A Privately-Funded Community House
From day one, Gorton Community Center has been privately administered and funded. In partnership with hundreds of volunteers and thousands of generous donors, Gorton has become an exemplary center for cultural, educational, and charitable activities. This unique institution receives no property-tax support for its operations and improvements.
An Efficient Oganization
Gorton's mission is fulfilled with minimal staff and on a very lean budget. Gifts and grants help keep user fees reasonable.
A Growing Influence
Gorton Community Center is a leading cultural, educational, and charitable resource for a region centered on Lake Forest and Lake Bluff. Its influence extends to residents and groups from communities in 99 zip codes, from southern Wisconsin to Chicago. Gorton's quality programming, attractive historic facilities, and cost-effective pricing have a broad appeal across a full range of ages, interests, and entities in the communities it serves.
A Supportive Comminity Partner
Gorton Community Center, "the gathering place in the heart of our community where people connect, converse, learn, listen, play and perform" fulfills its mission by offering Gorton-sponsored programs and classes, augmented by programs and activities of other nonprofit groups.
Gorton oversees multiple centers and manages their strategic growth. It continually works to support and expand activities in the centers to ensure the continuation of services and programs for future generations.
- Gorton Children's Drop-In Center provides over 39,000 hours of child care, preschool services, and a summer camp for 200 families and over 300 children ages six weeks to age six.
- Fine Arts Center offers classes and programs for amateur and experienced artists of all ages.
- Nonprofit Center houses 10 other not-for-profit organizations. These partner/tenants benefit from lease rates approximately one third those in the local market, as well as from public-relations and other support services. In a typical year, Gorton's resident groups save over $145,000 in facilities and utilities expenses, compared to local market rates without utilities.
- Gorton supports over 75 other not-for-profit organizations serving over 100,000 of their own constituents. It provides a collaborative environment offering meeting and event venues and administrative support services at a substantial savings when compared to other facilities rates in the region.
- Gorton serves as an "incubator" to support new nonprofit groups until they become self-sufficient. Special not-for-profit rental rates enable fledgling groups to hold organizational meetings and programs in a highly-visible, central, and well-appointed public location.
- Performing Arts Center attracts over 8,000 concert- and theatre-goers in a typical year. A broad range of professional and community musical and theatre performances are offered year round.
- In a typical year, Gorton's own performing-arts programs feature a full season of 20-30 musical and children's events and over 70 professional performers.
- In partnerships with area schools and with philanthropic support, the Community Center reaches nearly 500 students annually. These sessions feature professional musicians performing at Gorton and offer the opportunity for students to learn from and perform with professionals.
- 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. Gorton's youth theatre-training program annually trains nearly 150 youth in the full range of creative drama, improv, and technical theatre skills.