Share |

Stage Source Inc

 15 Channel Center Street, Suite 103
 Boston, MA 02210
[P] (617) 350-7611
[F] --
Julie Hennrikus
Facebook Twitter
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 04-2897621

LAST UPDATED: 08/04/2017
Organization DBA StageSource
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years Yes


Mission StatementMORE »

StageSource provides leadership and services to advance the art of theater in the Greater Boston and New England regions.  Our mission is to unite theater  artists, theater companies, and related organizations in vision and goals that inspire and empower our community to realize its greatest artistic potential.

Mission Statement

StageSource provides leadership and services to advance the art of theater in the Greater Boston and New England regions.  Our mission is to unite theater  artists, theater companies, and related organizations in vision and goals that inspire and empower our community to realize its greatest artistic potential.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year Oct 01, 2016 to Sept 30, 2017
Projected Income $279,085.00
Projected Expense $273,800.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Circle of Friends, NE Gold Club, & StagePage
  • Community Development
  • Diversity & Incluson Initiatives
  • Workforce Development

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

StageSource provides leadership and services to advance the art of theater in the Greater Boston and New England regions.  Our mission is to unite theater  artists, theater companies, and related organizations in vision and goals that inspire and empower our community to realize its greatest artistic potential.

Background Statement

Founded in 1985, StageSource is dedicated to the advancement of the art theater in the Greater Boston and New England regions. We are the central source of information, education and communication for a diverse and geographically spread out community. Our membership includes over 1800 individual theater artists and over 250 theater organizations, schools, casting agencys, and other organizations that support the sector. 


StageSource provides information, initiatives and resources to established and emerging theater artists and organizations in the areas of employment, professional development and institutional growth. Our online database is the major listing of local talent for theater companies, casting agents and other job providers. Our e-mails, auditions and job fairs are the primary source for audition and employment information. Our training programs help artists new to the area or the profession navigate the industry. We create a web of support and facilitate conversations about issues of importance for the theater sector.

Impact Statement

Past Year:

2017 StageSource Conference in June centered around the topic Arts Activism: Where Do You Fit In? Topics included access and inclusion, arts journalism, gender parity, breaking the binary, fundraising in 2017, space issues, marketing, and more. Drafts of a statement of purpose were started, with action steps to follow.

StageSource partnered with TheaterMania to bring the New England Gold Club to Boston. The Gold Club is a membership based, discreet papering service. Potential for audience development is great. We’re calling this an arts adventure pass.

In support of new work, StageSource published a New England New Play Alliance (a task force of StageSource) New Play Anthology. Very exciting opportunity to support and spotlight the work being done in New England.

Added the A11Y Initiative to our task forces. Focus on access and inclusion. Work included creating a grant program for fringe companies to be able to have an ASL interpreted show, having an interpreter for 2 Deaf actors at our annual auditions, offering free memberships to ASL interpreters and coaches.

We had a board retreat in January, and developed new marketing and membership strategies for the organization. We also developed a new board handbook, with expectations, job descriptions, and goals laid out.

Next Year:

We will continue to work on our statement of purpose from the conference, and will convene a town hall to release it. Task force work will be supplemented, and new task forces may be formed as a result of this work.

We are considering creating new tracks for our programming. Producers/administrators, actors, playwrights, designers, etc. Some classes will overlap, some will be very specific to the discipline.

Our board work around membership is gearing up, with surveys and focus groups rolling out this summer and fall. Membership organizations face challenges these days—how do we continue to move from transactional to transformational? 

Needs Statement

Capacity Building – StageSource continues to work on capacity building. Income streams, included more contributed income and additional earned income streams, are being explored and implemented.

Task Force Impact--StageSource supports several initiatives that have impact, but could have much more with support. Our Gender Parity Task Force is working on equity issues in the field. Our New Play Alliance supports new work, and playwrights. Our A11Y Initiative supports Deaf artists and audience members with innovative programming. Our Space Task Force provides resources/support to developers as well as our members regarding our needs.

Professional Development – StageSource’s e-mail notices, job fairs and workshops are the main source of information for our theater community. How can we increase the impact with programming?

Partnerships -- How can we help foster meaningful collaborations between our members? Or between theater and other fields? Or between ourselves and other sectors?

Staffing – Staffing is a challenge for StageSource, as it is for most small to mid-sized arts organizations. Is there a shared staffing model that could be implemented? Are there funding streams for shared membership models to build capacity for the sector?

CEO Statement

Our current Boston theater community dates to the arrival of the regional theater movement in Boston just over 30 years ago. Prior to that, Boston audiences supported some commercial, community and college theater, but not non-profit theaters in a significant way. In the three decades since, the Boston theater community has flourished in both depth and breadth. As the community has grown, so has the areas covered by StageSource. We support commercial, community, college, and non-profit theater and theater artists in Greater Boston and throughout New England.

The theater community has flourished, but it still has pressing unmet needs. Changes in audience buying patterns, decreases in funding, shifts in arts media coverage, and navigating new technology and its impact on theater--all of these are stress points for the sector. These are particularly acute for the mid-sized, small and fringe theaters which have tight budgets. As the service organization for the sector, StageSource provides a web of support for our members throughout New England. In addition to our database and communications, we produce annual auditions, a job fair for administrators and technicians, professional development classes, mentoring programs, a community room with over 2000 scripts and a strong online and social media presence. We actively support our entire community while exploring new models for in which it can flourish.

As of this writing, the arts are still considered nice but not necessary. That could not be further from the truth. The arts build community, teach empathy, and encourage civil discourse. The arts have never been more necessary—they bridge a divide. The arts are not partisan. Making them appear to be partisan dilutes their power and impact.

The vibrancy of the arts are one of the reasons people want to live in Greater Boston. So, how do we leverage that better? How do we move from what we need to what we provide? How do we move from reinforcing our own knowledge of the power of the arts, and move towards getting the rest of our community on board? How do we let folks know that the arts are the answer? This is the next level of work that StageSource is taking on. Going from transactional to transformational.

StageSource has been a cornerstone of the Greater Boston and New England theater community for over thirty years, is still going strong and will continue to with the support of those who are concerned about the health of the arts in Boston and its impact on our community.

Board Chair Statement

I have been a self-employed consultant for 20 years, providing strategic and marketing advice to nonprofit arts organizations, including a number of theater companies. I joined the Board of StageSource in 2007 because it gave me the chance to be helpful to the theater community as a whole, rather than becoming involved with just one or two companies. I have been President of the Board since the fall of 2014.

Serving on the Board has given me the chance to meet and work with this amazing, creative community of artists and, hopefully, to use my business background to help these vital organizations work on the challenges they are facing. The things that I find valuable and exciting about StageSource include:

Services: StageSource provides services that no single theater company could easily provide on its own. For example, the annual auditions provide an efficient way for actors and producers to meet each other without each person having to arrange individual auditions with each company. The auditions are especially helpful to the smaller companies that might not have the capacity to arrange individual auditions on their own.

Capacity Building: Through its professional development workshops, job fairs, online job postings, and other activities, StageSource connects people with the skills and contacts they need to find work in their chosen field.

Community: StageSource brings people from the community together at a number of points throughout the year — at auditions, at the theater expo and job fair, at the biennial conference — providing opportunities for them get to know each other, to collaborate on projects, and generally feel the camaraderie of being part of a vibrant, vital community.

Important Issues: StageSource is able to bring together people to address issues of significance like gender parity, access for the disabled, and affordable space that, again, no single theater company could reasonably be expected to tackle as effectively or comprehensively. StageSource can act as a public spokesperson, especially on controversial issues that individual companies might be reluctant to address on their own.

The main challenge facing StageSource is resource constraints. The organization has two highly capable and hard-working staff people — but they are only two people. The organization is creative at using Board and community members to work on projects, but these people are all busy professionals with their own jobs, so the amount of time they can devote to StageSource is limited, and often sporadic.

Our focus now is on increasing earned revenue, which will allow us to expand our capacity to provide more and better services. We have an active Membership Committee of the Board that is working right now to survey our members and develop strategies for increasing membership. We are looking into attracting organizational members from an expanded geographic area — for instance, one of our Board members is making contacts with companies on the Cape. And we are seeking out other sources of earned revenue, including our partnership with TheaterMania on the New England Gold Club and with Collette Travel on vacations. These efforts will likely take some time to pay off, but we are confident that they will in time.

Janet Bailey
President, StageSource Board of Directors

Geographic Area Served


Organization Categories

  1. Arts,Culture & Humanities - Arts Services
  2. Arts,Culture & Humanities - Alliances & Advocacy
  3. -

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)



Circle of Friends, NE Gold Club, & StagePage

The Circle of Friends card is our most popular program. Over 70 theaters offer 2 for 1 tickets to card holders once per season. Member organizations distribute them to their subscribers. All told, over 50000 cards are distributed every year. They are a tremendous tool for access. 
Three times a year we print the StagePage, a calendar of events for our member organizations. We tag events that are by local playwrights, New England premieres, or that receive a "Standing O", which designates that they are events that support gender parity. 
We partnered with TheaterMania to bring their Gold Club to New England. This discreet papering service has the potential to be a robust audience development tool, and important for the community. 
Budget  $25,000.00
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Theater
Population Served General/Unspecified
Program Short-Term Success  The Gold Club has specific goals set--numbers of members by the end of August, numbers of tickets moved. Unlike some of our other programs that we measure anecdotally, we can measure this directly, and use the information to help us understand our marketing techniques.
Program Long-Term Success 
Long term--the Circle of Friends card could go much wider. A revenue stream could be created by making it available to companies. Schools and other community based groups to use it to increase cultural participation.
 The Gold Club has huge potential for the community. We can offer discount membership codes to companies and organizations, building the pool of potential new audiences for organizations who participate in the program.
Program Success Monitored By  For Gold Club, the robust reports that are run weekly. For Circle of Friends, information we gather when folks renew the program. Focus groups on both will offer success measurements as well.
Examples of Program Success  Testimony evidence by customers. Demand for the card grows every year.

Community Development

StageSource convenes the biennial StageSource Theater Conference to promote communication among the community; disseminates information and encourages communication through online sources; and hosts town hall style meetings to bring theater makers together.
Budget  $25,000.00
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other
Population Served General/Unspecified
Program Short-Term Success  Regular conversations that allow for the exchange of views and information.
Program Long-Term Success  Meaningful and substantial dialogue in New England's theater community.
Program Success Monitored By  --
Examples of Program Success  Whether online or in person, the conversations started by StageSource lead to lively exchanges that work towards change.

Diversity & Incluson Initiatives

We are working on Inclusion efforts in several ways. Overall, diversity and inclusion are core values of StageSource, and factored into everything we do. Beyond that, we have a Gender Parity Task Force which is tasked with collecting data, supporting women's work (Standing Os and Parity Parties), do outreach to university programs, and advocating/community organizing around change. Our new A11Y Initiative is designed to help both Deaf artists and audiences have more access to the theater community/world. At this point, StageSource is funding the work being done, but we are seeking additional funding resources.
Budget  $45,000.00
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other
Population Served Minorities Elderly and/or Disabled
Program Short-Term Success  To evaluate the current state of opportunities for these groups and assess how changes can be made.
Program Long-Term Success  To increase opportunities for all to participate in theater experiences as artists or as audience members.
Program Success Monitored By  --
Examples of Program Success 
For the Gender Parity Task Force: number of Parity Party request increases every year, a report was issued last fall that measured gender parity in the theater community across disciplines, a survey was recently sent out to college students in theater programs, the Standing O applications have gone up and some marketing directors seek them out.
For the A11Y initiative, we are setting measurement tools. Numbers of ASL interpreters in our membership base, numbers of interpreted shows, and numbers of Deaf artists hired are three baselines that we can set. 

Workforce Development

StageSource is the main source for job listings and training to Greater Boston’s theater community. Our weekly e-newsletter is sent to over 4000 theatre artists, theater companies and related organizations. Our online database is used by casting agents, theaters and other organizations to find talent among the thousands of artists and organizations listed on it. StageSource hosts an annual job fair and open auditions. In addition, StageSource provides training both for individual artists and theater organizations.

Budget  $50,000.00
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other
Population Served General/Unspecified
Program Short-Term Success  More artists will be employed locally.
Program Long-Term Success  A knowledgeable and connected theater community that produces work of excellence.
Program Success Monitored By  --
Examples of Program Success  StageSource is repeatedly told by our members that we shortened their learning curve about the Boston theater scene by literally years and made it possible for them to connect with others.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

It is a thrilling time to be part of the arts sector in Boston. The theater community continues to grow, and to thrive. StageSource is the engine that could, and does, by supporting the sector in mostly unseen ways. That is as it should be, but it does make it challenging to make our case for funding and support. By letting people know what we do, we can further our work, and our mission.


CEO/Executive Director Ms. Julie Hennrikus
CEO Term Start Feb 2011
CEO Email
CEO Experience Julie Hennrikus started her career working in small commercial theater. In 1990 she ran the box office for the ICA's Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Moment exhibition. In 1991 she was hired by Harvard University to create the Sanders Theatre Box Office, which is now the Harvard Box Office. She continued to oversee the operations when she became Program Manager of the Memorial Hall/Lowell Hall Complex. In 2004 she moved to Emerson College, where she served as the General Manager and Director of Marketing of Emerson Stage, the producing arm of the Department of Performing Arts. She continues to teach arts management classes as adjunct faculty. She moved to StageSource in 2011. Julie is also a published mystery writer, having had three short stories published in Level Best Books anthologies. She is currently on the board of Sister in Crime. Under the name Julianne Holmes, published a Clock Shop Mystery series with Berkley Prime Crime. Under the name J.A. Hennrikus she publishes a Theater Cop series with Midnight Ink.
Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
Jeff Poulos 2000 2010

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
-- -- --


Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --


Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? No
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --



CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

The challenges for the performing arts community include audience development, inclusion, marketing, funding, space. As a service organization, StageSource is in a position to advocate around those issues. Additionally, we can be a conduit for change for the entire community, since we have great impact. The goal of our organization is to help the entire sector grow and be stronger.
On our own, capacity is our biggest challenge. There is never a want of issues to tackle or services to provide. 

Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 1
Number of Part Time Staff 2
Number of Volunteers 40
Number of Contract Staff 5
Staff Retention Rate % 100%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 4
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 3
Male: 0
Not Specified 1

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 3
Management Succession Plan No
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures No
Nondiscrimination Policy No
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy --
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes
State Registration --

Risk Management Provisions


Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency No Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually


Board Chair Ms. Janet Bailey
Board Chair Company Affiliation Bailey and Associates
Board Chair Term Sept 2016 - Sept 2017
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Janet Bailey Janet Bailey Associates Voting
Margaret Ann Brady Actress --
Sara Brookner Jewish Arts Collaborative Voting
Linda Chin Wheelock Family Theatre Voting
Darren Evans Theatre on Fire, Northeastern University Voting
Robin Hanley Community Voting
Sue Kosoff Wheelock Family Theatre --
Ginger Lazarus Artist Voting
Karen MacDonald Actor Voting
Christopher Mahan Broadway in Boston Voting
Mal Malme Queer Soup Theater Voting
Jim Petosa New Repertory Theatre --
Christopher Robinson Artist --
Adam Sanders Commonwealth Shakespeare Company Voting
Dawn M Simmons BCA and Front Porch Theater Collective Voting
Cheryl Singleton Actress --
Weylin Symes Stoneham Theatre --
Arthur Waldstein Retired Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 3
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 1
Caucasian: 14
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 10
Male: 7
Not Specified 1

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits 0
Board Meeting Attendance % 80%
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

Standing Committees

  • Board Development / Board Orientation
  • Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Executive
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Special Events (Golf Tournament, Walk / Run, Silent Auction, Dinner / Gala)

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

As a service organization for the theater community, the StageSource board has to represent that community. Our by-laws indicate that we need to have a mix of individual artists, representatives of organizations, and community members. We have found that community members are a better fit if they are affiliated with the field. Chris Robinson, for example, works at BU in the Disability Services Office, so he is able to help us with our ASL and inclusion efforts. We have not been able to build a fundraising board yet, since the board serves in more of a working/advisory capacity.

Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Revenue $250,300 $230,900 $249,900
Total Expenses $234,800 $239,800 $243,900

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $0 $8,300 $9,000
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- $8,300 $9,000
Individual Contributions $52,700 $29,900 $20,500
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $38,800 $30,400 $48,700
Investment Income, Net of Losses -- -- --
Membership Dues $158,800 $162,300 $171,700
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other -- -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Program Expense $171,100 $176,900 $178,800
Administration Expense $35,200 $33,000 $37,000
Fundraising Expense $28,500 $29,900 $28,100
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.07 0.96 1.02
Program Expense/Total Expenses 73% 74% 73%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 54% 78% 95%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Assets $82,700 $70,700 $72,200
Current Assets $82,700 $70,700 $72,200
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $7,600 $11,100 $3,700
Total Net Assets $75,100 $59,600 $68,500

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy Income Only
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? 3.00

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? --

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 10.88 6.37 19.51

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Because of staff capacity and budget levels, fundraising for StageSource is challenging. We do have some corporate support, and we receive many in-kind donations of space and services. For our larger events, we also get sponsorships. We are looking for other ways to increase our contributed income, so that it can account for 35-40% of our income, rather than the 15-20% it represents right now.

Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above are per the organization's IRS Form 990s. Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals when the breakout was not available.


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.


The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.

1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

StageSource serves the three legs of the performing arts table, individual artists/administrators, organizations, and audiences. Most of our programming intersects two or three of these constituencies at any given time. 

Our Circle of Friends card program is one of our most popular programs. This card lists (voluntarily) over 70 member theater companies who offer 2 for 1 tickets at their theater during the coming season. We print 50,000 cards a year, and provide them to our organizational members for distribution to their subscribers/members. We also send a card out to our individual members in the fall. This program promotes audience churn, helps groups fill seats (they chose the rules for their Circle of Friends card), and is a physical representation of the vibrancy of the community.

We also print a StagePage page three times a year, listing our organizations upcoming shows. is the online version for folks who miss the print deadline. On these listings we highlight new work, local playwrights, shows that have gender parity (our Standing O designation), and accessible performances. We send the StagePage to individual members, provide them to members who want to display them in their lobbies. The City of Boston has them in City Hall. We also do a concierge run to hotels in Boston, so visitors to Boston can be told about the depth and breadth of the offerings our theater community has.

These are two examples of what we do to outwardly to support our community. Behind the scenes we have a robust membership platform that allows organizations to post audition announcements, job listings, ticket offers, workshops, and general announcements. Individual members have profiles, allowing producers to run searches when looking for talent across the board.

Our community programming includes a Job Fair for administrators, technicians and designers every February. In April we hold three days of auditions, and have forty plus producers able to see over 400 actors during the three days we schedule. StageSource also coordinates the Greater Boston Theater Expo, a community wide event at the Boston Center for the Arts, free for the public who are invited to hear about the upcoming season from 50+ theater companies in the Greater Boston community.

The theater community is vibrant. We want to build on that by supporting the sector, providing services that are needed, and building our own capacity so we can help the theater community build their capacity.

2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

Our strategies include leveraging our membership platform to its potential. We are exploring our membership offerings, considering adding layers to better serve the needs of the community.

We leverage the expertise and dedication of our board. We are building our board committees, and focusing on membership/marketing and development. We also use our board members to teach workshops, and/or to develop workshops for the community.

StageSource runs at approx. 75% earned revenue. We want to increase our overall revenue, and would like to get more contributed revenue in the door. But we also understand that our strong earned revenue is a strength of the organization. How can we raise both earned and contributed income?

Our task forces support issues within the community, providing platforms for action steps and change by supporting initiatives that have deep impact on the sector. These groups include the New England New Play Alliance, the Gender Parity Task Force, the A11Y Initiative, the Theater Arts Marketing Alliance, the Space Task Force, and the Diversity and Inclusion Initiative. Post conference we will be adding an arts journalism component. These groups exist under the umbrella of StageSource, but community members are vital to their existence.

We partner with many organizations, but are looking for ways to deepen those partnerships and collaborations. Of particular interest is the opportunity for cross-sector partnerships.

3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?

StageSource has capacity in several areas. First of all, though we are understaffed, the capacity of the staff and the board to serve the community is great. We all focus on that service, and how StageSource can and should morph to meet the needs of the community. We have invested in a membership platform that allows us to target communications, and measure our success.

StageSource is well regarded in the community, and that helps us do our work as well. One reason for that regard is the fact that we both listen and respond to the needs of the community while pushing everyone to reach for higher goals. StageSource can and does step up and lean into issues around advocacy, capacity building, developing new models, access and inclusion, and equity. Because we are a service organization, we are in a unique position to lead the entire sector, and we take that very seriously.

We collaborate with other organizations, and look for other areas in which to partner. We are part of the arts service organization cohort that The Boston Foundation has convened. These opportunities are important for StageSource.

StageSource has a robust pool of volunteers who help us pull of large events. The support of our community is an important part of our foundation, and their help is both valued, and readily given.

4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?

How will we know if we are making progress? Aspirationally, when funding streams open up for the fringe/small/solo artist community; when there is a greater network of spaces for rehearsals and performances; when the theater community and the work they are producing gets recognized for the innovative contributions they make; when access, inclusion, and equity are the default and we no longer have to track progress; when every company does new work; when government arts funding isn’t a fight for level funding, but rather a ladder for growth that everyone signs on to. We see some of the signs of our success by the number of organizations doing work that gets a Standing O (gender parity designation StageSource gives out) and requesting Parity Parties.

Transactionally, with the new membership system, we can better track our number of members and renewal rates. There is also built in survey systems that will allow us to get immediate feedback on programs. Our social media presence continues to rise, and we can track those metrics as well. We challenge ourselves on our member services, and how to make them stronger and more in line with what is needed by the community. We meet those goals by having strong board involvement with our membership, and setting strong goals for ourselves.

While measuring impact by income is fraught with issues, StageSource has to do that. Are we running a surplus every year? Are we able to break through the next income barrier? Where can we develop new, dependable, income streams?

5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?

We have accomplished a lot in 30 years. The community is vibrant, supportive, and strong. StageSource is tackling some of the big issues--like inclusion, gender parity, space, new work--and working on having real impact, while changing the field.

As an organization, our capacity is challenging, though technology is helping. The size of our budget belies the impact we have on the community, and hinders our capacity to do the work that is needed. We need to leverage our new software system, and build online systems for delivering programs to people outside of Boston. There is a portion of the community that benefits from StageSource’s work, but does not feel the need to belong. How can we change that?

We have accomplished a great deal, and built a business system that will keep the company in business no matter what. That said, we haven’t been able to break through and get enough income to build our capacity to better serve the community in different ways.