Starlight Theatre Association of Kansas City, Inc.

Kansas City, MO   |  www.kcstarlight.com

Mission

Starlight Theatre is dedicated to producing, presenting and promoting an exceptional arts experience by delivering accessible live entertainment for all audiences, superior theatre arts education, impactful outreach programs and events that utilize this iconic city-owned venue.

Ruling year info

1951

President and CEO

Mr. Rich Baker

Main address

4600 Starlight Road

Kansas City, MO 64132 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

44-0552079

NTEE code info

Theater (A65)

Educational Services and Schools - Other (B90)

Music (A68)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

In a competitive and shifting performing arts market, Starlight seeks to find its niche in the Greater Kansas City and regional community as a destination that promises a transformative arts experience beyond the acts that cross the stage. Broadway/musical theatre audiences change and availability of product is an ongoing challenge as is the inherent challenge of operating a seasonal outdoor amphitheatre with an 8000 seat capacity which is twice the size of most performing arts centers which present musical theatre.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Live Performing Art Events - Broadway Musical Theatre & Popular Music and Comedy Concerts

Starlight Theatre’s annual summer series features national Broadway tours, locally-produced musical theatre and a wide variety of concert events. The original Starlight stage was constructed in 1950 as part of Kansas City, Missouri’s centennial celebration, making Starlight the oldest and largest outdoor performing arts venue in the metropolitan area. In addition, it is one of only two remaining outdoor theatre venues of its kind in the United States. Contributions help to close the gap between earned revenue and expenses. Although production costs continue to escalate, Starlight remains committed to keeping its ticket prices affordable. Each year, Starlight presents anywhere from 5-9 Broadway shows appealing to a diverse group of audience members. Shows often include a mixture of classics and contemporary titles, and also give patrons flexibility with the recent addition of weekend specials. Starlight regularly has more than 20 live concert events each summer, artists range from classic rock to current popular music to comedy.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The Starlight Theatre Community Ticket Program is designed to provide access to Broadway shows for groups who would otherwise be unable to enjoy live theatre performances due to economic, medical or other restrictive causes. This program, which provides 364 complimentary tickets to each night of each Broadway performance, is available to 501(c)(3) charitable organizations operating in the bi-state area. As it is not possible to assist all interested 501(c)(3) organizations, the focus of this program is to enhance the lives of underprivileged and at-risk youth, the medically dependent or disabled, and low-income senior citizens. This program’s tickets are distributed through partnering organizations in order to qualify and track the recipients and their ticket use.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
People with disabilities

Starlight Theatre's year-round community engagement programs include: the Bob Rohlf Summer Internship Program, which provides paid internship opportunities for college students; the Vincent Legacy Scholarship, which provides funding for performance training for ethnically diverse students; Starlight Stars of Tomorrow and Starlight Stars, training programs for middle and high school students that help them develop performing skills; Just Imagine, an interactive theatre experience for children in hospitals, shelters or child service organizations; and the Blue Star Awards, recognizing and promoting achievement in high school musical theatre programs in KC.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
Families

Where we work

Awards

Favorite Live Music Venue 2018

VisitKC

Favorite Live Show 2018

KC Parent

Best Outdoor Venue 2018

The Pitch

Best Live Music venue (over 1,00) 2019

The Pitch

Best Live Theatre 2019

The Pitch

Best Outdoor Venue 2019

The Pitch

Community Anchor 2019

Southtown Council

Best Charitable Event (Bronze) 2019

Ingram's Magazine

Best Outdoor Music Venue 2020

Kansas City Magazine

Best Live Theatre Venue 2020

Kansas City Magazine

Best Outdoor Venue 2020

The Pitch

Best Live Theatre 2020

The Pitch

Best Live Music Venue (over 1,000) 2020

The Pitch

Traveler's Choice 2020

Trip Advisor

Affiliations & memberships

Independent Presenters Network - Voting Member 2007

Actor's Equity Association 2009

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total number of free admissions

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Community Ticket Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

All 2020 in-person shows were cancelled due to the COVID-19 Global Pandemic but two virtual events were offered free to the public and resulted in increased reach from usual attendance.

Total number of performances

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Live Performing Art Events - Broadway Musical Theatre & Popular Music and Comedy Concerts

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Starlight's summer Broadway season and concerts were cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 Global Pandemic, however, Starlight did produce and present virtual content and three Off-Broadway shows.

Total number of audience members

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Live Performing Art Events - Broadway Musical Theatre & Popular Music and Comedy Concerts

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

2020 numbers represent shows presented as part of Starlight's Indoors Series between January and early March. Virtual event attendance would increase this number by nearly 20,000.

Total number of off-site performances held

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

At-risk youth

Related Program

Community Engagement Programs

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The 10 noted performances for 2020 were all hosted prior to the onset of the global pandemic.

Total dollar amount of scholarship awarded

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents

Related Program

Community Engagement Programs

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

In 2020, the pandemic impacted a signature scholarships program as it prevented the typical cycle of auditions and applications.

Number of competition entrants

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents

Related Program

Community Engagement Programs

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of entities served by expertise

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Families

Related Program

Community Engagement Programs

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The 2020 increase includes online/virtual reach through virtual programming alternatives and a new performance web series focused on elevating artists of color.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Starlight's ultimate goal aligns with it's mission:  to produce, present and promote exceptional arts experiences by delivering accessible live entertainment for all audiences, superior theatre arts education, impactful community outreach programs, and utilizing its iconic city-owned venue.  Long term success includes the elevation of Starlight's nonprofit status and mission-driven intent centered on both its arts experiences but equally its education and outreach programs. Arts access, and particularly access to Starlight, should not be dictated by socioeconomic status and barriers to participation, attendance and engagement should be considered as important as ticket sales.  Engaging with or experiencing Starlight should be a part of what it is to be a Kansas Citian, and attending an event at Starlight should be a regional desire. Outdoor theatre is an increasingly precious experience that we seek to not just preserve but sustain and grow. We will know when we have achieved our goals when our seats are consistently full, our charitable gifts represent at least 20% of our annual revenue, and Starlight is consistently represented as a key civic asset, an essential arts experience, and a regional destination.

Starlight completed a three-year strategic plan in May of 2018 that had 6 main areas of focus:  Mission Driven Initiatives:1. Events: Provide highest quality live events to diverse audiences.2. Education & Outreach: Elevate the impact of Starlight by refining our portfolio of community-centric programs to build and enhance life skills and create enduring bonds to the arts.3. Guest Experience: Enhance the delivery of a quality guest experience by ensuring the facilities and its offerings exceed expectations.  Cross-Cutting Initiatives:4. Branding, Marketing & PR: Build and grow an organization-wide Starlight brand, representing the total guest experience, that meets the needs of our evolving customers and fully aligns with our vision and mission.5. People: Create and maintain a culture of excellence and effective communication by supporting and inspiring highly qualified and diverse staff, board and volunteers, while concurrently building an effective and informed relationship with the city.6. Financial Sustainability: Enhance our long-term financial sustainability by growing revenue including tickets, ancillaries, donations and grants; and having appropriate financial systems in place to effectively monitor and control expenses to meet the needs of our mission. Each of these initiatives has specific key performance indicators, timelines, responsible parties and associated tactics that in concert serve as a road map to success.

Starlight has several key human assets: 1) An incredible, tenured professional staff: from finance to fundraising to production staff, Starlight's full-time employees represent a wealth of talent, and, perhaps most importantly, a tremendous amount of tenure.  Ten full time employees of 42 began their careers as interns in the summer internship program and have continued on, one for two decades.  Senior staff has seen little turnover in twenty years, resulting in rich historical knowledge and deep organizational devotion. 2) A robust, high-impact Board of Directors: with 30-35 active elected members and many engaged past Board chairs as lifetime members, Starlight's Board of Directors is populated with some of the best and most tenacious corporate and civic leaders.  Many of them are longtime Starlight subscribers, most are Starlight donors, and all are dedicated to continual improvement and progress. 3) An unparalleled army of volunteers: while some organizations may boast higher numbers of volunteers, few can boast more dedicated volunteers than the approximately 200 "Ambassadors" that serve as a critical extension to the full-time employee team.  Ambassadors not only usher, they give tours and are versed in Starlight history, they help with special event, and they show up whenever they are needed with few questions asked besides "when and where?" 4) A deepening relationship with the City: as a city-owned venue, Starlight's relationship with the City of Kansas City, Missouri is rich and storied.  While those that have populated both entities have changed over the years, the strength of the relationship has rarely faltered, particularly between the Department of Parks and Recreation and Starlight, who work closely together in the shared Swope Park space.   5) Starlight fills a unique space in the arts and civic community; it is one of just two theatres like it left in the country: an outdoor theatre that both self-produces musical theatre, presents Broadways tours, and promotes live concerts in addition to its signature education and outreach programs which uniquely create arts access, arts education opportunities, and foster arts advocates and patrons.

As a performing arts organization that opened its gates in 1951, and one of only 2 outdoor amphitheatres of its kind in the nation, Starlight has a storied history within the Kansas City community as a presenter, producer and promoter of Broadway musical theatre and world-class concerts. The stories from long-time attendees that have, in some cases, grown up with Starlight as an annual tradition, make a strong foundation of support and love for the civic asset that Starlight is.

What lies ahead is a refining of the intentions and strategies by which Starlight will continue to create unforgettable performing arts experiences in an environment no one in the area can equal. Further, there is increased interest and stakeholder investment in focusing and fortifying our education and outreach efforts to make a bigger and/or more meaningful impact on the community, particularly those who might not otherwise be able to experience the magic of a Starlight night.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    In a normal year, Starlight attracts more than 250,000 annual guests. While the majority of attendees come from the Midwest, Starlight attracts visitors from all 50 states, which contributes an estimated $7.7 million back into the local economy. With a variety of Broadway, concert, and Indoor performances, Starlight aims to offer diverse arts experiences and programming that appeals to all ages, races, ethnicities, and backgrounds. Since its founding in 1951, Starlight’s community tickets program has provided more than a million free tickets to those who might not otherwise be to experience a Starlight night. In 2019, Starlight provided 12,710 free Broadway tickets to more than 100 regional nonprofit organizations to offer their clients.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Community meetings/Town halls,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    Over the past year, Starlight has made significant improvements to make our campus more accessible. Some of the most notable additions are new ADA seats at every price level, accessible walkways, and a partnership with VarietyKC to provide more accessible amenities for all groups. Our largest community engagement program, the Blue Star Awards, serving more than 50 area high schools, convened a student council for the first time in 2019. This student council not only provided valuable feedback that shaped new elements of the program but also aided the enhancement of communication with students, educators and families.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

Starlight Theatre Association of Kansas City, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Starlight Theatre Association of Kansas City, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 8/12/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr Mark Fortino

Country Club Bank

Term: 2021 - 2023

Ora Reynolds

Hunt Midwest Real Estate Development, Inc.

Anita Gorman

Community Volunteer

John Murphy

Retired

Mark Fortino

Country Club Bank

Kara Hendon

FleishmanHillard

Mary Jorgenson

Community Volunteer

Dan Schulte

Schulte Ventures

Robert Barnes

Bryan Cave

Nancy Whitworth

McCownGordon Construction

Denise Bade

Lockton

Greg Reid

BoomDeYada

Steve Doyal

Retired

Becky Blades

Startistry Publishing

Lesley Elwell

JE Dunn Construction

Ed Enyeart

Cerner

Jenny Housley

Blue Cross Blue Shield KC

Terry O'Toole

Transdev / Kansas City Transportation Group

Charlie Shields

Truman Medical Centers

Richard Baker

Starlight Theatre

Kevin Barth

Commerce Bank

Cindy Circo

Evergy

Howard Cohen

Retired

Michael Nguyen

BOK Financial

Sabrina Wiewel

Hallmark Cards, Inc.

Dean Newton

Delta Dental

Wendy Burgess

RDD Family Office

Elise Jones

Academy Bank

Augie Huber

A.L Huber General Contractor

Mandi Wright

Starlight Theatre

Aviva Ajmera

SoLVE KC

Jeff Carson

Enterprise Bank & Trust

Michael Condon

IMA Financial Group

Nikki Emison

North Kansas City Hospital/Emison Life Care Planning

Amy Guerich

Stepp & Rothwell

Robert Hingula

Polsinelli

Michael Knecht

AdventHealth

Michael Lanning

US Asset Services

Christopher Stine

JP Morgan Chase & Co

Angelo Trozzolo

Trozzolo Communications

Mark Van Dyne

Burns & McDonnell

Vanessa Vaughn West

Lathrop GPM

Eddy Whitley

Whitley Construction

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 08/12/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 07/20/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.