Arts, Culture, and Humanities

Houston Ballet Foundation

  • Houston, TX
  • http://www.houstonballet.org

Mission Statement

To inspire a lasting love and appreciation for dance through artistic excellence, exhilarating performances, innovative choreography and superb educational programs.

In furtherance of our mission, we are committed to maintaining and enhancing our status as:

•A classically trained company with a diverse repertory whose range includes the classics as well as contemporary works.


•A company that attracts the world's best dancers and choreographers and provides them with an environment where they can thrive and further develop the art form.


•An international company that is accessible to broad and growing local, national, and international audiences.


•A company with a world-class Academy that provides first rate instruction for professional dancers and meaningful programs for non-professional dancers.


•A company with state-of-the-art facilities for performances, rehearsals and ongoing operations.

Main Programs

  1. 2016-2017 season
  2. Houston Ballet's Education and Community Engagement Programs
  3. Performances and National/ International Touring
  4. Dance for Parkinson's
  5. Houston Ballet Academy
Service Areas

Self-reported

International

Over the last ten years, the company has emerged as one the most effective international ambassadors for the City of Houston, performing in London, New York, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Toronto, Montreal, The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, and most recently Hamburg, Germany, & Melbourne, Australia.

ruling year

1957

Executive Director

Self-reported

Mr. James Nelson

Artistic Director

Self-reported

Mr. Stanton Welch AM

Keywords

Self-reported

ballet, dance, Houston, arts, education, performing arts

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Also Known As

Houston Ballet

EIN

74-1394920

 Number

0628193203

Physical Address

601 Preston Street

Houston, 77002

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Other Art, Culture, Humanities Organizations/Services N.E.C. (A99)

Ballet (A63)

Performing Arts Schools (A6E)

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

Through hard work and dedication, Houston Ballet Foundation has ensured Houston Ballet's place as a major cultural asset in the community and as one of the leading ballet companies in the world. Over the last ten years, the company has emerged as one the most effective international ambassadors for the city of Houston, performing in New York, Spain, Los Angeles, Montreal, Paris, Melbourne, Hamburg, and The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Since its founding in 1955, Houston Ballet Academy has provided the highest quality ballet training for those enrolled. Through various programs, the Academy trains over 1,000 students a year. It offers training for students from their first introduction to movement through professional studies. The Academy's outstanding faculty includes teachers who have performed with prestigious companies throughout the world. The Academy also serves non-professional-track students as well as individuals with mobility limitations.

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

2016-2017 season

Many new works – including one World premiere, one American premiere, and five Houston Ballet premieres – will enter Houston Ballet’s repertoire during our 47th annual season. The season will launch in September with Director’s Choice: American Ingenuity, our fall mixed repertory program, featuring three quintessential American dance works by world-renowned artists: George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, and William Forsythe. Often considered the father of 20th century American ballet, George Balanchine’s iconic neoclassical style is exemplified in his revered work Theme and Variations, a glorious work performed by twelve women and one principal couple. Also featured in this program are two Houston Ballet premiere works: the dynamic Other Dances by Jerome Robbins, and William Forsythe’s dramatic and thrilling Artifact Suite, performed to haunting music by Johann Sebastian Bach and Eva Crossman-Hecht. Later in September, Houston Ballet’s program Fragile Beauty opens with the Houston Ballet premiere of Artistic Director Stanton Welch’s, Son of Chamber Symphony, a choreographic deconstruction of classical ballet set to music by John Adams. To close this program will be Mr. Welch’s own beautiful and compelling story ballet Madame Butterfly.

November-December 2016 will mark the highlight of Houston Ballet’s 2016-2017 season with the World Premiere of Stanton Welch’s The Nutcracker. Houston Ballet is thrilled to bring this one-of-a-kind production to life – with fresh costumes, scenery, and additional character roles. This beloved holiday classic tradition caters to the whole family, and is an important gateway ballet for many audience members. Further, December 2, 2016 Houston Ballet will present Jubilee of Dance, a one-night-only event showcasing the depth and range of the company in a program of premieres and high-energy excerpts from signature works and beloved classics.

In March 2017, Houston Ballet will revive Stanton Welch’s delightful staging of Cinderella, set to music by Sergei Prokofiev. This story is loved by many generations, and will excite audiences with a transformed and empowered Cinderella – a striking woman of substance, determination, and spunk. Also in March, we will present the spring mixed repertory, Director’s Choice: Legends and Prodigy, an international program full of the abstract and contemporary by established and emerging leading artists in the industry. Featured is Hans van Manen’s stark and electrifying Grosse Fugue, showcasing Houston Ballet’s strong male lineup and proves unequivocally why he is Holland’s most famous choreographer; and two Houston Ballet premieres: Jiří Kylián’s beautifully moving Stepping Stones, and choreographic prodigy Justin Peck’s dynamic and fun Year of the Rabbit.

May will mark another highpoint of the 2016-2017 season when Houston Ballet hosts the American premiere of acclaimed British choreographer David Bintley’s fantastical new work The Tempest, in celebration of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. Mr. Bintley is considered one of the most important figures in ballet today, and his newest work exemplifies that. Set to the commissioned score of Sally Beamish, this production is a combination of stormy and sweet as it recounts Shakespeare’s supernatural tale of drama, passion, and love. Houston Ballet’s 2016-2017 season concludes in June with the return of Stanton Welch’s colorful and luxurious La Bayadère (“The Temple Dancer”). La Bayadère tells the story of Nikiya the temple dancer, her lover Solor, and the vengeance that keeps them apart. A colorful version of the Russian classic, this lavish production depicting the jungles of India is sure to mesmerize audiences of all ages.

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

None

Budget

Program 2

Houston Ballet's Education and Community Engagement Programs

Houston Ballet is committed to inspiring a lifelong love of the arts, educating youth about the art of dance, and extending the depth of our outreach to the diverse populations of Houston and the surrounding area. Houston Ballet’s Education and Community Engagement initiatives include programs that bring Kindergarten- through twelfth-grade students into our theater and studios, as well as programs that go directly into schools and community facilities to educate and inspire. Currently Houston Ballet’s Education and Community Engagement programs consist of: Adapted Dance, Autism-Friendly My First Ballet, Ballet Talks, Chance to Dance, Guest Speaking, Dance to Learn, Dance Talks, Learning from the Masters, Studio Series, Student Matinees, Teacher Workshops, and X3: Explore, Extend, Excel.

We strive to provide accessible high-quality dance education that engages a diversified youth audience, and inspires creativity, critical thinking, communication, and physical fitness. Furthermore, our focus is serving children who are deemed economically disadvantaged, by targeting schools with 75 percent or more children who receive reduced/free lunch. In order to provide equal opportunities to all children, despite availability of resources, we offer over 80 percent of our educational programming completely free, at no cost to participating students, teachers, and schools. In our past 2015-2016 season, Houston Ballet’s Education and Community Engagement programs were provided to over 254 schools within the greater-Houston area, and to a total of 53,675 students.

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

Budget

Program 3

Performances and National/ International Touring

Houston Ballet’s programs and services aim to expose and offer opportunities for all members of the community to participate in the art form of dance.  Through our Wortham Theatre Center six-production subscription series, Nutcracker season, free performances at Miller Outdoor Theatre, and our Education and Community Engagement initiatives we endeavor to expand our reach and access to encompass all diverse populations.

Over the last ten years, the company has emerged as one the most effective international ambassadors for the City of Houston, performing in London, New York, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Calgary, Toronto, Montreal, The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow.

Houston Ballet has toured extensively to critical praise in Europe, the United Kingdom, Asia, Canada, and in cities throughout the United States.

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

None

Budget

Program 4

Dance for Parkinson's

Dance for Parkinson’s is an innovative dance program for adults with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) in the Houston community offered through a collaboration between Houston Ballet and Houston Area Parkinson Society (HAPS). Classes emphasize strength, flexibility and balance through movement exercises, while encouraging creative expression and socialization. We provide people with PD and their caregivers 60 minutes of dance with live musical accompaniment, once a week each Monday. We also travel to Dickinson once a month and to the Memorial area several times per year to provide off-site classes at HAPS locations; helping fill the gap for participants who cannot attend our downtown classes at Houston Ballet Center for Dance. Dance for Parkinson’s is a welcoming environment for participants to explore movement in a group setting, while applying some of the ground-breaking approaches that are proven to benefit those with PD.

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities

Population(s) Served

Disabled, General or Disability Unspecified

Physically Disabled nec

Budget

Program 5

Houston Ballet Academy

Since his arrival as director of Houston Ballet Academy in 2003, Stanton Welch has had a profound influence on the students of the academy, specifically with his increased standard of excellence, his involvement with each level of the academy, his working relationship with teachers and his vision of what the academy means to Houston Ballet itself.

Since its founding in 1955, Houston Ballet Academy has provided the highest quality ballet training for those enrolled. Over 500 students, between the ages of 4 and 60, are currently enrolled in the academy's classes, and more than half of the professional company's dancers have come from the ranks of the academy. The academy's outstanding faculty includes teachers who have performed with Houston Ballet and other prestigious companies throughout the world. In July 2003, Houston Ballet Academy was re-named Houston Ballet's Ben Stevenson Academy in recognition of the key role Ben Stevenson, former artistic director of the professional company and director of the academy, played for 27 years in shaping and developing the school.

The academy offers a program designed to take students from their first introduction to the art through a full course of ballet study. Students take classes in technique, pointe work, pas de deux, men's technique, character dance and music. The academy also operates a summer intensive program that welcomes students from around the United States and abroad. Each year, faculty members hold auditions in 16cities around the country and select intermediate and advanced level students to attend this intensive six-week program.

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

None

Budget

Results

Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one. These quantitative program results are self-reported by the organization, illustrating their committment to transparency, learning, and interest in helping the whole sector learn and grow.

1. Total number of paid seats filled for performances

Target Population
No target populations selected

Connected to a Program?
2016-2017 season
TOTALS BY YEAR
Context notes for this metric
These number represents the tickets sold for the performances at our home theater. Does not include any touring/off site performances.

2. Total number of performances

Target Population
No target populations selected

Connected to a Program?
2016-2017 season
TOTALS BY YEAR
Context notes for this metric
This number includes the performances of our Company at our home theater as well as touring/off site performances.

3. Number of participants engaged in programs

Target Population
No target populations selected

Connected to a Program?
n/a
TOTALS BY YEAR
Context notes for this metric

4. Number of volunteers

Target Population
No target populations selected

Connected to a Program?
n/a
TOTALS BY YEAR
Context notes for this metric

5. Number of overall donors

Target Population
No target populations selected

Connected to a Program?
n/a
TOTALS BY YEAR
Context notes for this metric

6. Number of students enrolled

Target Population
No target populations selected

Connected to a Program?
n/a
TOTALS BY YEAR
Context notes for this metric

7. Number of unique website visitors

Target Population
No target populations selected

Connected to a Program?
n/a
TOTALS BY YEAR
Context notes for this metric

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?
    Houston Ballet's mission is to inspire a lasting love and appreciation for dance through artistic excellence, exhilarating performances, innovative choreography and superb educational programs.

    In furtherance of our mission, we are committed to maintaining and enhancing our status as:

    • A classically trained company with a diverse repertory whose range includes the classics as well as contemporary works.

    • A company that attracts the world's best dancers and choreographers and provides them with an environment where they can thrive and further develop the art form.

    • An international company that is accessible to broad and growing local, national, and international audiences.

    • A company with a world-class Academy that provides first rate instruction for professional dancers and meaningful programs for non-professional dancers.

    • A company with state-of-the-art facilities for performances, rehearsals and ongoing operations.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    Embodied in the organization's current long range plan, our strategies are as follows:

    1) Contribute to the dance repertoire and nurture Houston Ballet's reputation as a leading center of new choreography through increased creation, "updating," and production of new choreographies

    2) Increase the size of the dance Company to allow a broader range of productions and a greater depth of talent within the Company

    3) Increase prominence and recognition of the artistic achievement and quality of Houston Ballet through more performances, as well as regular, national, and international touring to select dance capitals in the U.S. and abroad.

    4) To continue to nurture the Houston Ballet Academy as a nationally recognized top training facility to establish the Academy as the "school of choice" among aspiring dancers

    5) Increase public awareness of Houston Ballet's diverse repertoire by defining and promoting a consistent Houston Ballet brand, and successfully selling mixed programs

    6) Build a stronger and deeper, loyal support of Trustees, donors, audiences, and alumni.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    Houston Ballet has committed significant resources to its investment in fundraising staff, marketing and advertising. This commitment has directly impacted and increased earned and contributed revenue which has and will continue to support strategic program goals.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    Outcomes are measured monthly and annually against the strategic plan. Progress is reported monthly and annually to Board of Trustees.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    At the conclusion of fiscal year 2016, the first year of the current strategic plan, Houston Ballet has accomplished the following:

    1) Contribute to the dance repertoire and nurture Houston Ballet's reputation as a leading center of new choreography through increased creation, “updating" and production of new choreographies.

    Priority 1 was achieved with the creation 2 world premieres (1 full length, 1 one act) and 4 Houston premieres.

    2) Increase the size of the dance Company to allow a broader range of productions and a greater depth of talent within the Company.

    Priority 2 was achieved by employing 59 dancers by the end of the season vis-a-vis the planned goal of 57.

    3) Increase prominence and recognition of the artistic achievement and quality of Houston Ballet through more performances, as well as regular national and international touring to select dance capitals in the U.S. and abroad.

    Priority 3 was achieved by completing 90 performances vis-a-vis the strategic goal of 88-91 performances.

    4) To continue to nurture the Houston Ballet Academy as a nationally recognized top training facility and establish the Academy as the “school of choice" among aspiring dancers.

    Priority 4 was broken down into 4 objectives. Objective 1 was achieved by defining financial and sustainability metrics for the Academy. Objective 2 was aimed to report on the reasons for acceptance/decline of offers to the Academy. This objective was not pursued as the rudimentary evaluation performed did not produce actionable conclusions. Objective 3 was achieved by creating Academy materials, merchandise, and ensuring that all webpages carried HB branding. Objective 4 was achieved through securing housing for 20 additional students.

    5) Increase public awareness of Houston Ballet's diverse repertoire by defining and promoting a consistent Houston Ballet brand, and successfully selling mixed programs.

    Priority 5 was broken down into 2 objectives. Objective 1 was achieved by launching a new brand in December 2015. Objective 2 was achieved by surpassing our goal of percentage sales capacity. Goal was 82% - Nutcracker, 72% - Story Ballets, 52% - Mixed Programs. Actual was 89% - Nutcracker, 74% - Story Ballets, 54% - Mixed Programs.

    6) Build a stronger and deeper, loyal support base of Trustees, donors, audiences, and alumni.

    Priority 6 was broken down into 4 objectives. Objective 1 was achieved by exceeding the goal for Development net revenue. Objective 2 was achieved by improving a key patron area of the Wortham Theater, the Founder's Salon. Additionally, various enhancements were made to the Grand Foyer. Objective 3 was achieved by scheduling to launch a new website by Fall 2016. Objective 4 was achieved by evaluating the diversity of the staff, audience, students and trustees. A cross departmental team was identified to make recommendations and set goals for years 2-5 of the plan. Finally, diversity priorities have been integrated into trustee recruitment.
Service Areas

Self-reported

International

Over the last ten years, the company has emerged as one the most effective international ambassadors for the City of Houston, performing in London, New York, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Toronto, Montreal, The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, and most recently Hamburg, Germany, & Melbourne, Australia.

Social Media

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Videos

photos


External Reviews

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Financials

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

HOUSTON BALLET FOUNDATION
Fiscal year: Jul 01-Jun 30
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

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

Houston Ballet Foundation

Leadership

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Executive Director

Mr. James Nelson

Artistic Director

Mr. Stanton Welch AM

BIO

A native of Portland, Oregon, James Nelson has spent his career in the dance world moving from professional dancer to administrative leader, serving as Houston Ballet's general manager since August 2000. He assumed the position of executive director of Houston Ballet, the company's senior administrative leadership role, in February 2012.

As general manager of Houston Ballet, Mr. Nelson administered the artistic operation of the company's 52 dancers, 61 musicians, and 180 production employees. He had budgetary oversight for over half of the company's $19.2 million budget. Mr. Nelson also directed all tours for Houston Ballet and oversaw international engagements of Houston Ballet in Russia, the United Kingdom, and China, and developed an ongoing company exchange between Houston Ballet and Les Grands Ballet Canadiens de Montreal. In April 2009, Mr. Nelson lead a six-city tour to Spain in which the company performed to sold-out houses and glowing reviews.

Mr. Nelson received his professional dance training from Houston Ballet Academy from 1983-1986. As a professional ballet dancer, Mr. Nelson performed a wide range of featured roles with the Cincinnati Ballet from 1986-1990. He was invited by then artistic director Ben Stevenson to join Houston Ballet where he danced from 1990-1996. Mr. Nelson ended his 11 year performing career in 1997 dancing for Ballet de Santiago, in Santiago, Chile.

After retiring from a performing career, Mr. Nelson received his BBA in finance from the University of Houston in 1999. Mr. Nelson was named general manager of Houston Ballet in August 2000. In 2005, Mr. Nelson was selected for and attended the Stanford University Graduate School of Business Executive Program for Non Profit Leaders. In 2006, Mr. Nelson participated in Mayor Bill White's Economic Development Mission to China as a cultural delegate.

Under Mr. Nelson's leadership, Houston Ballet has developed a partnership with The Methodist Hospital Center for Performing Arts Medicine providing health and wellness services to the dancers and staff. In addition, Mr. Nelson initiated the development of the Dance for Parkinson's program in partnership with Houston Area Parkinson's Society resulting in Houston Ballet receiving the 2009 Roy H. Cullen Quality of Life Award for this initiative.

Mr. Nelson is an active member of Dance USA-- the national service organization for dance. In 2009, Mr. Nelson led the Houston dance community in a two-year planning effort in hosting Dance USA's Annual Conference in 2009. The Houston committee set a new record for host committee fundraising.

Mr. Nelson was a board member of the IATSE Pension Plan from December 2001 through January 2011 and has served as a board member of the Performing Arts Alliance (formerly American Arts Alliance). Mr. Nelson is a graduate of Leadership Houston Class XXVI.

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Mrs. Allison Thacker

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?

Yes

CEO OVERSIGHT

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

Yes

ETHICS & 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?

No

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
This organization reports that it does not collect this information for Part-Time Staff and Volunteers.
Race & Ethnicity
This organization reports that it does not collect this information for Part-Time Staff and Volunteers.
Sexual Orientation

This organization reports that it does not collect this information.

Disability

This organization reports that it does not collect this information.

Diversity Strategies
No
We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
No
We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
No
We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
No
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