GORTON COMMUNITY CENTER: THE GATHERING PLACE IN THE HEART OF OUR COMMUNITY WHERE PEOPLE CONNECT, CONVERSE, LEARN, LISTEN, PLAY AND PERFORM
A Privately-Funded Community House
Gorton is one of only a few privately-funded community centers in the United States and serves as a unique partnership between community volunteers and the City of Lake Forest. Gorton Community Center, a private nonprofit 501c3 organization, relies on the generosity of area residents and businesses to support building improvements, programs and services which are offered in the historic building owned by the City of Lake Forest.
An Efficient Organization
Gorton's mission is fulfilled with minimal staff and on a very lean budget. Gifts from the community and grants help keep user fees reasonable.
A Growing Influence
Gorton Community Center is the gathering place for children, families, and adults who find what it means to be a community through music, theater, film and events. These connections begin a the youngest ages and form strong bonds that last a lifetime.
A Supportive Community Partner
Gorton Community Center is the heart of our community: "the gathering place in the heart of our community where people connect, converse, learn, listen, play and perform." Gorton fulfills its mission by offering Gorton-sponsored programs and classes, augmented by programs and activities of other nonprofit groups.These programs and events are unmistakable affirmations of the vibrant community served.
- Gorton Children's Drop-In Center provides child care and preschool services to over 128 families. Camp Gorton has created memories for over 75 families and their children ages six weeks to age five.
- Gorton serves as an "incubator" to support new nonprofit groups. Our nonprofit center houses 9 other nonprofit organizations known as our resident partners. We provide space for their offices, meetings, events and services. Reduced lease rates and a creative working space, in additon to public-relations and other support services, allows these organizations to thrive and focus on their mission.
- Performing Arts Center, based in our newly renovated theater, is the cultural heart of Lake Forest. Here we offer a robust children's theater program (PASTA), CenterStage at Lake Forest, a community theater group for all ages, and theater space for performing arts organizations including local symphony, dance studios, music recitals, and Lake Forest College music performance. Last year we featured over 214 performers and entertained over 3,250 audience members.
- Youth and General Programming Center attracts over 10,000 patrons of all ages to more than 300 annual programs for a wide range of interests including chess, robotics, excel/programming classes and Legos.