Mission & History
Manhattan Graphics Center supports the learning and practice of fine art printmaking for artists in the Greater New York City metro area. We provide an affordable, inclusive, professional printmaking studio and exhibition space where artists can develop and present their work. MGC also offers public programs related to the art of printmaking, including classes, artists’ talks, international group exhibitions, and off-site visits. Finally, MGC gives back to the community with outreach and youth educational initiatives that encourage greater appreciation of printmaking as a means of creating original artwork.
Manhattan Graphics Center was founded in 1986 by a group of 20 printmakers who needed a place to work when Pratt Graphics Center was forced to close. They rented a loft in SoHo and incorporated under the laws governing not-for-profit public corporations; 501(c)3 IRS tax-exempt charitable status followed in 1988. For nearly 20 years, MGC was governed by a operations committee: a volunteer corps of keyholder/monitors who managed the workshop and classes. The facility was relocated to Washington Street in the West Village in the early 1990s. In 2007, MGC established a formal elected board of directors. The studio relocated to its current location in the Garment District three years later, in 2010. In 2015, MGC added its first full-time staff member, and in 2019, an Executive Director.
GOVERNANCE, STAFF & OPERATIONS
MGC is governed by its Board of Directors, who oversee policies, strategic planning, fiscal health, programs, and services. Reporting directly to the board is the executive director, who provides leadership for the organization as a whole and and manages the staff: a director of operations; a part-time office manager; a part-time grant writer; and an accountant.
Open Workshop, MGC's founding program, remains staffed and run by volunteers (keyholder/monitors) who oversee and maintain the workshop, in exchange for free and open access to MGC's facilities. This program and its volunteer staff are supervised by the Director of Operations, who works closely with the Monitors' Council, an elected group who represents the interests of the keyholders/monitors to the staff and board.
MGC also has volunteer committees that manage the following programs:
Exhibitions: scheduling and managing logistics for exhibitions
Scholarships: interviewing applicants and selecting awardees
Social: maintaining MGC's presence on Facebook and Instagram
Ad-hoc committees for fundraising events and miscellaneous needs