Arts, Culture, and Humanities

Neighborhood Writing Alliance

  • Chicago, IL
  • www.jot.org

This organization has not appeared on the IRS Business Master File in a number of months. It may have merged with another organization or ceased operations.

Mission Statement

The Neighborhood Writing Alliance provokes dialogue, builds community, and promotes change by creating opportunities for adults in Chicago's underserved neighborhoods to write, publish, and perform works about their lives. The Neighborhood Writing Alliance believes: : The arts are integral to enriching the lives of individuals, strengthening communities, and improving society at large. Its workshops, which are held in communities facing social and economic challenges, reflect the ethnic, racial, and economic make-up of the neighborhoods in which they meet.  In addition to encouraging artistic excellence, its workshops and publications encourage open discussion and create public forums for sharing ideas and opinions, with a belief that respect for self and others advances tolerance and understanding. The Journal of Ordinary Thought publishes reflections people make on their personal histories and everyday experiences. It is founded on the proposition that every person is a philosopher. Expressing one's thoughts fosters creativity and change, and taking control of life requires people to think about the world and communicate their thoughts to others. The Journal of Ordinary Thought is a vehicle for reflection, communication, and change.

Service Areas

Self-reported

Illinois

NWA hosts writing workshops in low-income neighborhoods of Chicago where there are few opportunities for adults outside of GED courses or job training classes. NWA currently hosts weekly writing workshops in Albany Park, Bronzeville, Humboldt Park, the Near West Side, and Uptown.

ruling year

1996

Principal Officer since 2002

Self-reported

Carrie Spitler

Keywords

Self-reported

Arts, Civic Engagement, Writing, Literacy

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2015, 2013 and 2012.
Register now

Also Known As

NWA

EIN

36-4067815

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Arts Service Activities/Organizations (A90)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

In 2011, NWA brought a clear focus to its program evaluation. An Evaluation Committee composed of staff, board members, a workshop leader, and a writer worked with consultants Pratt Richards Group to develop theories of change for each of NWA’s four core program areas, indicators of success, immediate and intermediate outcomes, and tools for data collection and measurement. A new survey was administered to workshop leaders in January and a new survey for writers is being administered in the month of February. NWA continued its work with a student from the University of Chicago. Through that work, we learned in 2011 that  94% of writers said they had talked to friends about pieces in JOT (up from 88% in 2010). 72% of writers reported having invited friends to NWA events (up from 67% in 2010).   60% of writers got involved in a social issue discussed at workshop (up from 53% in 2010). 76% of writers worked with others to solve problems in their community.
NWA is piloting its new evaluation tools with workshop leaders and participants currently. Upon completion of the data collection and analysis, NWA will move forward to evaluation the Journal of Ordinary Thought, readings and events, and theme-based programming. The four areas will be managed on a rotating, ongoing basis.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

The Neighborhood Writing Alliance (NWA) brings together adults in low-income communities in Chicago. It publishes their writing in the Journal of Ordinary Thought (JOT) and elsewhere and hosts readings and performances in their neighborhoods and beyond.

Category

Population(s) Served

Budget

Service Areas

Self-reported

Illinois

NWA hosts writing workshops in low-income neighborhoods of Chicago where there are few opportunities for adults outside of GED courses or job training classes. NWA currently hosts weekly writing workshops in Albany Park, Bronzeville, Humboldt Park, the Near West Side, and Uptown.

Social Media

Blog

External Reviews

Source: greatnonprofits.org

The review section is powered by Great Nonprofits

Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

NEIGHBORHOOD WRITING ALLIANCE
Fiscal year: Jul 01-Jun 30
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2013 and 2012
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
Get all this now for free
Need the ability to download nonprofit data and more advanced search options? Consider a Premium or Pro Search subscription.

Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Neighborhood Writing Alliance

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2013 and 2012
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
Need the ability to download nonprofit data and more advanced search options? Consider a Premium or Pro Search subscription.

Principal Officer

Carrie Spitler

BIO

Carrie Spitler joined the Neighborhood Writing Alliance (NWA) in September 2002. During her time at NWA, Spitler has led the organization through a strategic planning process, increased its budget by 20%, and expanded its outreach initiatives. During her tenure, new workshops have been developed in Albany Park, Chicago Lawn, Humboldt Park, West Englewood, and with Project Hope and St. Leonard's House. Spitler serves on the Englewood Community Cultural Council and the Chicago Lawn Working GrouSpitler was the Director of Development at Access Living from 1997-2002 where she increased government support, organized record-setting annual galas, and facilitated the creation of a major gift program and Access Living's first endowment effort. Spitler holds a BS from Central Michigan University.

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Jacqueline Lazu

DePaul University

Term: Aug 2010 -

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?