Submitted by Arts in Bartlett
Arts in Bartlett, the local nonprofit arts council founded in 2002, has been selected as the pro bono client of Spartan Consulting at Elgin Community College for the fall semester.
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This group comprises students taking a speech and communications class that incorporates Service Learning, a method that combines learning with community service and real-life assignments.
As part of the course, students become partners in a working consulting firm mentored by ECC Adjunct Professor John Karnatz, a retired president of a management consulting firm.
Beginning its fourth year of operations, Spartan Consulting has contributed the equivalent of more than $100,000 in pro bono services to its nonprofit clients.
"This is a great opportunity for Arts in Bartlett to share our toughest challenges and greatest opportunities with these students and get great ideas in return," said Arts in Bartlett President Rita Lopienski.
Cecilia Green, a founder of Arts in Bartlett and director of its Center for the Arts, 118 W. Bartlett Ave., will manage the day-to-day relationship with Spartan Consulting.
"With 10 years of successful operations behind us," Green said, "we're now in a growth period, with many new opportunities to expand our programs. We're assessing our current programs with the help of tools offered by the Chicago Arts Partnership in Education (CAPE).
"And, as we enter our second decade, we're excited to work on strategies with Spartan Consulting to advance our vision of Bartlett as a community where the quality of life is enhanced through open participation in the arts."
The goal, according to Karnatz, is for clients to forget that they are dealing with college students.
"We'd like our research and recommendations to be as close as possible to those of a commercial management consulting firm. In the process, our student partners will learn a great deal about communications, collaboration, the community -- and themselves."
The student partners of Spartan Consulting are now doing background research and planning more meetings to refine the targets identified as priority issues. Recommendations and the resulting projects and service to Arts in Bartlett will take place through the remainder of 2013, with a presentation by Spartan Consulting at the Bartlett Public Library at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5, to Arts in Bartlett members and community leaders.
Among Arts in Bartlett's current offerings are a gallery in the Arts Center for local artists to sell their works, a gallery on the second floor of Bartlett's village hall with monthly exhibits, children's art lessons through Color My World Children's Art Studio, cello lessons through Dorothy Deen's Studio, an international chorus, an annual arts festival, an adult theater company, First Friday events and many other events through the year.
It has a high school scholarship program and Budding Talent Grant program for exceptionally talented children.
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