Bay School Community Arts Center
279 Main St
Mathews VA 23109
Mission Statement
The Bay School Community Arts Center is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide people of all ages and abilities the opportunities to learn, experience and appreciate the arts.
Through excellence and diversity in classes, exhibits, lectures and performances, the Bay School will be a gathering place for all. 
Web and Social Media
Bay School Sketch
CEO/Executive Director Pamela Ackley Doss
Board Chair Kelsey Desmond
Board Chair Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
Contact Information
Address 279 Main St
Mathews, VA 23109
Telephone 804 725-1278
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1998
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expense Bar Graph - All Years
Expense Breakdown Bar Chart - All Years
Projected Revenue $262,411.00
Projected Expenses $246,080.00
Additional Documents
Catalog Jan-Jun 2018 2018View
Jun-Dec 2017 Class Catalog2017View
Art Speaks on the Bay Show Catalog2017View
Jan - May Class Catalog 20162016View
Jun - Dec Class Catalog 20152015View
Brochure 20152015View
The Bay School Community Arts Center is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide people of all ages and abilities the opportunities to learn, experience and appreciate the arts.
Through excellence and diversity in classes, exhibits, lectures and performances, the Bay School will be a gathering place for all. 
   - We offered over 150 art classes this year, for both adults and children, in many fine art and craft media.
   - We provided 17 outreach programs, including 4 after-school programs, almost doubling our reach in the community over previous years.
   - We served over 150 children in free week-long summer art camps, extending the programming throughout the summer and reducing the class size from 30 to 15 children per class to provide a better art experience.
   - We are working to incorporate more of the creative arts, including heritage crafts, music, and drama, into our outreach programming, drawing on the experience of area artisan and creating inter-generational relationships.
   - A huge goal is to engage more community members by offering special programs, including family nights, exhibitions highlighting our teachers and truly local-themed art and craft, and introducing performance to our public programs with the development of our new outdoor space.  Our audience is mostly limited to retirees with extra time and money, and children whose parents seldom interact with the school.  We want to be a true community resource and provide meaningful art experiences for a more diverse and inclusive group.
   - We recently acquired a one-acre property adjacent to the rear of the Bay School. We are working with an architect to develop a master plan for the use of this property, which will include up to 5000 square feet of flexible classroom and gathering space, a new pottery studio, outdoor studio space, and outdoor performance and gathering space.  We will use the cleared space for outdoor performances and activities until construction begins.
1.Our Teen Open Studio after school program is our most expensive outreach effort, at $500/month. Up to 20 teens attend for three hours on Friday afternoons. This program has tripled in attendance, engaging a crucial at-risk segment of our community.
2. We recently discovered serious damage to the roof trusses over the pottery studio. We also found that squirrels had damaged and destroyed most of the wiring in that attic and needed to replace it. This required extensive repairs to be made safe, costing thousands of dollars. Recouping this expense and rebuilding our reserve is a major priority.
3. We installed a commercial HVAC system to serve the heating and cooling needs of both the pottery studio and the classroom. This project cost $11,626.
4. Our new property comes with increased maintenance needs. The grass, weeds, scrub, and brush are beyond our resources to maintain. We have a push lawn mower and a battery operated trimmer, but our staff is too busy to use them, and we lack volunteers young and hale enough to help. 
 5. We need to increase our technology and data management capability to effectively operate. Our current databases were built by a volunteer and are no longer supported. We need to purchase a class management system, $3000-$4000 annually.

The Bay School was conceived in 1997 to preserve heritage crafts, encourage eco-tourism and educate and bring together the local community. As a non-profit, 501c3 educational organization it is our goal to provide workshops, classes, lectures, exhibits and cultural opportunities. We provide a center that belongs to and exists for the community.

Our gallery features the artwork of over 60 local and regional artists, hosts an annual statewide juried art show, annually exhibits our student work, and hosts other special exhibitions throughout the year.
Our class offerings are continually evolving to meet the requests of our students.  We have instructors and students who have been associated with the Bay School for all 20 years, and new ones who join our community each year.  We offer classes in painting, drawing, mixed media, pastels, basketry, rug hooking, felting, metal assemblage, jewelry, glass, pottery, and more. Our pottery studio has a membership program and is the host of the newly founded Clay by the Bay Ceramics Guild.
Our free week-long summer art camps reach around 150 children each year. A kids' art show, open to the public, wraps up the summer and showcases the new creations.
A lesser known aspect of our work is our outreach program. We send our teachers into the nursing home and senior center; Head Start, pre-kindergarten, and special education classrooms; Boys & Girls Club and YMCA; serve two day support centers for adults with developmental or intellectual disabilities; and host two after-school programs here at the Arts Center.  These programs are entirely grant and donor-funded and free to participants.   
CEO Statement

I have long felt that art builds community, and has the potential to be the heart of a community. For many in Mathews, the Bay School already fills that role. We are a hub of creative activity, of inspiration, and of fellowship centered around art. We reach artists of all ages and abilities, from three-year-olds in preschool to elders in the local nursing home, from adults taking their first drawing class to accomplish artists who exhibit internationally, and everyone in between. We still want to do more; to be more, to more people. Art has the power to touch every life, in unique and diverse ways, from quiet acts of contemplation to the joy of creating, whether it be the first or five hundredth time. Yet, many people are intimidated by art. We want to break down those boundaries and render art not only accessible, but embraceable, to all in our community. For my staff of passionate artists, outreach has become about more than art lessons for special populations. Outreach is the core everything we do, from gallery exhibitions, to specialized classes, to fundraisers for our own programs or to benefit others in our community - for without community, where would we be? We are built of and for community and we have no purpose without it. Embracing our community and finding ways to brighten lives through art is the core of what we do. We want our community to feel included, to share in our successes and growth, and to feel the Bay School is something they can be a part of. We are excited to learn what the community has to offer us in the coming years, and how they will shape our growth as we build capacity to expand our offerings to music, theatre, and other performance. We look forward to embracing heritage crafts in new ways, and hope to introduce a folk arts festival to Mathews in coming years. Our future is bright. Won’t you join us?

Areas of Service
Areas Served
Mathews County
Gloucester County
Middlesex County
Lancaster County
 A large number of our customers, students, and artists live in Mathews County, but that is not the extent of our reach. Our pool of gallery and teaching artists includes many from surrounding counties and as far as Charlottesville.  Many of our artists and students live in or near Mathews only part-time and have another residence elsewhere in the state.  Family and friends they bring to town are a significant piece of those we serve.
Board Chair
Board Chair Kelsey Desmond
Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
Term Jan 2016 to Dec 2018
Board CoChair
Board CoChair Gay Butler
Company Affiliation Retired
Term Jan 2017 to Dec 2017
Board of Directors
Board Members
Lois Biddison Community Volunteer
Gay Butler Retired
Cindy Butterworth Community Volunteer
Mary Chapman Retired
Rita Cutler Artist
Kelsey Desmond Community Volunteer
Phil Dunn Local artist
Beth Johnson Community Volunteer
Elizabeth Lacy Community Volunteer
Rachel Morris Retired
Daniel Ortiz Coastwise Designs Signs and Screenprinting
Stephanie Tiller Chesapeake Bank
Tom Tucker Retired
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 10
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 1
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 3
Female 11
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Written Board Selection Criteria? Under Development
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 6
Standing Committees
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Program / Program Planning
Other Boards
The tables below contain information about other groups that advise this nonprofit on operations and projects.
 The Bay School is at a very important turning point.  We have a tremendous opportunity to not only shape our future, but have a big part in shaping the future of downtown Mathews, with the development of our new property.  We have begun a strategic planning process alongside working with an architect to develop a master plan for future property use.  We have outgrown our current space as our in-house programs have grown.  There is much we would like to incorporate into our programs and classes to fully complete our mission of bringing the arts to our community - conducting classes and performance of music, dance, and theater are among our future goals.  We have a budding culinary program, with emphasis on local farm-to-table practices, that could really flourish in our new space.  Our pottery program is poised to be a true regional resource for potters of all skill levels as we grow into a new studio with increased capability.  Our new space, both indoor and out, will host community-wide events that will bring together diverse audiences to be touched by art.  We are excited by these opportunities and know we have a monumental project ahead of us, which will take extremely hard work and a great deal of capital.  Our project will truly be an investment in our community.  
Executive Director
Executive Director Pamela Ackley Doss
Pam was hired in December 2013 in the new position of Artistic Director. She has a BA from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a major in Art and a minor in Art History and Criticism. Pam has held various Arts Administrator positions in San Antonio and more recently at Gloucester Arts on Main. She is passionate about art
education and art production, and believes art can be a uniting and strengthening force in a community.  She became Executive Director in May 2016, combining the duties of the Artistic Director and Business Director into one position to oversee all Bay School operations.
Former CEOs
Deborah L Brown Aug 2011 - Apr 2016
Kim Moore - Sept 2011
Senior Staff
Grace White Small Operations Manager
Full Time Staff 2
Part Time Staff 3
Volunteers 43
Contractors 30
Retention Rate 100
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers 3
Date Strategic Plan Adopted Oct 2014
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
The Bay School is a member of Mathews County Coalition 4 Kids (C4K), a coalition created to facilitate collaboration among youth-focused educational and recreational non-profit organizations. Other members include the Boys & Girls Club, the Mathews Family YMCA, the Mathews Memorial Library, Virginia Cooperative Extension/Mathews 4-H, and the Mathews Maritime Foundation. Each summer, C4K publishes a joint calendar of kids' camps and activities.  C4K is also focused on providing opportunities for teens to engage with their community and learn about potential careers, and is developing a program to further these efforts.

The Bay School takes appropriate arts and crafts to the residents of the convalescent center twice a month. There are up to fifteen people who participate. Most struggle with strokes, dementia, loss of motor skills, hearing and sight. The goal here is to break the barrier of fear of failing. Several of the Bay School volunteers assist the instructor with the student activities.

Population Served Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens
Budget $1,850.00
Description Youth from the Mathews Boys and Girls Club come to the Bay School once a week after school for an art class.  This program is for after school and at-risk children and teens. Approximately 6-12 youth participate on any given session. 
Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Budget $3,275.00

The Bay School brings art classes to students at two of the Mathews' local public schools (Lee-Jackson Elementary School and Thomas Hunter Middle School). The middle school class meets weekly and a preschool class twice a month during the school year to participate in an art-related activity. The students are accompanied by their teachers and aides. 

Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Budget $2,850.00

Eighteen four and five year old children walk to The Bay School twice a month for art related activities. Besides the end result, they are learning how to use gross and fine motor skills such as cutting with scissors, coloring and pasting, as well as attention and social skills such as listening and following instruction, sitting still and sharing. We also incorporate the alphabet, numbers and shapes into the projects. 

Population Served Infants to Preschool (under age 5)
Budget $675.00
Description Making the arts accessible to all is deeply engrained in the mission of the Bay School. Twice a month we provide creative services to the clients at the Brambles, a residential/day center specializing in the care of intellectually disabled adults. It is our privilege to partner with The Brambles to meet the creative needs of the individuals and staff. Through a variety of media and creative experimentation we are able to encourage these very special members of our community to openly express themselves in ways that speak louder than words. 
Population Served People/Families with People of Developmental Disabilities
Budget $1,800.00
CEO/ED/Board Comments
Most of our outreach programs have been funded by grants.  Our grant funding is inconsistent from year to year.  The need for these programs still exists and we have added five  new programs in recent years as demand in the community has grown.  During lean grant years, we have done some fund raising to help bridge the gaps.  In 2010 we had a very successful 'Adopt A Program' direct mail appeal.  However, this is an ongoing challenge.  Inconsistent funding means our clients can't count on us to be there when they need us.  Continuity and reliability are important for community relationships and we hate having to suspend programs during months when funding is lacking.
Fiscal Year
Projected Revenue $262,411.00
Projected Expenses $246,080.00
Endowment Value $123,850.00
Spending Policy Percentage
Percentage (if selected) 4
IRS Letter of Exemption
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201620152014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$10,000$0$0
Individual Contributions$122,043$87,189$138,703
Investment Income, Net of Losses------
Membership Dues--$1,795$1,347
Special Events($2,333)$72,615--
Revenue In-Kind------
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$170,086$144,400$128,060
Administration Expense$43,042$26,748$28,965
Fundraising Expense$5,612$5,459$8,140
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.081.481.18
Program Expense/Total Expenses78%82%78%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue4%2%6%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$350,557$404,429$321,329
Current Assets$128,395$138,155$128,813
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0--
Current Liabilities$3,956$4,559$5,646
Total Net Assets$346,601$399,870$315,683
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities32.4630.3022.81
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Campaign Purpose We plan to build an additional 5000 square feet of classroom space. This will be a new structure, attached to the rear of our current building, with flexible and purpose-build specialty classrooms and outdoor performance and festival space.
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes
State Charitable Solicitaions Permit
Solicitations Permit
Solicitations Permit 2017-2018View
Organization Comments The Bay School is in an exciting period of development and growth. With the acquisition of an additional acre of property, adjacent to our current building, we are planning to expand our facilities. Our community outreach programs have grown in recent years to include four after-school programs, three of which occur in our facility. Additional community groups' in-house art sessions, classes for adults and children, a much-used pottery studio, committee meetings and volunteer activities, and public gallery events all vie for time and space in our facility. As we plan a future expansion that will accommodate all we are presently doing and more, we are also addressing maintenance issues. Roof leaks, HVAC malfunctions, patio safety, and limited safe storage space are our most pressing concerns. We also face the welcome challenge of converting the now-empty lot behind our building into a safe and welcoming community space, to be used for public events until expansion construction begins. It is important we do this in a practical and forward-thinking manner, and employ sound financial stewardship as we make property improvements. Our slow pace of change and development is crucial to our future success, allowing for sound, well thought out decisions now and as we move forward. 
Foundation Comments
  • Financial information provided from Form 990, with supplemental information from the Profit & Loss statements