Acadiana Center for the Arts

Fostering art and culture in Acadiana.

aka AcA   |   Lafayette, LA   |
GuideStar Charity Check

Acadiana Center for the Arts

EIN: 51-0138288


Our “Why”: Because the arts bring joy and happiness to people. Art enriches our lives. Culture makes our region what it is. Mission: AcA's mission is "Fostering art and culture in Acadiana." Core Values: Community Culture Education Inclusion Guiding Principles: Sharing a message of belonging and hospitality. Building a sustainable cultural ecosystem. Ensuring equitable access to the arts. Creating elevated arts experiences. Vision: We envision an Acadiana that thrives because people from all walks of life are inspired to participate in a dynamic cultural life where everyone can feel that they belong thanks to the efforts of the regional arts council.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Samuel Oliver

Main address

101 W. Vermilion St.

Lafayette, LA 70501 USA

Show more contact info



Subject area info

Arts and culture


Community and economic development

Population served info

Children and youth



Artists and performers

NTEE code info

Arts, Cultural Organizations - Multipurpose (A20)

Management & Technical Assistance (S02)

Public Foundations (T30)

IRS subsection

501(c)(3) Public Charity

IRS filing requirement

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

Tax forms


What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

We envision an Acadiana that thrives because people from all walks of life are inspired to participate in a dynamic cultural life where everyone can feel that they belong thanks to the efforts of the regional arts council.

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?

Arts in Education

AcA serves 24,078 students in 79 schools through eight distinct arts education programs. This service comes in the form of more than 5,000 sessions with visual and creative movement teaching artists in the Primary Academic and Creative Experiences (PACE) program in Lafayette Parish, 3,570 arts enrichment classes in Vermilion Parish, 63 unique in-school performances, and 303 sessions in the Teaching Artist Program in both Lafayette and St. Landry Parish schools.

AcA engages thousands of attendees during its Student Arts Expo, which features dozens of performances and exhibitions in two parishes. AcA hosts 90+ school field trips, (Art Experiences), and 15 week-long Summer Camps with a variety of creative and arts focuses, including two weeks of trauma-informed creative movement for young people from migrant, homeless, and foster families.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Launched in 2022, Creative Acadiana is AcA’s program that provides financial literacy and entrepreneurship skills training to artists, musicians, craftspeople, and all classes of creative professionals in Acadiana. Through each “semester” of this program, creative entrepreneurs become more sustainable in their business practices, helping strengthen the cultural identity that makes Acadiana a unique and vibrant place to live and work.

As part of this work, AcA presents an open grant for creatives to receive targeted investment to elevate their professional practice though limited project-based funding. These funds are available to creative entrepreneurs at emerging, mid-career, and mature levels of their career and aim to provide support for a catalytic step in their professional advancement and self-sustainability.

Population(s) Served

From its home at the intimate 300-seat James Devin Moncus Theater, AcA presents a year-round schedule of world class performers through several distinct series, including comedy, chamber music, theatre, dance, and national touring music.

The Louisiana Crossroads series, which celebrated its 20th Anniversary Season in 2020, presents special one-night-only concerts featuring artists with a musical connection that ties back to Louisiana and an on-stage interview with the series Host and Curator Roddie Romero.

Population(s) Served

The AcA’s exhibition programs present large- and small-scale exhibitions of local, national, and internationally significant artists in all media and influences. AcA has a strong focus on BIPOC representation in its exhibitions, aiming to serve the Acadiana community with an inclusive message that reflects the diversity of the region.

AcA's galleries are free and open to the public daily and are the central focus of the monthly Second Saturday ArtWalk in Downtown Lafayette.

Population(s) Served
Artists and performers
Artists and performers
Artists and performers
Ethnic and racial groups

Where we work

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.

The following bullets summarize hopes for what reality will be for AcA and Acadiana come 2030:

Acadiana, a region that is recognized nationally for its multicultural artistic heritage and its robust pipeline of diverse artists and musicians.

Acadiana, a place where young people have art and culture embedded in their education, serving as a national example of innovation and success.

Lafayette, a welcoming beacon and hub for people who care about creativity and culture in the South.

Lafayette Arts District, a place that is recognized nationally for providing a vibrant and culturally inclusive experience for visitors.

AcA, the right people in the right roles, with the support and resources they need to drive the work we do.

1-A Invest in Artists: Grow the AcA’s programs that invest in individual artists in order to ensure that these opportunities for artists, musicians, and creatives of all kinds are well known and effectively grow, attract, and retain creative talent in our region.

1-B Serving Black, Indigenous, and People of Color Communities: Build the capacity of BIPOC communities to create sustainable and inclusive programming that drives a deeper understanding of Acadiana unique people.

2-A Expand the Arts in Education Program to include all Eight Parishes: Ensure arts experiences for all students in public schools throughout the eight-parish region through AcA’s Arts in Education program.

2-B Develop a College-Affiliated Teaching Artist Certification Program Create a college-affiliated Teaching Artist Certification Program in Acadiana that builds AcA’s workforce and serves as a national model for inclusive development of teaching artists.

3-A Build Programs for our Target Audiences Expand AcA's audience through intentional programming and outreach efforts in order to build deep connections with diverse populations in the City of Lafayette.

3-B Connect People to our Mission and Programs Tell powerful stories that excite people to engage with AcA's diverse programs.

3-C Signature Events Develop AcA’s Signature Events around target audiences to drive both fundraising and community awareness.

3-D Membership Engagement Ensure AcA members and potential members are excited to engage in driving AcA's mission and to enjoy the benefits of their time and support.

4-A Creative Placemaking in the Heart of Lafayette Expand AcA’s impact on the community through new ventures in the built environment, placing the AcA at the center of a vibrant and inclusive "Lafayette Arts District".

4-B Preserving Louisiana's Rich Culture through Music Build a world-class facility, the Louisiana Music Museum, to solidify AcA’s position as the center of Lafayette’s arts district, showcasing and preserving Louisiana’s contributions to the music industry.

5-A Build Annual Support and Resources Streamline process, schedule, and planning to maximize annual and multi-year giving in support of AcA's core programs.

5-B Inspire Catalytic Investments Develop a comprehensive case for the arts to achieve catalytic investments from capital and planned giving strategies.

5-C Year-Round Board Development Ensure that board members have the training, backgrounds, and knowledge needed to guide the AcA’s strategic priorities.

5-D Invest in a Culture of Growth among Staff AcA's diverse professional staff should be highly sought after as future leaders of cultural organi

Founded in 1975, the AcA is a well developed organization with a professional staff and well established relationships with the public entities within the region, including the Lafayette Consolidated Government, the State of Louisiana, the Lafayette Convention and Visitors Commission, the Lafayette Economic Development Authority, the Downtown Development Authority, the Lafayette Parish School System, the St. Landry Parish School System, and the Vermilion Parish School System. AcA is additionally supported in this work by private citizens, foundations, and corporations that sponsor programs year-round.

AcA began this strategic plan in 2022. There will be annual updates based on the plan beginning in fall 2023.

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

    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

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

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time


Acadiana Center for the Arts
Fiscal year: Jul 01 - Jun 30
Financial documents
2022 AcA Audit - FY22 2021 Audit FY21
done  Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant. info

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Liquidity in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 3.98 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 0.9 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 0% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Acadiana Center for the Arts

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Acadiana Center for the Arts

Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Acadiana Center for the Arts

Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of Acadiana Center for the Arts’s financial trends applies Nonprofit Finance Fund® analysis to data hosted by GuideStar. While it highlights the data that matter most, remember that context is key – numbers only tell part of any story.

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Business model indicators

Profitability info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation -$170,495 $144,194 -$234,045 $722,436 -$68,211
As % of expenses -5.8% 6.4% -12.7% 46.0% -2.5%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation -$177,027 $136,152 -$242,138 $714,126 -$79,360
As % of expenses -6.0% 6.1% -13.1% 45.2% -2.9%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $2,767,587 $2,128,318 $1,624,237 $2,244,207 $2,734,982
Total revenue, % change over prior year 5.7% -23.1% -23.7% 38.2% 21.9%
Program services revenue 33.2% 21.9% 13.9% 23.8% 33.7%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 1.3% 1.1% -2.7% 2.2% 0.9%
Government grants 21.5% 27.1% 32.8% 19.8% 8.2%
All other grants and contributions 36.6% 38.7% 44.9% 25.8% 26.9%
Other revenue 7.3% 11.3% 11.1% 28.4% 30.4%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $2,941,082 $2,237,324 $1,845,032 $1,570,329 $2,693,697
Total expenses, % change over prior year 24.4% -23.9% -17.5% -14.9% 71.5%
Personnel 27.0% 31.4% 37.9% 44.5% 34.6%
Professional fees 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Occupancy 11.1% 11.5% 11.7% 16.6% 9.0%
Interest 0.1% 0.1% 0.1% 0.1% 0.1%
Pass-through 6.7% 8.3% 10.2% 5.2% 8.8%
All other expenses 55.2% 48.7% 40.1% 33.7% 47.4%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Total expenses (after depreciation) $2,947,614 $2,245,366 $1,853,125 $1,578,639 $2,704,846
One month of savings $245,090 $186,444 $153,753 $130,861 $224,475
Debt principal payment $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Fixed asset additions $16,226 $0 $0 $0 $617,692
Total full costs (estimated) $3,208,930 $2,431,810 $2,006,878 $1,709,500 $3,547,013

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Months of cash 0.4 0.7 1.0 2.4 2.7
Months of cash and investments 4.9 5.6 5.9 8.8 6.0
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 0.3 1.1 -0.2 5.3 0.0
Balance sheet composition info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Cash $108,671 $121,472 $149,803 $319,473 $598,083
Investments $1,085,317 $921,153 $751,444 $828,175 $750,926
Receivables $43,812 $65,426 $61,541 $654,141 $131,521
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $58,763 $58,763 $60,605 $60,605 $678,297
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 35.0% 49.5% 59.6% 73.3% 8.2%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 19.7% 19.9% 30.9% 23.3% 35.7%
Unrestricted net assets $101,565 $237,717 -$4,421 $709,705 $630,345
Temporarily restricted net assets $4,950 $1,750 N/A N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $1,000,000 $750,000 N/A N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $1,004,950 $751,750 $765,000 $779,426 $794,210
Total net assets $1,106,515 $989,467 $760,579 $1,489,131 $1,424,555

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Material data errors No No No No No


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

Letter of Determination is not available for this organization
Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

Executive Director

Samuel Oliver

Samuel Oliver is a Louisiana-based nonprofit executive with experience leading museums, performing arts centers, and cultural development agencies. Oliver has served as the executive director of the Acadiana Center for the Arts since 2018, where he heads the regional arts council’s operations, fundraising, and programming. Prior to joining the AcA, Oliver served as the assistant director of the Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans, and as an arts officer for the City of Edinburgh Council, UK, office of cultural development. In these roles, Oliver developed a professional practice as a researcher and advocate for data-driven decision-making and cultural policy and has managed large-scale grants and capital projects. Oliver holds a B.A. from Louisiana State University, an M.A. in Arts and Cultural Management from Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, and a Certificate in Cultural Diplomacy from the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy, Berlin. He is a fellow of the Salzburg Global Seminar;

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990

Acadiana Center for the Arts

Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization

There are no highest paid employees recorded for this organization.

Acadiana Center for the Arts

Board of directors
as of 02/27/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Dr. Ronald Daigle

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 ? Yes
  • 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? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 2/27/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/03/2020

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

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • 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 disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • 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 use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • 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.