help children and adolescents explore specifics of visual arts, using digital media, music, and dancing, as well as participate in theatrical performances.

Outreach programs implemented in community schools and libraries help children and their parents learn about KHAC’s activities, programs, and camps (Kennedy Heights Arts Center). Consequently, more children and adolescents in Cincinnati receive art education and can develop their skills in visual arts, using digital media, dancing, music, and theatre.


KHAC is an arts organization whose main goal is to serve the community needs with a focus on the art education and development of young community members. As a result, KHAC’s activities and programs are designed to address diverse individuals’ interests and develop their skills in art. This approach allows the organization to guarantee collaboration within the community through interactive projects and attract more donors. The range of art and educational programs developed by KHAC allows for speaking about this organization as highly contributing to the diverse community of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Works Cited

Kennedy Heights Arts Center Inc. . 2018. Web.

Kennedy Heights Arts Center. Kennedy Heights Arts Center Inc., 2016. Web.

Rosewall, Ellen. Arts Management: Uniting Arts and Audiences in the 21st Century. Oxford University Press, 2014.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Kennedy Heights Arts Center's Organizational Portfolio." July 4, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/kennedy-heights-arts-centers-organizational-portfolio/.


IvyPanda. (2021) 'Kennedy Heights Arts Center's Organizational Portfolio'. 4 July.

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