The Clay Studio
“It was an easy transition with YPTC….”
The Clay Studio was founded in 1974 by five artists in need of workspace. It soon shifted its mission from an inward focus to an emphasis on community engagement and education, bringing the medium of clay to broad audiences by drawing together students, artists, and an engaged public into a welcoming community in the belief that shared creativity, so fundamental to humanity, is a critical force for good.
Today, from its offices and studios in Philadelphia’s Old City, The Clay Studio operates six distinct business enterprises, each of which has its own accounting necessities. The consignment shop offers hand-made art from internationally renowned artists. A professional gallery features rotating exhibitions. The Associate Artist program rents studio space to artists who come to clay as amateurs, hobbyists and professionals. The school program brings ceramic arts education opportunities ranging from beginning handbuilding to advanced wheel throwing. The Resident Artist program offers space, time and resources for top emerging ceramic artists in the U.S. and abroad to develop their artwork and professional careers. And the Claymobile brings a “pop-up” ceramics studio to schools, community groups and social services organizations. Meanwhile, a $13.5 million capital campaign is underway to construct a new, larger facility in the South Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia.
Each program, plus the capital campaign, requires its own accounting detail; revenue streams are a combination of earned and contributed income, and grantwriting is ongoing. Consequently, the monthly financial reports are 42 pages long. Executive Director Jennifer Martin, who rose through the Clay Studio ranks for 11 years, deeply appreciates how Your Part-Time Controller helps her manage the complex financial operations.
“I’m new to my position and I now have to know all our numbers in detail, and it was an easy transition with YPTC,” she says. “Thank goodness we have YPTC on hand to keep us all on the same page. They are amazing!”
When a staff bookkeeper was absent with health issues, YPTC brought in extra help. Today, Lisa Cahill and Kate Schugsca are augmenting Clay Studio staff and are treated as part of the family. “They’re an extension of our team,” says Martin.
“I just can’t say enough good things about these guys. We all work together to make it happen. Every year I feel like we’ve tweaked something to make it a little better.”