Folly Theater

Enhancing Lives Through the Power of the Arts

aka Folly Theater   |   Kansas City, MO   |
GuideStar Charity Check

Folly Theater

EIN: 43-6054615


Vision Statement: To be a world-class venue for the performing arts and community programs...engaging, inspiring and entertaining diverse audiences. Mission Statement: To preserve Kansas City's oldest historic theater as a premier performance venue, we commit to maintain our building's heritage, diversify our program and entertainment offerings, and be an enthusiastic participant in the continuing revitalization of downtown Kansas City.

Notes from the nonprofit

The past three years have been challenging for the Folly Theater, as it has been for most performing arts organizations across the country. Audience levels have slowly improved since we re-opened after the COVID pandemic, but they are still well below 2019-20 levels. During this time, we invested over $4.2 million in capital improvements to enhance patron comfort and the patron and artist experience. We have invested in significant technology upgrades, new theater seats, carpet, lighting, lounge and bar facilities, restroom upgrades, and dressing room improvements. We are also investing in new programming and marketing strategies to engage diverse audiences and to create a more inclusive, equitable, and welcoming space for everyone.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Mr. Rick Truman

Main address

1020 Central, Suite 200

Kansas City, MO 64105 USA

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Formerly known as

Standard Theater

Century Theater

Shuberts Missouri Theater

Folly Burlesque

Folly Theater



Subject area info

Performing arts



Population served info

Children and youth




Non-adult children

NTEE code info

Performing Arts Centers (A61)

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (B12)

Nonprofit Management (S50)

What we aim to solve

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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?

Preservation of the Historic Folly Theater

At the forefront of our mission is our stewardship role as the painstaking caretaker and preserver of the 120 year old historic Folly Theater, which truly is an irreplaceable community asset. Without question, building overhead and maintenance costs represent our greatest challenge as a non-profit organization, as well as wanting to build our staff to increase our capabilities.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

The Folly Kids’ Series presents professional, nationally-touring children’s theater companies, as well as collaborations with other local arts organizations in order to serve the educational, social, and cultural needs of the community. The Series is a valuable asset to the education community, providing a rich arts experience tied to curricula: literature, social studies, and history. Because the series also entertains, the joys of knowledge and learning present themselves in new ways to school children extending their education beyond the performances on stage. Many of the students who participate in the Folly Kids Series, some as young as Kindergarten and First Grade, have never stepped inside a true theater nor experienced live entertainment.  These performances can be transformational experiences for these children.  Currently, the Folly is in meetings with many of the organizations in Kansas City in order to incorporate STEAM into our Kids' Programming offerings.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

The Folly regularly presents national-level jazz artists who perform  with their own working groups in an intimate, acoustically-superior concert setting. Joe Klopus of The Kansas City Star described the Folly Jazz Series as "The area's premier jazz concert series." The Folly Jazz Series includes a selection of artists which provide a balance of innovation and tradition, presenting both veteran artists as well as younger, emerging artists who have established themselves at the national level. Downbeat Magazine has named the Folly Theater "one of the 150 best jazz venues in the world".

Population(s) Served

Since 2006, the Folly has hosted Cyprus Avenue Live at the Folly, in conjunction with partner radio station and NPR affiliate KCUR 89.3, and with host Bill Shapiro. Mr. Shapiro retired in 2018, and the Folly has created a new potential partnership for programming, including an Americana Series with KTBG - The Bridge, radio station, and is talking to former partner KCUR about the creation of a new series partnership.

Population(s) Served

The historic Folly Theater serves the Kansas City community as an important host venue for many events. The Folly is available for performances, benefits, recitals, business functions, award presentations, and all special occasion gatherings. The Folly possesses an intimate performance space with world-class acoustics and state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems, all of which serve to enhance the many events that take place each year. It is occupied by rental clients approximately 120+ nights a year.

Population(s) Served

Where we work


National Register of Historic Places - Listed Property 1981


2023 "Outstanding Historic Theatre" 2023

League of Historic American Theatres

Affiliations & memberships

League of Historic American Theatres 2013

Nonprofit Connect of Greater Kansas City 2013

Chamber of Commerce 2014

Americana Music Association 2019

Greater Kansas City Attractions Association 2018

National Independent Venue Association 2021

KC Culture Cares 2021

ArtsKC 2012

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 Folly Theater's primary strategic goals are: 1. Elevate the Folly's historic integrity with improvements that modernize the facility in order to improve and enhance the patron and artist experience; 2. Actively cultivate an inclusive culture of diversity, creativity, and enthusiasm so that everyone feels represented by the artists on our stage and a sense of belonging; and 3. Achieve and manage sustainable financial results.

We have for several years embarked on the Folly 2020 Campaign, and currently have approximately $950,000 in Endowment Funds, and $2.5 million in Capital Funds, which has been utilized to enhance and update our lobby spaces and Shareholders Rooms and install an entirely new HVAC system.  We have created a leadership team who have helped us designate funding support, and have approached those funders.  We have been successful in achieving our current goal of updating the downstairs lobby spaces, restrooms, bar area, HVAC system and Patron's Lounge and are now embarking on Phase II fundraising for the replacement of the theater seats, refurbishing the upstairs lobby space, restrooms and bar area, newly refurbished dressing rooms for our artists and a new stage curtain, which will cost approximately $2.7 million. In addition, during COVID, the theater had to shut down, and we utilized this time to come up with options to create a safe and healthy environment for our patrons, staff, volunteers, crew and artists when we could return to doing performances. Some of the enhancements: new filters, upgraded cleaning protocols, different entry points to avoid congestion, no bar service (for the time being), touchless ticketing, plexiglass for box office, enforced mask-wearing, social distancing signage in restrooms, and on floors, and more.

Although we are a small organization (6 full time paid staff), we have strong board support and community support for the Folly Theater.  Our Development Director, Brian Williams is strategically mapping out our approach with myself and the Folly 2020 leadership team in order to accomplish our goals. We are fortunate to have several key community funders who have continued to support the Folly through the years, due to our demonstration of success in achieving our goals. We have also now added new board members (for a total of 20 board members) to our team, with additional contacts in the community, and knowledge of the arts.

As with any historic facility, there are always opportunities for improvements. Unfortunately, during COVID, we had to delay our Phase II renovation plans, but we now are working toward our Capital Campaign goals in order to do this project in summer of 2022. At that time, we look forward to installing new theater seating in the future for more comfort for our patrons, refurbished (original) wood floors, new carpeting, new lighting, enhanced and updated dressing rooms for our world-class artists, an updated mezzanine lobby to enhance the patron experience, and updated directional signage.
We have accomplished installing a new HVAC system (the first since 1981), and refurbishing and updating our downstairs lobby spaces, restrooms and bar area and  installing a new elevator to the Patron's Lounge.
The Folly is working towards Phase II of our renovation, which would include new seats, carpeting, an updated bar, lobby and restroom area on the balcony level, updated dressing rooms, stage curtains. Due to the coronovirus, the Folly has had to put these plans on hold temporarily, but will be moving forward on our fundraising plan in 2021.
We have also installed two Thomas Hart Benton reproductions in our theater lobby, thanks to the Richard J Stern Foundation for the Arts, Commerce Bank, Trustee, , which highlights the Folly's burlesque history and brings alive the lobby space.

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 shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • 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, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

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

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • 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, It is difficult to get honest feedback from the people we serve

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 6.69 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 10.6 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 20% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Folly Theater

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Folly Theater

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

Folly Theater

Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of Folly Theater’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 $779,140 $1,551,528 $44,513 $1,220,355 $762,650
As % of expenses 71.5% 139.5% 4.7% 171.9% 68.5%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation $644,032 $1,364,941 -$153,755 $1,018,736 $563,992
As % of expenses 52.6% 105.1% -13.3% 111.8% 43.0%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $2,345,323 $1,262,178 $950,293 $2,281,469 $5,257,403
Total revenue, % change over prior year 6.4% -46.2% -24.7% 140.1% 130.4%
Program services revenue 8.1% 16.7% 12.1% 0.4% 2.1%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 1.4% 4.2% 4.8% 4.6% 2.8%
Government grants 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 12.4%
All other grants and contributions 77.0% 52.3% 60.3% 91.4% 76.2%
Other revenue 13.5% 26.7% 22.9% 3.5% 6.5%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $1,090,353 $1,112,096 $956,631 $709,942 $1,113,389
Total expenses, % change over prior year 19.0% 2.0% -14.0% -25.8% 56.8%
Personnel 42.3% 45.7% 50.0% 59.9% 47.1%
Professional fees 2.7% 2.9% 2.9% 3.5% 2.9%
Occupancy 18.4% 12.3% 14.2% 11.6% 14.0%
Interest 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Pass-through 0.0% 2.2% 0.2% 0.0% 1.0%
All other expenses 36.5% 36.9% 32.8% 24.9% 34.9%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Total expenses (after depreciation) $1,225,461 $1,298,683 $1,154,899 $911,561 $1,312,047
One month of savings $90,863 $92,675 $79,719 $59,162 $92,782
Debt principal payment $0 $0 $0 $94 $77,089
Fixed asset additions $875,689 $1,675,439 $0 $0 $562,535
Total full costs (estimated) $2,192,013 $3,066,797 $1,234,618 $970,817 $2,044,453

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Months of cash 5.0 2.7 5.6 7.9 42.4
Months of cash and investments 27.8 13.4 19.5 49.8 68.6
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 1.4 0.0 2.7 22.8 15.8
Balance sheet composition info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Cash $453,545 $250,697 $446,001 $467,455 $3,930,641
Investments $2,074,939 $992,662 $1,106,877 $2,477,903 $2,437,573
Receivables $407,204 $131,877 $69,997 $245,163 $231,545
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $8,492,565 $10,168,004 $10,230,787 $10,320,724 $10,880,883
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 54.1% 47.0% 48.7% 50.2% 49.4%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 1.7% 1.2% 5.8% 4.1% 4.6%
Unrestricted net assets $4,023,088 $5,388,029 $5,234,274 $6,253,010 $6,817,002
Temporarily restricted net assets $1,742,877 $308,517 N/A N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $958,778 $991,692 N/A N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $2,701,655 $1,300,209 $1,249,358 $1,767,796 $4,748,136
Total net assets $6,724,743 $6,688,238 $6,483,632 $8,020,806 $11,565,138

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.

Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

Executive Director

Mr. Rick Truman

Rick joined as Executive Director in January 2022. From 2003 to 2021, Truman served as Managing Director of Quality Hill Playhouse. He holds a Master in Public Administration from the Bloch School of Business and Public Administration at UMKC and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Avila University. In addition, Truman performed or stage directed at Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Musical Theater Heritage, Spinning Tree Theatre, Coterie Theatre, and Unicorn Theatre.

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990

Folly Theater

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.

Folly Theater

Board of directors
as of 11/09/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Ms. Hoang-Anh Tran

UMB Financial Corporation

Term: 2022 - 2024

Mark Eagleton

Southern Bank

Richard Starks

Waddell & Reed (ret.)

Stacy Purvis

PNC Bank

Steve Paddock

Nokia (ret.)

Sara Welch

Stinson LLP

Hoang-Anh Tran


Fred Nelson

Andrews McMeel

Michael Gonzales

NE&E Consulting

Josue Montes

1 Dapper Latino

Anna Bazan Munguia

Big Brothers Big Sisters

Jasmine Thompson

Pirates Bone

Kim Jones

Seyferth, Blumenthal & Harris, LLC

Mark Carlson, M.D.

Covanos, Inc.

Bill Coughlin

George K. Baum (retired)

Debbie Scott Williams

Community Volunteer

Megan Whitman

BRR Architecture

John Wood

City of Kansas City, MO (retired)

David Bock

J.E. Dunn Construction

Dr. Karenbeth Zacharias

University of St. Mary

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 11/6/2023

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
Gay, lesbian, bisexual, or other sexual orientations in the LGBTQIA+ community
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation


Equity strategies

Last updated: 11/06/2023

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 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 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.