Arts, Culture, and Humanities

Mercury Houston- The Orchestra Redefined

  • Houston, TX
  • www.MercuryHouston.org

Mission Statement

To serve the community by celebrating the power of music, Baroque and beyond, teaching, sharing and performing with passion, intimacy and excellence.

Main Programs

  1. Downtown Series
  2. Education Programs
  3. Neighborhood/Community Concerts
  4. Touring
  5. Annual Gala
Service Areas

Self-reported

Texas

Mercury performs in Houston, Texas and in its surrounding communities. Our Downtown Series is performed in the Cullen Theater at the Wortham Theater Center, and we currently perform in five other neighborhood venues regularly. Those include The Woodlands, The Heights, Memorial, Museum District, and Clear Lake. Mercury has toured internationally to Ecuador and France .

ruling year

2001

Principal Officer

Self-reported

Mr. Brian Ritter

Keywords

Self-reported

Baroque Chamber Orchestra Music Instrumental

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EIN

76-0663007

 Number

3968385285

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Music (A68)

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?

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

Downtown Series

Mercury’s core performance activities include our acclaimed Downtown Series at the Cullen Theater in The Wortham Center. Mercury's broad repertoire represents a variety of musical styles and periods to engage both the early music purist and those looking beyond the Baroque. The orchestra continues to attract new audiences, redefining the expectations of classical music through an approachable, fresh interpretation using period-instruments – giving us our unique and signature sound. Due to the strength of our musicians, program and leadership, Mercury’s core audience has grown 40% in three years. Our performance offerings have expanded in geography and content, reaching more of Houston than ever with original productions such as our wildly-successful staged work, The Crimson Prince of Venice, in January 2015. We strive to continue this growth and to reach out to new communities.

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

Adults

Disabled, General or Disability Unspecified

Budget

$225,000.00

Program 2

Education Programs

Mercury’s education programs connect more than 3,000 children, many of them at-risk, to music each year with content designed to engage young minds musically and critically while featuring opportunities for key interaction with Mercury’s musicians. Programs include Mercury’s award-winning partnership with charter school YES Prep West, initiated in 2011 and a growing series of in-school workshops presented at Title I schools. Mercury recognizes that learning doesn’t end when a child grows up. Through regular pre-concert lectures, adult audience-members can broaden their enjoyment of the concert through a deeper understanding of not only the music but the socio-historical background of the composer and their works.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Budget

$25,000.00

Program 3

Neighborhood/Community Concerts

Beginning in the 2012-13 season, Mercury presents a series of neighborhood concerts located in venues across the Houston community. These neighborhood concerts offer world-class performances that are both affordably priced and conveniently located, allowing Houston audiences to experience Mercury’s world-class performances of beautiful music in a casual, family-friendly environment. The neighborhood series features hour-long performances in 4 unique Houston neighborhoods three times a year: The Woodlands, Midtown, Memorial and the Museum District. Mercury also performs annually at Miller Outdoor Theatre, reaching over 8,000 people and around the community in other concerts such as a five-concert series at University of Houston-Clear Lake.

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

Budget

$20,000.00

Program 4

Touring

Mercury serves as a cultural ambassador for Houston's vibrant arts scene touring nationally and internationally. Past opportunities took Mercury to Ecuador’s Teatro Bolivar for tango and Vivaldi, and to Paris, France taking Lully’s opera Armide home. The near-future brings Mercury to Atlanta, Georgia for a restaging of A World Without Limits, collaborating with CORE Dance. The orchestra's critically-acclaimed recordings are also a powerful tool, building another bridge between Mercury and listeners anywhere, be they in the Inner Loop of Houston or far outside of Texas. Across the world, Mercury is winning the hearts of audiences and critics with its passionate enthusiasm and artistic excellence, and proving Houston is a culturally-rich place to visit and live.

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

Budget

$15,000.00

Program 5

Annual Gala

Mercury both enjoys and relies on the generous support of the community in order to bring our beautiful music to the stages and schools of Houston and positively impact the lives of our listeners both at home and abroad. One of the most popular methods of supporting the orchestra has been our annual gala. For the last four years, Mercury’s annual galas have become synonymous with fun and philanthropy: beautiful and elegant events that help raise funds in support of Mercury’s noble mission. Mercury’s galas feature mouth-watering meals, delicious wine, incredible live and silent auctions and spectacular entertainment. Auction items have ranged from gift certificates to the hottest restaurants to trips aboard private jets. Guests enjoy dancing and the opportunity to hear a live performance by Mercury. Mercury’s galas have helped raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to help Mercury serve and inspire the community.

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

Budget

$25,000.00

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 Mercury Baroque Ensemble, now called Mercury, was founded in 2001 with the goal of enriching and entertaining Houston audiences. Today, that ensemble has blossomed into a chamber orchestra, reaching thousands across Houston and garnering critical acclaim around the world through its innovative and accessible performances, domestic and international tours, and groundbreaking music education programs.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    Not available.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    Not available.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    Not available.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    Not available.
Service Areas

Self-reported

Texas

Mercury performs in Houston, Texas and in its surrounding communities. Our Downtown Series is performed in the Cullen Theater at the Wortham Theater Center, and we currently perform in five other neighborhood venues regularly. Those include The Woodlands, The Heights, Memorial, Museum District, and Clear Lake. Mercury has toured internationally to Ecuador and France .

Social Media

External Reviews

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Financials

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

The Mercury Baroque Ensemble
Fiscal year: Jul 01-Jun 30

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Operations

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

Mercury Houston- The Orchestra Redefined

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone and website
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2014
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Principal Officer

Mr. Brian Ritter

STATEMENT FROM THE Principal Officer

"The Mercury Baroque Ensemble was founded in 2000 as an intimate period-instrument chamber orchestra with a goal to enrich and entertain Houston audiences. The orchestra's repertoire expanded in recent seasons to include works outside of the Baroque era but Mercury continues its tradition of bringing music to life on period instruments. Now in its 15th Season, Mercury performs over fifty concerts a year, reaching more than 20,000 people across greater Houston. Performances include the world-class Downtown series at the Wortham Center and a Neighborhood Series, bringing intimate chamber performances to four Houston neighborhoods. With Antoine Plante, founder and Artistic Director at the helm, Mercury garners critical acclaim with an approachable and fresh interpretation of classical music. Mercury also positively impacts the lives of more than 3,000 young Houstonians each year through award-winning music education programs including its YES Prep West partnership and in-school workshops. Through the years, Mercury has blossomed and its cultural connections within the extended Houston community have deepened, firmly establishing it as a musical icon of the city’s vibrant culture."

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Mr. Stephen Wallace

Westchase Chemicals

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization

Yes

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?

Yes

BOARD PERFORMANCE

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