Arts, Culture, and Humanities

Heartland Sings, Inc.

  • Fort Wayne, IN
  • www.HeartlandSings.org

Mission Statement

Mission Statement:

Heartland provides access to the benefits of singing. Singing gives voice to the spirit, unity in community and access to self. On the forefront of the vocal music profession, Heartland strives for excellence and innovation in all concert productions, serves as a proactive resource for music education, advocates for the vocal arts and vocal artists, and is a catalyst for encouraging all citizens to sing. Heartland is Changing Lives through Song.

Vision Statement:
Heartland is a nationally competitive, regionally active and locally engaged non-profit vocal arts company staffed by a devoted and talented team of artists, staff, board of directors, donors and volunteers. The company strives for sustainability through a dynamic business model that provides an efficient framework for creating a wide variety of competitive artistic products, marketing and selling to target markets, and delivering products and services to multiple sales channels.

Main Programs

  1. Heartland Concert Productions
  2. Side by Side Educational Initiative
  3. Heartland Vocal Arts Institute
  4. Everybody Sing!
Service Areas

Self-reported

National

Heartland Sings, Inc. is headquartered in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  We principally serve Northeast Indiana and the region expanding out 225-miles from Fort Wayne. When touring, we serve various locations throughout the United States. 

ruling year

1990

President & Founding Artistic Director since 1997

Self-reported

Maestro Robert Nance

Keywords

Self-reported

Fort Wayne, Indiana, Northeast Indiana, Allen County, choir

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EIN

35-1733497

 Number

4283043617

Physical Address

1516 Leesburg Rd.

Fort Wayne, 46808 3939

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Music (A68)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (B01)

Professional Societies, Associations (W03)

IRS Filing Requirement

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

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

Heartland Sings, Inc. is a company of vocal artists and ensembles, who impact the communities it serves in the region by producing concerts that are both entertaining and culturally enriching. Performances are reasonably priced, and a significant number of civic and educational performances are presented free of admission.  The company has a proven track record of growth and good stewardship, marked by its entreprenurial spirit, living within its means, partnering with other area organizations to minimize overhead costs, bartering services, and partnering with donors to help the company generate revenue through sales thereby reserving their donations to underwrite programming that cannot (nor should not) be sold (e.g. educational programming, mission based programming, etc.).

Programs

Self-reported by organization

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

Program 1

Heartland Concert Productions

Heartland is the region's only professional vocal company serving as the resource for the art of choral music.  Now in their 20th season, Heartland has earned a reputation for artistic excellence performing a wide variety of programs that are entertaining and enriching.  The singers are adept at performing traditional classical literature, opera, musical theatre, gospel, contemporary, vocal jazz, new music premieres, and more.  Each production is unique, and may feature instruments from piano, harp or organ to full chamber orchestra.  Check out www.heartlandsings.org for details on the current season.

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

Adults

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

Budget

$320,000

Program 2

Side by Side Educational Initiative

Throughout the school year, Heartland partners with area high school and collegiate choral music programs for a nine-week period, during which time members of the Chorale work ‘side by side’ with students to prepare for an upcoming concert.  Students will be mentored by the Singers of the Chorale where they will experience professional-level preparation, rehearsals, and work ethic.

Heartland also auditions area students to perform with them on various subscription concerts.  Graduates of this program have gone on to earn advanced degrees in vocal performance and to join professional choruses in other areas.  Currently there are two singers in the ensemble who graduated from this intensive one on one side by side program.

The goal of this educational initiative is to demonstrate the value of singing, provide in-depth contact with professional performers who witness to the power of music and the vocal arts, and to give encouragement to students to preserve the art form as amateur or professional singers.

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities

Population(s) Served

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

Young Adults (20-25 years)

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Budget

$85,000

Program 3

Heartland Vocal Arts Institute

Heartland Vocal Arts Institute (HVAI) is an educational outreach program designed to comprehensively teach young singers about the vocal arts. Presented in numerous one or two-day seminars leading up to several multi-week intensives, the HVAI endeavors to give students experiences in the following ways: voice lessons, masterclasses, cross-genre training, mock auditions, movement, and information sessions on topics ranging from diction to vocal anatomy. By the end of each program, students will be familiar with classical, choral, musical theater, a cappella, and jazz singing. A strong focus on fundamental vocal technique and vocal health will prepare students for proficiency in all of these genres. Students will also learn about professions in the vocal arts, from arts administration to full-time performance. HVAI also includes performances by the students and typically ends with a professional performance side-by-side with Heartland Vocal Artists.

The HVAI is directed by Heartland Sings Artistic Staff, including Artistic Director Robert Nance, Associate Director Patricia Kennedy, and a combination of the full-time and part-time professional vocal artists from the company. Heartland Vocal Artists were selected in part because of their versatility; they are all classically trained (with degrees ranging from Bachelor to Doctoral) and have mastered all of the genres taught at the HVAI.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Budget

$75,000

Program 4

Everybody Sing!

The "Everybody Sing" initiative is Heartland's educational outreach program for children grades K-5. This program emphasizes singing as a language of communication that deepens one's understanding of the meaning of words. Our goal is to deliver an experience that shows how music deepens one's understanding of another person. The program is closely aligned with four of Indiana’s educational standards and allows students to interact with the singers by adding rhythmic accompaniments, singing with the group, and discussing the music. Teachers have found that the program has lasting impact upon their students and have appreciated the opportunity to have their students engaged in a meaningful experience such as this.

By introducing children to the value of singing, and singing music from various cultures, Everybody Sing provides needed early-age exposure to choral music. It is a culturally enriching program involving the art of song, which helps each student understand his or her own self-emotion and appreciate the importance of working together in community. During each presentation, Heartland singers perform for and interact with the students. Singers ask the students to interpret what they have heard. Not only are they listening to the words and pulling meaning from language, but they also are asked to concentrate on musical elements such as tone quality and dynamic level that convey meaning and allow for emotional interpretation. The ability to understand emotional meaning leads students to a deeper perception of their own emotional state. Once students have seen a demonstration of how music can lead to understanding their internal emotions, they are asked to join the professional singers (in front of their peers) and portray some of those emotions themselves. As they stand and sing with the professionals, students learn how each voice is unique unto itself and also is accountable to the whole of the chorus. This interplay of self and community is one of the foundations of choral music.

Heartland is always seeking opportunities to share this program with area schools. Visits are generally free to schools, particularly in at-risk neighborhoods; the initiative is funded with modest grants from donors and area foundations and is ongoing throughout the year until funding is depleted. If you would like to schedule a visit for your school, or if you would like to support Heartland's educational initiatives, please contact Maestro Nance at maestro@heartlandsings.org, or call Heartland’s office at 260.436.8080

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Budget

$20,000

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

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

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    The objective of our new Strategic Business Plan is to convert the management philosophy of Heartland from a “ Donor Dependent Non-Profit" to a “Revenue Producing Non-Profit" organization.

    We recognize that unless Heartland becomes more recognizable in our home and distant markets, provides more varied and frequent musical programs, engages a core group of full-time musicians and aggressively markets its musical products, the organization will not be able to grow and compete in the desired markets. These actions will allow Heartland to become viable and self-sustaining in the years to come.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    1) Secure financial support for growth objectives
    2) Hire 5 full time singers recruited nationally
    3) Increase Professional Staff as needed
    4) Create product lines (repertoire, programs, recordings, consulting, “how-to" materials, etc.) while developing marketing and sales channels
    5) Focus on market base expansion and visibility
    6) Create standards, training and protocols for a strategic management team to reach sales and retention goals
    7) Turn competitors into partners by planning and scheduling joint performances
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    Heartland is capable of creating quality vocal concerts across the choral and small ensemble medium. Our concert productions include large symphonic works with choir, chamber choral works, 17-piece jazz orchestra with singers, and a jazz quintet and combo. Heartland's new addition of eight full-time singers will add to our capabilities of producing these concert productions rapidly and performing throughout a larger region. Heartland operates throughout a 225 mile radius of Fort Wayne, Indiana.

    We have four full-time staff and four part-time staff, in addition to five full-time professional vocal artists, 32 part-time vocal artists, and 80+ volunteer vocal artists.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    We will measure success by tracking our fiscal growth over a three year strategic growth plan, starting in September of 2016. We are participating in several local, regional and national markets where we are competing for market share. This will help us establish a sustainable clientele, particularly in our market area that is within a 225-mile radius of Fort Wayne. We will measure our success by the success of programs performed, the increase in earned income, the growth in donors and grants, and the impact on the region we serve through educational outreach and concert productions.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    The objective of our Strategic Business Plan is to convert Heartland from a “non-profit organization" to a “revenue producing non-profit organization" by adopting the best business practices utilized by successful businesses.

    We are at the implementation phase of our strategic plan, having secured sufficient funding to sustain the company through a three year growth cycle, have put in place sufficient staff and vocal artists to create products and sell them effectively and efficiently in the marketplace, have several dynamic leadership boards (both local and regional) that connect our company to the various communities we serve in the region, and are constantly focused on partnering with many varied arts organizations, communities and businesses in our region to create products and generate income. All that remains to achieve success is to grow income as projected, balancing the budget in 3 years.
Service Areas

Self-reported

National

Heartland Sings, Inc. is headquartered in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  We principally serve Northeast Indiana and the region expanding out 225-miles from Fort Wayne. When touring, we serve various locations throughout the United States. 

Funding Needs

Heartland Sings is a company of professional vocal artists and ensembles.  Funding comes from donors that we call "Member Supporters", from ticket sales to concerts and a sundry of products like recordings, special events, educational programming, lessons, and more.  The Heartland performs special contract concerts throughout the season and serves a 225-mile radius of Fort Wayne, Indiana. Most of our educational services are provided to area students for little or no cost.  We regularly request support from grantors and foundations to underwrite the costs of providing educational programming.  Studies have shown for years that exposure to and participation in choral singing promote excellence in education, produce better citizenry and represent vibrant communities that grow.  Our mission includes serving as an educational resource, but more importantly to advocate for music and music education because of its clearly beneficial role in the community.  Educational funding is our top priority. Heartland is also in need of a building to provide services and to rehearse, record and perform. A building is a significant part of our strategic business plan and is a key to our long-term sustainability as a revenue producing non-profit company. Our goal is to transition from a donor dependent organization with only 15% earned income to a revenue producing company with 70% earned income, reserving the remaining 30% donor income to support educational programming.

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

Heartland Sings Inc
Fiscal year: Jul 01-Jun 30

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Operations

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

Heartland Sings, Inc.

Leadership

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President & Founding Artistic Director

Maestro Robert Nance

BIO

Maestro Robert Nance is a multi-talented musician who maintains a lively schedule as a conductor, keyboardist, teacher, composer, and arts advocate. A distinguished graduate of DePauw University School of Music and the Peabody Conservatory, he is the President and Artistic Director of the Heartland Sings, which he founded in 1997.

Robert has served as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts, a guest conductor of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and a performer on the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center. He has received many honors and awards, including the Indiana Arts Commission Individual Artist Fellowship. The Attitude Series recordings feature Robert's piano and organ performances, and his recent recording The Spirit of Christmas featuring Heartland Vocal Artists, is receiving rave reviews.

For more information, visit www.MaestroNance.com

STATEMENT FROM THE President & Founding Artistic Director

"Heartland Sings, Inc. is a professional company of vocal artists and ensembles, headquartered in Fort Wayne, Indiana and serving a 225-mile region in the midwest. Founded in 1997, Heartland has grown into the region's only professional company of vocal artists whose goal is to provide the means for the art and the artists who perform it to thrive. Those means are provided through a strategic business plan that focuses on earned income and donor partnerships that help the company grow.

Through the dedication of the board, donors, staff and members of the ensemble, this company of paid professional vocal artists has earned a solid reputation for professional performances, good stewardship and excellent collaborations with area corporations, educational institutions and civic government.  The company performs many civic and educational concerts for free, has a national reputation for their educational intiatives, and works diligently to find ways to earn income rather than rely upon donors as its principal source of operational income. 

I am proud to be the founding Artistic and Executive Director of this organization and grateful to our dedicated Board of Directors, our National, Regional and local Artistic Advisors, and our dedicated vocal artists who together work to maintain a professional artistic presence in the region.

Maestro Robert Nance"

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Ms. Denice Beights

Lincoln Financial Group

Term: July 2016 - June 2018

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD ORIENTATION & 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?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?


ORGANIZATIONAL DEMOGRAPHICS

In order to support nonprofits and gain valuable insight for the sector, GuideStar worked with D5—a five-year initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy—in creating a questionnaire. This section is a voluntary questionnaire that empowers organizations to share information on the demographics of who works in and leads organizations. To protect the identity of individuals, we do not display sexual orientation or disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff. Any values displayed in this section are percentages of the total number of individuals in each category (e.g. 20% of all Board members for X organization are female).

Gender
Race & Ethnicity
Sexual Orientation

This organization reports that it does not collect this information.

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Diversity Strategies
Yes
We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
Yes
We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
Yes
We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
Yes
We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
Yes
We have a diversity committee in place
No
We have a diversity manager in place
No
We have a diversity plan
No
We use other methods to support diversity