John & Mable Ringling Museum Of Art Foundation, Inc.
5401 Bay Shore Road
Sarasota FL 34243
To engage visitors with our collections, exhibitions, cultural programs and the Ringling Estate.
CEO/Executive Director Steven S. High
Board Chair Michael E. Urette
Board Chair Affiliation community volunteer
General Info
Organization DBA
John and Mable Ringling Museum Of Art Foundation
Supported Organization
Former Names
Tax Exempt Status Public Charity Type I Supporting Organization
Incorporation Year 1969
Awarded competitive grant from Community Foundation in the last 5 years?
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes June 2016
State Registration 0
IRS Letter of Determination
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $18,940,573.00
Projected Expenses $18,940,573.00
Other Documents
Impact Statement
The Ringling features exhibitions and programs that engage every facet of the Museum.  We launched "The Amazing American Circus Poster" with a spectacular installation in the Museum of Art's Ulla R. and Arthur F. Searing Wing.  We celebrated Smithsonian National Museum Day with free admission and previewed our newest wing of the Tibbals Learning Center.  The Ringling International Arts Festival's third year included performances from some of the leading artists of our time, including Irish Dancer Colin Dunne and the U.S. premiere of the Argentine singer Soledad Villamil.  A new feature of the festival is the addition of visual art with the installation of "Sculpting Sound" by the Swiss artist Zimoun.
The new Skyspace by James Turrell was unveiled.  This massive artwork fills the entire William G. and Marie Selby Foundation Courtyard of the Searing Wing and is the foundation for our newest initiative, the "Art of our Time", which brings to Sarasota an ambitious mix of contemporary artists in performance and visual art.  One component of the "Art of our Time" is our partnership with the Hermitage Foundation where we will feature presentations in the Historic Asolo Theater from fellows to this renowned artists' retreat on Manasota Key.
Needs Statement
1. Funding for staff positions, internships and fellowships
2. Funding for new acquisitions and preservation of the collections
3. Funding for the development of exhibitions in the visual and performing arts
4. Funding for cultural, educational and outreach programs
5. Funding for preservation of the historic structures and gardens of the Ringling Estate
Background Statement
The John and Mable Ringling Museum encompasses a 66 acre estate established as the Ringling's winter home in Sarasota, Florida in 1911.  The estate includes the historic home, art museum, a circus museum, the Tibbals Learning Center, and beautiful grounds and gardens.   
The Museum of Art, built by John Ringling to house his personal collection of masterpieces, today features paintings and sculptures by the great Old Masters including Rubens, van Dyck, Velázquez, Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese, El Greco, Gainsborough and more - an awe-inspiring retreat.

The Ringlings' dazzling palatial mansion is a tribute to the American Dream and reflects the splendor and romance of Italy.  Described as “the last of the Gilded Age mansions” to be built in America, Cà d’Zan has 56 incredible rooms filled with art and original furnishings, located on Sarasota Bay.

The Circus Museum celebrates the American circus, its history and unique relationship to Sarasota.  Established in 1948, the museum was the first in the country to document the rich history of the circus. View colossal parade and baggage wagons, sequined costumes, etc., documenting the circus of the past and of today.  See the history of The Ringling family circus, John Ringling as Circus King, and the greatest circus movie, "The Greatest Show on Earth", filmed in Sarasota.  View the Wisconsin, the private Rail Car of John and Mable Ringling, built in 1905.  Enter the Tibbals Learning Center and see an exhibition of circus posters and the world's largest miniature circus. The second floor documents the history of the American circus from ancient times to the present.  Just opened in the Fall of 2011, an expansion to the Circus Museum contains exhibitions that celebrate circus performers, where visitors of all ages experience the magic of the center ring.
Areas Served
Areas Served
FL- Sarasota
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Arts,Culture & Humanities
Secondary Org Type Education
Tertiary Org Type Public & Societal Benefit
museum, art, education, circus, theater, historic home, gardens
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President
Statement from the CEO/Executive Director
The Value of Culture
We are honored and thankful for your support of The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, one of Sarasota’s premiere cultural intuitions.  As economic challenges concern us all, here are some thoughts on the value of culture in enriching and supporting our community.
The Ringling Museum (as well as performing arts venues) supports the economy in many ways.  As one of the area’s largest employers, the Ringling Museum has a staff of over 250; in addition, the Museum supports countless local area vendors and contractors.  Since 2000, we have invested some $100 million in our economy through capital building projects, historic preservation projects and other site improvements – a wonderful collaboration of public investments leveraged through private philanthropy.  Broaden this view to include new performing arts facilities as well as local investment in colleges and universities throughout Sarasota and Manatee Counties and you witness a staggering cultural investment.
For eighty years, the Ringling Museum has been and is a major driver of regional tourism.  Of the nearly 400,000 visitors we serve each year, two-thirds live outside our tri county area.  Nearly half come from out-of-state and 7% from other countries.  Florida’s Gulf Coast boasts gorgeous white, sandy beaches to our north and south, but how many waterfront communities offer opera, symphony, numerous theater companies, a marine laboratory, botanical gardens and an estate as magnificent as Ringling?
The Ringling Estate – combined with the offerings of our sister cultural and educational institutions – provide us a quality of life beyond even the aspirations of most comparable communities.  The value exceeds our ability to calculate, which is why we would like to discuss an opportunity with you to invest in one of the major drivers of our local economy, The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art.
Description Initiated by a gift from Dr. Helga Wall-Apelt, plans are underway for the construction of a new building and renovation of existing space to create a space for the study and exhibition of Asian art.  Currently, our desired plans exceed our available funding.  Additional small gifts can support furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E) for the study center.  For information about larger gift opportunities related to the Asian Art Study Center, including significant naming opportunities for attractive new spaces, please contact our Development Office at (941) 359-5700.
Budget $8,200,000
Category Education, General/Other Education, General/Other
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Adults Adolescents Only (13-19 years) Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Short Term Success By the end of calendar year 2015, the center will have opened its first exhibit.
Long Term Success The center will contribute to the scholarship, study, exploration and exhibition of Asian Art in all its forms, increasing the knowledge base and educating individuals.
Program Success Monitoring Initial success of constructing the facility measured by certificate of occupancy; success of first exhibition measured by admission and gallery counts.
Program Success Examples At least 50 % of our visitors to the Ringling Estate will visit the Asian Art Study Center during its first year.
Description Initiated by a gift from David Bolger, a play space was designed and installed on the Ringling Estate in January 2014 for children of all ages to enjoy and explore the intersection of art and play.  Additional small gifts can support promotion and additional equipment for the play space.
Budget $400,000
Category Education, General/Other Education, General/Other
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Adults Families
Short Term Success The project will be open to the public by January 2014.
Long Term Success Initial success will be the completion of the design and construction project of the play space.
Program Success Monitoring Success of the initial phase of construction of the play space will be monitored by the certificate of occupancy.
Program Success Examples 10% of our visitors explore the play space during its first year.
Description The Ringling Museum’s "Art of Our Time" initiative enriches the cultural landscape of Florida’s Gulf Coast through the presentation of exhibitions and performances that explore and exemplify the rich diversity of ideas and artistic forms being created in the world today.  The cross-disciplinary programs serve an ever expanding and increasingly diverse audience of individuals and groups who are seeking a direct engagement with the work of living artists.  This presentation of new art, music, theater, and dance further elevates the reputations and profiles of Sarasota and The Ringling Museum as major players in the world of contemporary art.  Gifts of all sizes can support currently planned exhibitions and performances.  For information about larger gift opportunities related to "Art of Our Time," please contact our Development Office at (941) 359-5821
Budget $990,000
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Museums
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Adults Adolescents Only (13-19 years) International
Short Term Success
The immediate and short-term impact of the "Art of Our Time" initiative and its programs is being realized in the increased exhibition and acquisition of modern and contemporary art, the further development and growth of contemporary performance programming in the Ringling International Arts Festival and the New Stage series at the Historic Asolo Theater, and on-going collaborations with local, regional, national, and international partners in the development of new programs and projects.
Long Term Success

When fully realized, "Art of Our Time" will significantly revitalize and diversify the crucially important arts/cultural sector of the regional economy.  This will be realized through the development of a local platform whereupon a competitive workforce of professionals participate in the national and international network of arts centers wherein new art is conceived, realized, and showcased.  Such activity will include creative laboratories for cross-disciplinary collaborations; interactive workshops for the development of new projects, technical/production residencies to prepare and launch touring programs; and showcases/festivals of commissions and premieres.

Program Success Monitoring Admissions counts, box office sales, and gallery counts demonstrate the level of participation.
Program Success Examples
The "Art of Our Time" has generated significant and continuing impact in critical areas of the initiative's mission.  Contemporary performance programming and attendance has increased by over 30%; large and important collections of photography, studio glass, and other works of contemporary art have been secured both through donations and purchase; curatorial staffing has increased by 30%; new grants and sponsorships have been secured; and many opportunities to develop collaborative projects in scholarship and community outreach are being realized. 
Description The legacy of John and Mable Ringling celebrates the Ringlings’ insightful vision and lasting contributions, not only for their estate, but for the entire Sarasota community. The grounds and gardens exemplify Mable Ringling’s love of natural beauty and are a memorable part of the visitor’s experience. The estate, including their home, the Cà d’Zan, and the art museum, was officially designated a National Historic Landmark in 1982. John Ringling made Sarasota the home of the American circus when he moved the winter quarters of the Ringling circus to Sarasota in 1927. The Circus Museum, established as a way to honor John Ringling, became the first museum in the United States to document the rich history of the traveling entertainment. John Ringling's Library served as the base for our extended collection today. Additional gifts can support the care and preservation of the legacy of John and Mable Ringling. For more information, please contact our Development Office at (941) 359-5700.
Budget $7,000,000
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Adults Adolescents Only (13-19 years) Families
Short Term Success Routine conservation and maintenance projects for the upkeep of the historic Ringling collections, mansion and grounds are completed, as needed. The original circus museum is restored and/or rebuilt to meet current building and fire codes.
Long Term Success The Ringling maintains the integrity of the grounds and historic home of John and Mable Ringling for availability to the public, as per John Ringling's will. The original circus museum and Tibbals Learning Center are maintained and available to the public as high quality educational experiences of the American and international circuses.
Program Success Monitoring Success will be identified when: Professional curatorial and conservation staff is satisfied with the quality of the preservation and presentation of the estate. General admission and house tour counts demonstrate use. The original circus museum building is able to stay open to the public long-term.
Program Success Examples 100% of our visitors experience the historic mansion, gardens and circus museums.
Program Comments by Organization
Program Comments by Foundation
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Steven S. High
CEO Term Start June 2011
CEO/Executive Director Email
Steven High became Executive Director of The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art on June 1, 2011.  High was previously Director/CEO of the Telfair Museums where he built community ownership through inclusive, innovative, and entertaining exhibitions and programs.  He developed strong partnerships with local companies, schools, civic and cultural organizations.  Telfair Museums ended 2010 with the highest attendance in the Museums’ history.
Previously, as Director/CEO of the Nevada Museum of Art, High increased the budget, endowment, assets and membership.  The Museum’s annual operating budget increased from $500,000 to more than $2.9 million. Operating endowments jumped from $1 million to more than $7 million.  More than $24 million in gifts and pledges were raised for capital and endowment expansion projects.  Total assets climbed to $28.4 million, up from $3.6 million in 1995.  Membership soared from 900 to 7,000 households.
High has also held positions with Anderson Gallery, School of the Arts, Virginia Commonwealth University; Baxter Gallery, Portland School of Art (now, Institute of Contemporary Art, Maine College of Art); Williams College Museum of Art; Massachusetts Institute of Technology Museum; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
High is the recipient of awards, including the 2006 Nijinsky Award from the Sierra Arts Foundation and the 2003 Directors Chair Award from the Western Museum Association.  Under his leadership, the Nevada Museum of Art received the 1999 National Award for Museum Service.
He is a member of the American Association of Museums, Association of Art Museum Directors, and the Sarasota Convention and Visitors Bureau board.
High holds a Master of Arts degree in art history from Williams College and a Bachelor of Arts degree in art history from Antioch College.  He also earned a Masters of Business Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University, and participated in the Museum Leadership Institute at The Getty Center.
Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Marshall Rousseau Interim 2009 - 2011
John Wetenhall 2001 - 2009
Senior Staff
David Berry Assistant Director, Research, Education & Publications
Dwight Currie Associate Director, Exhibitions & Programs
Grady Enlow Deputy Director
Pam Fendt Chief of Marketing & Communications
Francoise Hack Assistant Director of Collections
Jennifer Price Chief Financial Officer
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 123
Part Time Staff 133
Staff Retention Rate % 92
Professional Development Yes
Contractors 0
Volunteers 604
Management Reports to Board Yes
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Current collaborative partners include: Baryshnikov Arts Center, Circus Sarasota, Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp, Belgium, Ringling College of Art & Design, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Hermitage Artist Retreat, New College of Florida, University of South Florida at Sarasota/Manatee, Sarasota Convention and Visitors Bureau, Sarasota County Libraries, and other museums and academic institutions around the world.
American Association of Museums - Member
Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County
Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County
Florida Association of Museums
Florida Attraction Association
Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce
Manatee Chamber of Commerce
External Assessments and Accreditations
American Association of Museums - 10 Year Accreditation
Awards & Recognition
Risk Management Provisions
Government Licenses
Organization Licensed by the Government
Fundraising Plan No
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan No
Strategic Plan Years
Strategic Plan Adopted 0
Management Succession Plan No
Policies and Procedures No
Continuity of Operations Plan No
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
Management Comments by Organization
Management Comments by Foundation
Board Chair
Board Chair Michael E. Urette
Company Affiliation community volunteer
Board Term July 2014 to June 2016
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
Martin A. Arch Community Volunteer
Madeleine H. Berman Community Volunteer
Thomas J. Charters Retired
Daniel J. Denton Gulfshore Media, LLC
Rebecca Donelson Community Volunteer
George R. Ellis Retired
Kenneth J. Feld Feld Entertainment, Inc.
Dr. Frances D. Fergusson Retired
Daryl Flanel Retired
Casey Gonzmart Columbia Restaurants
Priscilla M. Greenfield Community Volunteer
Dr. Patrick J. Henningan Retired
Jeffrey Hotchkiss Retired
Paul G. Hudson U.S. Trust
Dorothy C. Jenkins Publix Supermarkets
Dr. Thomas W. Jennings Jr.The Florida State University
Patricia R. Lombard Community Volunteer
Thomas B. Luzier Dunlap & Moran
Nancy J. Parrish Community Volunteer
Michael R. Pender Jr.Cavanaugh & Company
Michele D. Redwine Community Volunteer
Roberta Schaumleffel Volunteer Svcs. Advisory Committee
Ina L. Schnell Community Volunteer
Jane Skogstad Community Volunteer
Linda Streit University Faculty
Barbara Swan Docent Advisory Committee
Howard C. Tibbals Retired
James B. Tollerton Professional Benefits, Inc
Michael E. Urette Great American Corporation
Clifford L. Walters IIIBlalock Walters
Larry Wickless Community Representative
Student serving on the board through Community Youth Development? No
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 1
Caucasian 28
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 18
Female 13
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 4
Board Term Limits 2
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 4
Board Meeting Attendance % 80
Board Self-Evaluation Yes
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Written Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 100
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions
Constituency Includes Client Representation No
Standing Committees
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Board Governance
Campus Planning and Development
Program / Program Planning
Governance Comments by Organization The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art Foundation is a Direct Support Organization (DSO) of The Florida State University.  In addition to the oversight and fundraising provided by the Ringling Board, the Museum is also under the governance of the Board of Trustees for The Florida State University.  A list of those members can be found at the following web site:
Governance Comments by Foundation
Fiscal Year Projections
Fiscal Year Begins 2015
Fiscal Year Ends 2016
Projected Revenue $18,940,573.00
Projected Expenses $18,940,573.00
Endowment Value $41,140,847.00
Endowment Spending Policy Percentage
Endowment Spending Policy % 4
Capital Campaign
In a Capital Campaign No
Campaign Purpose
Campaign Goal
Campaign Dates 0 to 0
Amount Raised To Date 0 as of 0
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years?
Historical Financial Review
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201420132012
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$7,384,644$6,331,344$6,331,344
Individual Contributions$688,275$318,120$318,120
Investment Income, Net of Losses$1,463,375$1,029,818$1,029,818
Membership Dues$1,239,015$1,178,623$1,178,623
Special Events$177,023$251,949$251,949
Revenue In-Kind$0$0--
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201420132012
Program Expense$11,564,531$10,332,747$10,332,747
Administration Expense$4,562,085$3,483,980$3,483,980
Fundraising Expense$456,892$432,143$432,143
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.101.061.06
Program Expense/Total Expenses70%73%73%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue5%6%6%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201420132012
Total Assets$49,581,459$45,480,975$45,480,975
Current Assets$8,944,012$8,371,669$8,371,669
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$50,011$127,903$127,903
Total Net Assets$49,531,448$45,353,072$45,353,072
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201420132012
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountGovernment Grants - State $7,303,135Government Grants - State $6,247,707Government $6,247,707
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountEarned Revenue $6,835,366Earned Revenue $6,908,870Earned Revenue $5,730,247
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountInvestment Income $1,463,375Investment Income $1,029,818Investment Income $1,029,818
CEO/Executive Director Compensation
Co-CEO/Executive Director Compensation
Tax Credits
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities178.8465.4565.45
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Organization
Financial Comments by Foundation
The organizations 2014 990 and financials are in process and will be ready by August 2015. 
NOTE: Financials are based on a combination of IRS Form 990 information from the John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art Foundation and financials from the state of Florida. Figures provided by staff of John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art.
Nonprofit John & Mable Ringling Museum Of Art Foundation, Inc.
Address 5401 Bay Shore Road
Sarasota, FL 34243
Primary Phone 941 359-5700

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