Scope and arrangement
The Children's Art Carnival (CAC) records, dating from 1969 to 1994 (bulk dates 1976-1988), consist of administrative files providing insight into the day-to-day operations, programming, event planning, development and fundraising, marketing strategies, Board of Trustees obligations, and funding sources of the organization. Included are budgets, correspondence, grant applications, memoranda, meeting minutes, newsletters, planning documents, program proposals and evaluations, and press releases compiled from the CAC's inception until the departure of founder and Executive Director Betty Blayton-Taylor, in 1996. The Board of Trustees files contain agendas, meeting minutes, and lists of board members during the 1980s. These files illustrate the procedural administrative functions of the board, and predominantly address financial matters. Of special interest is a copy of the CAC's by-laws, which is an essential document in identifying the administrators' legal and core responsibilities as defined by the non-profit's founders.
The collection is strong in revealing funding sources of the CAC and its arts programs. The development and fundraising files include information on benefit events; appeals to corporations, foundations, and individual donors; grant applications; meeting minutes of the Friends of the Children's Art Carnival, which was the CAC's fundraising committee; and listings of contributors. The event organizers kept meticulous records of their annual benefit, Men Who Cook, which includes records of fundraising, logistics, outreach, promotions, and event planning. Among the Men Who Cook materials are advertising and marketing plans, event programs, lists of participants, records of donations, and food items featured at the benefits.
The financial records of the CAC include budget documents, financial ledgers, and reports. These files disclose the organization's economic standing over time and their annual budgetary planning strategies.
Files related to the CAC's operations illustrate a struggle to retain focus on the organization's arts education mission in the midst of constant fundraising, proposal writing, and logistical coordinating. Included are calendars and schedules; conference files; correspondence; information on the physical CAC building in Harlem; meeting minutes; memoranda; reports; and staff information.
Within the operations reports files are annual reports; five-year plans; interim reports; monthly statistical reports; narrative program reports; program attendance reports; and year-end narratives. These files offer a vivid picture of the CAC's operational standing, and serve as a chronological summary of the vast array of administrative activities necessary to sustain a non-profit organization.
The staff files include a number of job descriptions and organizational charts which clarify individuals' roles and responsibilities, recruitment tactics, and the manner in which duties shifted over time.
Information about CAC's programming and curriculum is contained in the program files. Included are files for many of the arts workshops and educational programs; program proposals; descriptions and evaluations of workshops; and a small sample of student work. The proposal files contain information on programs that were successfully implemented, as well those that were not enacted. The evaluations are all for the CAC's Title I (later Chapter 1) funded program, Creative Reading through the Arts. The evaluations were prepared by outside agencies, primarily the mandatory reporting performed by the Board of Education.
Within the student work files are letters written by students about their experiences at CAC. There are also some samples of reading lessons and worksheets completed by program participants.
The public relations files convey the CAC's marketing strategies and highlight the perpetual behind-the-scenes labor necessary in order to make the public aware of the CAC and its events and programs. The public facing side of the CAC is chronicled through flyers and brochures; lists of media contacts and mailing lists; newsletters; various iterations of press kits; press releases; public service announcements; and television and radio appearances.
The collection is arranged by categories that reflect the administrative structure of the Children's Art Carnival. The categories are Board of Trustees, Development and Fundraising, Financials, Operations, Programs, and Public Relations and Marketing. Files are arranged chronologically, and folders are arranged alphabetically by title. CAC folder names were preserved.