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 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)
Supported Organization
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 2015
State Registration Yes June 2015
IRS Letter of Determination
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $535,000.00
Projected Expenses $535,000.00
Other Documents
Impact Statement
1) Balanced budget since incorporation in 2002 - with growth 25-times increase in revenues/programs in nine years' time.
2) Consistently high media reviews and audience acceptance of programming.
3) Statewide scholarship program instituted in 2003 has awarded over $200,000 to 65 career-potential young musicians.
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.

After relocating to Sarasota the couple saw the possibility of transporting the soiree concept here. The inaugural concerts were held in the lobby area of the Ross’s beach-front condo. After four years, the programs had grown in popularity to the point where need for additional seating dictated a move, and in 2001 the renamed ARTIST SERIES OF SARASOTA moved to the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center in Sarasota’s cultural district. In 2003 it 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.

Both programming and audiences expanded during the first two seasons in the Historic Asolo Theater and the Artist Series of Sarasota continued its quest toward ever-higher artistic goals and also in building the organizational support required to support the increased programming and to assure sustainability and financial stability.

Though fortunate to have support from loyal volunteers since its inception, the Artist Series began a more formalized organization for volunteers in 2006. Artist Series FRIENDS, which currently has a paid membership of nearly 200, provides amazing support to our activities – including an expanded community and school outreach program.

The 2011-12 Season marked another milestone with the name change to ARTIST SERIES CONCERTS OF SARASOTA and a new logo. This simple addition of “Concerts” to the long-held name adds clarity to the identity of the organization and will assist in developing a wider audience. The logo which includes the easily recognizable treble clef is a strong link to our musical mission.

On March 10, 2012, Artist Series Concerts Scholarship Program provided an opportunity for young musicians ages 14 through 28 from the entire State of Florida to compete for scholarships and awards. Prior to the scholarship competition, on Tuesday, February 28, at Michael’s On East, our volunteer organization, Artist Series Concerts FRIENDS, presented its fourth annual fund raiser. With the theme “Enchanted Evening: A Salute to Strings” the $50,000 net proceeds from the event benefit Artist Series Concerts Scholarship Program, outreach and other activities.

For its 2012-2013 Season, 34 performances were scheduled between
September and June. The Season includes our core Classical Recital Series, a six performance “Pops” Series, and popular Soiree Series. A new “Lunch, Look & Listen” Series has been added that combine lunch, a visual component and musical performance. Another highlight of the 2012-2013 Season took place on December 11, 2012 in the 1,100-seast Sarasota Opera House where we will host a live performance of the National Public Radio series “From the Top” which was taped for later broadcast to more than 200 NPR stations across the country, reaching an audience of over 700,000 listeners.

Over the past several years the Artist Series Board of Trustees worked
diligently to update its bylaws, policies and financial reporting to assure
that we were positioned as a leader among non-profits. At the same time we began a structured and ongoing strategic planning program to assure that the Artist Series is sustainable and can continue to grow in an orderly and healthy way.

Artist Series Concerts continues to reach out to granting organizations in
order to provide broader-based organizational support that will compliment income from private donations and ticket sales. Artist Series Concerts has operated ‘in the black’ with more than fifty percent of its budget being provided by income earned through ticket sales. Like other non-profit organizations, Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota relies on corporate and organization underwriting, competitive grants and private donations to balance its budget. The enthusiasm of our volunteers, the loyalty of our audience and donors and the hundreds of new patrons we attract each year collectively reinforce our belief that the Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota is, indeed, a growing and viable cultural organization and an exemplary cultural asset to the entire community it serves.
In 2012 and again in 2013 Artist Series Concerts organized and produced a summer/pre-season showcase called "Celebrate Sarasota" to showcase many of the performing arts organizations in the area.  In September 2013 two full-length performances were held at the Sarasota Opera House, attracting an audience of more than 1100 involving 18 other organizations, and 160 people on stage performing music, theatre, and dance.
Areas Served
Areas Served
FL- Sarasota
FL- Manatee
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Arts,Culture & Humanities
Secondary Org Type Arts,Culture & Humanities
Tertiary Org Type Arts,Culture & Humanities
music piano voice instrumental education concerts sarasota
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President
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. 
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
Program Comments by Foundation
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 theSarasota 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.

Since 2003 John has served as Executive Director of the Artist Series of Sarasota, during which time the organization has grown from five concerts annually to having presented nearly fifty performances in during the 2011-2012 season. During that time the Series has expanded its annual budget by more than twenty five times reaching above $500,000 last season with an earned income percentage nearing 50%.

Since 2003 the organization has created a statewide scholarship program that has awarded more than $130,000 to career-potential young musicians; has established an endowment program; has received increased sponsorships from area businesses; and has been successful in being awarded several grants. Most recently in 2011the organization engaged in a rebranding initiative, changing its name to become Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota along with a newly developed logo and new website.

In addition to his leadership role with the Artist Series of Sarasota, John is also currently Treasurer of the Seminiole District of the Florida Federation of Music Clubs and Assistant Treasurer of the Sarasota Music Club. Fischer also serves as Treasurer of the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County and is a member of the Marketing Committee of the Sarasota Visitors and Convention Bureau.

John Fischer is Past President of the Manasota Theatre Organ Society, and has served terms as Vice-President for Communications of the Florida West Coast Symphony Association, Vice President for Communications for the Sarasota Opera Guild, and has served on the Marketing Committee for the Florida West Coast Symphony (now Sarasota Orchestra.
Revised August 30, 2011
Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Senior Staff
Donna Fisk Executive Assistant
Lee Dougherty Ross Artistic Director
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 0
Part Time Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % 100%
Professional Development Yes
Contractors 5
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, Artist and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County. And, to a smaller degree: Asolo Repertory Theatre, Belle Canto, Circus Sarasota, Florida Studio Theatre  Fuzion Dance Artists, The Jacobites, Jazz Juevenocracy, OASIS, Players Theatre, Sarasota Ballet, Sarasota Music Academ, Sarasota Young Voices, and Venice PErforming Arts Series
External Assessments and Accreditations
Awards & Recognition
Exec. Dir. John Fischer received Arts Leadership AwardArts & Cultural Allicane of Sarasota County2011
Risk Management Provisions
Government Licenses
Organization Licensed by the Government
Fundraising Plan No
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan Yes
Strategic Plan Years 10
Strategic Plan Adopted Dec 2009
Management Succession Plan No
Policies and Procedures No
Continuity of Operations Plan Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
Management Comments by Organization
Management Comments by Foundation
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
Mr. Edward Alley Retired arts manager
Raphael Broth Community Volunteer
Mr. Stephen Fancher Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith
John Alan Fischer Retired-Executive/Marketing Dir.
Toni Alpern Goldberg Community Volunteer
Elisa Graber Iberia Bank / Regional Operation VP
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
Student serving on the board through Community Youth Development? No
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 10
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 5
Female 5
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits 2
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 4
Board Meeting Attendance % 82
Board Self-Evaluation Yes
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Written Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 91
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 100
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Standing Committees
Advisory Board / Advisory Council
Board Governance
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
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.
Governance Comments by Foundation
Fiscal Year Projections
Fiscal Year Begins 2014
Fiscal Year Ends 2015
Projected Revenue $535,000.00
Projected Expenses $535,000.00
Endowment Value $258,000.00
Endowment Spending Policy Percentage
Endowment Spending Policy % 5
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
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 Year201420132012
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$38,810$29,028$29,088
Individual Contributions$167,541$234,168$149,312
Investment Income, Net of Losses$14,092$4,651$3,627
Membership Dues$0$0$0
Special Events$46,232$47,991$16,831
Revenue In-Kind$40,888$0$0
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201420132012
Program Expense$377,417$365,619$357,623
Administration Expense$75,638$77,124$74,327
Fundraising Expense$9,593$6,915$6,719
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.101.180.96
Program Expense/Total Expenses82%81%82%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue4%2%3%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201420132012
Total Assets$442,284$374,153$297,484
Current Assets$377,444$372,728$294,725
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$18,210$24,761$46,567
Total Net Assets$424,074$349,392$250,917
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201420132012
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountTicket Sales $226,809Contributions, gifts, grants $234,168Ticket Sales $206,909
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $167,541Ticket Sales $194,963Contributions, gifts, grants $149,312
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountFundraising $46,232Fundraising $47,991Government Grants - Unspecified $29,088
CEO/Executive Director Compensation $0 - $50,000
Co-CEO/Executive Director Compensation
Tax Credits No
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities20.7315.056.33
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Organization
Financial Comments by Foundation Foundations and corporations are included with individual contributions as they are not separated in the 990.  Financial figures were taken solely from the 990s, as no audits were provided. 
Nonprofit Artist Series Concerts Of Sarasota Inc
Address 1226 N. Tamiami Trail - Suite 300
Sarasota, FL 34236
Primary Phone 941 306-1200

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