Ah Haa School for the Arts

Explore. Express. Evolve.

Telluride, CO   |  www.ahhaa.org

Mission

The Ah Haa School for the Arts is a community center of learning and culture that offers a wide variety of programs and inspires individuals of all ages to explore, develop and celebrate their creativity.

Ruling year info

1991

Executive Director

Judith Kohin

Main address

PO Box 1590 300 S. Townsend St.

Telluride, CO 81435 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

23-2594045

NTEE code info

Arts Education/Schools (A25)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The Ah Haa School for the Arts is situated in a rural mountain community, far from a major city and all the opportunities that exist there. Every healthy community needs access to diverse cultural offerings to enrich the lives of its residents and visitors. Art can be deeply transformative, engaging and up lifting. Our community needs access to creativity and the arts, and Ah Haa provides these vital components.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

American Academy of Bookbinding

The American Academy of Bookbinding is a diploma-oriented bookbinding school that offers high-level education in bookbinding and related subjects

Population(s) Served

The Telluride Painting School is a unique mult-week program that encourages students of all levels to find their artistic voice through the creation of deeply meaningful and personal work.

Population(s) Served

Youth art programs include, after school classes, summer youth art camps, year-round art classes in drawing, painting, theater, clay, mixed media, photography, writing, stained glass, sculpture and more.

Population(s) Served

Year-round classes, workshops, lectures and events in all the creative arts: painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, printmaking, jewelry, mixed-media, writing, theater, dance, music and more.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of students enrolled

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This is the total number of students enrolled in classes, ages 4-80. We had many other "free" programs and those numbers aren't included here.

Number of paid registrants to classes

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of free registrants to classes

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

These are workstudy and scholarship students.

Number of students who receive scholarship funds and/or tuition assistance

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of attendees present at rallies/events

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of students receiving personal instruction and feedback about their performance

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The Ah Haa School was founded in 1990 by Colorado native, Daniel Tucker. In the middle of a successful career in artist book publishing and higher education, Daniel felt the need to give back and build a center where students could explore and discover the joy of creative expression, learning to see things in a new light and have “ah haa" experiences. The Ah Haa School opened its doors in June 1991, starting small with one staff member and eight visiting artists. Twenty-five years later, Ah Haa has grown to be the region's foremost art and education center, as both a community and destination school offering diverse creative arts programs for children and adults in a variety of media. With six full-time and two part-time staff, over 50 part time artists/teachers, and operations in two historic buildings in downtown Telluride, the Ah Haa School is a significant contributor to the economic and cultural diversity of the region.

Each year, Ah Haa offers: Over 20 visiting artists for adults and youth; over 200 classes and workshops for youth and adults taught by regional artists/teachers; the American Academy of Bookbinding, an international bookbinding school with students from all over the world; the newly launched Telluride Painting School with nationally recognized artists/teachers; 10-plus exhibitions in two gallery spaces that provide exposure to both community members and visiting artists; studio spaces for ceramicists and painters; artist lectures; summer internships for college students; gathering spaces for regional organizations and non-profits; financial aid to all who ask; the collaborative Telluride Literary Arts Festival, now in its third year; numerous creative special events including BRAvo, an event to raise money for breast cancer awareness through a fashion show of fabulously decorated bras (modeled by local firemen); and more.

Ah Haa strives for excellence in every program. Our Curriculum Director and Adult Program Manager oversee the faculty and do extensive research—surveying past employers and students—to find the most qualified and experienced teachers. Ah Haa utilizes a core group of regional, professional artists and both the Executive Director and Curriculum Director meet regularly with artists/instructors to develop and brainstorm curriculum ideas and discuss community needs. The ED and Curriculum Director also research other arts organizations and schools, finding new programs and creative trends, and meet quarterly with key instructors and artists to review and develop new program ideas. We will not hire artists who are not excellent teachers and communicators. Teachers are paid planning time if developing a new class for our youth program, and all instructors are paid for their teaching time.

The American Academy of Bookbinding offers the highest level of design fine binding in North America. Our artistic directors, Donald Glaister (fine binding) and Peter Geraty (integrated program) are internationally recognized and awarded, with work in private, national and international collections including the Library of Congress, the National Gallery of Art, Victoria and Albert Museum (London), British Library (London), and the National Library of the Netherlands, the Hague. As artistic directors for the American Academy of Bookbinding, Glaister and Geraty plan the curriculum, select visiting instructors and oversee the Diploma Program for AAB.

Robert Weatherford, a highly regarded artist with an MFA in Painting, is the artistic director of the Telluride Painting School (TPS) and serves on the Ah Haa's board of directors. As head of TPS, Robert hires faculty and develops curriculum, an uncompensated position. In addition to teaching for TPS as a paid faculty member, Robert volunteers his time on the school's building committee and auction committees. TPS faculty is comprised of nationally exhibiting artists and university professors. Other Ah Haa faculty members are professional artists who work full time as artists and teachers.

AAB Awards: In the past several years, AAB faculty, students and graduates have won numerous awards in book competitions for their design bindings. For example, in spring 2015, five students and instructors received awards in the highly competitive French Bookbinding Competition, “13th Biennale Mondiale de la Reliure d'Art." AAB place 2nd in the Group School Category, the only institution from the U.S. to be awarded.

In an effort to include the lower income population in our community, we have a strong tuition assistance program. We distribute tuition assistance information through fliers and through One to One, our local mentoring organization. We translate our kids' course information and tuition assistance applications into Spanish. We also work directly with an outreach coordinator through the public school, who helps distribute information and match kids with our programs. Over all, we make every effort to inform our community about our tuition assistance program and more and more families are taking advantage of this opportunity.

By reaching residents and visitors alike, Ah Haa provides unique cultural experiences that complement and enhance other opportunities in the area. We are achieving our goal of inspiring “ah haa" moments within individuals, and having an impact on both children and adults. We receive significant funding from both the Town of Telluride and our local community foundation, the Telluride Foundation. We are one of the top organizations to receive funding, based on positive community impact, successful management and organization integrity.

One the biggest challenges facing Ah Haa in the next three to five years relates to facilities. As we strive to offer programs of excellence, we also want our facilities to match our ambitious goals. Our historic building is both a challenge and an opportunity; the Depot needs interior modifications that would increase its useable space and maximize its potential. We would like to grow our Telluride Painting School, and to be successful we need an additional 2000 square feet dedicated to this program for studios, a library and a meeting room. At the moment we are evaluating the Depot and the cost of renovation, as well as looking for additional space elsewhere in town.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We are trying to better engage our Latinx community. We see the need to reach members of our community in this demographic, and this decision came about through discussions with staff, board, students and community leaders. We recently successfully applied to hire a VISTA member through the Colorado Non-Profit Association, . This VISTA member will start in 2021 and serve as a bilingual staff member helping to engage our Latinx community with our programs.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, It is difficult to get honest feedback from the people we serve,

Financials

Ah Haa School for the Arts
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Operations

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

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Ah Haa School for the Arts

Board of directors
as of 11/07/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Richard Cornelius

Aela Morgan

Danny Craft

Kathy Green

Nick Farkouh

Julie Rolfs

Lang Ingalls

Beth McLaughlin

Robert Weatherford

Randy Cain

Richard Cornelius

Ana Bowling

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and 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? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 11/7/2020

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 11/07/2020

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.