Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens
633 Osceola Avenue
Winter Park FL 32789-4429
Contact Information
Address 633 Osceola Avenue
Winter Park, FL 32789 4429
Phone (407) 647-6294
Fax (407) 647-0410
Web and Social Media
Donate with a credit card http://www.polasek.org/support/
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Video
Mission
Mission

The mission of the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens is to enrich lives with the inspiration found in our STORY, SETTING, and ART.

  • The Story is internationally known Czech-American sculptor Albin Polasek’s story: one of perseverance, hard work and the pursuit of the American Dream. He arrived in the U.S. as an immigrant, led the sculpture department at the Art Institute of Chicago, and continued to create artwork with one hand, from his wheelchair, after a paralyzing stroke. The museum shares Polasek’s story through tours of his historic home, studio, and chapel as well as community outreach and educational programming.

  • The Setting is the beautiful three-acre sculpture garden oasis on Lake Osceola. The lush gardens provide a colorful backdrop for 50 outdoor sculptures. The gardens are also home to a variety of programming, such as the annual Winter Park Paint Our plein air festival, hands-on gardening activities, and horticulture internships.

  • Art is the most critical piece to fulfilling the museum’s mission and includes both the permanent collection and visiting exhibition program. The permanent collection consists of more than two hundred works, the majority of which are sculptures; and the visiting exhibition program shares diverse, enriching and interactive experiences, each exploring a different aspect of representational art.

Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Deborah Jones Komanski
Board Chair Mr. Robert Sharpstein
Board Chair Company Affiliation Northwestern Mutual Financial Network
History
IRS Ruling Year 1966
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expense Bar Graph
 
 
Projected Revenue $841,852.00
Projected Expenses $841,852.00
Statements
Mission

The mission of the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens is to enrich lives with the inspiration found in our STORY, SETTING, and ART.

  • The Story is internationally known Czech-American sculptor Albin Polasek’s story: one of perseverance, hard work and the pursuit of the American Dream. He arrived in the U.S. as an immigrant, led the sculpture department at the Art Institute of Chicago, and continued to create artwork with one hand, from his wheelchair, after a paralyzing stroke. The museum shares Polasek’s story through tours of his historic home, studio, and chapel as well as community outreach and educational programming.

  • The Setting is the beautiful three-acre sculpture garden oasis on Lake Osceola. The lush gardens provide a colorful backdrop for 50 outdoor sculptures. The gardens are also home to a variety of programming, such as the annual Winter Park Paint Our plein air festival, hands-on gardening activities, and horticulture internships.

  • Art is the most critical piece to fulfilling the museum’s mission and includes both the permanent collection and visiting exhibition program. The permanent collection consists of more than two hundred works, the majority of which are sculptures; and the visiting exhibition program shares diverse, enriching and interactive experiences, each exploring a different aspect of representational art.

Impact

Accomplishments 2016-2017:

  • Preservation Capen - In 2013 the Polasek Museum along with community partners saved the historic 1885 Capen House from demolition and relocated it to the Polasek property. This fulfilled a longtime goal to have an additional facility at the museum. The restoration project was fully completed in 2016.

  • Emily Courtyard - The courtyard in front of Polasek’s historic home and studio, custom-made by the artist in the 1960s, was decaying and broken. In 2016 the old concrete was removed and new, stamped concrete replicating the original tile was installed.

  • New Acquisitions - Even though Polasek is deceased, the museum strives to add works to its collection. A new sculpture, Girl with a Wreath, was added to the garden as the result of a generous donation. The plaster casting made in 1945 was in storage, unseen by the public for 71 years, until this new bronze casting was made in 2016.

  • Winter Park Paint Out - The museum’s 9th annual signature fundraiser focusing on the art of painting en plein air was the most successful ever. In addition to being a fundraiser, the event offers 10+ free educational demos and a week full of events for the community.

Goals 2017-2018:

  • Home & Studio Restoration - Upgrades are needed to the Polasek home and studio, the only member of the Historic Artists Homes and Studios Program in Florida. Built in 1949, the structure requires specialty roof replacement/upgrade with insulation, new flooring, electrical upgrades, and upgraded restrooms with modern sewer tie-in.

  • Art Conservation Projects - Several Polasek sculptures and art objects are in need of conservation and restoration. Projects range in cost from $2,500 to $20,000.

  • Dedicated Programming Staff - The museum strives to offer quality educational programming to the community year-round, but staff is overextended with the museum curator filling the role of programing coordinator as well.

Independent Research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or program effectiveness? No
Needs
  • Unrestricted Funding for General Operation – This includes retention and training of professional staff, landscape supplies and maintenance, art conservation, building maintenance, and public outreach and education. $100,000 goal for 2017

  • Stations of the Cross Bronze Casting Project – Ten of Polasek’s Stations of the Cross (1942-1945) are cast in decaying fiberglass and need to be re-cast properly in bronze before the original molds decay. $10,000/per casting, naming opportunity

  • Audio/Visual and Technology Improvements – Needs include upgraded laptops for gallery and docent desk, new speaker system for the gallery, a new video for the historic home tour, upgraded video security system, new projector and screen for presentations, and iPads with stands for interactive exhibits. $30,000

  • Archive - Materials are needed for the museum to create an accreditation-level archive of Albin Polasek’s works and papers for scholarly research. Items include an archival scanner, upgraded DSLR camera, and archival flat file cabinets. $7,000

Background

The Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens was founded in 1961 by Albin Polasek, an internationally-acclaimed artist and resident of Winter Park, Florida. Polasek arrived in the U.S. in 1901 from his native Moravia (now the Czech Republic) as a wood-carving apprentice with an aspiration to follow the American Dream. Within fourteen years, he became an award-winning artist and was appointed head of the Sculpture Department at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Polasek retired to Winter Park in 1949 after nearly thirty years at the Art Institute. He created a number of his best-known sculptures in his Winter Park studio, carving one-handed from his wheelchair after a stroke caused paralysis on his left side. His Florida home, studio, and gardens became the vehicle by which he ensured the lasting impact of his legacy in the arts. The Albin Polasek Foundation (established by Polasek in 1961) maintains, preserves, and exhibits more than 200 of his works on canvas, reliefs, and statuary as well as archival drawings, sketches, and photographs. Fifty outdoor sculptures are displayed within the naturalistic gardens, maintained in part by a team of dedicated volunteers. The outdoor sculpture collection is one of the largest in the region. Polasek’s 1949-era home and studio are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and are recognized as one of only 36 sites in the National Trust’s Historic Artists Homes & Studios consortium of America's most significant artists' spaces. The Foundation is now the steward of another significant historic home with the addition of the 1885 Capen-Showalter House in 2013.

The Polasek Museum is a noted cultural destination, ranked within the “Top 20 Tourist Attractions” in the region by Orlando Business Journal. The museum continues the work of Polasek through public education, specialized courses in the arts, music recitals, exhibits, and tours. The board is focused on increasing the museum’s profile and impact through strategic partnerships, infrastructure improvements, and expanded programming while remaining mindful of long-term fiscal stability. The Winter Park Paint Out – the museum’s premiere fundraising and outreach event—grows larger and more inclusive each year, with free access to art and an emphasis on breaking down social and economic barriers for diverse communities. More than 35,000 people visit the grounds annually, and the museum works towards reaching each one with compelling stories in the arts.

CEO Statement

The Polasek Museum is one of Winter Park’s cultural keystones. Our roots date back to a time when there were very few arts institutions in Central Florida.  Polasek dedicated himself to creating the museum more than a half century ago. Along with his wife Emily Muska Kubat Polasek, he established the Albin Polasek Foundation and the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens in 1961 as a permanent home for his art, or as he called his sculptures, “his children,” and opened the residence, galleries, gardens, and chapel to the public.

Today the museum remains dedicated to Polasek’s mission of life-long learning and contributing to the cultural richness of our region. In addition to maintaining Polasek’s home and sharing it with the public, we have donated numerous sculptures to the cities of Winter Park and Orlando. Reproductions of Albin Polasek’s works are featured throughout Winter Park, including sites at the Winter Park Public Library, City Hall, and Central Park.

Over the past decade the Albin Polasek Museum has devoted great resources into conserving our art collection, enlarging the gardens, stabilizing our historic buildings, and being a proactive member of our region's rich cultural heritage.

Board Chair Statement

After the death of Emily Polasek (Albin’s wife) in the late 1980s, the Board of Trustees began a transition to grow beyond a small group of her friends and family and to refocus the museum on the mission established by Polasek at its founding in 1961. The board has accomplished five of its major goals in the last 14 years – established as part of a 20-year strategic plan – through strict oversight of a modest endowment paired with prudent fiscal management and an assertive fundraising program.

The biggest challenge--expanding our capacity with the addition of an adjacent lot and museum structure – has been completed with the acquisition of the Capen-Showalter House in 2013. Rather than commissioning new construction, the board cooperated in a widespread effort to save the historic home dating from 1885. The community enthusiasm generated during this landmark effort increased the profile of the museum both regionally and nationwide. The board is excited to have brought this 130-year-old historic building back to life for the community, ensuring the stewardship of the structure into the 21st century.

In 2016 the board accomplished the goal of recruiting new board members with diverse backgrounds and enlarging the size of the board. In 2017, we have expanded the board by two members (from 10 to 12) and increased the ethnic diversity of our board from one member to four.

Fundraising remains a perennial challenge, especially in a time when government arts funding is being cut. New major donors and sources of private funding are needed to help diversify our funding sources and reach our goals and not only sustain the museum but help it grow.

NTEE Information
Primary Organization Type Arts,Culture & Humanities
Primary Organization SubType Museums
Secondary Organization Type Arts,Culture & Humanities
Secondary Organiztion SubType Arts & Culture
Areas Served
Geographic Areas Served
FL

While the museum primarily serves the residents of Central Florida, about 20% of its annual visitors come from other states and countries.

Goals
HelpWhat is the organization aiming to accomplish? This is the organization's ultimate goal for intended impact.
  1. Inspire visitors by sharing the home, studio, collection, and garden of artist Albin Polasek which illustrate his story of an immigrant achieving his goal of becoming a world-renowned sculptor and overcoming disability from a stroke to continue creating monumental works of art.

  2. Meaningfully contribute to Central Florida’s vibrant and growing local arts scene with relevant, unique, and thought-provoking gallery exhibits that change throughout the year.

  3. Serve the community by offering quality programming that educates, instructs, or celebrates the arts in various forms.

  4. Provide low-cost and enriching cultural experiences for those with economic barriers to access.

  5. Expand awareness of the museum, often referred to as a “hidden gem,” and broaden its audience through marketing, exhibit/program offerings, and partnerships.

Strategies
HelpWhat are the organization's strategies for its stated long-term goals?
  1. Offer 1,144 inspirational docent-led tours of the historic Polasek Home and Studio each year; make necessary upgrades to public spaces to ensure the collection is presented in a fresh and appealing way in keeping with AAM standards; and conserve Polasek’s artwork and make new or improved sculpture castings as funding allows.

  2. Curate and present five gallery exhibits per year that feature Florida artists, private collections, themed open-call shows, artists with a connection to Albin Polasek, and artists of diverse backgrounds.  2017 gallery exhibits include:

    • Contemporary Visions of Frantz Zephirin: Haitian Mystic

    • 9th Annual Winter Park Paint Out

    • Summer of Love: Reflections on Pulse

    • From Our Walls: A Private Plein Air Collection

    • Discovering an American Master: Louis Frederick Grell

  3. Offer programming events to accompany each gallery exhibit that may include lectures, panel discussions, open house days with student art activities, presentations, or demonstrations. Hold the Winter Park Paint Out plein air festival which presents 10+ free educational painting demonstrations and offers a week of free admission with other events. Offer other annual museum programming including National Museum Day, Polasek Museum’s Heritage Day, and Stroke Awareness Day.

  4. Host at least 10 free open house days per year and offer at least five free museum days with educational programming.  Keep admission prices low (range from free to $5).

  5. Use a combination of strategic marketing, appealing and diverse programming offerings, and community partnerships to broaden the museum’s audience. Closely track visitor statistics to monitor progress.

Capabilities
HelpWhat are the organization’s capabilities for doing this? What resources, capacities, and connections support its progress towards long-term goals?
  1. Extraordinary volunteer support allows the museum to offer tours to 10,000+ visitors annually. In 2016, 108 volunteers worked 4,420 hours by giving tours, staffing the reception desk, and maintaining the gardens. The museum also employs an extremely knowledgeable senior docent who has been with the museum since 2002 and speaks multiple languages.  

  2. The museum’s five gallery exhibits per year are professionally produced by a full-time curator with a master’s degree in Museum Studies. Strong partnerships with individuals in the art community help to procure these exhibits, and partnerships with community organizations, sponsors, and grantmakers assist with funding to bring them to life. For example, the 2016-2017 exhibit, Frantz Zephirin: Haitian Mystic, was identified through the curator’s network, sponsored by community partner Gladdening Light, and received funding from Duke Energy/United Arts of Central Florida through a Diverse Programming Grant.

  3. Community partnerships are invaluable to helping the museum produce programming events for the exhibits as well as the annual Winter Park Paint Out. For example, a partnership with the Orange County Regional History Center will help the museum produce a program on documenting the Pulse Nightclub tragedy to accompany the exhibit Summer of Love: Reflections on Pulse.  In the future, a part-time programming coordinator staff position would greatly help to improve the quality of programming and relieve this burden from the curator.

  4. Grant funding from the State of Florida (General Program Support Grant) and United Arts of Central Florida (Operating Support Grant) helps the museum cover its operating expenses while offering free days in addition to keeping daily ticket prices low.

  5. Partnerships and memberships with organizations like the National Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios Program, American Horticultural Society, Visit Florida, and Visit Orlando raise awareness of the museum to increase visitors.  Local partners like the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce and Winter Park Scenic Boat Tours also drive visitors.  Audience feedback is collected and analyzed to determine the success of museum offerings and to help plan future exhibits.

Indicators
HelpHow will the organization know if it is making progress? What are the key qualitative and quantitative indicators against which the organization assesses its progress toward its intended impact?

The Polasek Museum measures progress by assessing visitor numbers and analyzing visitor and critical feedback. When analyzing the success of any of the museum programs (historic home and studio tour, gallery exhibits, or programming events), quantitative metrics such as number of visitors, their demographics, and how they heard about it are collected weekly along with the feedback they leave through surveys, gallery guestbook, and online review sites. Critical feedback from the media is also taken into account when determining the success of programs.

The amount of community support in terms of donations, memberships, grants, and sponsorships is also an indicator of overall success. Goals are set by the board each year for attendance, memberships, marketing, and donations. Progress towards reaching these goals is assessed monthly, and corrections are made as necessary.

Progress
HelpWhat has and hasn’t been accomplished so far?

Expanding the infrastructure of the Polasek Museum was targeted as a primary goal in 2000. With the addition of the east lot—now home to the Capen-Showalter House—the museum and board fulfilled this long-term goal and are moving ahead on the next steps.  Next long-term goals include upgrades to and restoration of the historic Polasek Home and Studio as well as creating an onsite research center. Being able to make these improvements will not only make the visitor experience better but bring the museum a step closer to achieving American Association of Museums accreditation.

Programs
Description

 

The Polasek’s unique story, setting, and art can be experienced daily by visitors through docent-led tours of world-renowned Czech-American sculptor Albin Polasek’s historic home, studio, and chapel, as well as exploring our peaceful gardens and outdoor sculptures.

  • Historic Artist’s Home and Studio - Polasek’s home and artist’s studio, built in 1949, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and furnished with Polasek’s own work, his European decorative art and object collection, original sculptor’s tools, artwork by notable contemporaries of Polasek’s, and a collection of Czechoslovakian folk art and heritage objects. A small chapel built by Polasek adjoins the home and studio.

  • Outdoor Sculpture Garden – Many of the Polasek’s most significant works of art are displayed outdoors in the sculpture garden, which is the largest in Central Florida. Fifty-five works of sculpture are on permanent display, created by Albin Polasek and Ruth Sherwood (an award-winning sculptor and Polasek’s first wife) as well as other contemporary artists.

 

Population Served Adults
Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service.

Through educational tours of the Polasek home, studio, and sculpture gardens, the museum hopes to inspire visitors by sharing Albin Polasek’s story as well as further their appreciation of representational art.  The museum expects that they will share their experience with others and them to visit as well.  By providing a unique and memorable experience for visitors, the museum also hope they will leave positive comments on online review sites, which will in turn raise the reputation of the museum and encourage even more to visit.

Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state.

Ultimately, the museum hopes that Polasek’s story and art will inspire visitors and have a positive impact on their lives.  The museum also strives to engage visitors with the arts and with the museum by becoming members, volunteers, donors, or attending a class or event. This kind of support and engagement will in turn allow the museum to reach others with the inspiring story of Albin Polasek and continue sharing his art with future generations.


Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.

Success is monitored by tracking numbers of annual visitors, museum members, and volunteers, as well as analyzing comments left by visitors on surveys given onsite and online.

Examples of SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.

Numbers of visitors increase steadily each year at a rate of about 10%. Some recent comments from our museum guestbook include the following:

 

  • “Enlightening to see how closely environments affect thought. Will incorporate in daily life.”
  • “This is the most impressive collection of sculpture art and absolute beauty!”
  • “My appreciation for Polasek's works increases with each visit. I bring out of town visitors to this museum because they love to discover the works of Polasek, a new artist they did not know before our visit.”
  • “Been here for 16 years, am Czech. First time I've heard about it. Now I'll tell everyone!”

 

Description

The gallery space at the Polasek Museum hosts five rotating exhibits per year.  These changing exhibits allow the museum to offer visitors new and more varied experiences in the arts each time they come.  Exhibits range from traditional to contemporary and include all forms of art, historical collections, and exclusive private collections that can be enjoyed in the intimate gallery space.  The gallery exhibit program enhances visitors’ cultural experience and helps the museum reach more diverse audiences than the permanent collection would.  

Examples of recent and upcoming exhibits include:

  • Sight Unseen: Touchable Sculpture
  • Preserving a National Legacy: Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios
  • The Missing Matisse: Pierre Henri Matisse
  • The Contemporary Visions of Frantz Zephirin: Haitian Mystic
  • Summer of Love: Reflections on Pulse
  • From Our Walls: A Private Plein Air Collection
Population Served Adults
Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service.

Through the varied offerings in the gallery exhibit program, the museum hopes to reach more diverse audiences than the permanent collection otherwise would and inspire visitors to appreciate and become engaged with the arts.  The museum hopes that they become repeat visitors and share their experience with others and encourage them to visit as well.  By providing a unique and memorable experience for visitors, the museum also hopes they will leave positive comments on online review sites, which will in turn raise the reputation of the museum and the arts in Central Florida.

Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state.

Ultimately, the museum hopes that the art presented in gallery exhibits inspires visitors and has a positive impact on their lives. The museum also hopes that visitors to the Polasek Museum will become personally engaged with the arts and with the museum by becoming members, volunteers, donors, or attending a class or event. This kind of support and engagement will in turn allow the museum to reach others with the inspiring story of Albin Polasek and continue sharing his art with future generations.

Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.

Success is monitored by tracking numbers of annual visitors, museum members, and volunteers, as well as analyzing comments left by visitors on surveys given onsite and online.

Examples of SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.

Numbers of visitors increase steadily each year at a rate of about 10%. Some feedback from the museum guestbook and surveys relating to the 2016 Sight Unseen: Touchable Sculpture exhibit includes the following:

  • “This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience to use all the senses to experience the artist’s message. Thank you!”
  • “Love the creativity, fun, and interactive aspect of the Sight Unseen: Touchable Sculpture exhibit.”
  • “Thank you for making this available for my blind husband.”
  • “Very educational and inspirational for upcoming artists.”
  • “Love the art and much appreciate thinking of those without sight.”
  • “Exhibit for the visually impaired was a great, unexpected treat!”

 

Description

The Polasek hosts several types of educational programming events throughout the year.  Each one of the rotating gallery exhibits includes events tailored to extend the visitor experience.  These may include lectures, workshops, panel discussions, meet-and-greets with the artists, or free open house days that typically include complimentary arts activities and feature community partner collaborations.  Recent examples include a collaboration with the Kerouac Project of Orlando to combine poetry and plein air painting, a book club with selections relating to each exhibit presented with local independent bookseller The Writer’s Block, and a presentation with the Orange County Regional History Center tying into the exhibit Summer of Love: Reflections on Pulse to discuss the process of documenting this national tragedy.  

Population Served Adults
Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service.

The short-term goals of educational programming are that participants learn something new and have a positive interaction with the museum.

Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state.

The ultimate goal of museum programming is to provide a service to the community by offering enriching and educational programming.  Art-focused programming aims to engage people of all backgrounds and age groups in the arts and encourage interest in the arts.  Through other educational programming such as stroke awareness day, the museum aims to use Albin Polasek’s story to affect positive health outcomes in the community by raising awareness of stroke prevention and also by providing inspiration to survivors.

Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.

Success is monitored by tracking numbers of program participants and analyzing their feedback.

Examples of SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.

The museum can establish that its educational programming is well-regarded because of the continual referrals received from local humanities professors and teachers, particularly from UCF and Valencia.  Programming is often recommended through the Burnett Honors College and the Learning Institute for Elders (LIFE), both at UCF.

Description

This much-anticipated week-long event focuses on the art of painting in “plein air,” a French term meaning “in the open air.”  Throughout the week, 25 nationally-acclaimed artists gather to create one-of-a-kind pieces of artwork reflecting the beauty of Central Florida.  The museum is open free to the public for the entire event, held annually in April.  More than ten educational painting demonstrations are held for free for the public, and the gallery is open for the public to view the artists’ works. A student component is held each year which strives to expose underserved students to the arts.

Population Served Adults
Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service.

Short-term success for the Winter Park Paint Out includes: increasing the number of visitors who interact with the Polasek Museum through this event; generating public awareness and interest in the museum; and drawing in new visitors, members, and potential programming participants.

Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state.

 

Long-term change achieved the Winter Park Paint includes raising the profile of the Polasek Museum and the arts in Central Florida as well as increasing appreciation for plein air painting and the arts in general.  

Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.

Success is monitored by tracking numbers of program participants, painting sales, and feedback received through on-site surveys.

Examples of SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.

Visitor numbers to the annual Winter Park Paint Out steadily increase each year, with a total attendance of nearly 30,000 in 2015. Attendees in 2015 represented visitors from 25 states, 5 countries, and 19 counties in Florida outside of Orange. The event has been consistently supported by Orange County Arts & Cultural Affairs through Cultural Tourism Funding. Winter Park Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Patrick Chapin has said, “The Winter Park Paint Out has become a signature event for our community and is the occasion to see some of the finest artists from around the country. The national reputation for excellence this plein air festival draws visitors from other areas of Florida and from around the United States. I can’t state strongly enough how wonderful this week-long event is to our community."

Comments
CEO Comments


Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. Robert Sharpstein
Company Affiliation Northwestern Mutual Financial Network
Term Jan 2015 to Dec 2018
Board Co-Chair
Board Co-Chair
Board
Board Members
NameCompany AffiliationsStatusCertificate*
Ms. Tris Filliez Leading Edge TitleVotingYes
Mr. Alex Gourlay Fifth Third BankVotingYes
Ms. Sarah Grafton Grafton Wealth ManagementVotingYes
Ms. Mildred Graham Florida A&M University College of LawVotingYes
Mr. Scott Hillman Fannie Hillman & AssociatesVotingYes
Mr. Chris Leary Community VolunteerVotingYes
Mr. Lawrence Lyman Tactical Electronics CorporationVotingYes
Ms. Virginia Poe Community VolunteerVotingYes
Mr. Robert Sharpstein Northwestern Mutual Financial NetworkVotingYes
Ms. Susan Vernon-Devlin UCF Rosen College of Hospitality ManagementVotingYes
Ms. Laura Walda Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed, P.AVotingYes
Ms. Nyma Whitmire Community VolunteerVotingYes
*This individual has been awarded a Certificate in Orientation to Board Service by the Edyth Bush Institute for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership at Rollins College ebi.rollins.edu,
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 3
Board Ethnicity
Asian American/Pacific Islander 1
Caucasian 8
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0
Other (if specified) 0
Policies
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Standing Committees
Standing Committees
Committee Name
By-laws
Board Development / Board Orientation
Executive
Finance
Investment
Human Resources / Personnel
Program / Program Planning
Nominating
Special Events (Golf Tournament, Walk / Run, Silent Auction, Dinner / Gala)
Marketing
Board Governance
Development
Comments
CEO Comments


CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Deborah Jones Komanski
Term Start Jan 2004
Email dkomanski@polasek.org
Experience

Debbie Komanski has served as the Executive Director of the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens since January 2004.  She received her degree from the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida. As a native of Winter Park and graduate of Winter Park High School, she brings a deep knowledge of the cultural arts and history of the area to the Polasek Museum and the city of Winter Park.  Over the past 35-plus years, Komanski has served as president of a number of organizations including the Rotary Club of Winter Park, UCF Alumni Association, Volunteer Center of Central Florida, Town and Gown Council, and held other key leadership positions on multiple boards of directors for non-profit organizations and schools in the community. She was recently named by Winter Park Magazine as one of Winter Park’s most influential people and the honoree of the 2015 Winter Park History Museum’s Peacock Ball.  The Winter Park Chamber of Commerce awarded her the 2016 Community Leader of the Year award and the Polasek Museum as the Community Organization of the Year.

Other activities include: serving on the International Committee for the Woodrow Wilson Monument in Prague, Czech Republic; the Florida Asso­ci­a­tion of Muse­ums; the Amer­i­can Asso­ci­a­tion of Muse­ums; Amer­i­can Asso­ci­a­tion of State and Local His­tory; South Eastern Museum Association (SEMA); the Museum Directors Council of Central Florida Council; the Winter Park Cultural Collaboration.

Other awards: Ms. Komanski received the highest honor presented by the University of Central Florida Alumni Association – the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award – in 1987. Additionally, she was the recipient of the esteemed University of Central Florida 1998 President’s Award bestowed by President John Hitt in recognition of a lifetime of service to the University. She has also received the Jefferson Award for Lifetime of Public Service and the Orlando Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Community Service of the Year award.

CEO Salary Range $75,001 - $100,000
Staff
Number of Full Time Staff 4
Number of Part Time Staff 11
Number of Volunteers 108
Number of Contract Staff 1
Staff Retention Rate 75%
Senior Staff
Title Curator
Experience/Biography

Rachel Frisby serves as the Polasek’s Curator and director of exhibitions and programming. Frisby received her Bachelor’s in Art History from the University of Wisconsin Superior and has a Master’s degree in Museum Studies from the University of Kansas. Before joining the Polasek staff, she worked as the Lead Teacher for the Whatsoever Community Center in Kansas City, Missouri. She also worked as the Collections Specialist for the University of Kansas Archive of Recorded Sound and has been trained as a laboratory technician for books and works on paper at the Stannard Conservation Laboratory in Lawrence, Kansas. Her curatorial experience ranges from coordinating university-based art shows to creating exhibitions for historical institutions such as the Mt. Hood Museum in Oregon. Since joining the Polasek in 2011, she has curated original exhibitions ranging from juried contemporary shows to historic object and art based collections. As exhibitions and programming director Frisby strives to develop collaborative partnerships and opportunities for artists and organizations and acts as the representative for the Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios Program. As an artist and educator, her goal is to promote collections accessibility and offer exciting educational programming and visual arts experiences for all visitors. Frisby is an active member of the regional arts community as an organizer, judge, and volunteer for artist organizations, festivals, civic entities, and schools throughout Central Florida.

 

Title Bookkeeper
Experience/Biography

Elaine Noel serves as the bookkeeper at the Polasek Museum. She received her B.S. in Accounting in 1982 and her M.A. in School Counseling in 2004, both from the University of Central Florida. She maintains the accounting records for the museum on a part-time basis. Noel is active with several fundraising events for non-profit organizations each year.

Title Facilities Manager
Experience/Biography

Byron Walker serves as the Polasek’s Facilities Manager.  He is a graduate of the University of Idaho in landscape architecture and has worked with the Polasek since 2012. He oversees maintenance, safety, and welfare of visitors and has a comprehensive knowledge of the site and facilities. He is also a noted sculptor and landscape planner.  He directs a large number of volunteers in the Polasek gardens which cover more than three acres along Lake Osceola.

Title Development Director
Experience/Biography

Lane Epps is the Polasek’s Development Director, handling museum memberships, grants, and fundraising.  She is a native of Orlando, a graduate of Trinity Preparatory School in Winter Park, and has a B.A. in Political Science from Boston University.  Epps has more than 15 years of experience working in communications and fundraising capacities in education, government, and nonprofit.  Past roles include serving as an assistant to the Chancellor of Boston University, an aide to a United States Senator, the director of parent relations and communications at Trinity Preparatory School, and grant coordinator for Harbor House of Central Florida.  Epps received her certificate in Certificate in Proposal Writing at the Edyth Bush Institute at Rollins College in 2015.

Title Senior Docent
Experience/Biography

Petra Hays, Senior Docent, graduated with a B.A. in German and French from the University of Central Florida and with an M.A. in German Literature from the University of Florida. She is the museum’s in-house editor, docent trainer and lead docent, regularly conducting tours of the property in English, German and French. She has been with the Polasek Museum since 2002.

Other
Collaborations

Strong community partnerships with the City of Winter Park, Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour, and Mayflower Retirement Community, national partnerships with the American Horticultural Society (reciprocal agreement), and Historic Artists Homes and Studios Program, and memberships with Visit Orlando and Visit Florida raise awareness and draw visitors to the Polasek Museum.

The Polasek regularly partners with various groups to present exhibits and programming. Recent partnerships have resulted in joint painting demonstrations and poetry readings with the Kerouac Project of Orlando at the Winter Park Paint Out, a symposium held by the nonprofit Gladdening Light in conjunction with the museum’s Frantz Zephirin: Haitian Mystic exhibit, and a new book club pairing with each exhibit hosted with local independent bookstore The Writer’s Block.

Other standing partnerships include the nonprofit BCenter and UCF’s Aphasia House who work with the Polasek each year to produce an educational stroke awareness day connecting to Polasek’s art and story.

Affiliations
AffiliationYear
American Association for State and Local History2002
Chamber of Commerce1979
National Trust For Historic Preservation2009
American Association of Museums - Member1986
Awards
AwardAwarding OrganizationYear
Listed on the National Register of Historic PlacesNational Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior2000
Artist's Hall of FameState of Florida2004
Great FloridianState of Florida2000
Historic Artist's Homes & StudiosNational Trust for Historic Preservation2009
Award for Organizational AchievementFlorida Trust for Historic Preservation2014
Community Organization of the YearWinter Park Chamber of Commerce2015
Historic Preservation Award for Excellence in Commercial RenovationCity of Winter Park2016
Risk Management Provisions
Risk Management Provisions
Commercial General Liability
CEO Comments

 

Strengths
The Polasek Museum’s strengths are evident in the quality of the staff, the historic significance of the site, and the story of its founder Albin Polasek, which continues to resonate with visitors of today. Additionally, the Polasek Museum stewards the largest collection of outdoor statuary in Central Florida with more than fifty sculptures displayed on its 3-acre site. The Polasek is completely accessible and features one of the only ADA-compliant lakeside museum/interpretive paths open to the public in our area.

Weaknesses
The Polasek Museum continues to address the challenges of maintaining a large collection and two historic homes within the budgetary constraints typical for non-profit organizations of this size. Long-term plans for the museum and the interpretive experience throughout the site must conform within these restrictions, limiting the number of events and scope of our programming while also extending the maintenance schedule for our facilities.

Opportunities
The Polasek Museum actively seeks new opportunities to collaborate with other organizations in Central Florida and internationally through innovative programming, public outreach, and an ever-increasing presence as a destination for cultural tourists in this area. A stronger profile helps the museum to achieve successful outcomes in terms of public education and the architectural preservation. The museum is also excited to explore new avenues for illuminating the story of its founder through further research into his life, sculptures, methodologies, and artistic motivations.

 

State Registration Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Expiration Month Feb
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Expiration Year 2018
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01, 2017
Fiscal Year End Dec 31, 2017
Documents
Form 990s
YearDocument
2016990
2015990
2015990 Signature Page
2014990
2013990
2012990
2011990 PF
2010990PF
2009990
2008990PF
2007990 PF
2006990PF
2006signature page
IRS Letter of Determination
IRS Determination Letter
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201620152014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$5,000$95,000$0
Government Contributions$0$0$0
Federal$0$0$0
State$0$0$0
Local$0$0$0
Unspecified$0$0$0
Individual Contributions$397,364$414,364$534,703
$0$0$0
$259,455$262,874$150,966
Investment Income, Net of Losses$27,425$83,553$102,749
Membership Dues$12,770$12,505$11,910
Special Events$0$0$0
Revenue In-Kind$0$0$0
Other$0$0$0
Expense Allocations
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$721,236$702,252$520,774
Administration Expense$124,581$118,087$94,693
Fundraising Expense$85,143$59,724$65,211
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.750.991.18
Program Expense/Total Expenses77%80%77%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue21%12%12%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$3,788,671$3,989,017$4,104,212
Current Assets$223,818$252,598$455,637
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$43,356$40,458$22,089
Total Net Assets$3,745,315$3,948,559$4,082,123
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountIndividuals and corporations $397,364Indivduals $414,364Individuals $534,703
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountEarned revenue $259,455Earned Revenue $262,874Earned Revenue $150,966
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountInvestment $27,425Foundations and Corporations $95,000Investment Income $102,749
Solvency
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities5.166.2420.63
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No
Comments
CEO Comments

The opening of the Capen House in 2015 put the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens in an improved financial position, having fulfilled a long-term goal of adding an additional building to the property for programming as well as securing additional rental space to generate extra operating income. A spike in the Polasek’s revenue in 2013 can be attributed to the Capital Campaign during that time which helped secure the Capen House, move it to the Polasek Museum property, and restore it for use as a public facility.

The Polasek operates in a conservative fiscal manner with limited full-time staff, extensive volunteer support and generous in-kind professional services in order to conserve financial resources and direct funds to use for the most effective expenditures to complete our mission. At the same time the Polasek partners with others to collaborate whenever possible to better serve the community. All aspects of the museum’s operation and programming are regularly reviewed by the Board of Directors which meets regularly.

A decrease in total liabilities and net assets from 2015 to 2016 is attributed to designated cultural facilities grant funding received in 2015 that was not expended until 2016 due to construction delays as well as depreciation of a new facility (Capen House) added to the Polasek property, officially opened in 2016.  
Foundation Comments
2012: Organization has been reclassified by the IRS as a public charity from a private operating foundation.
2011: Contributions from foundations and corporations are included in total for individuals as they were not separated on 990.
990 and audit reconcile.
This organization has notified the IRS of its intention to convert to a public charity, and the IRS has ruled that grantors and contributors may consider it a public charity for the purpose of making contributions to the organization.
Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster
Notes Programs listed here are those that are only activated during a disaster. Some organizations have unified budgeting and do not budget by program. Because of this, some budget fields may be blank or represent an approximation. Organization describes previous experience during the immediate response, recovery or rebuilding phases following a disaster.
Nonprofit Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens
Address 633 Osceola Avenue
Winter Park, FL 327894429
Primary Phone (407) 647-6294
Contact Email info@polasek.org
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Deborah Jones Komanski
Board Chair Mr. Robert Sharpstein
Board Chair Company Affiliation Northwestern Mutual Financial Network
Year of Incorporation 1966