July 19, 2019
First and foremost, thank you for your incredible support of Orlando Ballet. As we come to the close of another fiscal year, I wanted to update you on the progress of our organization. I am pleased to announce that we ended this fiscal year with a surplus. That surplus shores up our cash position after depletion two years ago so we can move forward to continue building our reserves and operating with no debt. We are in a better financial position than we have been in many years and are strategically preparing to grow the organization to reflect the size and capability of our growing community and create parity to ballet companies in similarly sized market as a priority of our long-range plan.
Thanks to you, ticket sales for this past season were the highest in our 44-year history. Nutcracker alone exceeded previous sales records by over 33% and two of the four highest grossing non-Nutcracker ballets in our history came in last season. For the upcoming season we are projecting even higher sales and are on track with goals as our subscription sales are very close to surpassing last year with over three months before we open the first show. Also back by popular demand is our family series subscription for three, one-hour ballets that are geared towards younger audiences.
Baseline contributed income for this past year is also the highest we have had. We are increasing funding across the board from individuals, corporations, and private foundations. This is a testament to our great community support. It is one thing to buy a ticket to a ballet and get to enjoy a beautiful production, it is another thing to invest in an organization because you believe in it and its mission. This does not mean that we will change our concerted focus upon the continued growth of contributed income. This is needed to address our long terms goals and next priorities for the organization. However, as our Board President, Jonathan Ledden, explained at our annual meeting, our unique challenges of over a decade are squarely in the past and we now face the same opportunities and imperatives of other keystone arts institutions.
To accomplish these things in a year that marked the 10th anniversary of our Artistic Director, Robert Hill, is almost poetic. Artistic quality is the foundation of this organization and with Mr. Hill at the helm I am so proud of what we have accomplished and even more excited for the future.
As an organization that belongs to the community and seeks donor and public funding, we believe transparency is paramount. Please feel free to click on this link where you can see our latest audited financial statements, 990, and stakeholder update. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at [email protected].
From everyone in the Orlando Ballet family, thank you again so much for your support. There is still work to be done, we do need to grow our contributed income to reward and retain our outstanding artists and team. We have made huge strides to grow our community enrichment programs like STEPS, but there is still a need to be filled in the community. To accomplish this, we will soon announce a Sustainable Giving opportunity to drive us forward to Steinmetz Hall and our 50th anniversary. I know that together we can continue to grow Orlando Ballet into the mission based professional company and school that Central Florida deserves and can point to with pride as a cultural jewel for residents and visitors alike.