Kansas City Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts
P.O. Box 413199
Kansas City MO 64141-3199
Web and Phone Contact
Telephone (816) 974-8522
Mission Statement
KCVLAA is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization that provides legal and accounting assistance to qualifying artists and arts organizations from all creative disciplines.  Our ArtSmarts program provides seminars in arts law to help artists avoid common pitfalls in their professional arts careers.
Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Mrs. Danielle A. Merrick
Board Chair Ms. Susannah Evans
Board Chair Company Affiliation Hood Law Group
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 2004
Financial Summary
Revenue Expense Area Graph

Comparing revenue to expenses shows how the organizations finances fluctuate over time.

Source: IRS Form 990

 Breakdown
Net Gain/Loss:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.
Statements
Mission Statement KCVLAA is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization that provides legal and accounting assistance to qualifying artists and arts organizations from all creative disciplines.  Our ArtSmarts program provides seminars in arts law to help artists avoid common pitfalls in their professional arts careers.
Background Statement Kansas City Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts was founded and incorporated as a 501(c)(3) organization in May 2004. With the high concentration of artists and arts organizations in the Kansas City area, a separate local organization was needed to the serve the arts community. Several people and organizations, including the Arts Council of Metropolitan Kansas City, the St. Louis Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts, the Texas Accountants and Lawyers for the Arts, Julia Austin, Jane Lowery, and Rebecca Stroder had been working on this project since November of 2003. With encouragement and support from the St. Louis Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts and the Missouri Arts Council the state of Missouri was divided into two areas of service. KCVLAA’s primary service area is greater Kansas City, and western Missouri. (including Springfield, but not including Columbia: St. Louis's VLAA serves Columbia), and five counties in eastern Kansas: Leavenworth, Johnson, Wyandotte, Douglas and Miami counties.
Impact Statement KCVLAA was established to meet the demand for legal and accounting services at an affordable rate. We are a unique organization that fills a necessary role for Kansas City’s artists and arts organizations and we will continue to, - provide legal and accounting assistance to artists and arts organizations from all creative disciplines that could not otherwise afford it; - demystify legal and accounting practices for individuals and organizations working in creative fields; - establish resources for the most current professional practices related to the arts and art management; and - assist individuals and organizations in developing excellence in their professional practices. KCVLAA provides pro bono (free) legal and accounting services for qualifying artists and arts organizations. Without KCVLAA, the legal and accounting problems of many artists and arts organizations would go unresolved. KCVLAA provides a critical link between members of the legal, business and arts communities. A thriving arts community contributes to a positive economic and social environment for all of us. Because familiarity with arts law and business practices can help avoid legal and accounting problems, KCVLAA has an extensive education program for both arts professionals, attorneys and accountants. Seminars typically focus on nuts-and-bolts information such as protecting copyrights, negotiating contracts, or preparing budgets. We also offer approved CLE/CPE programs to lawyers and accountants on the topics faced by the arts community. Through KCVLAA, more than 160 accountants and lawyers offer counsel to artists and administrators who are asking for help in record numbers. Since our inception KCVLAA volunteers donated over $500,000 in pro bono services to the arts community.  KCVLAA hopes to increase the number of artists served through our seminars and referral process.  In 2014, we served over 400 artists, in 2015 we hope to increase this number to over 425. KCVLAA is also actively searching out additional collaborations for our events.  KCVLAA had successful collaborations with the InterUrban Art House, Midwest Music Foundation, and Kansas City Artists Coalition in 2014.
Needs Statement
  1. Additional funding from a variety of sources, with a focus on individual donors.
  2. The establishment of a internship/volunteer program to insure a steady source of volunteer help.
  3. Expansion of our programming via additional funding and increased volunteers.
  4. Recruitment of additional Board members and Board succession planning.
Service Categories
Arts,Culture & Humanities NEC
Management & Technical Assistance
Crime & Legal - Related NEC
Areas of Service
KS
KS - Fort Bend
KS - Franklin County
KS - Johnson County
KS - Lawrence
KS - Wyandotte County
KS - Wyandotte County Urban Core
MO
MO - Clay County
MO - Eastern Jackson Co
MO - Jackson County
MO - Jackson County Urban Core
MO - Liberty
MO - Platte County
MO - Ray County
CEO/Executive Director/Board Chair Statement Our challenge is in funding – to have strong leadership for the organization we must be able to compensate staff on a comparable level to other organizations. That leadership is what KCVLAA needs to increase outreach, visibility, and develop programs and recruit volunteers.  Our current director is a self-starter and is dedicated to our mission. She has a strong program administration background.  She has moved our record-keeping on-line and has streamlined our processes and is committed to increasing our earned income and outreach. Our biggest challenge, of course, lies in funding.  Nevertheless, because we are able to partner with so many other organizations to take advantage of resources like space, mailing lists, advertising, and equipment, our overhead can be low. In addition, we can draw upon the many volunteers in our organization to provide services for which we would otherwise have to pay: speaking engagements, interns, and copy services, to name a few. We also can position ourselves within the market for arts-related funding in a unique way. After all, we provide a service to the arts community that is without peer in the area, and our services help keep other arts organizations afloat. Our board is made up of many well-respected individuals in the legal, accounting, and arts community, whose contacts and visibility can be leveraged to provide grounding for our requests for funding. Overall, however, the arts community's enthusiasm for our presence in the area leads me to believe that these challenges, while formidable, can be overcome in the coming year. The KCVLAA has been received warmly by this community, and I have no doubt that it will attain the support of both the funding community as well as the legal, accounting, and arts communities for years to come. Going forward, we must make our organization more visible to organizations, and we must not hesitate to initiate requests for strategic partnerships with organizations who can help us promote our services to a broader range of people in the arts community. This opportunity to leverage the popularity of our services will only strengthen as our organization grows and our partnerships with other arts organizations become deeper because familiarity with arts law and business practices.
Programs
Description Providing referrals for pro bono legal and accounting assistance to artists and arts organizations from all creative disciplines.
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Artists' Services
Population Served Adults, Other Economic Level, General/Unspecified
Short-Term Success These pro bono legal and accounting referrals allow qualifying artists to quickly resolve small or large legal and accounting issues and allow the artists to get back to the business of producing art.
Long-Term Success Pro bono legal and accounting referrals allow qualifying artists to receive legal and accounting assistance that they otherwise would not have obtained.  This assistance allows the artists to make art their business and to make that business successful.
Program Success Monitored By All participating artists and volunteer attorneys and accountants are given a survey about the referral process and resolution.  Artists that have referrals to attorneys or accountants are followed-up with to insure services are being effectively provided.
Examples of Program Success Pro Bono referrals are up from last year.  Survey results are overall very positive on both the process and the resolutions offered.  Word of mouth about the referral process has increased substantially and inquiries about services have greatly increased.
Description ArtSmarts is professional practices program that offers creative professionals, attorneys, and accountants education on issues relevant to the arts community. Many of our ArtsSmarts seminars are CLE/CPE approved for attorneys.
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other General Arts Education
Population Served Adults, Other Named Groups, General/Unspecified
Short-Term Success Many of the artists that attend our ArtSmarts programs are able to take the information gained at these seminars and apply it immediately to their art businesses.  Often the artists are able to solve smaller problems that they may have had in business practices or protection of intellectual property.
Long-Term Success ArtSmarts is an ongoing series of workshops focused on helping artists, arts organizations, and creative businesses learn how to better navigate potential legal issues.  KCVLAA services enable arts clients to get their organizational "house in order" so that they can more effectively create and present their art
Program Success Monitored By Evaluation forms are given at the end of each seminar.  These evaluations gauge the popularity and usefulness of the program as well as the preparation and skills of the presenter. 
Examples of Program Success Attendance at ArtSmarts programs is up for the year.  The evaluations have been overwhelmingly positive.  The seminars have been getting some media attention and are generating record levels of inquiries at KCVLAA.
CEO Comments KCVLAA refers arts-related legal and accounting problems to attorneys and accountants who volunteer their time to help individuals and arts organizations with limited resources. The first requirement is that the legal or accounting problem or issue is directly arts-related. Our definition of "art" is broad and encompasses the visual, literary, media, design, and performing arts, as well non-traditional arts forms. To qualify for free professional services, the client must be able to demonstrate genuine financial need. These guidelines are designed to determine eligibility, while providing flexibility for extenuating circumstances. While KCVLAA is primarily a referral program, education in arts law and business practices is an important part of our mission. We conduct ArtSmarts seminars, provide guest speakers, and we are building a library and starting “how-to” guides – all in an effort to help artists protect their rights and develop sound business practices.
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Mrs. Danielle A. Merrick
Term Start Jan 2010
Experience Danielle A. Merrick currently serves as the Executive Director of the Kansas City Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts. She is an attorney and Clinical Law Professor with over 10 years of experience co-directing a business law entrepreneurial clinic at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law.
Co-CEO/Executive Director
Term Start
Compensation Last Year
Former CEOs
NameTerm
Ms. Julia M. Austin Oct 2005 - June 2006
Ms. Rachel S. Fann Feb 2007 - July 2009
Staff
Paid Full-Time Staff 0
Paid Part-Time Staff 1
Volunteers 166
Retention Rate 100%
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency N/A
Non-Management Formal Evaluation No
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Frequency N/A
Plans & Policies
Organization Has a Fundraising Plan Under Development
Organization Has a Strategic Plan Yes
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Organization Policy and Procedures Under Development
Nondiscrimination Policy Under Development
Whistleblower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the government? No
CEO Comments Our board is made up of many well-respected individuals in the legal, accounting and arts community who have been committed to the formation of the organization and the continued growth in services. Composed of lawyers, accountants, artists, and other representatives of the community, the board meets to review policy, develop public relations and fund raising strategies, and plan educational programs.
Board Chair
Board Chair Ms. Susannah Evans
Company Affiliation Hood Law Group
Term July 2014 to July 2016
Email susannah@kc.rr.com
Board Members
NameAffiliation
Ms. Janelle N. Bailey Armstrong Teasdale
Mr. Zach Barnes Deliotte
Mr. J. Brent Burkholder Ozark National Life Insurance Company
Ms. Marie T. Dispenza Rose Brooks Center
Ms. Susannah Evans The Law Offices of Matthew L. Hood LLC
Mr. Todd Gangel Bottaro, Morefield, Kubin & Yocum, L.C.
Mr. Gary Huggins Independent Filmmaker
Ms. Jennifer Large ExARTation, LLC
Ms. Julie Metzler Kansas City Art Institute
Mr. Nick Page Country Club Bank
Mr. David L Rein Jr.Finch & Campbell LLC
Ms. Judith A Sharp UMKC School of Law
Donald S. Simon Simon Business Consulting
Mr. Adam Sipe KPMG
Ms. Rebecca S. Stroder Mandiant Corporation
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander 1
Caucasian 12
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 8
Female 7
Unspecified 0
Governance
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 0
Board Meeting Attendance % 56%
Written Board Selection Criteria? No
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 6
Standing Committees
Board Development / Board Orientation
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Human Resources / Personnel
Finance
Operations
Advisory Board Members
NameAffiliation
Ms. Jane Lowrey Texas Accountants & Lawyers for the Arts
CEO Comments Our board is made up of many well-respected individuals in the legal, accounting and arts community who have been committed to the formation of the organization and the continued growth in services. Composed of lawyers, accountants, artists, and other representatives of the community, the board meets to review policy, develop public relations and fund raising strategies, and plan educational programs.
Financials
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01, 2015
Fiscal Year End Dec 31, 2015
Projected Revenue $31,500
Projected Expenses $31,500
Endowment Value $0
Spending Policy N/A
Percentage 0
IRS Letter of Exemption
Foundation Comments
  • FY 2014, 2013, 2012: Financial data reported using Internal Financial documents. 
  • Revenue from foundations/corporations may include individual contributions.
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 Year201420132012
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$5,580$7,917$2,869
Government Contributions$16,036$7,662$16,367
Federal$0$0$0
State$13,417$5,150$14,900
Local$2,619$2,512$1,467
Unspecified$0$0$0
Individual Contributions$0$7,500$0
$0$0$0
$2,315$3,566$3,680
Investment Income, Net of Losses$0$0$0
Membership Dues$0$0$0
Special Events$0$0$0
Revenue In-Kind$0$0$0
Other$150$0$0
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201420132012
Program Expense$17,228$15,822$16,240
Administration Expense$6,974$5,702$5,530
Fundraising Expense$2,443$1,724$1,606
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.901.150.98
Program Expense/Total Expenses65%68%69%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue11%7%8%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201420132012
Total Assets$16,033$18,597$15,201
Current Assets$16,033$18,597$15,201
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$0$0$0
Total Net Assets$16,033$18,597$15,201
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities------
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201420132012
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountMissouri Arts Council $8,560Individual Donations $7,817Missouri Arts Council $14,900
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountFrancis Family Foundation $7,500Francis Family Foundation $7,500Individual Donations $2,577
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountArtsKC $2,766Missouri Arts Council $5,150Kansas City Metropolitan Arts Council $1,467
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Goal $0.00
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years No
Organization Comments KCVLAA needs to increase our outreach, expand our referral services and further develop ArtSmarts; we are actively pursuing support to continue to serve and protect the creative people that make Kansas City unique.
Organization Name Kansas City Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts
Address P.O. Box 413199
Kansas City, MO 641413199
Primary Phone (816) 974-8522
Contact Email info@kcvlaa.org
CEO/Executive Director Mrs. Danielle A. Merrick
Board Chair Ms. Susannah Evans
Board Chair Company Affiliation Hood Law Group
Year of Incorporation 2004