Is $209,000 salary for director of Asheville Area Center for the Performing Arts too high?

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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James Baudoin, executive director the Asheville Area Center for the Performing Arts, took home $209,605 in 2009 as executive director of the nonprofit group, according to tax records. The organization is trying to raise money to build an $85 million performing arts center in downtown Asheville. The group is currently in the planning phase.

So that’s the question. The context is all the talk recently about the pay for public officials, and concerns about the management of other local nonprofits, most notably the Heath Adventure. Thoughts?

Click here to see the Asheville Area Center for the Performing Arts’ form 990, the tax record that nonprofits are required to file.

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1


  1. George D Barrett April 25, 2011

    James Baudoin took home $209,000 in 2009.

    Wonder if this stupid Board gave him a cost of living increase, merit raise, or bonus in 2010? Any idea of the 2010 filings?

    Good story to monitor carefully.

  2. 28804 April 25, 2011

    This group has been in the "planning stages" for several years now. Clearly nothing has happened except for the usual old-school Asheville board types have created their own country-club type organization and are paying a bloody fortune to this man to do absolutely nothing. They will be in "planning stages" forever, because this type of project is just not going to happen in Asheville, North Carolina.

  3. D Smith April 25, 2011

    What outrageous behavior! Highly doubt that I'll ever give to this group. This sort of revelation makes sure we will carefully want to scrutinize all future contribution to arts groups in the Asheville area. This sort of thing hurts all of the arts and civic organizations.

  4. Yasmine April 25, 2011

    Yes, this is the same "good ole men/women" who seem to be on every board possible. I see that the former head of the Pack Square Conservancy (Gary Ginant) is on the list….just look what happened to him….run out of town.

    This is clearly outrageous and the Board needs to re-think the purpose of this effort. How could people be so stupid to pay a single person so much, when he seems to have accomplished absolutely nothing…..we'll maybe not anything, but sure not close to a salary of this magnitude.

    I'm sure this group will have a lot of trouble raising any more money. Really a horrible waste.

  5. DRT April 23, 2011

    The group's web site has a (presumably) updated list of board members as well as a Board of Advisors, and a Resource Council both of which seem to be made up of a Who's Who list of the old boy (and girl) network of Asheville.

  6. Biff Smeed April 22, 2011

    If Asheville needs a new $85 million performing arts space, just wondering what the hell these venues are:
    Diana Worthem Theatre
    Asheville Community Theater
    Thomas Wolfe Auditorium
    Asheville Civic Center
    Pack Plaza

  7. Sara April 21, 2011

    As one who loves and supports the arts and music in the region, this is really disheartening news. I would never in my wildest dreams think that any arts related CEO in this community would get such a huge salary. It makes me want to never contribute again, and I certainly will not give to this group.

    Thanks for the names of the Board members. Many of them are familiar "ole boy/girl" Asheville people who are always busy scratching each other's backs and feeding each other's egos!

    This organization may face some of the same issues as the Pack Square Conservancy who also paid their administrator way too much. And, just look at the poor job that group did with the Pack Square Park.

    This James Baudoin is surely on his way out, and so should the members of the Board who hired him. How long has he been around knocking down that kind of salary here in Asheville?

  8. Ash April 21, 2011

    Biff, it's included in the 990 form, linked above. Here's the list:
    William Massey, president
    Mack Day, vice president
    Jack Sherman, treasurer
    Carol McCollum, secretary
    Linda Alford
    Joyce Dorr
    Gary Coleman
    C. Jerome Jones
    Calvin A. Kelly
    William McMinn
    Bill Miles
    John Rogers
    Lavoy Spooner
    Mike Stoll
    Charles C. Thomas
    Miller Williams
    Frosene Zeis

  9. Biff Smeed April 21, 2011

    How about giving readers a list of this organization's board members. It seems they deserve some recognition too.

  10. Doug April 21, 2011


  11. AVLArtiste April 21, 2011

    This organization's Board of Directors is the culprit here. Why on earth would any individual warrant that kind of salary when the group is mostly a concept and the main effort is fundraising? Baffling indeed! His salary alone is eating up all the funds raised. The Board is the failure here and should be replaced. This guy is probably just getting all the dough he can before he gets run out of town. That's the way it works with these types of scenarios, especially in a small town like Asheville.

  12. Dan April 21, 2011

    This information makes me sick.
    I don't expect this guy to last long here.

  13. Dan April 21, 2011

    Are the Board members of this group smokin crack or something? This is OUTRAGEOUS! What has this group done? Absolutely nothing. We've been hearing bits of this for years and nothing has developed. This guy must be a real snake oil salesman to get a salary like that in this area. They've raised very little money for such a grand project, yet they pay the vast majority to a ceo who can't even raise money. What a joke this group is.

  14. Babs April 21, 2011

    Just think of how far that 209,000 annual salary could go in Asheville in supporting families who really need it. This guy, along with the board of directors, are part of an organization that has yet to do anything. Asheville and WNC are not a major arts center and we never will be. This has got to be the biggest waste of donor money ever for arts fundraising in this entire region. I am glad this fraud got exposed here.

  15. Leslie April 21, 2011

    Yes, that's a huge salary for an organization that hasn't much to show for it's efforts over many years now. Groups like these do nothing but beat the bushes for contributions and then spend on outrageous salaries for a single person. Oh, and I see he has a full time admin too. Too rich for me and for most people I know. What a waste. Think how many normal families could live well, raise kids, and have a nice life. Yet, this one arts bureaucrat gets a huge sum like that. For what??? What's he done to earn it? Elitism.

  16. Observer 6 April 21, 2011

    Sounds like it might be the right salary for a similar position in a city like Raleigh or Charlotte, but definitely not in Asheville, NC.
    Far too much for the position and work done.
    It's personally offensive to me as a donor — simply not good value. I don't want most all of my money to go to wallet of any administrator's salary.
    Definitely out of line … I'm guessing the Board thought they were really being uptown here in little ole Asheville paying suck big bucks. Sure to impress those big city folks.

  17. Blue Holler April 20, 2011

    So he makes more than the City Manager who manages an organization with over 1,000 employees and a budget of $130 million. Hmm. Does not look like he brought in that much money to warrant the salary. But like someone else said, that is between him and his board and their donors.

  18. Media Watcher April 20, 2011

    Isn't a chief executive's salary usually measured in terms of the number of people he or she supervises, the total number of employees for the organization, and the organization's operating budget? What are these numbers for Mr. Baudoin? How does Mr. Baudoin's salary compare to the executives of other non-profits in town? Perhaps an enterprising journalist will do the numbers and the comparisons.

  19. Ken April 20, 2011

    I'm not sure if it's too high or not.

    All prospective donors should be aware of this man's salary, though.

    I would feel a bit hesitant about giving to a locally-focused nonprofit where the director takes home far more than I do. Or, at the very least, that is information that I would like to have.

  20. BadMoJo April 20, 2011

    WOW! That is an extremely high salary for that gig. I know I would not open my wallet to a non-profit putting the touch on me knowing that the administrative cost is that high.

  21. Matt April 20, 2011

    Well in reality it's between Mr. Baudoin, the board, and ultimately the people who donate. But according to the 990, Revenues were 242,528 and his salary was 209,605. So according to that, 87% of income (30,000 was investment) is going to the director's salary?


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