The Next Step Campaign: The Grand Finale
Beyond the Ballet Arizona Center for Dance
With the combination of $3.2 million in voter-approved bond funds and $7.3 million from generous donors to the Next Step Campaign, Ballet Arizona and The School of Ballet Arizona moved in summer 2013 into the organization’s long-awaited, new permanent home at 2835 E. Washington Street in Phoenix. After 20 challenging years in small, dilapidated quarters on Indian School Road, the Company and the School spread its wings into a redesigned warehouse. In this cross-town move, the organization stepped out of a 14,000 square foot facility into a new home more than three times larger — outfitted with an expansive lobby, seven teaching, and rehearsal studios, including a “black box” performance space, as well as dressing rooms, showers, bathrooms, costume, and scene shops, and spaces for education and community programs.
The move ushered in a new era for Ballet Arizona as a community center for dance and dance learning unlike any other. Now begins the fulfillment of a plan for community engagement and creative place-making made possible in this accessible, purpose-built facility in a neighborhood adjacent to central Phoenix. We now anticipate The Grand Finale to an already successful campaign.
In fulfilling its commitment to voters and hundreds of donors, Ballet Arizona will offer a direct personal encounter with the creative acts of dance, storytelling, and music. Properly housed in an accessible location, the new Ballet Arizona Center for Dance will have greater impact over the next five years through programs in the new center and through its network of community-based performances and classes:
Connect with new audiences through a range of programs at the Center offering free and discounted participation.
Expand the mix of school programs to engage more youth, including youth from underserved populations:
- Free Community School Classes/Master Classes for ages 16 and up.
- 2016 Summer Workshop: Intensive training program for 20 students aged 9 to 13 selected from local schools with full scholarship support. A performance ends the week-long workshop.
- Increased financial aid for students from low-income families.
- Attract greater ethnic diversity among students and audience and broaden the geography of dance by taking performances into other communities and settings and increasing financial aid.
Putting a Financial Foundation in Place
The building achieves a goal and starts us on a new beginning. Now is the time to put new gifts to the service of the Company, the School, and the multiple programs of Audience Development and Youth Engagement that are the hallmark of an engaged, vibrant cultural institution. The Next Step Campaign: The Grand Finale focuses on Ballet Arizona’s long-term commitment to the City and its people.
To complete the Campaign and to serve the citizens of the Valley, we seek $2.5 million in funds to support innovation in arts programming and growth in the Company and its resources. Among our top goals are the following:
- Permanent named positions for our Artistic Director and our School Director.
- Permanent named funds to support Community & Youth Engagement initiatives, new commissions, Dance Center maintenance, and renewal.
- Multi-year sponsorships to support performances, including the iconic Nutcracker Ballet, Ballet Under the Stars & Class Act, and the Summer Intensive Program for Under-Served Youth.
- Merit-based scholarships for the most talented and accomplished upper division students to support their continued study at Ballet Arizona.
Campaign Completion Challenge
In a most generous gesture, long-time Ballet friend and Board member Sharron Lewis has offered a $250,000 matching gift challenge to help secure essential funds – working capital, innovation capital, and permanent funds – for the Ballet’s continued growth. By the terms of this grant, every two dollars in new or increased support will be matched by a dollar. Once met, the Challenge will generate $750,000 in new funds for Ballet Arizona.