The Sarasota Ballet Of Florida Inc
5555 N Tamiami Trail
Sarasota FL 34243
The mission of The Sarasota Ballet is to enrich lives, captivate emotions and strengthen community through the art of dance.
CEO/Executive Director Joseph Volpe
Board Chair Richard Johnson
Board Chair Affiliation Retired
General Info
Organization DBA
The Sarasota Ballet
Supported Organization Friends of The Sarasota Ballet
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 1990
Awarded competitive grant from Community Foundation in the last 5 years? Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes Apr 2019
State Registration Yes May 2019
Financial Summary
Note: Revenue includes the value of in-kind contributions/donations
IRS Letter of Determination
IRS Determination LetterView
Impact Statement
As The Sarasota Ballet has grown in both national and international importance, the Company has seen unprecedented increases in ticket sales, with numerous sold-out performances. Director Iain Webb's dedication to bringing previously unseen artistic performances to a culture hungry audience on the Gulf coast of Florida has resulted in unprecedented growth. Ticket sales have grown from approximately $300,000 to over $1.7 million in the last ten years. The Sarasota Ballet is the one of the only companies in the country afforded the rights to perform the works of Sir Frederick Ashton, and through this prestigious honor has risen to become one of the more notable ballet companies in North America. In 2016, after the opening night of The Sarasota Ballet's week long residency at the Joyce Theatre in New York, acclaimed New York Times Dance Critic Alastair Macaulay wrote “The flame of dance inspiration passes from place to place. Today I'm tempted to ask if the torch is passing to Florida. What these Sarasotans are doing for Ashton is comparable to what Miami City Ballet is doing for Balanchine. Those of us who witnessed these choreographers' ballets in their lifetimes watch with a sense of recognition — “This is how it used to be" — and marvel to see qualities of musicality and energy as fresh today as long ago."
Needs Statement
  1. Each year, The Sarasota Ballet needs approximately $4,000,000 in contribution income to underwrite the cost of presenting performances to the greater Sarasota community. Some of the major expenses associated with performances include: * License Fees and Royalties - $185,000 per year * Live Music for Performances - $383,000 per year * Theater Rentals - $164,000 * Costumes - $99,350 per year * Dance Shoes - $95,000 per year * 
  2. In addition, each year, The Sarasota Ballet needs $485,000 to underwrite the cost of our Dance - The Next Generation program for 200 at-risk youths in the Greater Sarasota Area. Some of the major expenses include: * Faculty and staff - $127,000 * Studio Rental - $55,000 * Facility and Administration Expenses - $6,000 * Transportation - $61,000 * School & Conservatory Scholarships - $30,000 * End of Year Performance - $10,000 per year * Uniforms and Shoes - $10,000 * After school snacks - $13,000 *
Background Statement
The Sarasota Ballet is the Gulf Coast of Florida's first and only professional ballet company.  Founded in 1987 by Jean Weidner as a presenting organization, Ms. Weidner's dream of developing a full resident ballet was realized when The Sarasota Ballet was formed in 1990.  Since 2007, the Company has been under the leadership of Director Iain Webb.  Mr. Webb’s background, experience in the dance world and the mutual respect he has earned with some of the biggest names in dance have taken The Sarasota Ballet to national and international acclaim. 

The Ballet accomplishes our mission through our commitment to artistic excellence through the presentation of the highest quality classical and contemporary dance; through the encouragement of choreographic talent; through the ongoing expansion of educational programs and opportunities for community outreach and service; and through the participation in joint ventures with other regional and national arts organizations and dance companies.
Areas Served
Areas Served
FL- Sarasota
FL- Manatee
Areas Served Comments The Sarasota Ballet serves the greater Sarasota area and is the only professional ballet company of the Gulf Coast of Florida. Over the last 5 years the Company has performed in numerous venues across the United States including Washington - D.C., New York City - New York, the Berkshires - Massachusetts, Bar Harbor - Maine and in May of 2017 Salt Lake City - Utah. In addition to the professional Company's national tours, The Margaret Barbieri Conservatory has competed nationally in the Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) in the Semi Finals in Atlanta - Georgia and Tampa - Florida and the Finals in New York City - New York.
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Arts,Culture & Humanities
Secondary Org Type
Tertiary Org Type
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President
It is a huge honor to be Board Chair of The Sarasota Ballet. Having been a member of the Board for many years now, I have witnessed first hand the unbelievable growth this organization has witnessed over the past 10 years. Alongside my fellow Board members and our donors and audiences, we have seen The Sarasota Ballet transform from a regional ballet company into a company that is both recognized nationally and internationally as an important member of the Ballet community.Whether I am watching the Company's outstanding performances from the audience or reading the rave reviews we have received on our national tours, I could not be more proud.
As Chair of the Board, the area I am most focused on is to continue to look for Board Members of the highest quality that are willing to work hard and also have varied and diverse backgrounds that can assist in the Governance of The Sarasota ballet, and to further our goals and objectives.

I am delighted to work alongside our Director and Managing Director as they have put The Sarasota Ballet on a track for continued artistic and financial success and sustainability.
Statement from the CEO/Executive Director
The Sarasota Ballet has experienced an unprecedented renaissance of artistic growth since Iain Webb was appointed Director of the Company in 2007. The Ballet has received not only rave reviews from local critics, but also garnered both national and international acclaim. In fact, dance and theatre critic for the New York Times, Alastair Macaulay, declared that The Sarasota Ballet was "America's foremost exponent of Ashton ballets." In his 10 years with the Company, Director Iain Webb's commitment to excellence has established The Sarasota Ballet's reputation for ballets that enhance and preserve the art form through the performance of both the great classics as well as contemporary works. Webb's commitment to expanding the repertoire resulted in invitations to perform at some of America's most prestigious dance venues such as the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., New York City Center, Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival in Massachusetts and The Joyce Theater in New York. However, this artistic growth would not have been possible were it not for the unwavering support of the greater Sarasota community. For the coming 2017-2018 Season, The Sarasota Ballet is poised to continue unparalleled artistic growth as well as financial stability. The Company now consists of 51 professional dancers from across the country and the world, with representation from Australia, Brazil, Cuba, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Puerto Rico, the United Kingdom and the United States. We are honored by the support of our community and hope that you will consider making an investment in one of the most extraordinary Ballet Companies in the nation.
Description The Sarasota Ballet is a unique ensemble of both dancers and choreographers that the New York Times has called "America's foremost exponent of Ashton ballets." During his 10 years with the Company, Director Iain Webb introduced 140 Ballets and Divertissements to the repertoire, including 38 world premieres and 7 American premieres. The quality and historical value of the ballets in its repertoire have established the The Sarasota Ballet's reputation for ballets that enhance and preserve the art form through the performance of both the great classics as well as contemporary works. The Sarasota Ballet is just one of three professional ballet companies in Florida and the only professional company on the Gulf Coast.
Budget $6,093,616
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Dance
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served General/Unspecified
Short Term Success Ticket sales will continue to increase and will reach $1,527,500 by the end of the 2017-2018 season.
Long Term Success
The Sarasota Ballet will continue to mount multiple world-class productions incorporating both classical and modern ballets including new works for the enjoyment of the Gulf Coast region while continuing to garner both national and international attention. Director Iain Webb has signed a new 10 year contract and fully intends to bring to the stage works by some of the world's most prestigious choreographers and composers of the ballet world. The Company will continue to perform with live music whenever feasible and artistically desirable.
Program Success Monitoring Success is monitored by ticket sales,critical acclaim and the eagerness of choreographers and trusts to license their works to The Sarasota Ballet. Ticket sales are a gauge of public support and they have increased from $300,00 to nearly $1,800,000 since the arrival of Director Iain Webb. 
Program Success Examples
The Sarasota Ballet has been granted permission to perform some of the most prestigious ballets including the entirety of George Balanchine's full-length masterpiece Jewels which the Company performed in the 2016-2017 Season. The rare opportunity to perform this piece is regarded as a benchmark of a top tier ballet company. 
The Sarasota Ballet has been invited to participate in the prestigious Ballet Across America at the Kennedy Center, Fall for Dance Festival, Jacob's Pillow and was invited to perform at the Joyce Theatre in New York. Critical acclaim in NY Times, Washington Post, the Financial Times, Dancing Times, Wall Street Journal and many, many more.
In May 2017, members of The Sarasota Ballet traveled to the Inaugural National Choreographic Festival in Salt Lake City to perform Sarasota Ballet resident choreographer Ricardo Graziano's ballet, In a State of Weightlessness.  
Description The Sarasota Ballet School is the only ballet school on Florida's West Coast affiliated with a professional company. The ballet school serves students between the ages of 3 to 18 as well as holding tailored classes for adults. Since opening 20 years ago, the School has developed a Children's Division, a Middle Division, an Upper Division, and an Adult School. Students have the unique opportunity to work with professional dancers, teachers and choreographers as well as to dance in company productions. Our programs are designed to train dancers who wish to dance professionally and our students have been accepted in programs at the Boston Ballet, School of American Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, The Rock School of Dance Education, Harid Conservatory, San Francisco Ballet, Julliard, The Kirov Academy of Washington DC, Miami City Ballet, The Margaret Barbieri Conservatory and the Orlando Ballet.
Budget $261,301
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Dance Instruction
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Adults
Short Term Success Short term success is determined by the successful mounting of performances and productions of students.
Long Term Success Long term success will be tracked by the academic and professional success of our graduates as well as the overall well-being of our students.
Program Success Monitoring Students are monitored by professional teachers and success is tracked by the students growth as artists and commitment to the art of dance.
Program Success Examples Our students have been accepted in programs at the Boston Ballet, School of American Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, The Rock School of Dance Education, Harid Conservatory, San Fransisco Ballet, Julliard, The Kirov Academy of Washington DC, Miami City Ballet, The Margaret Barbieri Conservatory and the Orlando Ballet.
Description Dance - The Next Generation program is a unique ten-year full scholarship program for at-risk children. DNG is designed to prevent children between the ages of 8 to 18 in the Sarasota/Manatee community from dropping out of school. Upon successful completion of the program, students are eligible for a two-year scholarship to The State College of Florida and/or a full four-year scholarship to the University of Florida, Sarasota/Manatee. Since its founding, all of the students who have finished the program have graduated from High School. In 2002, the program received the "Coming Up Taller" award from former First Lady, Laura Bush.
Budget $326,399
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Dance Instruction
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years)
Short Term Success Short term success is measured by GPA and school attendance.
Long Term Success The long term success of our program is determined by both the academic and professional success of our graduates.
Program Success Monitoring Program success is monitored by staff who work in cooperation with individuals within the Sarasota Public School District.
Program Success Examples The Ballet is proud to state that graduates of the DNG program have gone on to pursue their higher education goals, often with full scholarships, at New York University, Goucher College, Mercyhurst College, Butler University, New World School of the Arts and many other schools including our partner institutions. Many of our graduates are now productive members of society and have developed careers in education, finance, environment, management, social work, and the arts, including dance.
Description Developed for students that demonstrate facility and artistry, Margaret Barbieri Conservatory aims to produce dancers possessing a strong, clean classical technique with great emphasis on artistry, musicality, purity of line, co-ordination and a quality of movement. The intent is to produce graduates who are capable of integrating effortlessly into The Sarasota Ballet and other top professional dance companies through high level training in classical ballet.
Budget $270,114
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Dance
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years)
Short Term Success Short term success is determined by the successful mounting of productions by the Conservatory. As well as the number of students that are accepted into professional companies.
Long Term Success Long term success will be tracked by the academic and professional success of our graduates as well as the overall well-being of our students.
Program Success Monitoring Students are monitored by professional teachers and success is tracked by the students growth as artists and commitment to the art of dance.
Program Success Examples This program is in its fourth year and already several members of the Conservatory have been offered contracts with professional dance companies, including The Sarasota Ballet and Eugene Ballet.
Description The Sarasota Ballet offers several Summer Camps as well as a 5 week Summer Intensive Program for Pre-Professional students. Instruction is provided by guest artist as well as members of The Sarasota Ballet Faculty. Participants may be consider for The Margaret Barbieri Conservatory.
Budget $234,462
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Dance
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Short Term Success The Sarasota Ballet's Summer Programs have continued, year after year, to see growth in the number of student enrollment and demand for additional camps.
Long Term Success Long-term success is determined when these students return for future summer programs or continue with other ballet training. It is the goal to instill a love of the art form, appreciation for ballet history and develop their artistry.
Program Success Monitoring Success is monitored by enrollment and surveys as well as audience responses to the end of intensive performance.
Program Success Examples Each year for the last 25 summers we have seen this program grow, audience numbers increase and survey results improve.
Program Comments by Organization
Currently, our professional Company has only one dedicated studio for class and rehearsals. With a Company of 45 we must increase the number of studios and dressing rooms. We need an area for physical therapy, wardrobe and prop storage.
Another huge challenge facing The Sarasota Ballet is that we do not have a "home" theater. Our subscription base is determined by the size of smallest theater that we perform in. We then tour within our own city by going to the Sarasota Opera House and the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. This severely limits our ability to grow the subscriber base. To that end we are actively pursing either a new theater facility or finding an alternative long-term solution.
This challenge has come about because of the tremendous success of The Sarasota Ballet. This lends itself to amazing opportunities to perform all across the country. It has now become a premiere opportunity for dancers to audition to become a member of our Company. It has also made the Margaret Barbieri Conservatory of Dance a much sought after pre-professional training center. We hold auditions throughout the country for the Conservatory and we are in need of student housing to suit this program.
We will continue to expand our Development and Outreach programs to financially attract new donors, encourage current donors to consider us as part of their Legacy, build a greater endowment to secure the longevity of the Company and connect people on an emotional level to become a part of our Sarasota Ballet family.
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Joseph Volpe
CEO Term Start Feb 2016
CEO/Executive Director Email
Joseph Volpe, retired General Manager of The Metropolitan Opera and theater and management consultant, was appointed Executive Director of The Sarasota Ballet in February 2016. Volpe first joined the board of The Sarasota Ballet in 2014 after a long history in the world of the performing arts. He spent 42 years working at The Metropolitan Opera rising from apprentice carpenter to General Manager from 1990-2006. In that role Volpe expanded the length of The Met repertory season as well as the number of new productions. There were 4 world premieres, 22 Met premieres, 4 commissions and expanded international touring activities. His term was characterized by sound fiscal management, fresh customer service initiatives and no contract disputes for over three decades of his leadership in contract negotiations.

He conceived and developed “Met Titles,” an innovative titling system providing multilingual translations of the operas on the backs of each seat, visible only to the individual audience members who wish to utilize them and initiated the development of Tessitura, a management software program for targeted marketing and fundraising appeals, which is now licensed to more than 200 companies worldwide.

Volpe retired from The Met in July of 2006, leaving the company with a strong administration, an endowment fund that had increased from $100 million to $345 million and exceptional artistic plans for the future. Since that time, Volpe consulted for two years with Giuliani Partners. Currently, he consults with Theatre Projects Consultants providing comprehensive advice from project conception and design to daily operations and fiscal management. Volpe helps major arts organization and universities as they plan a move into new facilities or address the reorganization and renovation of existing ones. He also serves as a Senior Consultant for Hudson Scenic Studios advising on all aspects of management, labor negotiation and strategic planning and heads The Volpe Group, Ltd, his own theater and management consulting firm.

Volpe taught a course entitled, “Managing in the Performing Arts” for five years at New York University’s Stern School of Business. He has been a guest lecturer at Columbia University, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, Georgetown, SUNY Purchase, Harvard and Oxford University. He has received honorary degrees from numerous universities, including Georgetown University, Fordham University and Hamilton College.

Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Senior Staff
Margaret Barbieri Assistant Director
Chad Morrison General Manager
Joseph Volpe Executive Director
Iain Webb Director
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 63
Part Time Staff 18
Staff Retention Rate % 70
Professional Development Yes
Contractors 15
Volunteers 250
Management Reports to Board Yes
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
The collaborations of The Sarasota Ballet are many due to the numerous relationships that Director Iain Webb, Executive Director Joseph Volpe and Assistant Director Margaret Barbieri have within the arts world. Over the past 10 years, here are some of the most significant collaborations:
Internationally, The Sarasota Ballet has collaborated with The Birmingham Royal Ballet and The Royal Ballet of London, as well as world renowned choreographers like Matthew Bourne, Matthew Hart, Johan Kobborg and Christopher Wheldon. 
Nationally, The Sarasota Ballet has collaborated with The Suzanne Farrell Ballet and choreographers Twyla Tharp and Dominic Walsh. In 2017 we collaborated with Opera singer Frederica von Stade, Composer Jake Heggie, and classical ballet star Marcelo Gomes who danced a lead role in our program featuring Ashton's Two Pigeons and then created a World Premiere on the Sarasota Ballet Company.
Locally, The Sarasota Ballet has a close working relationship with the School Board of Sarasota County as well as the Sarasota Orchestra, the Sarasota Opera and the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall Foundation. That is expanding this year to include the Sarasota Youth Opera and Sarasota Music Conservatory who will be performing with the Margaret Barbieri Conservatory students.
External Assessments and Accreditations
Awards & Recognition
Coming Up Taller AwardNational Arts and Humanites Youth Program Awards2002
Jewel of Ballet Across AmericaWashington Post2014
Risk Management Provisions
Government Licenses
Organization Licensed by the Government No
Fundraising Plan No
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan No
Strategic Plan Years N/A
Strategic Plan Adopted
Management Succession Plan No
Continuity of Operations Plan No
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
Policies and Procedures No
Planning & Policies Comments by Organization
We are currently drafting a new 5-year fundraising plan to replace the plan which sunsets in May of 2018. 
We are developing a communications plan for The Sarasota Ballet and the Education Department (including Dance-the Next Generation, The Sarasota Ballet School, Margaret Barbieri Conservatory, Adult Classes and Workshops and the International Intensive made possible by the Muriel O' Neil Fund for The Performing Arts).
The Board and staff have been refining a new draft Strategic Plan.
Board Chair
Board Chair Richard Johnson
Company Affiliation Retired
Board Term June 2018 to May 2020
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
Isabel Becker Community Volunteer
Paul Cantor Financial Professional
Jonathan Coleman Attorney
Lynda Doery Retired
Mark Famiglio Business Owner
Sydney Goldstein Retired
Patricia Golemme Community Volunteer
Richard Johnson Retired Attorney
Sean Keenan Private Banking Executive
Patrick Kenny Financial Profesional
Richard March Community Volunteer
Frank Martucci Retired
Teresa Masterson Nurse
Peter Miller Retired Entrepreneur
Dr. Bart Price Physician
Audrey Robbins Community Volunteer
Richard Segall Psychologist
Marilyn Sellman Community Volunteer
Hillary Steele Retired
Maureen Steiner Consultant
Jean Weidner Goldstein Community Volunteer
Jean Weiller Community Volunteer
Michael Zuckerberg Community Volunterr
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 23
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0
Board Gender
Male 12
Female 11
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 99
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 9
Board Meeting Attendance % 87
Board Self-Evaluation Yes
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Board Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 100
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 25
Standing Committees
Board Governance
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Strategic Planning / Strategic Direction
Current Year Projections
Tax Year Start Month June
Tax Year Start Day 01
Tax Year Begins 2017
Tax Year End Month May
Tax Year End Day 31
Tax Year Ends 2018
Projected Revenue $7,257,007.00
Projected Expenses $7,185,891.00
Total Projected Revenue includes "in-kind" contributions/ donations Yes
Organization has Endowment Yes
Endowment Value $600,000.00
Endowment Spending Policy Income Only
Capital Campaign
Currently In a Capital Campaign No
Anticipate Campaign within 5 years? No
Campaign Purpose
Campaign Goal
IRS Form 990s
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 Year201720162015
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$213,208$163,930$234,340
Individual Contributions$3,460,631$5,432,767$3,544,769
Investment Income, Net of Losses$43,477$67,946$111,405
Membership Dues$42,161$29,805$0
Special Events$192,267$6,422$0
Revenue In-Kind$359,040$462,202$192,777
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201720162015
Program Expense$6,135,624$6,038,504$5,228,449
Administration Expense$506,622$738,627$624,752
Fundraising Expense$395,779$230,191$185,735
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.981.121.03
Program Expense/Total Expenses87%86%87%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue10%4%5%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201720162015
Total Assets$6,020,079$6,188,229$5,247,732
Current Assets$4,858,492$4,555,792$4,093,659
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$827,009$1,017,708$772,984
Total Net Assets$5,193,070$5,170,521$4,474,748
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201720162015
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $3,460,631Contributions, gifts, grants $5,432,767Contributions, gifts, grants $3,544,769
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountBallet Performances $1,961,240Ballet Performances $1,734,715Ballet Performances $1,675,199
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountTuition $486,965Tuition $536,661Tuition $540,141
CEO/Executive Director Compensation
Tax Credits Yes
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities5.874.485.30
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Foundation
Financial figures taken from 990 only.  Audit was not provided .  2008 and 2009 990s were prepared by Cavanaugh & Co.; 2010 - 2014 990s were prepared by Menzel & Associates.  Foundation, corporations and congregations are included with individual contributions as they were not separated in the 990. .
Nonprofit The Sarasota Ballet Of Florida Inc
Address 5555 N Tamiami Trail
Sarasota, FL 34243
Phone 941 359-0099