Ballet AZ Blog

Your Gifts Do More Than You Think – with Samantha Turner

26 Oct 2017


Did you know that your donations do more than support Ballet Arizona’s mission? Your gifts also help create revenue for other businesses, jobs for Valley residents, and tax revenue for our communities. It’s eye opening to learn just how much Ballet Arizona and other arts organization contribute to the community.

Ellen Andres-Schneider, Samantha Turner and Ralph Andres

Ellen Andres-Schneider, Samantha Turner and Ralph Andres

In 2015, nonprofit arts and culture organizations generated more than $400 million in economic activity. More than half of that figure, $237.2 million to be specific, was money spent by audience members for something other than the cost of the arts or cultural event itself. When someone attends an arts or culture event, they spend nearly $35 per person with other businesses – having dinner, buying refreshments and souvenirs, traveling and parking, babysitters, a new outfit for the occasion, and more.

Ballet Arizona’s 2017-2018 Company Dancers

Ballet Arizona’s 2017-2018 Company Dancers – Photo by Ashley Baker

While your gift to Ballet Arizona helps bring professional ballet to the stages of Symphony Hall, the Orpheum Theatre, Desert Botanical Garden, our own Dorrance Theatre, and for free at parks throughout the Valley, you are also creating significant economic benefits for the greater community.

Arianni Martin & Helio Lima in “Topia”

Arianni Martin & Helio Lima in “Topia”. Choreography by Ib Andersen. Photo by Alexander Iziliaev.

This economic impact is sustaining, unlike high profile special events that are highly sought after because of the short-term financial benefit they can bring. The recent NCAA Final Four Tournament created an estimated $325 million for the local economy, and the 2015 Super Bowl achieved $450 million. Arts and culture contribute $400 million or more for our communities year after year after year.

We’re very grateful for the support you give that allows us to be a part of this important segment in our economy. This year, Ballet Arizona is able to contribute in a very exciting way, keeping the artistry and skill of costume construction here in Arizona.

Jillian Barrell and Ballet Arizona’s Corps de Ballet in “Cinderella”.

Jillian Barrell and Ballet Arizona’s Corps de Ballet in “Cinderella”. Choreography by Ib Andersen. Photo by Rosalie O’Connor.

The deeply skilled group of professionals in our costume shop are constructing brand new tutus for the upcoming production of Cinderella. Rather than relying on costume shops in New York or Los Angeles, Ballet Arizona is able to produce these tutus right here, with local talent on par with that of the East and West Coasts. Not only does this create jobs for our community and keep talented professionals here in the Valley, it allows Ballet Arizona to make the most of your financial support. The cost to construct these tutus here is about $2,500 per tutu. We estimated that it would cost between $10,000 – $15,000 per piece to have them made elsewhere. Additionally, Ballet Arizona is able to rent the tutus to other professional companies, creating an ongoing revenue opportunity.

It is your support that allows us to employ a highly talented costume shop staff, that in turn makes your gifts go further and creates benefits for the larger community. We are so grateful for your gifts and take tremendous care to steward them for the greatest impact possible.

Ballet Arizona Dancers in “Paquita”

Ballet Arizona Dancers in “Paquita”. Photo by Alexander Iziliaev.

Thank you for your commitment to Ballet Arizona. We celebrate you as we start our 32nd season. See you at Swan Lake.

About Samantha Turner: Samantha Turner is a leader in both the non-profit and corporate sectors, with expertise in marketing and business management. Before Samantha was appointed executive director, she served three years as Ballet Arizona’s director of marketing, achieving record sales revenues twice during that tenure.

Prior to joining Ballet Arizona, Turner held leadership roles in both non-profit and Fortune 500 companies. Most recently she served as head of business operations and finance for CAP21, a New York-based non-profit performing arts organization. Turner’s for-profit career includes high-level marketing and business management roles at Aflac, Assurant and other organizations of national and regional scope. In addition to her professional experience, Samantha holds MBAs in marketing and international business/ecommerce, and an undergraduate degree in broadcast journalism.

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