Community Spirit Inc.
P.O. Box 13
Adams TN 37010
Mission Statement
The purpose of Community Spirit Inc is to promote, preserve, and transmit the stories traditions, and culture of the Sulphur Fork and Red River area of Robertson County, Tennessee through quality theatrical productions and other means.
Leadership
CEO/Executive Director
Board Chair Mr. James H. Lindsey
Board Chair Company Affiliation Retired city coordinator
History & Background
Year of Incorporation 2004
Organization's type of tax exempt status 501-C3
Financial Summary
Graph: Expense Breakdown Graph - All Years
 
 
Projected Expenses $81,000.00
Projected Annual Revenue $83,000.00 (2017)
Statements
Mission
The purpose of Community Spirit Inc is to promote, preserve, and transmit the stories traditions, and culture of the Sulphur Fork and Red River area of Robertson County, Tennessee through quality theatrical productions and other means.
Background

In 2002 a handful of interested Robertson County citizens dared to believe that they could join the City of Adams and Mockingbird Theatre to present an original play in Adams. The success of the initial performances convinced these involved citizens of the need to continue the positive benefits generated by SPIRIT. In May 2004 these citizens formed Community Spirit, Inc. (CSI), a 501(c)3 organization.

From its inception, the CSI board has been dedicated to the preservation and celebration of the unique history and culture of the Sulphur Fork and Red River area. CSI has been successful by commissioning and producing two original works. Playwright, David Alford, a native of Adams, TN, authored both works. SPIRIT: The Authentic Story of the Bell Witch of Tennessee was written in 2001, followed by SMOKE: A Ballad of the Night Riders in 2009. In 2012 Community Spirit created and held the first Bell Witch Fall Festival. Our success has drawn the community together to become emotionally invested in live theatre, local heritage and community service and pride.

SPIRIT is the only telling of the Bell Witch legend in recent years which is sanctioned by the Bell family, based on records left behind by Richard Williams Bell, a witness to the phenomena. SMOKE, is a ballad of a serious struggle, during the early 1900s. Red River area tobacco farmers created an association designed to force companies to pay higher prices for their crops. Actions by the association eventually had international repercussions, caused a struggle that touched every family in the "Black Patch" region, and gave birth to the infamous "Night Riders". The musical score consists of original compositions and new arrangements of traditional folk music and is performed live with period instruments in acoustic bluegrass-style. In 2015 CSI added Red River Tales. This afternoon free event highlights the history, society, folklore, culture, music and storytelling of the Red River Watershed. Guest speakers and area musicians volunteer their time and talents as a gift to the community. Included in the program are presentations by high school students from several schools including Jo Byrns, East Robertson, Montgomery Central and Clarksville Academy.

The events are presented in an outdoor venue on the grounds of the Bell School Complex in Adams, TN. They are artistically unique opportunities for local residents to understand and experience the rich history of the area.
Impact

For 2016, CSI mounted the fifth Bell Witch Fall Festival presenting three events. The cornerstones continued to be SMOKE and SPIRIT, original works by playwright, David Alford, that capture significant events in our local history. The other event was Red River Tales that focused on the area folklore, music and stories. Attendance grew to approximately 2800 with students making up 22.5%. The festival website was totally redesigned, making it very user friendly and continuing the “branding” of the festival. The side panel project was completed and the panels were installed prior to the opening of the festival. The panels were designed to be “raised” on warm, mild nights and “lowered” on nights with inclement weather.

Goals for 2017 include:

  • Continue to provide a successful Bell Witch Fall Festival to fill weekends with quality historical education and live theater in Adams;
  • Expand the volunteer base;
  • Increase grant and foundation support;
  • Increase overall attendance; and
Diversify Festival offerings.
Needs

The most pressing needs are:

  1. Additional funding to purchase a storage bin for the side curtains that have been installed on the sides of the theatre space (open air pavilion); sound and lighting equipment;
  2. To diversify festival offerings, contract with a playwright to develop a synopsis for a new play, Wessyngton, generally based upon John Baker’s book, The Washingtons of Wessyngton Plantation.”;
  3. Increase the number of working volunteers;
Continue to build student outreach and attendance.
Other ways to donate, support, or volunteer

Checks can be mailed to P.O. Box 13, Adams, TN 37010. 

Volunteer opportunities are available for theater technical support (e.g., set construction), house staff/ushers, directing parking, marketing committee, ads sales, website management, ticket sales and other duties.

Service Categories
Primary Organization Category Arts,Culture & Humanities / Arts,Culture & Humanities NEC
Areas of Service
Areas Served
TN - Robertson
TN - Montgomery
TN - Cheatham
TN - Sumner
TN - Davidson
KY - Todd
KY - Christian
Sulphur Fork and Red River areas.  This includes the city of Adams, Robertson, Cheatham, Montgomery, Sumner and Davidson Counties in middle Tennessee and Todd, Logan and Christian in south central Kentucky.
Board Chair Statement

My name is Jim Lindsey and I am President of Community Spirit, Inc. In 2001 Ms. Kay Bagby, a past president, had the idea to develop a play about the Bell Witch of Adams, TN. She also wanted to bring quality live theatre to the rural area. Knowing that David Alford was from our area, that he was a graduate of Julliard School of Drama in New York City, acted in Nashville theatre companies and was a playwright, Ms. Kay met with David to discuss writing a play about Bell Witch. In 2001-2002 David wrote SPIRIT: The Authentic Story of the Bell Witch of Tennessee. SPIRIT is the only telling of the Bell Witch legend in recent years which is sanctioned by the Bell family. SPIRIT was first presented in the fall of 2002.

Following the success of SPIRIT, the CSI board commissioned Alford to write a second play regarding the Tobacco War. In 2009 he wrote SMOKE: A Ballad of the Night Riders. The musical score of SMOKE consists of original compositions and new arrangements of traditional folk music. SMOKE opened in 2010.

In 2017 CSI is taking the first step into a bold new venture, the writing of a new play, Wessyngton, generally based upon John F. Baker’s book, The Washingtons of Wessyngton Plantation.” This year CSI will contract with a playwright to develop a synopsis of the playwright’s ideas to be reviewed by John Baker, David Alford and the CSI directors.

The custom side panels to the outdoor pavilion were a welcome addition for our patrons. To preserve and protect the panels, we are in the process of purchasing a fabricated storage bin.

The volunteers of CSI have been hard working, supportive, passionate, aggressive, positive and a joy to work with. Much has been accomplished! I am proud of our organization and think that the future looks good for its endeavors. Our most significant challenge is to obtain on-going funding for our mission. Other challenges include expanding our volunteer base in a small, farming community and tapping experienced individuals to assist with growing and improving our social media outreach.
CEO Statement
CSI operates with an all-volunteer staff.  It does not have a CEO/Executive Director.  Accordingly, we need additional volunteers to assist in our marketing, ad sales and social media marketing.
Programs
Description Red River Tales- developed, organized and expanded for 2017 by Robertson County native Rick Gregory PhD, noted speaker and historian. Gregory will host this afternoon event which highlights the history, society, folklore, culture, music and storytelling of the Red River Watershed. All guest speakers, participants and Dr. Gregory are volunteering their time and talents as a gift to the community. In addition to Dr. Gregory, William Turner, professor emeritus of Hopkinsville Community College and official historian of Hopkinsville, KY, will be a featured storyteller. Included in the program are presentations by students from several schools including Jo Byrns High School, East Robertson High School, Montgomery Central High School and Clarksville Academy. This event will be free to the public.
Budget 1000
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Performing Arts
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years), Adults, Elderly and/or Disabled
Short Term Success Satisfaction by presenters and attendees.
Long term Success Continued growth in attendance and expanded involvement of students from area high schools.
Program Success Monitored By Surveys and attendee zip code analysis.
Examples of Program Success

The benefits of partnering with area schools allows CSI to provide opportunity for young people to "wade into the arts" by being on-stage in front of an audience filled with not only family and friends, but many other unknown attendees. This opportunity is best summed up by the following students’ comments:

· "Mr. Rick, this is the first time anyone ever clapped for me in my life."

· "I wish we could do this again tomorrow. It was the best day of my life."

· "Mama made dozens of pictures of the front page of the paper and gave it to everyone she knew."

· "My mother keeps a hope chest. She put the article in the hope chest and told me, 'This is the most valuable thing in my hope chest'."

Description  

Our closing event will be the Community Spirit mainstay, Spirit. In its 14th year, this historically accurate play centers on an Adams phenomenon that has world-wide notoriety.  SPIRIT is the only telling of the Bell Witch legend in recent years which is sanctioned by the Bell family. It is based on records left behind by Richard Williams Bell, who witnessed the phenomena. The play is in October to leverage the public's interest in the mystique of Halloween. Six outdoor performances open to the general public will be presented.

Budget 45000
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Performing Arts
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years), Adults, Elderly and/or Disabled
Short Term Success Continued positive audience feedback and attendance growth to 1800.
Long term Success Continued attendance growth.
Program Success Monitored By Surveys, feedback and zip code analysis.
Examples of Program Success Audience members surveyed during list year's events resulted in the following comments: "liked the docudrama"; “very excellent product, couldn't be any better"; "above excellent"; "Great atmosphere. Neat! Don't see this type of thing very often!"; "Friendly staff. Very welcoming."; "For all ages. Liked the barn door"; and "Thank you for putting the festival on." Alisa White, PhD and President of APSU wrote, “The events are wonderfully produced and enrich our community.” The Clarksville area Yellow Ribbon planner organized the attendance of a group of 68 wounded veterans, caregivers & families. Following the performance, she emailed, "Thank you for a wonderful experience. Every guest raved about Spirit."
Description This event will involve living historians/reenactors and musicians to bring to life significant events of the Protestant revival movement during the early 19th century that occurred in the Red River Watershed area. As noted by USHistory.org, "Known today as the Second Great Awakening, this spiritual resurgence fundamentally altered the character of American religion.". This event occurred during the same time period and possibly contributed to the phenomenon of the Bell Witch. The event will be free to the public.
Budget 4000
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Performing Arts
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years), Adults, Elderly and/or Disabled
Short Term Success Satisfaction of presenters and attendees.
Long term Success Based on the results on this first year, may be included in future festival offerings.
Program Success Monitored By Surveys and feedback.
Examples of Program Success Targeted first year attendance of 200.
CEO Comments

CSI’s 2016 season offerings are emphasizing educational opportunities for students and adults alike. We continue to offer professional high quality productions. We are soliciting middle and high school students to learn about our unique history and experience professional drama.

 

We work closely with the Jo Byrns High School chapters of the Future Farmers of America and Key Club, the City of Adams and its recreation director and the Adams Community Club to schedule the rehearsals/shows, maintain positive relationships and minimize conflicts. Schools in Montgomery County, TN and southern KY are responding dramatically to our marketing efforts.

Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. James H. Lindsey
Company Affiliation Retired city coordinator
Term Jan 2017 to Jan 2018
Email jimandmn@gmail.com
Board Members
NameAffiliationStatus
Sheri Alford RetiredVoting
Kay Bagby Community activistExofficio
Robert H. Bell III Austin and Bell Funeral HomeExofficio
Carleen Herndon MindShare Strategies, IncVoting
James H. Lindsey RetiredVoting
Mary Nell Lindsey RetiredVoting
Mayor Mary Mantooth Mayor, City of AdamsVoting
Danny Proctor Graphic DesignerVoting
Samuel L. Ramsey The Ramsey GroupVoting
Sandra B. Ramsey Burdett's Tea Shop & Trading Company, LLCVoting
Lauren Sterban-Estep Photographer and teacherVoting
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 11
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 4
Female 7
Unspecified 0
Governance
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 50
Board Meeting Attendance % 60%
Does the organization have written Board Selection Criteria? No
Does the organization have a written Conflict of Interest Policy? No
Percentage of Board Members making Monetary Contributions 80%
Percentage of Board Members making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Does the Board include Client Representation? No
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 12
Standing Committees
Marketing
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Finance
Production
Program / Program Planning
Education
Risk Management Provisions
Commercial General Liability
Directors and Officers Policy
Inland Marine and Mobile Equipment
Workers Compensation and Employers' Liability
CEO Comments

My name is Jim Lindsey and I am President of Community Spirit, Inc. In 2001 Ms. Kay Bagby, a past president, had the idea to develop a play about the Bell Witch of Adams, TN. She also wanted to bring quality live theatre to the rural area. Knowing that David Alford was from our area, that he was a graduate of Julliard School of Drama in New York City, acted in Nashville theatre companies and was a playwright, Ms. Kay met with David to discuss writing a play about Bell Witch. In 2001-2002 David wrote SPIRIT: The Authentic Story of the Bell Witch of Tennessee. SPIRIT is the only telling of the Bell Witch legend in recent years which is sanctioned by the Bell family. SPIRIT was first presented in the fall of 2002. 

Following the success of SPIRIT, the CSI board commissioned Alford to write a second play regarding the Tobacco War. In 2009 he wrote SMOKE: A Ballad of the Night Riders. The musical score of SMOKE consists of original compositions and new arrangements of traditional folk music. SMOKE opened in 2010.

In 2017 CSI is taking the first step into a bold new venture, the writing of a new play, Wessyngton, generally based upon John F. Baker’s book, The Washingtons of Wessyngton Plantation.” This year CSI will contract with a playwright to develop a synopsis of the playwright’s ideas to be reviewed by John Baker, David Alford and the CSI directors.

The custom side panels to the outdoor pavilion were a welcome addition for our patrons. To preserve and protect the panels, we are in the process of purchasing a fabricated storage bin.

The volunteers of CSI have been hard working, supportive, passionate, aggressive, positive and a joy to work with. Much has been accomplished! I am proud of our organization and think that the future looks good for its endeavors. Our most significant challenge is to obtain on-going funding for our mission. Other challenges include expanding our volunteer base in a small, farming community and tapping experienced individuals to assist with growing and improving our social media outreach.
Executive Director/CEO
Experience
CSI operates with an all volunteer staff.  At this point in time, the organization does not have a CEO/executive director. 
Staff
Full Time Staff 0
Part Time Staff 0
Volunteers 60
Contractors 0
Retention Rate 0%
Plans & Policies
Does the organization have a documented Fundraising Plan? No
Does the organization have an approved Strategic Plan? No
Number of years Strategic Plan Considers N/A
In case of a change in leadership, is a Management Succession plan in place? No
Does the organization have a Policies and Procedures Plan? No
Does the organization have a Nondiscrimination Policy? Yes
CEO Comments
Using an all volunteer staff, our challenge is to increase the number of volunteers.  Current efforts are on-going to recruit new members.  Successful completion will allow for expansion of the committee structure.  An additional challenge is to manage the volunteers and their efforts.
 
 
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01 2017
Fiscal Year End Dec 31 2017
Projected Revenue $83,000.00
Projected Expenses $81,000.00
Endowment Spending Policy N/A
Detailed Financials
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$103,254$81,729$73,496
Administration Expense$7,589$5,894$5,977
Fundraising Expense$0$0$0
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.971.071.19
Program Expense/Total Expenses93%93%92%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$34,379$36,133$29,916
Current Assets$23,616$20,625$28,881
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$1,336$0$4
Total Net Assets$33,043$36,133$29,912
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities17.68--7220.25
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountProgram Revenue $55,857Earned Revenue $58,473Earned Revenue $44,408
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, Gifts and Grants $51,896Contributions, Gifts & Grants $34,971Contributions, Gifts & Grants $40,099
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount --Gain on Disposal of Asset $400 --
IRS Letter of Exemption
Capital Campaign
Is the organization currently conducting a Capital Campaign for an endowment or the purchase of a major asset? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit
TN Charitable Solicitations Registration Yes - Expires June 2018
Organization Comments

Our challenge has been and continues to build and maintain our reserves. For the fiscal year ending December 31, 2016, CSI had a negative margin of approximately $3,000. The shortfall was covered using prior year reserves. As part of the board of directors "post" evaluation, we determined that the shortfall was caused by the following:

· The producer failed to provide an updated SPIRIT budget to replace the interim budget initially adopted by the CSI board;

· The CSI treasurer and play committee did not force the producer to develop an updated budget before casting;

· Without an updated, detailed budget, the producer was unable to share line item information with the director for use in casting and decision-making;

· The producer failed to track expenses against the budget (initial interim or otherwise);

· The three audition calls did not attract amateur actors of a caliber to be cast in the SPIRIT roles;

· Austin Peay State University Theatre Department, under the direction of a new interim department chair, chose to have three fall productions and required theatre students to be involved either on- or behind stage. This decision resulted in zero APSU student participation; and

· SPIRIT roles were cast with more professional actors than anticipated in the interim budget, including two equity actors.

To prevent the likelihood of deficit re-occurrence, the following action plan will be used in 2017:

· The CSI treasurer will work closely with the producer to develop a detailed production budget to replace the directors' interim budget prior to auditions;

· The producer will be required to share the budget with the director prior to casting so the director can be more sensitive to the budgeted amounts for actors and technical staffing; and

· Interim job reports will be provided to the producer and play committee.

In 2016, we maintained strong support from individual donors, corporate donors, and grants from foundations and government sources. In order to rebuild reserves and due to the size of the production budget, SMOKE is not included in the 2017 Festival. CSI must continue growing grant support and donations from corporations and individuals. In addition we believe the expanded marketing ground-work, focusing more effort toward the residents of Davidson and Montgomery Counties in Tennessee and the southern Kentucky area, was successful and positions us for further attendance gains in 2017.
GivingMatters.com Financial Comments
Financial figures taken from organization's Form 990, compiled by
Stephen Pierson, CPA.
Comments provided by Kathryn Bennett 5/15/17.
Nonprofit Community Spirit Inc.
Address P.O. Box 13
Adams, TN 37010
Primary Phone (615) 696-4727
Board Chair Mr. James H. Lindsey
Board Chair Company Affiliation Retired city coordinator
Year of Incorporation 2004