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 Mr. James Lindsey President
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 $106,550.00
Projected Annual Revenue $107,358.00 (2018)
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 2017, CSI mounted the sixth Bell Witch Fall Festival presenting three events:

Red River Tales, was an afternoon event of history, society, culture, music and storytelling of the Red River Watershed. This was a free event.

Second Great Revival (Awakening) Living historians/reenactors/musicians brought to life events of early 19th century Protestant revival movement that occurred in the Red River Watershed. USHistory.org says, "…this spiritual resurgence fundamentally altered the character of American religion". This was a free event.

Spirit, performed for our 15th year, was a dramatic play centering on an Adams phenomenon that has worldwide notoriety. It is the only telling of the Bell Witch legend in recent years sanctioned by the Bell Family.

All events were successfully completed and provided exceptional artistic and cultural experiences; employed professional and non-professional actors, musicians and technicians; and delivered educational outreach. Total attendance was 2,246. Student attendance was 556 (24.8%). Total actors, musicians, technicians and storytellers were 87 with 18 (20.7%) being young people.

We completed the construction of a water tight container to store the removable pavilion side panels.

Two African-American playwrights were retained and each developed a synopsis generally based on the book, The Washingtons of Wessyngton Plantation. A seven-person panel comprised of four CSI board members, two historians with detailed knowledge of the Wessyngton Plantation history and one genealogist reviewed both synopses.  CSI has postponed further development of a play at this time.

Goals for 2018 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. Reconditioning the outdoor restrooms, which are in poor repair and uninviting to patrons;

2. To purchase sound and lighting equipment;

3. To diversify festival offerings,

4. Increase the number of working volunteers; and

5. 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.

The custom side panels to the outdoor pavilion were a welcome addition for our patrons. To preserve and protect the panels, we have purchased 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.

It is my desire to investigate reconditioning the outdoor restrooms, which are in poor repair and uninviting to patrons of our festival. The TN Department of Tourism has told a Robertson County tourism meeting that inviting bathrooms are very important to the success of any endeavor.

CEO Statement
Since we operate with an all-volunteer staff, CSI does not have a CEO/Executive Director. We need additional volunteers to assist in our management, sales and social media marketing.
Programs
Description Red River Tales- developed, organized and expanded for 2018 by Robertson County native Rick Gregory PhD, noted speaker and historian. Take a walk down history lane with conversations and never-heard-before stories and live music!  Rich in history, this area known as the Red River Watershed, located in South Central Kentucky and Middle Tennessee, is famous for faith, fighting and folklore.  Hear musicians play the banjo, guitar and dulcimer.  Hear local storytellers, historians and high school students speak.  William Turner- professor emeritus of Hopkinsville Community College & official historian of Hopkinsville, KY- and his wife Lavenia will share original letters written during the Civil War between George Augustine Washington and his wife Jane, owners of Wessyngton Plantation (located in Roberson County). See displays about the history of Fort Redmond, the Night Riders and the Bell Witch.  This event is 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:

“…(I) have always been a fan of the Bell Witch Fall Festival, seeing Spirit multiple times in high school and each time walking away with more questions and theories than the time before”. (This young man currently attends Austin Peay University majoring in acting/directing in the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.

After seeing Spirit with her high school, advised her honors English teacher that she will pursue an education degree with an English major. 

· "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 This long-suppressed local story of the dark history of the Black Patch Capital of the World and its tobacco war of the early 1900s unfolds through the gut-wrenching emotional ride of the Hartley family.  Witness the struggles that affected not only them, but all the families who farmed in this region of Western Kentucky and Middle Tennessee and grew dark-fired tobacco.  You will see big business at its worst and the tobacco company's role in turning farmer against farmer, brother against brother and its backlash--giving birth to the masked vigilantes:  The Night Riders.  This superior production will thrill you with its lyrical, inspiring bluegrass music and top notch acting.  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 Growth of attendance to a minimum of 1000.
Long term Success Continued positive audience feedback and attendance growth to more than 1500.
Program Success Monitored By

Random surveys of audience attendees, verbal feedback from audience shared with volunteers and board members, and zip code analysis.

Examples of Program Success Audience members surveyed during the 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."; "Good band. Loved the horse."; "For all ages. Liked the barn door"; "Bravo, OMG, Super!"; and "Thank you for putting the festival on." Alisa White, PhD and President of APSU wrote, “...wonderfully produced and enriches our community.” 
Description  

The closing event in its 16th year will be our mainstay, Spirit.  As you sit on the grounds of the farm that once belonged to the Bell family, Spirit will take you on an eerie journey that began in 1804 when John Bell uprooted his family and moved to a beautiful area on the Red River, now known as Adams, unaware that the grounds were already occupied by the later coined "Bell Witch."  Tormenting the family for years, moving objects, and even pinching and slapping family members.  The events culminated in Johns Bell's mysterious death in 1820.  the Bell Witch gleefully claimed responsibility, even singing bawdy songs at his funeral.  The mystery remains unsolved to this day.

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 32500
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 more than 1800.
Long term Success Continued attendance growth targeting 2000.
Program Success Monitored By

Random surveys of audience attendees, verbal feedback from audience shared with volunteers and board members, and zip code analysis.

Examples of Program Success

Attendee feedback from the random surveys can be summed by the following quotes:  "It’s fantastic! Worth the drive rain or shine.”; “So wonderful. Gets better and better every year.”; “I think it is great. Neat experience.”; “Really impressed with how good it is!”; “It raised the stakes on visiting theater plays.”; “I like it….something for everybody…have seen 5 times.”; and "More scary than previous years. Gets me shaking a little bit.”

CEO Comments

CSI’s 2018 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.

CSI works with numerous organizations and coalitions to implement our project. Robertson County Chamber of Commerce served as an information center and ticket outlet, promoted the events in their social media and displayed advertising information. The Chamber facilitates attendance of the Leadership Middle Tennessee group. The City of Adams served as an information center and ticket outlet, promoted all events in their social media, and provided performance venue, ticket and souvenir area, and rehearsal/lecture space all at no cost. Adams Community Club to schedule the rehearsals/shows, maintain positive relationships and minimize conflicts. Jo Byrns HS Key Club sponsor and FFA Director worked along-side students in invaluable, volunteer capacities. Area high school students provided historical presentations in the Red River Tales. Curator/historian of Adams Museum was on-site nightly to give tours and to answer questions. Local historian and CSI member, Bo Adams, was on-site and provided historical exhibits. USDA-Farm Service Agency Exec Director for Robertson-Davidson Counties presented a display. Adams' restaurant and local deli were open for dinner prior to all performances. Finally, a local caterer provided concessions for the festival.

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 2018 to Jan 2019
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
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

Many of the board members have served CSI more than 10 years. We need and are working to identify interested individuals to become future directors.

Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Mr. James Lindsey President
Email info@bellwitchfallfestival.com
Experience
CSI operates with an all volunteer staff.  At this point in time, the organization does not have a CEO/executive director.  The President of the Board functions in that capacity. 
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 2018
Fiscal Year End Dec 31 2018
Projected Revenue $107,358.00
Projected Expenses $106,550.00
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.  Last year the operating margin was greater than the budgeted margin. Support revenue was $9,668 greater than the budget. Event revenue was less than the budget by $2,868. All expenses were under budget: Performance and promotion expenses were under budget by $15,837; Cost of Goods Sold expense was under budget by $775; Feasibility study for a new play was under budget by $3,500; and Administrative expenses were under budget by $2,547.

The year-end operating margin was $32,930 compared to a budgeted margin of $2,000. The greater margin was due to two achievements- 1) the greatest ever attendance at the Spirit production and 2) the successful implementation of the board’s 2016 action plan, wherein:

  • The producer and CSI treasurer developed a detailed production budget to replace the interim budget prior to auditions;
  • The producer shared the budget with the director prior to casting in order that the director was more sensitive to the budgeted amounts for actors and technical staffing; and
  • Interim job reports were developed by the producer and discussed with CSI treasurer.
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
CEO/Executive Director Mr. James Lindsey President
Board Chair Mr. James H. Lindsey
Board Chair Company Affiliation Retired city coordinator
Year of Incorporation 2004