eta Creative Arts Foundation was incorporated in 1971 as a non-profit, tax exempt organization to provide training and performance opportunities for youth and adults. In the past 40 years, eta has evolved to become a recognized cultural treasure not only in the city of Chicago, but nationally and internationally. The organization has a commitment to the production of new works-to tell our story in the first voice- and to the development of individual artists.
eta programs are vast and diverse in scope toward the goal of strengthening the community culturally and economically. An extensive training program in the performing and technical arts is provided for children (from age 6), teens and adults. Classes include acting, music, dance, lighting, sound, playwriting, stage management, directing, audition techniques for commercials and video taping.
The professional performance program includes a season of four Mainstage productions (plays which have never or seldom been produced) from September to July each year; a Showfolk series of daytime Productions for school aged children 33 weeks of the year with study guides; a Family Performance Series, which features students-children and teens-each Saturday from January through May.
The Visual Arts Gallery showcases the work of outstanding artists both local and national.
Professional Development Workshops for teachers in the use of various Arts disciplines as a teaching methodology are also available. Lane Credit can be earned by attending these workshops.
Since 1992, eta has enrolled 100 six to twelve year olds in "Chicago On The Nile", a seven week summer cultural arts day camp. Slots are in great demand.
In preparation for facility expansion a number of new programs were initiated in 2002-03. Among them is the very popular Music Mondays, bringing "classical jazz" in a cabaret motif back to the south side; book signings; wealth creation and volunteer development workshops and poetry jams.
In the 41 years of its history, eta has produced over 200 productions of new works. Since fiscal year 2000, over 100,000 people annually have participated in eta programs. In any given season, eta contracts with over 190 performers and technical personnel in its mainstage, daytime shows and arts in education programs. Since 2000 over 100,000 have people participated in eta programs.
eta's 26-member Board of Directors is actively involved. Primarily responsible for policy formulation, the Board works through various committees, i.e. fundraising, fiscal oversight, personnel, strategic planning and audience development. eta has over 500 volunteers not only engaged in fund raising but also serves as a cadre of service supporters-ushers, mailing, hostesses and community representatives. eta is manned by six (6) full time staff and fifteen (15) contracted persons as instructors and special assignments.