WLOS: High-paid executive director of performing arts center nonprofit defends pay


WLOS picked up on my post yesterday calling into question the pay of James Baudoin, the executive director of the Asheville Area Center for the Performing Arts. Despite making little progress on actually getting a new performing arts center built, Baudoin pulled down a $217,000 salary in 2009-’10, about $8,000 than the year before. He’s one of the highest paid arts professionals in Asheville. Good for WLOS to follow up.

From the WLOS story on the performing arts center:

Today, Baudoin says the project is realistically around 30-million and a copy of their 2009 tax form reveals only about 1-point-4 million dollars in assets. The 990 tax form also reveals the non profit has taken in some grant money, funds likely provided by taxpayers. His pay, however, remains 217-thousand 900 dollars including benefits. He defends his pay saying it’s what he was paid in his previous arts center position and in line with national surveys. His board president says “he’s like the quarterback of a superbowl game” and someone you trust to get the job done.

But the reality remains that the scaled back project is still only a model in the Grove Arcade building 5 years after launching their campaign. The proposed site adjacent to city hall is still a parking lot with no sign of construction. Baudoin and board president Bill Miles insist the project will begin in 2013 and hold its opening night performance in 2016.


Anonymous February 21, 2012 - 10:22 am

I’ve built two performing arts centers in my 20 year career. You can pay me half what he’s getting and I’ll actually get it done.

Davyne Dial February 19, 2012 - 9:48 am

And there’s an $8,000,000 mudhole on n. Broadway that just hit the auction block. I suspect that’s where this is headed.

Rob February 17, 2012 - 9:38 pm

Astounding, truly astounding. More than twice the salary of, say, the director of the Asheville Art Museum, and absolutely nothing to show for it. This looks like the ultimate scam in Asheville, up there with the Health Adventure/ Momentum. No indication that he has raised a dime towards the performance center, only that he is a “quarterback”, which sounds kinda kinky in light of the projected start of the project next year and being only $28 Million short of goal. That means raising more than $2 million a month.
And they wonder why folks think this whole project is basically a delusion and a joke.
We all wish them luck, but they are apparently living on Fantasy Island and would like to convince others to join them. Show us the money and we’ll show you some respect. Until then, dream on…and don’t be offended if we giggle a bit as you make your case.
I love self delusion, and am only offended when you try to suggest we should all share in it.

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