VOL. 129 | NO. 158 | Thursday, August 14, 2014
Memphis In May Ends Fiscal Year on High
By Bill Dries
The Memphis in May International Festival finished its fiscal year with about $180,000 more in revenues than expenditures.
Unaudited figures from the festival’s fiscal year, which ended July 31, show total revenues for the monthlong set of events and programs of $7.2 million and expenses of $7.1 million.
The numbers were released at the festival organization’s annual meeting at the Memphis Botanic Garden where organizers announced the 2015 festival will honor Poland.
Wei Chen, the founder of Memphis-based Sunshine Enterprise Inc., is chairman of the board for the 2015 festival, which begins with the May 1-3 Beale Street Music Festival.
The month of activities, which also features the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest and the Sunset Symphony, includes an education program focused on the honored country and school performances. While the music festival, barbecue contest and symphony get most of the attention, Memphis in May has more than 60 programs and events during the year including May.
The second week of next year’s festival, May 4-9, is International Week, which includes a salute to Poland.
For the 2014 festival that honored Panama, the festival events were both the biggest expense and the biggest revenue generator in the Memphis in May budget.
Because Memphis in May is a nonprofit organization, the net revenue is not considered a profit.
The festival events in 2014 cost $3 million to put on and brought in $5.5 million dollars in revenue.
Sponsorships brought in $1.6 million and the organization made $140,053 in investments income.
The sponsorship and festival revenue figures were all-time highs for Memphis in May’s financial statement.
In terms of expenses, $1.9 million was spent on “international, performers and educational programming” with another $1.6 million for management and general expenses.
For the 2013 festival, expenses exceeded revenues by $217,335 and the gap was $375,837 the year before.