Richmond Performing Arts Alliance
600 E. Grace Street, #400
Richmond VA 23219
Mission Statement

Richmond Performing Arts Alliance is a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to provide diverse local and world-class performing arts, transformative arts education experiences for students of all ages, and inspirational venues—all to strengthen the cultural and economic vitality of Greater Richmond.     

In addition to its comprehensive BrightLights Education program and wide array of performances and productions, Richmond Performing Arts Alliance (RPAA) hosts a range of resident arts companies and other performing arts groups in a collaborative environment. RPAA oversees several distinctive venues: Altria Theater at Monroe Park, and Dominion Arts Center, which includes Carpenter Theatre and Dorothy Pauley Square downtown (housing Rhythm Hall, Showcase Gallery, the Libby S. Gottwald Playhouse, and the Genworth BrightLights Education Center).

CEO/Executive Director Ms. Janet Starke
Board Chair Mr. Matthew J. Murcko
Board Chair Company Affiliation Troutman Sanders LLP
Contact Information
Address 600 E. Grace Street, #400
Richmond, VA 23219
Telephone 804 592-3330
Fax 804 648-0230
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 2000
Former Names
Virginia Performing Arts Foundation2008
CenterStage Foundation2013
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $1,483,100.00
Projected Expenses $1,001,600.00

Richmond Performing Arts Alliance is a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to provide diverse local and world-class performing arts, transformative arts education experiences for students of all ages, and inspirational venues—all to strengthen the cultural and economic vitality of Greater Richmond.     

In addition to its comprehensive BrightLights Education program and wide array of performances and productions, Richmond Performing Arts Alliance (RPAA) hosts a range of resident arts companies and other performing arts groups in a collaborative environment. RPAA oversees several distinctive venues: Altria Theater at Monroe Park, and Dominion Arts Center, which includes Carpenter Theatre and Dorothy Pauley Square downtown (housing Rhythm Hall, Showcase Gallery, the Libby S. Gottwald Playhouse, and the Genworth BrightLights Education Center).


Richmond Performing Arts Alliance (RPAA) has presented a series of successful programs that began with our sold-out Grand Opening, which featured performances by all nine of our (original) resident arts companies. Arts education is at the heart of our mission. In addition to comprehensive programs in our region's schools, we provide many opportunities to learn and engage in the arts, including our biennial Lights Up! Youth Open House—a celebration of youth in the arts (and families) that includes a day of free workshops, lecture-demonstrations and mini-performances (in performing and visual arts), open to the entire community. The sessions are provided by a multitude of our artists from our resident companies and other community arts organizations, and many attendees have their first participatory arts experience at this event.

In addition to the thriving programming of our resident companies, RPAA has a strong and vibrant Broadway series, and family series. The 2015-17 Broadway in Richmond season featured Elf: The Musical, The Book of Mormon, Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, and Kinky Boots. 

All of these programs are strengthened through our BrightLights Education Initiatives, which provide opportunities for students in the City of Richmond and Counties of Chesterfield, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, New Kent, and Powhatan to not only attend performances but also learn in and through the arts in their schools. Our Initiatives also emphasize professional development for teachers and artists in best practices for the most effective use of the arts in teaching and learning across the curriculum. Emphasizing regional collaboration also allows for a new and vibrant way to approach arts education in some of the region’s most under served areas.

 Our unique and distinct Digital Arts Lab serves as a through-line in all our education programs, providing online resources for use in the classroom and at home. It also provides workforce development skills as students gain hands-on experience in video production. Students serve as the primary content creators of online media, as well as serve as crew for learning events (i.e. master classes, lecture-demonstrations, etc.) that are recorded and/or live-streamed from the venues of RPAA. 



Richmond Performing Arts Alliance (RPAA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that relies upon nearly 85% of contributed revenue for its annual income. The performing arts, arts education and the various arts disciplines provide the framework for fulfilling our mission and vision . Our education programs for schools are provided largely at no cost to them, so as to eliminate barriers and increase equity in access to the arts for all. In our first five years, we served more than 30,000 students, teachers and families. Altogether our artistic programming, educational programs and special events are funded largely through generous support from individuals, foundations, corporations, and government grants. RPAA's ability to foster a lifelong engagement in the performing arts is dependent upon private support from all these constituents. 


CenterStage Foundation’s priority needs are:

  • Funding for our BrightLights Education Initiatives
  • Growing our Endowment, to support overall operations
  • Closing out our successful Altria Theater Capital Campaign
  • Technology upgrades for our Digital Arts Lab
  • Support of artistic programming efforts
Background Richmond Performing Arts Alliance (RPAA) is much more than a group of theaters. RPAA opened on September 12, 2009 as Richmond's performing arts center, and serves as home to several of Richmond’s best of the performing arts: the Richmond Symphony, Richmond Ballet, Virginia Opera, Quill Theatre, Elegba Folklore Society, and many more. RPAA plays host to national music and other artistic acts, from bands to comedians to historians and magicians.  We are a leading venture in a citywide revitalization effort of the downtown area.  At the core of RPAA's venues is the Carpenter Theatre, a fully-renovated 1,800-seat hall, and Richmond's historic Altria Theater. RPAA is also home to Dorothy Pauley Square, which includes the 150-seat Rhythm Hall, the 200-seat Gottwald Community Playhouse, Showcase Gallery (for visual arts), and the Genworth BrightLights Education Center.
Areas of Service
Areas Served
Metro Richmond
Richmond, City
Chesterfield County
Goochland County
Hanover County
Henrico County
Powhatan County
New Kent County
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. Matthew J. Murcko
Company Affiliation Troutman Sanders LLP
Term July 2017 to June 2018
Board CoChair
Board CoChair Mr. Rodney T. Willett
Company Affiliation Impact Makers, Inc.
Term July 2017 to June 2018
Board of Directors
Board Members
Mrs. Christie-Jo Adams Richmond Public Schools
Mr. Barry Brockwell ABC Supply Corporation
Ms. Sharon Dabney-Wooldridge The Kleane Kare Team
Mr. David Gallagher Dominion Payroll Services
Ms. Suzanne L. Gardner Wells Fargo
Mr. Scott Garka Richmond CultureWorks
Ms. Natalie Garramone The Frontier Project
Mr. C. T. Hill SunTrust Bank, Mid-Atlantic, Retired
Mr. Bruce A. Kay Markel Corporation
Mr. Scott Meier Deloitte LLP
Mrs. Morenike K. Miles Dominion Energy
Mr. J. Robert Mooney Mason School of Business, College of William & Mary
Mr. Matthew J. Murcko Troutman Sanders LLP
Mr. Joe L. Murillo Altria Client Services
Mr. Tyrone Nelson County of Henrico Board of Supervisors
Mr. Kelly O'Keefe VCU Brandcenter
Mr. Tom Osgood Xenith Bank
Mr. Randall S. Parks Hunton & Williams
Ms. Laurie Perper Bank of America, N.A.
Ms. Dalal Maria Saloman Saloman & Ludwin, LLC
Mr. W. Jerold Samford Troutman Sanders LLP
Mr. Kim Scheeler Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce
Ms. Lisa Sims Venture Richmond
Mr. Robert C. Sledd Governor's Office
Mr. James E. Ukrop First Market Bank
Mr. J. Saunders Wiggins CFP, AIFThe Actuarial Consulting Group, Inc.
Mr. Rodney T. Willett Impact Makers, Inc.
Mr. S. Taylor Williams Spy Rock Real Estate, LLC
Mrs. Ting Xu Evergreen Enterprises
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 4
Asian American/Pacific Islander 1
Caucasian 22
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 1
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 20
Female 9
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Meeting Attendance % 56
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 10
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 7
Standing Committees
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Board Governance
Community Outreach / Community Relations
Other Boards
The tables below contain information about other groups that advise this nonprofit on operations and projects.
Executive Director
Executive Director Ms. Janet Starke

Since 2009, Janet Starke has served as Director of Education for RPAA (formerly Richmond CenterStage). For nearly 20 years, she has administered arts education, artistic programming and otherwise worked with senior management at performing arts centers and other arts organizations in Charlotte, Cincinnati, Memphis and Nashville. In arts education programming, she designed and implemented professional development for teachers and teaching artists for the successful implementation of arts-integrated curricula supported by artist residencies. For these, she has secured grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the U.S. Department of Education. A native of Richmond, VA, she holds degrees in Arts Administration from Shenandoah University and the University of Cincinnati. Janet currently serves on Virginia Commission for the Arts’ Area V General Operating grants panel, is in the middle of a three-year term on Americans for the Arts’ Education Council, and has previously served on grants panels for Virginia Commission for the Arts’ Artists in Education, The Kennedy Center’s Partners in Education, and the U.S. Department of Education. She has presented nationally at conferences and symposia, including those of Arts Education Partnership, Southeast Center for Education and the Arts, Arts Schools Network, U.S. Department of Education, Americans for the Arts, and National Arts Marketing Project.


Senior Staff
Ms. Janet Starke Director of Education
Full Time Staff 8
Part Time Staff 1
Volunteers 400
Contractors 0
Retention Rate 50
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers 3
Management Succession Plan? Yes
Organization Policy and Procedures Under Development
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
Richmond Performing Arts Alliance (RPAA) is home to nine professional local arts groups, known collectively as our Resident Companies.  These Resident Companies include: Elegba Folklore Society, Richmond Ballet, Richmond Symphony, Quill Theatre, School of the Performing Arts in the Richmond Community (SPARC), Virginia Repertory Theatre, Virginia Opera, Modlin Center for the Arts, The Richmond Forum, and Department of Parks, Recreation, and Community Facilities.
It should also be noted that the organization known as Richmond Preforming Arts Center (RPAC) is a wholly owned subsidiary of RPAA.  RPAC is responsible for the ongoing operations and facility management of RPAA venues.
Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce2009
Best Recreational Entertainment or Hotel Project AwardGreater Richmond Association for Commercial Real Estate2010
Award of Merit--Renovation/RestorationMid-Atlantic Construction2009

RPAA is committed to presenting first-class artists from around the world and around the corner. RPAA is home to nine resident arts companies and also presents national and international artists including well-known artists such as Tony Bennett, James Taylor, Bale Folclorico da Bahia, Patti LaBelle, and Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue. RPAA is unique in its operation as a private-public partnership, and strives to serve its community in the best way possible.

 As we plan our programming for each season, RPAA is mindful of the barriers to access that we must address so that each citizen of our region has the opportunity to experience the transformational power of the performing arts. From offering subsidized tickets or transportation for low to moderate income youth, to including parents in the learning experiences of their children, RPAA's goal is to make the arts as widely accessible as possible, while providing high-quality performances, workshops, and classes.


Population Served General/Unspecified
Short Term Success CenterStage’s vision is to be a catalyst for first-class, dynamic, creative and vibrant performing arts in the Richmond region. In fact, CenterStage is an experience -- not just a place.  This differentiates us from other performing arts organizations.  Our mission encompasses the entire region and its citizens. In achieving our mission-based vision we partner with other professional arts organizations to bring new audiences to CenterStage, and to bring CenterStage to a variety of places and spaces in the broader region.
Long Term Success

In 2015-16, Richmond CenterStage will (again) present our OnStage Family Series and our Life is a Cabaret Series. Each of these Series presents local, regional and national artists that complement other offerings of our resident arts organizations. We also often partner with our resident arts groups and other community organizations, to co-present artists and other special programs. These artists also often provide educational opportunities, such as master classes, lecture-demonstrations and workshops that are recorded and/or live-streamed through the capabilities of our Digital Arts Lab. Providing opportunities for non-traditional audiences to experience rich cultural and family programming is a primary goal of our ongoing efforts. 



From 2009 - 2014, RPAA served as a catalyst and funder in the design of several comprehensive arts Partnerships, which brought together arts partners and seven surrounding school systems, to create programs that uniquely applied to the arts to new methods of teaching and learning--spanning grades Pre-K through 12. While those programs saw many successes, we also found challenges in implementation, including our ability to most effectively balance depth vs. breadth across the region. As a result, our programs and services were restructured--some continuing as they did in the "pilot" phase, others phasing out, and still others being restructured in terms of delivery methods to the schools. As a result, current programs and services include:

1) ELLA (Early Literacy Learning through the Arts) - artist residencies that performing arts strategies to teach literacy skills to Pre-K students.
2) K-12 Artist Residencies - with a focus in middle and high schools (in school-day and after-school settings), residencies stem from our earlier work in developing artistic and academic skills in students, but are specially-designed to meet the articulated goals of the teacher.
3) Performance-Based Learning Events - include opportunities for students to learn about the arts (including careers) such as Chat-backs, master classes and lecture-demonstrations with touring artists. These are often live-streamed and/or recorded for online distribution to schools. PBLEs also provide student performance opportunities in our venues, such as "Bardathon", (annual collaboration with Quill Theatre). We also provide subsidies to underwrite rent/production costs for school systems to produce culminating events (i.e. district-wide festivals). 
Additional PBLEs for families include our OnStage Family Series, and our bi-annual LightsUp! Youth Open House.  
4) Professional development (PD) - we provide a range of PD for teachers and artists in effective strategies for teaching in and through the arts.
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Budget $316,000.00
Short Term Success
Through this program, teachers are learning more effective ways of teaching (what they already have to teach) through the application and integration of the arts. Short (and long)-term success will be indicated through the increased frequency in using the arts in daily teaching and teachers' articulated results in student achievement (including acquisition of developmental skills).   
We also aim to achieve greater equity in access, as continuing and new partnering schools demonstrate increased opportunities for learning in and through the arts. 
Long Term Success

It is our intent that, like similar models across the country, these programs demonstrate how the building of community – artists, educators, businesses, government and philanthropies – can best leverage differing resources to develop effective programs that lead education reform and nurture a future workforce. Our overarching goal is to increase equity in access for students of all ages, with an emphasis on supporting education reform through the increased dissemination of best practices in applying the arts to more effective teaching and learning across the curriculum. 


The Digital Arts Lab serves as a through-line in all our education programs, providing capabilities for online tools for use in the classroom and at home. It also provides capacity for disseminating content to classrooms and homes, via live-streaming and recorded events. Most principally, it provides unique workforce development skills for young people through hands-on instruction in video production--students learn all aspects of camera set-up, shooting, editing and uploading for use on the web. Many of our graduates have gone on to film studies programs across the county and to work on film sets. 

Population Served At-Risk Populations
Budget $50,000.00
Short Term Success Short-term success is seen in each year's classes of students. As our course is certified by Virginia's Department of Education, high school students are eligible to receive Independent Study credit. Many of our students stay in our classes for 1-2 years and later serve as interns (during or between academic years at college/university). They are the primary content creators of a growing library of online resources. 
Long Term Success Through these efforts, our goal is to develop a digital library of resources for teachers and families--to be utilized locally, regionally and nationally.  
Fiscal Year
Projected Revenue $1,483,100.00
Projected Expenses $1,001,600.00
Endowment Value $2,137,678.00
Spending Policy N/A
Form 990s
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$258,030$1,751,575$14,015,050
Individual Contributions$3,201,845$2,776,558$648,897
Investment Income, Net of Losses$368,211$269,994$456,387
Membership Dues------
Special Events($210,532)----
Revenue In-Kind$131,992$102,249--
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$1,720,520$1,518,075$1,775,145
Administration Expense$269,394$358,518$456,107
Fundraising Expense$682,542$248,885$338,924
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.023.768.78
Program Expense/Total Expenses64%71%69%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue20%5%2%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$115,951,272$109,413,700$100,441,611
Current Assets$3,044,918$14,613,471$7,810,301
Long-Term Liabilities$15,760,926$6,672,144$5,841,799
Current Liabilities$3,009,969$2,929,112$648,850
Total Net Assets$97,180,377$99,812,444$93,952,962
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities1.014.9912.04
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets14%6%6%
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes
State Charitable Solicitaions Permit
Solicitations Permit
Solicitations Permit 11/2016View
Organization Comments From 2007 to September 2009, RPAA was engaged in fundraising and actual construction of CenterStage facilities.  CenterStage officially opened in September 2009.  Fiscal 2010 ending June 30, 2010 incorporated both final construction activities and a partial year of operations. The first full year of operation was fiscal 2011 ending June 30, 2011.  We are currently in operation mode, have completed the Capital Campaign, and are reinvigorating the Endowment Campaign.
Foundation Comments
  • Financial information provided from audited financial statements.
  • Audited financial statements and IRS 990s prepared by Keiter, Stephens, Hurst, Gary & Shreaves.
  • Revenue from "Individuals" for FY 2011 includes additional support from corporations and foundations.
  • Revenue from "Individuals" for FY 2010 includes support from corporations and foundations.
  • "Other" revenue for FY 2011 includes a forgiveness of liability to Broad Street CDA.
  • "Other" revenue includes "equity in losses of affiliates."
  • Revenue from "Foundations and Corporations" for FY 2009 also includes governmental support.