One of the highest paid arts professionals in Asheville got a raise in the 2009-’10 tax year, according to tax records, although the project remains far from completion.

James Baudoin, executive director of the nonprofit Asheville Area Center for the Performing Arts, took home $217,903 in the year running from July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010. That’s up from $209,605, the amount he made the year previous. That’s according to the latest IRS tax form – a public document – that nonprofits are required to fill out each year. (See the Asheville Area Center for the Performing Arts latest tax document here.)

The long-planned performing arts center is envisioned as an $85 million center that would including a 2,000-seat, state-of-the-art performance center that would be used by groups such as the Asheville Symphony, Asheville Bravo Concerts and touring  artists. The center’s location has been pegged to a city-owned lot boarded by Eagle, Spruce, Marjorie and Davidson streets near Asheville City Hall.

The last big news about the project came in 2009, when the organization announced that the nationally known architectural firm William Rawn Associates of Boston would collaborate with local firm Calloway Johnson Moore and West to design the center. There’s been little news out of the group since then. Its latest newsletter says the group is working on a fundraising campaign, and working to update plans.

I asked if Baudoin’s salary was too high last year when I started hearing some low-level grumbling from some folks around town. Now I’m hearing that same grumbling again.

I don’t know Baudoin’s job duties, but in this austere day, it seems awfully high for a project that has shown little progress in at least the past five years.


  1. Par for the course in these parts. Nothing will change till we are free of those “whos who good ole folks.”

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  3. Thank you for this bit of investigative journalism. This pales in comparison to the Pack Park

  4. The group’s web site appears in need of some updating as well. The list of the Board of Advisors (which reads like a Who’s Who list of the old boy and old girl network in Asheville) sill lists former ACT publisher Virgil Smith who left Asheville a good while back and still lists Craig Madison as President and CEO of Grove Park Inn even though he resigned that position more than a month ago. $217,000? It’s good work if you can get it.

    • Here’s an even more thorough link to a bit of Baudoin’s history. It appears he was working on a similar project in North Texas while consulting Asheville. About the time he got the gig in Asheville, the North Texas group was worried about construction costs coming in $18 million less than what had been projected.

      This was said of Baudoin, … “has been associated and assisting with the Asheville project since before we hired him on as executive director,” said Steve Matthews, ACC board president. “It was a convenient time for both the ACC and Asheville for him to leave (North Texas)”

      The report also stated, “The North Carolina arts hall is estimated to cost between $65 million and $85 million, with funding coming from private donations and public financing.”

      Looks like Asheville has been fooled once again just because certain people want to start their own performance space to feature their own little arts little clique, rather than helping to renovate the Civic Center. 2100 seats at the AACPA? Isn’t that somewhere in the same neighborhood as the Thomas Wolfe Center? Once again, those who think they’re the who’s who of whatever they’re involved in Asheville want their own gig, rather than supporting and building upon what has come before them. Happens across the board in this town; not just in the arts. Shame.

      • hit reply without proper edit .. my bad. first sentence should end with ‘construction coming in $18 million more than what had been projected.”

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