Monday, April 16, 2012

More problems revealed for Charleston Ballet Theatre

Can they recover?

Posted by Erica Jackson Curran on Mon, Apr 16, 2012 at 1:00 PM

We gave you another in-depth article on the local dance community last week, but the Post & Courier just came out with an update that's worth taking a look at as well. Focused on the Charleston Ballet Theatre, Adam Parker's article calls into question the organization's ability to recover from all of the issues they've faced over the past few years. Some interesting points:

"Contracted dancers expecting to receive a final paycheck on March 30 didn't get it for lack of funds when the city of Charleston held up its quarterly grant payment of $12,500," the article says. CEO Jill Eathorne Bahr explained in an e-mail to dancers that the company would have to enlarge the board in order to get the necessary funds from the city.

But there's a reason many of the board members have resigned. Parker got his hands on some board meeting minutes and reports, "At a Dec. 14 board meeting, then-president Charles Patrick distributed copies of an article from The Nonprofit Quarterly titled "Not Paying Your Taxes? Your Board Could Be Personally Liable," according to the meeting minutes. 'Charles wanted to make clear that the board understood the IRS's position,' the minutes state. 'In a nutshell, the IRS will pursue not only a charity's assets but also the personal assets of individuals who were directly or indirectly associated with a nonpayment of taxes.' The ballet was known to have a balance due to the IRS of $23,612.67 at the time, according to the minutes."

The Coastal Community Foundation's George Stevens points out that the issues with the CBT's board affects the community as a whole. "The board is supposed to represent the interests of the community ... So what's breaking down here is the relationship between society at large and the nonprofit organization," Stevens said.

Bahr continues to promise something big for the future of the company, but, as we reported last week, some in the local community are hoping for a completely fresh start.

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