Artist Series Concerts Of Sarasota Inc
1226 N. Tamiami Trail - Suite 300
Sarasota FL 34236
Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota, a 501(c)(3) corporation, presents innovative classical and popular performances by world-class vocal and instrumental musicians to entertain, engage, and inspire residents and visitors of all ages and backgrounds in Florida's Sarasota/Manatee/Charlotte County region and beyond.
CEO/Executive Director John Alan Fischer
Board Chair Edward L. Alley
Board Chair Affiliation Retired arts manager
General Info
Organization DBA
Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota, Inc. (name change 12/27/2011)
Former Names
Artist Series of Sarasota, Inc.
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 2002
Awarded competitive grant from Community Foundation in the last 5 years? Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes June 2018
State Registration Yes June 2017
Financial Summary
IRS Letter of Determination
IRS Letter of Determination 2002View
Impact Statement
1) Consistently high media reviews and audience acceptance of programming.
2) Statewide scholarship program instituted in 2003 has awarded over $260,000 to 71 career-potential young musicians.
3) Artist Series concerts actively and successfully seeks out meaningful relationships and collaborations with other mission-aligned organizations. 
4) Balanced budget since incorporation in 2002 - with growth 26-times increase in revenues/programs in 14 years' time. Consistently increasing net worth. 
Needs Statement
1) $4 million operating endowment by 2022
2) A perfomance venue which we own or control
3) Financial support to increase professional staff by one person, and to provide competitive compensation to staff
4) Professional development and grants support
5) Professional support to better develop our strategic and succession plans
Background Statement

What is today known as the Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota was conceived in 1996 by Co-Founders Jerold Ross and Lee Dougherty Ross.

     The inaugural concerts were held in the lobby area of the Ross’s beach-front condo. The programs quickly grew in popularity and needed additional seating. In 2001 the renamed ARTIST SERIES OF SARASOTA moved to the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center and in 2003 attained 501(c)(3) tax exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service.

     The Series continued to grow both artistically and in the number of people its programs reached. In August of 2005 a dialog began with the Ringling Museum and in October 2006 after a two-year restoration and reinstallation in a newly constructed space in the museum’s Visitors Pavilion the Historic Asolo Theater become our new home.

     While the organization provided support to gifted students from 2002-2006, it was in 2007 that a generous gift from Virginia Toulmin and others funded the beginning of an annual statewide competition for career-potential young musicians. Since inception the program has made more than 65 awards totaling more than $240,000.

    In 2011-12 we became ARTIST SERIES CONCERTS OF SARASOTA to clarify our activities.

     For its 2012-2013 Season, 34 performances were scheduled between September and June. In the 2014-2015 season Artist Series Concerts continued its 10-month series of professional concerts performed primarily in the Sarasota area. We also successfully added a new three-performance series at the North Port Performing Arts Center while also directing time, energy, and resources to the longer term issues of succession and sustainability involving board, staff, programming, and collaborations.

     43 ticketed performances are planned for the 2015-2016 twentieth season as well as repositioning of our statewide scholarship to become a national competition. In addition we will add a new competition for high school students in Sarasota and surrounding areas. 


Areas Served
Areas Served
FL- Sarasota
FL- Manatee
FL- Charlotte
Areas Served Comments
Our organization currently primarily serves residents and visitors to Sarasota,Manatee, and Charlotte Counties.
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Arts,Culture & Humanities
Secondary Org Type Arts,Culture & Humanities
Tertiary Org Type Arts,Culture & Humanities
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President

Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota is a successful and growing asset to Sarasota and surrounding areas. Great care has been taken to build a strong yet flexible organization that can monitor and adjust to the changes of those it serves.

During 2016-2017 we will continue the implementation of plans long in the making to assure that the organization remains strong and will long continue to reward the community and those who have contributed to its growth and popularity.

I am pleased to use my experience and skills to help this worthy organization continue on its pathway. 
Statement from the CEO/Executive Director
One of the most encouraging and meaningful things I was told about Artist Series Concerts by a well-known and respected philanthropic leader was, "The Artist Series has values implementation far above those of most organizations its size.
Additionally, the support we have found for and have been to successfully pass forward to young audiences and musicians through our annual scholarship program is again, unique and far more than one would expect for an organization our size.
I feel fortunate to have played a leadership role in guiding such a fine organization in its growth and success. 
Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota currently presents approximately 40-50 live performances annually. Performances utilize performers of national and international reputation and standards and where possible combine entertainment with enlightenment and educational components.
Budget $500,000
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Music
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Adults Families Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Short Term Success
Building audience and retaining existing audience members.
Long Term Success
Adapting live musical performances to reflect the expectations of ever-changing audience/constituent values.
Program Success Monitoring
Growth, retention, feedback on satisfaction with programs.
Program Success Examples
Positive audience response; positive critical review; growth and retention of audiences and donors.
Program Comments by Organization  Audiences largely attend performances to be entertained. One of the areas that brings us great pride is our community engagement. In addition to taking many of our professional musicians to area school, we also have longstanding collaborations with organizations in our community to provide music and support to individuals and families in which cancer and Parkinson's disease are realities.
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director John Alan Fischer
CEO Term Start Aug 2003
CEO/Executive Director Email
Michigan native, John Fischer, became captivated with music at an early age. At age sixteen he was engaged to play a vintage theatre pipe organ on weekend evenings in his hometown.

With the belief that music could be an enduring pleasure but not necessarily a stable or lucrative career, he entered college studying Marketing. After college he spent ten years with the St. Louis-based
Brown Shoe Company and was ultimately responsible for advertising and visual presentations in a twenty-six unit retail division. Fischer left Brown to invest in a suburban Detroit commercial printing company where he specialized in creating marketing and fund raising programs for arts and educational organizations including the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Michigan Opera Theatre, Cranbrook Educational Community, Detroit Country Day School the Lyric Chamber Ensemble and Fan Club for the Arts.

For the eight years preceding his retirement in 2001, John was Marketing Director for Hammell Music, Michigan’s exclusive representatives for Steinway pianos in Michigan, and northern Ohio and Indiana.

Fischer and his family chose the Sarasota area for their new home because of the rich cultural opportunities the area affords. The new residence was constructed to showcase their vintage 1923 three-keyboard, 42-rank pipe organ, and three grand pianos.

John Fischer has served as Executive Director of the Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota since 2003. 

In addition to his leadership role with the Artist Series of Sarasota, John has served as Treasurer of the Seminiole District of the Florida Federation of Music Clubs, Sarasota Orchestra Friends, and the Sarasota Opera Guild.

Her is currently President of the Manasota Theatre Organ Society, Treasurer of the Artist and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County, Assistant Treasurer for the Sarasota Music Club, and a board member of the Southwest Florida Association of Fundraising Professionals.
Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Senior Staff
Donna Fisk Executive Assistant
Dr. Joseph Holt Director of Artistic Programs
Lee Dougherty Ross Director of Competitions & Outreach
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 1
Part Time Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % 100
Professional Development Yes
Contractors 3
Volunteers 190
Management Reports to Board Yes
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation No
Senior Management Formal Evaluation No
Non-Management Formal Evaluation No
John and Mabel Ringling Museum of Art, University of South Florida, Gloria Musicae Singers,  Neuro Challenge Foundation, SILL
External Assessments and Accreditations
Awards & Recognition
Exec. Dir. John Fischer received Arts Leadership AwardArts & Cultural Allicane of Sarasota County2011
Risk Management Provisions
Fundraising Plan No
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan Yes
Strategic Plan Years 10
Strategic Plan Adopted Dec 2009
Management Succession Plan Yes
Continuity of Operations Plan No
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
Policies and Procedures No
Other Documents
Other Document 2
Board Chair
Board Chair Edward L. Alley
Company Affiliation Retired arts manager
Board Term May 2015 to June 2016
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
Ms Jean Abrams Community Volunteer
Mr. Edward Alley Retired arts manager
Michael Beitzinger Iberia Bank / VP
Raphael Broth Community Volunteer
Linda Sharon Cerone Professional musician/educator
Mr. Stephen Fancher Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith
John Alan Fischer Retired-Executive/Marketing Dir.
Toni Alpern Goldberg Community Volunteer
Lee Dougherty Ross Artistic Director/Former performer/educator
Barbara Staton Community Volunteer / former educator
Ms Olivia Swaan Community Volunteer
Dr. J. Russell Wilsthire PhD.Community Volunteer
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 12
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Gender
Male 6
Female 6
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits 2
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 5
Board Meeting Attendance % 77
Board Self-Evaluation Yes
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Board Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 92
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 100
Standing Committees
Advisory Board / Advisory Council
Board Governance
Governance Comments by Organization
Artist Series Concerts is forward looking - knowing that expectations of our donors and supporters is ever-changing. Internally we are deeply engaged in planning for succession of key staff and of financial sustainability.
Fiscal Year Projections
Fiscal Year Start Month July
Fiscal Year Start Day 01
Fiscal Year Begins 2016
Fiscal Year End Month June
Fiscal Year End Day 30
Fiscal Year Ends 2017
Projected Revenue $655,000.00
Projected Expenses $655,000.00
Organization has Endowment Yes
Endowment Value $323,000.00
Endowment Spending Policy Percentage
Endowment Spending Policy % 5
Capital Campaign
Currently In a Capital Campaign No
Anticipate Campaign within 5 years? Yes
Campaign Purpose
Campaign Goal
Campaign Dates 0 to 0
Amount Raised To Date 0 as of 0
Audit/Financial Documents
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 Year201520142013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$34,405$38,810$29,028
Individual Contributions$248,280$167,541$234,168
Investment Income, Net of Losses$19,992$14,092$4,651
Membership Dues$0$0$0
Special Events$63,550$46,232$47,991
Revenue In-Kind$58,720$40,888$0
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$443,011$377,417$365,619
Administration Expense$84,902$75,638$77,124
Fundraising Expense$46,534$9,593$6,915
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.061.101.18
Program Expense/Total Expenses77%82%81%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue13%4%2%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$488,322$442,284$374,153
Current Assets$423,720$377,444$372,728
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$41,810$18,210$24,761
Total Net Assets$446,512$424,074$349,392
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201520142013
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $248,280Ticket Sales $226,809Contributions, gifts, grants $234,168
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountTicket Sales $227,463Contributions, gifts, grants $167,541Ticket Sales $194,963
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountFundraising $63,550Fundraising $46,232Fundraising $47,991
CEO/Executive Director Compensation $0 - $50,000
Tax Credits No
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities10.1320.7315.05
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Foundation Foundations and corporations are included with individual contributions as they are not separated in the 990.  Financial figures were taken from the 990s. The valuation of in-kind contributions is included in revenue in the audited financial statements.
Nonprofit Artist Series Concerts Of Sarasota Inc
Address 1226 N. Tamiami Trail - Suite 300
Sarasota, FL
Phone 941 306-1200

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