Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe Of Florida Inc
1343 Main Street, Suite 402
Sarasota FL 34236
The mission of Westcoast Black Theatre is to produce shows that promote and celebrate the African-American experience, attract diverse audiences, support and develop African-American artists, and build the self-esteem of African-American youth.
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Julie Leach
Board Chair Julie Leach
Board Chair Affiliation Philanthropist
General Info
Organization DBA
Supported Organization
Former Names
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 1999
Awarded competitive grant from Community Foundation in the last 5 years? Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes Sept 2015
State Registration Yes Sept 2017
IRS Letter of Determination
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $1,181,382.00
Projected Expenses $1,177,872.00
Other Documents
Impact Statement


  • Selected to perform at the last two National Black Theatre Festivals in Winston-Salem, NC.  Nate Jacobs, our Founder and Artistic Director, received the 2015 Larry Leon Hamlin Producer's Award at the festival this year in recognition of his creation of WBTT and his body of artistic works.
  • Received a Florida State grant in collaboration with the Jazz Club of Sarasota to fund our first education program to be brought into the public schools.  The program will be placed on EdExploreSRQ 2015-2016, and focuses on teaching African American History through the history and people of American jazz. 
  • Established a higher level of financial stability with increased donor base, subscriptions up to 3600, and built a base of cash reserves.
  • Paid off the mortgage used to purchase our 2 buildings at 1646 10th Way- we are totally debt free.
  • Increased the reach of our theatre program to an annual audience of over 29,000; increased our number of shows during regular season to 5 by including a holiday season show, added Young Artists' programs and an active summer season.
2015-2016 Goals:
  • Put into action our education program in collaboration with the Jazz Club of Sarasota in the high schools of Sarasota County.
  • Continue to add components to our Young Artist development and mentoring program for our young Troupe members such as acting, dance and theatre production classes.
  • Continue to increase artistic quality of our productions; in particular replace our aging microphone and receiver system, and develop a projection system capability.
  • Complete our building plans for our theatre complex, and prepare to announce our Capital and Endowment Campaign; endowments currently stand at about $160,000- we would like to increase them to $1,000,000.
  • Complete our search process for a Executive Director - current Board Chair is currently the Interim Executive Director.
Needs Statement
Westcoast Black Theatre welcomes donors who might wish to make gifts in any amount to support our professional regional theatre, assisting us in promoting the diversity and inclusionary opportunities in our community, specifically:
  • 1) Needs for theatre production excellence: an upgraded sound system to provide an even more enjoyable artistic experience for theatre patrons including those with hearing limitations, and a projection system to produce currently available scenic designs.
  • 2) Needs for the jazz education program that we are rolling out into local high schools this year- while we have received a grant to cover our variable production costs, we need to purchase some capital items for the program such as a box truck to bring materials for performances (approximately $20,000), and a portable sound mixing board.
  • 3) Needs for additional affordable housing options to use for our increasingly professional and Actors' Equity artists, many of whom do not reside in Sarasota.  
  • 4) Capital Funds for our campus renovation to be announced in the coming year.   
  • 5) Endowment funds to increase stability and ensure funding of specific educational and outreach programs, such as our Voices community forum series which is free to the public, and our new jazz education program in the schools.
Background Statement
The Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe of Florida, Inc. (WBTT) was founded and incorporated as a Florida not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization on December 17, 1999 by Nate Jacobs. It is the only African-American theatre company on Florida's West Coast.
 Since its inception, WBTT has mentored and inspired many African-American adults and youth through participation in the company's productions. WBTT provides a platform for artistic individuals who might not otherwise have opportunities to cultivate their artistic interests and talents. A number of aspiring professional artists trained in the WBTT performing arts program have gone on to work with such national and regional companies as The Black Theatre Troupe, Phoenix, AZ; The Cumberland County Playhouse, Crossville, TN; Florida Studio Theatre, Sarasota, FL; The Asolo Repertory Theatre, Sarasota, FL; Stage Door Theatre, Coral Springs, FL; and Mad River Theatre, West Liberty, OH and some are performing on Broadway.
 WBTT currently offers five mainstage productions during its regular season. We have added additional matinee performances and extended weeks for productions to accommodate demand for tickets. Reviews for all productions have been excellent and audience satisfaction is at an all-time high. The number of season subscribers has increased from 2,520 to 3,646 over the past three years (a 45% increase). In 2013, WBTT was one of 39 companies from across the nation invited to perform at the National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, NC, out of more than 140 applicants. The response was so overwhelmingly positive that WBTT's "Soul Crooners" was the only show that was invited to come back "by popular demand" to do 4 shows in May 2014. We were selected again to participate in the festival in 2015 (the festival occurs every 2 years) with Soul Crooners2. Nate Jacobs, our Founder and Artistic Director, received the Larry Leon Hamlin Producer's Award at the 2015 festival in recognition of his creation of WBTT and his body of artistic works.
Areas Served
Areas Served
FL- Sarasota
FL- Manatee
FL- Charlotte
FL- Hillsborough
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Arts,Culture & Humanities
Secondary Org Type
Tertiary Org Type
WBTT, Theater, Troupe, Black
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President
Six years ago, under the management of our now retired Chief Executive Officer, Christine Jennings, and then Board Chair, Howard Millman, WBTT began a reconstitution of the Board of Directors and the governance of WBTT.  WBTT had excellent artistic leadership under our Founder and Artistic Director, Nate Jacobs, and had developed a good reputation and enthusiastic audience in the area for its productions, but the theatre group had few financial resources, numerous debts and various performance venues. 

Since that time, Christine, Nate and the Board have worked together to build our financial resources, eliminate our debts, purchase a stable performance venue and improve our governance procedures, all while expanding the quality, quantity and reach of our outstanding artistic productions.

This is our fifth year in our new theatre space! Having our own space is allowing us to fully accomplish our mission to produce plays that promote and celebrate the African-American experience, attract diverse audiences, support and develop African-American artists and build the self-esteem of African-American youth. In addition to presenting a full range of African American experience through our performances, we are now able to engage young students in the area through visits to the theatre, hold special events like our Martin Luther King, Jr. special event in January, and host events with other organizations at our theatre which bring even more cultural diversity to Sarasota. We can even extend our sold-out shows and extend our production season!

Our biggest challenges at this time are to develop an education program for the schools that will be started this year with a Florida State grant we received in collaboration with the Jazz Club of Sarasota, to hire a new Executive Director, and to continue to build our financial stability while at the same time beginning a major capital and endowment campaign.  Building capacity takes time and we are excited about what the future holds.     
Julie Leach, Board Chair and Interim Executive Director
Statement from the CEO/Executive Director

Currently, our Board Chair is serving as the Interim Executive Director as our Search Committee conducts a search for a permanent executive in this position. See Board Chair Statement above.

Description  Mission: To produce shows that promote and celebrate the African-American experience, attract diverse audiences, support and develop African-American artists, and build the self-esteem of African-American youth. Artistic Director Nate Jacobs has brought shows to life that celebrate the contributions of African-Americans to Arts—Cab Calloway, Marvin Gaye, Josephine Baker, Sammy Davis Jr., Lorraine Hansberry, Fats Waller, and more.

Mr. Jacobs seeks out and nurtures local talent to bring Broadway-quality entertainment to the arts scene and offers a showcase for those voices often underserved in the community.

Audiences are treated to an intimacy that offers them the opportunity to feel a part of each show seldom experienced. From the jubilation of "Five Guys Named Moe" to the heartbreak of "A Raisin in the Sun," and the sheer joy of "Soul Crooners"—WBTT offers more than a passive experience, but instead gives theatergoers a chance to connect with performers in a meaningful way.

Budget $64,000
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Performing Arts
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served General/Unspecified
Short Term Success
  • Increase audience diversity
  • Longer season with increased number of performances
  • Expand the audience reach beyond Sarasota
Long Term Success
  •  Theater productions to be performed year-round
  •  Actors to establish a career practicing their craft
  •  WBTT conduct successful touring productions
Program Success Monitoring
  • Numbers of performances per year
  • Ticket sales analysis
  • Audience demographic survey


Program Success Examples
  • The number of performances increased from 44 in 2009-2010 to 118 in the 2010-2011 season.
  • Number of attendees increased from approximately 4400 in 2009-2010 to 17,390 in 2010-2011
  • Number of season subscriptions sold increased from 1740in 2010-2011 season to 2518 in 2011-2012 season.
WBTT seeks to bring youth and school groups to performances that are appropriate for their age group and experiences.  Groups from organizations such as Booker High School, Boys and Girls Club, and the Dream Center in Bradenton have participated in this program. 
In addition, members of the Troupe have visited on location to conduct theater workshops and classes in theater etiquette.
This year we are beginning an education program in collaboration with the Jazz Club of Sarasota to Sarasota County high schools which will link the history of jazz to American history. WBTT will assist in curriculum development and provide actors and programs for the students.
Budget $3,500
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other General Arts Education
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Short Term Success
  • Students will learn of history and heritage through the WBTT performances.
  • WBTT will collaborate with other organizations to educate youth in the Arts. 
Long Term Success
  • Children's Theater - programs for children and youth to learn the craft of theater, both on and behind the stage.  Performances will be staged to showcase the talent of the performer and the expertise of the technical crew.
  • Outreach - children and youth that are normally unable to attend performances for economic reasons will be able to see shows that are appropriate for their age group.
  • Theater Etiquette classes will be conducted on a regular basis in schools in the area
Program Success Monitoring
  • WBTT will monitor the numbers of students brought to performances through our outreach program.
Program Success Examples
  • Students from various schools and organizations have been able to attend performances at WBTT.
WBTT provides tickets for performances to groups that are normally unable to attend due to economic reasons.  Some of the groups that have participated in this program include:
Newtown Senior Friendship Center
J H Floyd Sunshine Meadows
Senior Friendship Center
North Sarasota Library
Second Chance Last Opportunity
Budget $5,000
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Performing Arts
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Adults Other Economic Level
Short Term Success
Several organizations in the Sarasota area have been able to participate in bringing people to performances at WBTT.
Long Term Success
WBTT will continue to provide the theater experience for economically disadvantaged people.
Program Success Monitoring
Success determined by numbers of individuals receiving tickets through the Outreach program.
Program Success Examples
350 people have participated in the Outreach program.
Program Comments by Organization
Program Comments by Foundation
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Julie Leach
CEO Term Start Apr 2015
CEO/Executive Director Email jleach@westcoastblacktheatre.org
Experience Julie Leach is the Chair of the WBTT Board of Trustees, and is Interim Executive Director until a replacement for the former Executive Director is named.
Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Ms. Christine Jennings Oct 2009 - Oct 2014
Mr. Richard J. Parison Oct 2014 - Apr 2015
Senior Staff
James Dodge Production Manager
Debra Flynt-Garrett Development Officer
Nate Jacobs Founder and Artistic Director
Joey James Assistant to the Artistic Director/Company Manager
Eleanor Miller Box Office Manager
Juanita Munford Stage Manager
Travis Ray Associate Managing Director
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 8
Part Time Staff 2
Staff Retention Rate % 80
Professional Development Yes
Contractors 52
Volunteers 82
Management Reports to Board Yes
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
WBTT troupe members have performed for many different civic organizations and philanthropic groups to the mutual benefit of various charities. These include:
The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee
The Senior Friendship Center
Theatre Odyssey
Sarasota Chamber of Commerce
Second Chance Last Opportunity
Women's Resource Center
Designing Women Boutique
Fine Arts Society
Sarasota County Bar Association
Institute for the Ages
Glasser Schoenbaum Human Services Center
The Longboat Key Education Center
Realize Bradenton
Christ Child Society
Temple Beth Shalom
Chabad of Bradenton & Lakewood Ranch
Unitarian Church
Sertoma Club
Big Brothers and Big Sisters
Boys and Girls Club
Actor's Equity Association2014
Theatre Communications Group2014
Stage Directors and Choreographers2014
Florida Professional Theatre Association
Southeastern Theatre Conference
External Assessments and Accreditations
Awards & Recognition
Handy AwardSarasota Herald Tribune2011
Curtain Call AwardSarasota Herald Tribune2011
Arts Leadership AwardArts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County2010
Nate JacobsCommunity Video Archives2013
Boundary Crosser - Christine JenningsSCOPE2013
Arts Leadership Award for Volunteer of the Year - WBTT Trustee Mike RosarioArts and Cultural Alliance2013
Arts Leadership Award for Cultural Champion - WBTT Trustee Howard MillmanArts and Cultural Alliance2013
John Ringling Tower Fund Grant - Awarded to Troupe member Michael MendezArt's and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County2014
Larry Leon Hamlin Producers' Award to Nate Jacobs, Founder and Artistic DirectorNational Black Theatre Festival, Inc2015
Risk Management Provisions
Government Licenses
Organization Licensed by the Government
Fundraising Plan Yes
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan No
Strategic Plan Years
Strategic Plan Adopted 0
Management Succession Plan Yes
Policies and Procedures No
Continuity of Operations Plan Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
Management Comments by Organization
Management Comments by Foundation
Board Chair
Board Chair Julie Leach
Company Affiliation Philanthropist
Board Term Oct 2011 to Sept 2016
Board Chair Email julie.leach@comcast.net
Board Members
Board Members
Marvin Albert Community Volunteer
Cheryl Anderson Partner - Cavanaugh & Co, LLP
Chris Caswell Attorney - Caswell Legal
Kitty Cranor Community Volunteer
Michael Gardiner Community Volunteer
Seymour Goldblatt Community Volunteer
June Gordon Community Volunteer
Len Gumley Community Volunteer
Dr. Jaih Jackson Owner, American Family Dental
Alan Kurland Realtor
Julie Leach Philanthropist
Margie Nellum Lee Community Volunteer
Howard Millman Former Asolo Artistic Director - Actor
Dr. Randall Morgan Sarasota Orthopedic Associates
Marian Moss Manager - Commercial Real Estate Development
Roger Pettingell Coldwell Banker Previews
Mike Rosario Owner, RoseBay Real Estate
Eva Slane Former Theatrical Agent - Community Volunteer
Lois Watson Community Volunteer
Student serving on the board through Community Youth Development? No
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 5
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 14
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 11
Female 8
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 0
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 11
Board Meeting Attendance % 80
Board Self-Evaluation Yes
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 100
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 25
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Standing Committees
Board Governance
Advisory Board / Advisory Council
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Governance Comments by Organization
Governance Comments by Foundation
Fiscal Year Projections
Fiscal Year Begins 2014
Fiscal Year Ends 2015
Projected Revenue $1,181,382.00
Projected Expenses $1,177,872.00
Endowment Value $13,000.00
Endowment Spending Policy N/A
Endowment Spending Policy %
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? Yes
IRS Form 990s
Form 9902014
990 20132013
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$49,992$43,403$0
Individual Contributions$756,151$1,136,851$544,446
Investment Income, Net of Losses$2,405$1,473$1,910
Membership Dues$0$0$0
Special Events$196,480$142,533$0
Revenue In-Kind$23,362$24,193$22,014
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201420132012
Program Expense$969,233$916,921$576,446
Administration Expense$299,510$304,427$282,930
Fundraising Expense$19,500$18,078$55,871
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.271.521.18
Program Expense/Total Expenses75%74%64%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue2%1%10%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201420132012
Total Assets$2,078,415$1,883,781$734,694
Current Assets$1,555,691$1,350,278$652,081
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$837,188$994,002$472,109
Total Net Assets$1,241,227$889,779$262,585
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201420132012
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $756,151Contributions, gifts, grants $1,136,851Contributions, gifts, grants $544,446
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountTicket Sales $545,703Ticket Sales $479,491Ticket Sales $476,018
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountFundraising $196,480Fundraising $142,533Other $26,493
CEO/Executive Director Compensation N/A
Co-CEO/Executive Director Compensation
Tax Credits
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities1.861.361.38
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Organization
Financial Comments by Foundation
Financial figures based on IRS Form 990. Individual contributions include foundation and corporate support. 2009 Form 990 represented a shortened fiscal year-- 1/1/2009- 9/30/2009.  Organization includes in-kind services in revenue computation.
Nonprofit Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe Of Florida Inc
Address 1343 Main Street, Suite 402
Sarasota, FL 34236
Primary Phone 941 366-1505 106