Arts And Humanities Council Of Charlotte County Inc
2702 Tamiami Trl
Port Charlotte FL 33952
The mission of the Arts & Humanities Council of Charlotte County  ("Charlotte Arts") is to encourage, strengthen, promote and foster cultural and artistic opportunities for Charlotte County's residents and visitors.
CEO/Executive Director Valerie Guenther
Board Chair Valerie Guenther
Board Chair Affiliation Coldwell Bank Sunstar Realty
General Info
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 1990
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes Apr 2018
State Registration Yes Apr 2018
Financial Summary
IRS Letter of Determination
IRS letter of determinationView
Impact Statement
The Arts & Humanities Council of CC is THE Chamber of the Arts. The Council promotes artists, writers and cultural organizations in the county.  We bring the arts to people and people to the arts.
In the last year, we have grown Art in Public Places (an opportunity for artists to exhibit and sell their work)at approximately 15 different sites throughout Punta Gorda, Port Charlotte, and Englewood.
The Art Therapy program which teaches caregivers, facility staff and volunteers how to use art to reach those with dementia has grown from 9 to 12 sites.
We've developed to 2 major fundraisers that allow the Council to support these programs. 
Goals for this fiscal year:
1. Expand the Art Therapy program to include other disabilities and other arts media - such as music.
2. Develop an humanities program bringing participants in book clubs together in a summit to talk about best practices and interaction.
Set up support services: speakers' bureau, regular listing of book club events, venues for meetings.
3. Reinstitute grants for teachers using arts in the curriculum. Due to shrinking finances, the Council cut this program in 2007.   It was funded by both the Council and the CCPS board.  Both organizations found funding difficult to continue.
Needs Statement
The Council's most pressing need is for local government to realize that the arts are an economic engine. In 2007, the Council embarked on an economic impact study with the assistance of the Americans for the Arts. We learned that non-profit arts in Charlotte County had a $21 million dollar impact that provided over $750,000 revenue to local government. The Council's grant from county government was $50,000.  It has since dropped to $25,000.  We plan to update the study this year.
Given that the Council doesn't "sell" tickets or classes or has a building that volunteers can gather at, it is difficult to rally excitement.  We do have passionate volunteers - especially the board members, but it is difficult to entice others to participate.
Background Statement
The Arts & Humanities Council of Charlotte County was started in 1985 as a committee of Charlotte County Government.  In 1990, it was mutually agreed the Council would become an independent 501(c)3 organization. Since then, the Council has receive funding from County government, but it has dropped from $90,000 to $25,000; meanwhile, the Council's programs increased. 
Since 2001, the following programs have grown or been added:
1. Art Therapy for people with Dementia --  Training staff, caregivers and volunteers to use art to enhance the lives of people with dementia.  The program is now in 12 sites around the county.  It has also published a workbook.  Workshops are free.
2. There are approximately 15 Art in Public Places host sites -- 200 artists have the opportunity to exhibit and sell in public sites - government buildings, businesses and non-profit organizations
3. The Council has built a website and an online calendar
Current special projects:
-- Executive Director serves on local Art Walk committee and has been appointed by County Commissioners to the Tourism Development Council.
-- Assisting the CHVB to develop a Collector's Circle program
Areas Served
Areas Served
FL- Charlotte
Areas Served Comments
The A&H Council serves all of Charlotte County.  A few artists and cultural organizations from contiguous counties also participate in its programs.
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Arts,Culture & Humanities
Secondary Org Type
Tertiary Org Type
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President

I became associated with the Arts & Humanities Council through my wife's involvement with the Sea Grape Gallery. When I realized the difficult financial situation of A&H, I felt my business background could help the organization move forward in a positive direction. I felt strongly that A&H provided an important element to the quality of life in Charlotte County and it could not be allowed to fail. While I have no artistic background, I felt the organization needed more business input. I have worked to ensure all of our activities are financially sound and help provide for the long term health of A&H. I am very committed to the values and services A&H brings to our community. As the "Chamber for the Arts" A&H provides a single voice for all of the cultural organizations in Charlotte County which is particularly important in this difficult economic environment. I am totally committed to the long term health and growth of A&H and its support of our local artists, cultural organizations and Arts in Education. Our artist community is a major differentiating factor in our county and A&H is the only organization supporting the entire cultural community. For the benefit of all of our residents, we must ensure that A&H continues to grow and prosper.

Statement from the CEO/Executive Director
The A&H Council is the Chamber of the Arts.  As such, it provides information to residents, students, visitors, business and governmental entities about all the cultural opportunities in Charlotte County. We are the "Chamber of the Arts". 
We also promote what our members are it concerts, classes, film festivals, student events, exhibits. We do this through the ED's weekly newspaper column, our on-line calendar, a monthly radio show and phone and email inquiries.
The Council presents programs not found in the community.  We do not want to duplicate what our cultural organizations are already providing. These include art therapy, Cafe Philo, and Art in Public Places. 
The Council holds the only public festival that highlights only local artists, writers, performers and organizations. It includes a plein air art contest, children's activities, a school art show, workshops, and performances.
The A&H Council does a lot on a very limited budget!



The Art in Public Places program (AIPP) makes art more accessible to people in Charlotte County and provides a tangible benefit to members as well as a practical support for artists.


The Council pairs its business and government members with artists to utilize worksites for continuing art exhibits throughout the year. AIPP provides exciting and beautiful artwork to grace the halls of these public locations as well as increased exposure for artists’ work and  opportunities for sales. Each year, over 120 artists participate in AIPP, with sales through the program of $7,000 to $10,000 annually. Other than the modest cost of Council membership, neither the site owners nor the artists pay any fee for this service.


Exhibits are coordinated at each site by volunteers and artwork changes quarterly. The Council currently serves 27 sites, making ar available to thousands of people in the County who visit participating business and government offices.

Budget $15,000
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Artists' Services
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served General/Unspecified Adults
Short Term Success
Despite the economy, businesses continue to enroll in the program.  To be a site, a business must be a member of the Council.  So they are spending money to participate.  Non-profit organizations enroll at a reduced rate. 
Artists continue to enlist as members of the Council so they may particpate.
Long Term Success
The Art in Public Places program has grown from 7 sites in 2001 to 27 sites in 2012.  Each winter, the Council  hosts a reception that gives artists the opportunity to show their work to the volunteer site-coordinators.  This allows new artists to the community or artists who have developed their talent to the point that they wish to exhibit to meet the site-coordinators. This event, called the Emerging Artist Reception, usually welcomes from 30 to 50 visual artists.
In addition to the opportunity to exhibit their work, we find the artists enjoy networking with each other and the volunteers.  
Ideally, as the economy improves, more artwork will be sold. 
Program Success Monitoring
The program is so successful, we fear it will become too big! The administrative assistant spends an inordinate amount of time working with the site-coordinators, keeping track of scheduled exhibits, following-up on release forms, etc.
Program Success Examples
This past fiscal year, art sales were down - only $1400, but that is because of the economic climate. In the past, when the economy was better, sales were at $10,000. 
Artists and businesses continue to enroll in the program.  Non-profit organizations such as the United Way and the YMCA became exhibit sites this summer.  They approached the Council about the program.   
Purpose: To provide and enhance the cultural profile of our community. 

           • Partner with local business chambers and government agencies

                       Engage in their events and activities

                       Provide expertise

                       Provide information for their marketing and promotional efforts


           • Act as a cultural referral service


           •Present Charlotte Harbor ArtSensation annually

Solicit performances and exhibitors from local art related organizations and individual artists

Providehands-on arts opportunities for children


•Present the annual Charlie Awards to recognize and honor outstanding contributions to the arts by an individual and/or organization

Develop a nomination form and publicity to gather nominees from the general public

Plan the event to honor the recipients


           • Assist our member organizations by marketing and supporting their events


Budget $75,000
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served General/Unspecified Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Short Term Success

Chamber of the Arts is one of the Arts & Humanities Council of Charlotte County’s core programs. The short-term goals are to help our local artists and art related organizations be successful and to recognize that success.

Long Term Success

  Our long term goals are to ensure that the arts remain a viable and important part of our community and our schools. We strive to encourage participation in the arts through projects like ArtSensation, our businesscard exchange for art related organizations and by honoring those people who have given through time, talent and financially to the arts with a Charlie Award. We understand the importance of keeping the arts in education so we work with parents, the Board of Education and the County Commissioners in this endeavor.

Program Success Monitoring

The projects that are part of this core program are evaluated regularly by the Board of Directors of the Arts & Humanities Council. The board looks at each project individually to determine if it is still effective, or if any changes are needed. We consider the cost of the project in relation to its impact on the community.

Program Success Examples

  ArtSensation, one of the projects in this program, is a showcase for local artists of all genres. It has grown from a small venue a few years ago to a day and a half event with artists exhibiting and selling their wares, a plein air art competition, musicians, a children’s hands-on art area and a high school and middle school art display. This year we are adding workshops conducted by local artists. We have started a business card exchange for our art organizations to get together, meet each other, exchange ideas and talk about their upcoming events. It’s been a successful  avenue for our groups, especially the smaller groups, to promote themselves. Our hope is to foster collaboration among the organizations.

  We are pleased to say that our voices were heard this year when the school board was deciding where to cut funding. The arts were not touched.



The Arts and Humanities Council is dedicated to developing andsupporting arts in the schools.  

We provide performance venues for music, prize money for the Annual High School Art Show, and support for a children's writer’s camp andfilm festival.

This past year, the Council took a proactive stance in keeping art and music in the elementary schools.  

The campaign successfully proved to the community that art is part of a complete education.

The Arts Council advocates and supports the Arts in all schools.

Budget $10,000
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Short Term Success
ArtSensation will include a high school art competition this year.  This is an expansion of last year's simple exhibit.  Cash prizes will be awarded in four areas:  Painting, drawing, 3D, and digital art.
Long Term Success
This program will be a success as long as we maintain art, music, and theater programs in the public schools. 
The Council also looks forward to providing and supporting more out-of-school arts experiences.    
Program Success Monitoring
The program is monitored by the Arts in Education Committee.  Success is measured two ways:
  • Whether the arts are continued (without being cut) in local public schools
  •  By the number of participants in special programs offered by the Council and it's affiliates. 
Program Success Examples
In 2011, the Council asked its members to contact the local school board and state representatives in support of continuing arts in the schools.  One school board member reported he received over 80 emails and letters.  Arts programs were not touched.
Program Comments by Organization
The biggest challenge the Council faces is finding the volunteers and the sponsors to keep programs running.  We have developed to very successful fundraisers in the last five years.  Also, the Business Partnership program continues to grow. 
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Valerie Guenther
CEO Term Start 0
CEO/Executive Director Email

Interim Executive Director, Currently Board Chair

Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Ms Judy Ann Malbuisson Sept 2001 - June 2014
Ms Michele Valencourt June 1995 - Aug 2001
Senior Staff
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 1
Part Time Staff 1
Staff Retention Rate % 100
Professional Development Yes
Contractors 0
Volunteers 100
Management Reports to Board Yes
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation N/A
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes

The Council collaborated with Charlotte County Government to develop a public art purchase policy and with the Charlotte County Public Schools to design and develop the Center for Performing Arts and Education. It has also collaborated with groups such as the Visual Arts Center, the Charlotte County Historical Center, and the Charlotte Harbor Visitor’s Bureau on numerous events and exhibits.

In 2005, the Council took the lead role in “The Spirit ofPunta Gorda”, celebrating the community’s comeback after the devastation ofHurricane Charlie. This included an allday concert event thanking responders from other communities and thepresentation of a sculpture to the City of Punta Gorda.

Currently, the Council is collaborating with the CharlotteCommunity Foundation to strengthen cultural nonprofit organizations. 

The Executive Director sits on the Tourist DevelopmentCouncil, the Charlotte Community Foundation Grants Advisory Committee, and the ArtisansAtelier Advisory Committee (inexpensive studio space for artists in downtown PuntaGorda). 

External Assessments and Accreditations
Awards & Recognition
Tourism Promotional AwardCharlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau2007
Risk Management Provisions
Commercial General Liability
Employee Dishonesty
Workers Compensation and Employers' Liability
Government Licenses
Organization Licensed by the Government No
Fundraising Plan No
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan No
Strategic Plan Years
Strategic Plan Adopted 0
Management Succession Plan No
Continuity of Operations Plan No
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
Policies and Procedures No
Management Comments by Organization
The Council's management challenges are those of most non-profit organizations: finding skilled people, passionate about one's mission, to sit on the board.  Given the high profile of our most successful fundraiser - Dancing With the Charlotte Stars - this is becoming easier.  We are reaching people in the community that new our name but did not quite understand what the Council does.
Board Chair
Board Chair Valerie Guenther
Company Affiliation Coldwell Bank Sunstar Realty
Board Term Sept 2017 to Sept 2020
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
Mr. John Benande Retired
Col. Bob Dickinson Retired
Ms. Janie Duke Air Sea and Land Travel
Ms. Celene Galvan Granny Nannies
Ms. Valerie Guenther Coldwell Banker Sunstar Realty
Ms. Sherry Hardy Black Sheep Quilting Company
Mr. Austin Jambor Wealth Management Services
Rev. Bill Klossner Retired
Ms. Melissa Stettner Florida Community Bank
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 8
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Gender
Male 4
Female 5
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 12
Board Meeting Attendance % 79
Board Self-Evaluation Yes
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Board Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 70
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 100
Standing Committees
Board Governance
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Special Events (Golf Tournament, Walk / Run, Silent Auction, Dinner / Gala)
Governance Comments by Organization
A West County resident was added to the board in January 2013. In October 2013, two board members stepped down due to term limits and a third left because of inactivity. Unfortunately, the only African-American member had to resign due to illness.  A new member, Rusty Pray; was welcomed in December. 
The Nominating Committee is searching for suitable replacements.  
Attendance was down due to the fact that two members were on leave - one for the whole year, one for 10 months.  They have since left the board. 
The Council has three Core Committees not addressed above.  They are essential to our mission:
Art in Public Places
Art in Education
Including "Chamber of the Arts", these committees are the basis of our programs.
Fiscal Year Projections
Fiscal Year Start Month Oct
Fiscal Year Start Day 01
Fiscal Year Begins 2015
Fiscal Year End Month Sept
Fiscal Year End Day 30
Fiscal Year Ends 2016
Projected Revenue $157,190.00
Projected Expenses $152,832.00
Organization has Endowment No
Capital Campaign
Currently In a Capital Campaign No
Anticipate Campaign within 5 years? No
Campaign Purpose
Campaign Goal
Campaign Dates 0 to 0
Amount Raised To Date 0 as of 0
IRS Form 990s
Historical Financial Review
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$48,315$59,449$97,869
Administration Expense$49,116$70,741$10,085
Fundraising Expense$0$0$71,438
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.961.080.98
Program Expense/Total Expenses50%46%55%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%50%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$43,535$45,135$36,010
Current Assets$43,233$44,574$34,826
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$3,325$622$1,475
Total Net Assets$40,210$44,513$34,535
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201520142013
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $47,732Contributions, gifts, grants $111,526Contributions, gifts, grants $144,306
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountProgram Service Revenue $29,543Membership Dues $20,418Membership Dues $21,809
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountMembership Dues $15,815Program Service Revenue $8,238Program service revenue $9,684
CEO/Executive Director Compensation $0 - $50,000
Tax Credits No
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities13.0071.6623.61
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Organization
The most pressing challenge is to raise enough funds to increase staff.  We have a full time Executive Director and a part time Administrative Assistant. Yet the Council continues to expand present programs (Art in Public Places now has 24 sites - up from 7 in 2001) and add new ones (art therapy for dementia sufferers). 
It's difficult to keep up with the changes in social media.
Ideally, the Admin. Assistant would become full time. We would also like to add a part time bookkeeper and graphic designer/social media position. (The ED currently handles both).
The Council has since 2009, developed two successful fundraising events that reach different segments of the community.  This has given us a small cushion. 
Oct. 2013 - The Administrative Assistant position was increased to 28 hours per week.  
Financial Comments by Foundation Foundations and corporations are included with individual contributions as they were not separated in the 990s or compilations.  Financial figures were taken from the Federal 990s.  The Federal tax returns and financial compilations reconcile.
Nonprofit Arts And Humanities Council Of Charlotte County Inc
Address 2702 Tamiami Trl
Port Charlotte, FL 33952
Phone 941 764-8100