Better Business Bureau Report for
Cultural Festivals

Better Business Bureau Report issued March 2010
Better Business Bureau Report expires March 2012

Does not meet one or more standards
This charity does not meet one or more of the 20 standards for Charity Accountability. Find out more...

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Charity Contact Information

Name: Cultural Festivals
Address: 7818 Forsyth Blvd
Suite 210
  St Louis, MO 63105
Phone: 314-863-0278
Web Address:
Also known as:The Big Read
Saint Louis Art Fair
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Better Business Bureau Comments

Formerly known as:Saint Louis Art Fair

Year, State Incorporated: 1994, Missouri
Affiliates: None
Stated Purpose: exists to present high quality cultual arts experiences to all in an in easy-access environments.

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Evaluation Conclusions


Cultural Festivals (CF) does not meet the following 6 Standards for Charity Accountability.

Standard 6: Board Policy on Effectiveness - Have a board policy of assessing, no less than every two years, the organization's performance and effectiveness and of determining future actions required to achieve its mission.

This organization does not have a board policy on assessing organizational performance and effectiveness. 

Standard 7: Board Approval of Written Report on Effectiveness - Submit to the organization's governing body, for its approval, a written report that outlines the results of the aforementioned performance and effectiveness assessment and recommendations for future actions.

This organization does not have a board policy on assessing organizational performance and effectiveness. 

Standard 14: Budget - Have a board-approved annual budget for its current fiscal year, outlining projected expenses for major program activities, fund raising, and administration.

The organization did not disclose total projected fundraising expenses in its budget. 

Standard 16: Annual Report - Have an annual report available to all, on request, that includes: (a) the organization's mission statement, (b) a summary of the past year's program service accomplishments, (c) a roster of the officers and members of the board of directors, (d) financial information that includes (i) total income in the past fiscal year, (ii) expenses in the same program, fund raising and administrative categories as in the financial statements, and (iii) ending net assets.

The organization does not produce an annual report. 

Standard 17: Web Site Disclosures - Include on any charity websites that solicit contributions, the same information that is recommended for annual reports, as well as the mailing address of the charity and electronic access to its most recent IRS Form 990.

The organization solicits donations via its website; however, it does not have its annual report information or a link to its most recent IRS Form 990 on its site. 

Standard 18: Privacy for Written Appeals & Internet Privacy - Address privacy concerns of donors by (a) providing in written appeals, at least annually, a means (e.g., such as a check off box) for both new and continuing donors to inform the charity if they do not want their name and address shared outside the organization, (b) providing a clear, prominent and easily accessible privacy policy on any of its websites that tells visitors (i) what information, if any, is being collected about them by the charity and how this information will be used, (ii) how to contact the charity to review personal information collected and request corrections, (iii) how to inform the charity (e.g., a check off box) that the visitor does not wish his/her personal information to be shared outside the organization, and (iv) what security measures the charity has in place to protect personal information.

The organization does not have an online privacy policy. 

Cultural Festivals (CF) meets the remaining 14 Standards for Charity Accountability.
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Is always searching for the next unique festival to present in St. Louis. Currently, we present and produce The Saint Louis Art Fair in Clayton, a free, three day celebration of the visual and performing arts(150,000 attendees) and The Big Read. The Big Read is a free, one day festival celebrating authors and promoting literacy.

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2008, CF's program expenses were:

Programs 1,647,812
Total Program Expenses: $1,647,812
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Chief Executive : Cynthia Lerick, Executive Director

Chair of the Board: David Smith
Chair's Profession / Business Affiliation: CEO, Smiththink

Board Size: 18

Paid Staff Size: 4

*Compensation includes annual salary and, if applicable, benefit plans, expense accounts, and other allowances.
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Fund Raising


Method(s) Used:

grant proposals
Fund raising costs were 7% of related contributions. (Related contributions, which totaled $1,339,489, are donations received as a result of fund raising activities.)
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Tax Status


This organization is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. It is eligible to receive contributions deductible as charitable donations for federal income tax purposes.
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The following information is based on CF's audited financial statements - consolidated for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2008.

Source of Funds  
In-kind Contributions 764,089
Contributions 575,400
Beverage and Merchandise Sales 169,443
Artist and Food Vendor Booth Rentals 163,125
Ticket Sales 57,406
Artist Entry Fees 55,809
Miscellaneous 46,701
Total Income $1,831,973


Uses of Funds as a % of Total Expenses

Programs: 87%  Fund Raising: 5%  Administrative: 8% 

Total income $1,831,973
Program expenses $1,647,812
Fund raising expenses 99,642
Administrative expenses 144,960
Total expenses $1,892,414
Expenses in Excess of Income (60,441)
Beginning net assets 33,339
Ending net assets (27,102)
Total liabilities 157,278
Total assets $130,176

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