Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Garden
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.

 

  • Our 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. We share Polasek’s story through tours of his historic home, studio and chapel as well as community outreach and educational programming.
  • Our 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 horticultural therapy, lakeside yoga, exercise classes, and hands-on gardening.
  • Our Art is the most critical piece to fulfilling our mission and includes both our permanent collection and the 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
 
 
Projected Revenue $866,115.00
Projected Expenses $866,115.00
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.

 

  • Our 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. We share Polasek’s story through tours of his historic home, studio and chapel as well as community outreach and educational programming.
  • Our 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 horticultural therapy, lakeside yoga, exercise classes, and hands-on gardening.
  • Our Art is the most critical piece to fulfilling our mission and includes both our permanent collection and the 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:

 

  • Preservation Capen. In 2013, the Polasek Museum along with community partners saved the historic Capen-Showalter House from demolition. The 200-ton house was successfully relocated to our grounds, and we raised more than $800,000 in 15 months for the project. This historic home opened to the public for its 130th birthday in 2015.
  • Winter Park Paint Out. In 2016, we hosted our 8th annual WPPO, our signature fundraiser. Focusing on the art of painting en plein air, the WPPO features new nationally-acclaimed artists, events, and educational demonstrations each year.
  • Restoration of Emily Courtyard. The courtyard in front of Polasek’s historic home and studio, custom-designed by the artist in the 1960s, was cracked and broken. In 2016, the old concrete was removed and new, stamped concrete replicating the original pattern with modern materials was installed.
  • Sculpture Conservation and Exhibition. As part of restoring our gardens, more than 16 new sculpture bases were created on site for display of our collection. A number of bases were moved closer to public walkways to ensure accessibility for all our visitors.

 

Goals:

 

  • Polasek’s Home & Studio Restoration. In the coming years, we hope to dedicate more resources to the preservation of this historic building. We have begun installing new lighting in the historic home, chapel, and gallery. Other needs include specialty roof replacement/upgrade with insulation; new flooring; electrical upgrades; and upgraded gallery bathrooms with modern sewer tie-in.
  • Capen-Showalter House Programming and Events. Now that the restoration of the house is completed, the Polasek is scheduling a new host of events and workshops to explore art, gardens, and history, with a community/local focus.
  • Public Outreach & Education. In 2016-17, we will focus on strategic programming partnerships that will raise our community profile, including partnerships with stroke awareness groups BCenter and UCF’s Aphasia House.

 

Independent Research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or program effectiveness? No
Needs

 

  • General Operating Expenses – Our GOE includes retention and training of professional staff, landscape supplies and maintenance, collections conservation, building maintenance, and public outreach and education. $866,000
  • Audio/Visual and Technology Improvements – Needs include upgraded laptops for gallery and docent desk, new speaker system for the gallery, a new video for our historic home tour, new POS system for gallery sales, upgraded video security system, new projector and screen for offsite presentations, and iPads with stands for interactive exhibits. $30,000
  • Offsite Storage for Collection – Current storage is too small for our growing collection of sculpture molds, castings, tools, legal documents, and event-related objects. Sensitive plaster molds require climate control and security, and an ideal space would have drive-up access. $10,000/year
  • Stations of the Cross Bronze Casting Project – Ten of the fourteen of Polasek’s Stations of the Cross in the courtyard are cast in fiberglass. Four of them are already cast in bronze, and the long-term goal is to have all of them cast in bronze. The current fiberglass medallions were cast in 2011, and sun damage has already cracked the finish. $10,000 is needed per casting for a total of $100,000.
  • Custom Indoor Pedestals for Sculpture Display – Proper custom pedestals are needed for at least six of our Polasek sculptures on display in the museum to increase stability, protect against flooding, and move sculptures up to the eye level of visitors. Three additional sculptures could benefit from different pedestals that better show their attributes and keep the historic feel of the setting. $4,000

 

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 our naturalistic gardens, maintained in part by a team of dedicated volunteers. Our 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 and Foundation 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 – our 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 our grounds annually, and we are working towards reaching each one with compelling stories in the arts.

CEO Statement

 

Welcome to the inspired world of internationally acclaimed Czech-American sculptor Albin Polasek. We invite you to explore his home, galleries, and sculpture gardens located in the heart of Winter Park, Florida, on Lake Osceola. At the Polasek, you will discover the story of the life and work of one of the 20th century’s pre-eminent sculptors, Albin Polasek, while enjoying experiences with historic architecture and the abundance of nature.

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.

The Albin Polasek Foundation (APF) remains dedicated to our mission of life-long learning and contributing to the cultural richness of our region. In addition to operating the museum, the APF has 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 Foundation 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

On behalf of the Albin Polasek Foundation staff and trustees, thank you to all who have committed their time, talent, and treasures to the Albin Polasek Foundation and the preservation of the legacy of Mr. Polasek. Your gift not only helps to carry on the timeless impact of Mr. Polasek's works, but it also serves to honor Mr. Polasek and the remarkable standard of character, citizenship, and faith that he set during his lifetime.

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 to refocus the Museum on the mission established by Polasek and the Albin Polasek Foundation 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 and ensure the stewardship of the structure into the 21st century.

Continued support and grants from local and regional organizations are key to our continued success. A website and publication project funded by a grant from the Winter Park Community Foundation funds at the Community Foundation of Central Florida, Inc., allowed the Polasek to create polasekartsales.com. This website allows us to ensure fiscal stability through sales of limited edition reproductions of Albin Polasek’s most compelling sculptures. The grant also helped raise our museum shop revenue by 133% over the last year by providing funds for site-specific publications. Generous funding from Orange County Arts & Cultural Affairs and the Galloway Foundation helped the organization raise the capital needed to save and restore the historic Capen-Showalter House on our east lot.

The Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens has proudly served our community for 55 years, providing one of the most unique cultural and inspirational experiences in Central Florida. The Polasek offers a holistic journey through fine arts and history. Today we strive to be engaging, dynamic, and to meet the many needs and expectations of our diverse community.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

The Polasek Museum was founded in 1961, by a man with a vision to share his love of classical and figurative art with future generations. We remain dedicated to that vision. More than fifty years later, the Polasek Museum serves more than 30,000 guests annually, and contributes to the economic health of our community through its facilities, programs, and events with an estimated industry impact of $1.6 million. Recently, the Orlando Business Journal listed the Polasek Museum at number 20 of 25 “Top Tourist Attractions” in the region, ranked by 2013 paid attendance.

We strive to create a positive environment that encourages community, exploration, discovery and life-long learning. In addition to grants and private donors, support comes from our members and local businesses. In order to fulfill our mission we seek partners to help with key funding in the following areas:

 

  • Conservation of our historic buildings and permanent art collection;
  • Exhibition funding;
  • Educational programming;
  • Enhancement of the sculpture gardens;
  • Capacity building opportunities, including funding for internships, research, and communications.

 

In the past five years we have developed at all levels of our organization and continue to explore new opportunities. We invite you to help ensure that the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens continues to thrive and serve future generations.

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

We primarily serve residents of and visitors to the Central Florida region. However, that constituency includes a number of international guests that seek out the home and studio of Czech-American sculptor Albin Polasek. Our Foundation also maintains a relationship with the American Friends of the Czech-Republic. The Museum also works with the City of Prague, and assisted in the 2011 re-creation of Polasek’s 1928 Woodrow Wilson monument, destroyed by the Nazis during World War II.

 

Goals
HelpWhat is the organization aiming to accomplish? This is the organization's ultimate goal for intended impact.

At the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens, our goal is to inspire the public to enrich their own lives by learning about our art collection and exhibitions, visiting our historic buildings, and spending time in our lakeside gardens. Guests of all ages come to the Polasek in search of a meaningful connection with and new appreciation for history, culture, and the environment. Numerous recent studies confirm that children and senior citizens, in particular, thrive when exposed to the arts and nature. We strive to be the source for that audience while seeking out new opportunities to connect with underserved populations that can benefit from our collective resources.

The Polasek Museum, originally founded by renowned Czech-American sculptor and artist Albin Polasek in 1966, is a well-established organization that has made a lifelong impact on its guests. Visitors from Central Florida and throughout the world return to the Polasek Museum because of our dedication to strategically improving the collection and the grounds, thereby helping to secure the long-term economic sustainability of our organization.

In late 2013, the Polasek Museum expanded its infrastructure with the addition of Winter Park’s historic Capen-Showalter House. Built in 1885, the home was threatened with immediate demolition. In a landmark effort, the Polasek and community partners moved the house across a lake to save it. The Polasek Board of Trustees developed a five-year plan to renovate and re-use the house for exhibition areas, public events, and offices, with the goal of increasing revenue for the museum while providing an opportunity for the people to enjoy this gracious Victorian-era home.

Our visitor demographics span every age group and socio-economic level. We engage our members through a number of annual events, including the Winter Park Paint Out, which invites artists to create their works outdoors within the Central Florida area.

The Capen-Showalter House will contribute to our regular programming with new exhibit areas featuring collections that contribute to the story of Polasek’s life and work as well as sculptures and reliefs he completed of Capen-family descendants, friends of his in Chicago. Together, the buildings, artworks, gardens, and lake views create an unduplicated experience rich in culture and history, found only at the Polasek Museum.

Strategies
HelpWhat are the organization's strategies for its stated long-term goals?

There are several strategies that we will implement to accomplish our goals at the Polasek Museum. These encompass both short-term and long-term issues and will increase the overall strengths of the museum, staff, and organization.

1. Identify and build upon new partnerships with community-based organizations, focusing on cultural and educational collaborations.

2. Identify preservation and conservation needs for the historic home and studio of founder Albin Polasek, N.A., and continue our maintenance and improvement of the property for visitors.

3. Develop a comprehensive long-term plan for the outdoor sculpture gardens, including implementing quality programming and sustainable vegetation.

4. Collaborate with diverse, talented artists to host innovative exhibits in our gallery space.

Capabilities
HelpWhat are the organization’s capabilities for doing this? What resources, capacities, and connections support its progress towards long-term goals?

The Polasek Museum team is excited to begin a new era for our museum with the opening of the Capen-Showalter House on our property in 2015.  With this new facility space, we are well-situated to expand our mission and program goals.  Additional rental income with bolster our financial position while offering the space for use by local organizations builds our connections and capacity within the community.  Finally having an adequate location to host lectures, discussions, and classes enables us to offer programming never before possible at the museum. 

Our current staff is composed of arts and history professionals as well as individuals well-versed in landscape design and maintenance. We have a core group of four full-time employees, twelve part-time employees, and more than 150 volunteers that assist in the museum galleries, sculpture garden, and Capen-Showalter House. Debbie Komanski, the Executive Director since January 2004, is an active member of the community, both in business and in the humanities, and is the recipient of numerous awards, including most recently the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce Community Leader Award.

The Polasek Museum maintains a number of professional affiliations—local, regional, and national—that benefit the position of the organization as a premiere arts and history organization. The museum is a member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Historic Artists’ Homes & Studios program and the Polasek home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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 maintains a number of key assessment markers to measure progress towards our long-term strategic goals..

-Community-based organizational partners and numbers served through these programs.
-New and retained volunteers.
-Sculptures and artwork that are assessed and preserved.
-Surveys we collect and assessments of results.
-Quality exhibits installed.
-Guests who visit the Polasek Museum and feedback on their experiences.
Progress
HelpWhat has and hasn’t been accomplished so far?

Expanding the infra-structure 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.  

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. The lakeside gardens are registered as a Certified Wildlife Habitat with the National Wildlife Federation.

 

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, we hope to inspire visitors by sharing Albin Polasek’s story as well as further their appreciation of representational art. We expect that they will share their experience with others and them to visit as well. By providing a unique and memorable experience for visitors, we 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, we hope that Polasek’s story and art will inspire our visitors and have a positive impact on their lives.  We also hope that visitors to the Polasek Museum will become engaged with the arts and with us by becoming members, volunteers, donors, or attending a class or event.  This kind of support and engagement will in turn allow us 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 about four rotating exhibits per year.  These rotating exhibits allow us 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 our intimate gallery space.  The gallery exhibit program enhances our visitors’ cultural experience and helps us reach more diverse audiences than our permanent collection would. Examples of recent and upcoming exhibits include: 

 
  • Shapely Vessels: Gourds from Around the World
  • Art Legends of Orange County: The Art of Hal McIntosh
  • 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

 

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 our gallery exhibit program, we hope to reach more diverse audiences than our permanent collection otherwise would and inspire them to appreciate and become engaged with the arts. We hope that they become repeat visitors and that they will share their experience with others and encourage them to visit as well. By providing a unique and memorable experience for visitors, we also hope 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, we hope that the art we present in our gallery exhibits inspire our visitors and have a positive impact on their lives. We also hope that visitors to the Polasek Museum will become personally engaged with the arts and with us by becoming members, volunteers, donors, or attending a class or event. This kind of support and engagement will in turn allow us 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 our museum guestbook relating to our recent 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 our 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. Past examples include the Winter Park Public Library, Winter Park History Museum, Audubon Birds of Prey Center, Michelee Puppets, Florida Sculptor’s Guild, Greater Orlando Council of the Blind, VSA Florida, UCP of Central Florida. Other educational programming has included or will include student art mingles, beginner art critiques, genealogy workshops, and stroke awareness day.

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 our educational programming are that participants learn something new and have a positive interaction with our 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 our programming is to provide a service to the community by offering enriching and educational programming. Our art-focused programming aims to engage people of all backgrounds and age groups in the arts. Through other educational programming such as stroke awareness day, we hope 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 as well as analyzing their feedback. 


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

We can ascertain that our educational programming is well-regarded because of the continual referrals we receive from local humanities professors and teachers, particularly from UCF and Valencia. Our 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. As many as ten educational painting demonstrations are held for free for the public, and our gallery is open for the public to view the artists’ works. A student component is held each year as well, which hosted the Eatonville Boys and Girls Club for a painting class in 2016.

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 we hope to affect through 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

The Polasek was founded in 1961, more than fifty years ago, by a man with a vision to share his love of classical and figurative art with future generations. We remain dedicated to that vision.  

We strive to create a positive environment that encourages exploration, discovery and lifelong learning. In order to fulfill our mission we seek partners to help with key funding in the following areas:

 • Conservation of our historic building and permanent art collection

 • Exhibition funding

 • Educational programming

 • Enhancement of the Sculpture Gardens

In addition to donors, support comes from our members, local businesses, and other organizations. In the past five years we have grown at all levels or our membership base. We invite you to help ensure that the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens continues to grow and thrive for future generations.


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. Carolyn Bird Community VolunteerVoting
Ms. Judith M. Duda PhilanthropistVoting
Ms. Tris Filliez Leading Edge Title CompanyVotingNo
Mr. Alex Gourlay Fifth Third BankVotingNo
Ms. Sarah E. Grafton Grafton Wealth ManagementVotingNo
Mr. Scott Hillman Fannie Hillman & AssociatesVotingNo
Ms. Virginia Poe Community VolunteerVotingNo
Mr. Robert Sharpstein Northwestern Mutual Financial NetworkVoting
Ms. Susan Vernon-Devlin Massey CommunicationsVoting
Ms. Laura M. Walda Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed, P.AVotingNo
*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, the Central Florida Partnership www.centralfloridapartnership.org, and the Central Florida Foundation www.cffound.org.
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 3
Board Ethnicity
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 9
Hispanic/Latino 0
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

In 2016, the Albin Polasek Foundation Board of Trustees is actively working to recruit new board members that more closely represent our diverse community. Other high-priority board projects for 2016 include an ongoing review of our strategic plan and updating personnel policies and by-laws with the assistance of the Edyth Bush Institute at Rollins College.

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 30
Number of Contract Staff 1
Staff Retention Rate 100%
Senior Staff
Title Curator
Experience/Biography

Rachel Frisby serves as the Polasek’s Curator and directs our exhibitions and programming.  Frisby received her Bachelor’s in Art History from the University of Wisconsin Superior and was her 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. 

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Title Accountant
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 Facility Manager
Experience/Biography

Byron Walker serves as the Polasek’s Facility 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 Coordinator
Experience/Biography

Lane Epps is the Polasek’s Development Coordinator, 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 Sates 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 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

Key collaborative and cross-disciplinary partners include:

 

  • A Gift for Teaching
  • American Horticultural Society
  • Aphasia House UCF
  • Art & History Museums: Maitland
  • Bach Festival Society of Winter Park
  • BCenter
  • Bok Tower Gardens
  • Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art
  • Cornell Fine Arts Museum
  • Crealde School of Art
  • Eatonville Boys & Girls Club
  • Edyth Bush Institute for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership
  • Embassy of the Czech Republic
  • Enzian Theater
  • Florida Division of Cultural Affairs
  • Florida Sculptors Guild
  • Glenridge Middle School
  • Homeschool Programs
  • Kanapaha Botanical Gardens
  • Leadership Winter Park
  • Mayflower Retirement Community
  • Mead Garden
  • Michelee Puppets
  • Naples Botanical Gardens
  • Orange County Arts & Cultural Affairs
  • Orange County Regional History Center
  • Orlando at Play
  • Orlando Museum of Art
  • Rollins College
  • Rotary Club of Winter Park
  • United Arts of Central Florida
  • University of Central Florida
  • Valencia College
  • VSA of Florida
  • Winter Park Chamber of Commerce
  • Winter Park Cultural Consortium
  • Winter Park Day Nursery
  • Winter Park Historical Museum
  • Winter Park Public Library
  • Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour

 

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
Automobile Insurance
Workers Compensation and Employers' 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 our 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 our 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 of our landmark site. We are also excited to explore new avenues for illuminating the story of our founder Albin Polasek, through further research into his life, sculpture, methodologies, and artistic motivations.

State Registration Yes
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01, 2016
Fiscal Year End Dec 31, 2016
Documents
Form 990s
YearDocument
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 Year201520142013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$95,000$0$212,421
Government Contributions$0$0$0
Federal$0$0$0
State$0$0$0
Local$0$0$0
Unspecified$0$0$0
Individual Contributions$414,364$534,703$353,467
$0$0$0
$262,874$150,966$211,309
Investment Income, Net of Losses$83,553$102,749$123,880
Membership Dues$12,505$11,910$12,926
Special Events$0$0$0
Revenue In-Kind$0$0$512,429
Other$0$0$0
Expense Allocations
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$702,252$520,774$632,919
Administration Expense$118,087$94,693$108,672
Fundraising Expense$59,724$65,211$106,167
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.991.181.68
Program Expense/Total Expenses80%77%75%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue12%12%19%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$3,989,017$4,104,212$4,068,141
Current Assets$252,598$455,637$534,660
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$40,458$22,089$45,736
Total Net Assets$3,948,559$4,082,123$4,022,405
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201520142013
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountIndivduals $414,364Individuals $534,703Inkind Revenues $512,429
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountEarned Revenue $262,874Earned Revenue $150,966Individuals $353,467
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountFoundations and Corporations $95,000Investment Income $102,749Foundations and Corporations $212,421
Solvency
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities6.2420.6311.69
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
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-Showalter house in 2015 puts 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 us secure the Capen House, move it to our 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 our financial resources and direct our 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 our community. All aspects of the Museum’s operation and programming are regularly reviewed by the Executive Director, Board of Trustee’s leadership, and the Budget and Investment Committee which meets on a regular basis.

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.