The Sarasota Ballet Receives Arts Appreciation Grant from Gulf Coast Community Foundation
The grant will support The Sarasota Ballet’s Emergency Fund for dancers, students, and staff impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic
The Sarasota Ballet announced today the receipt of an Arts Appreciation grant award from Gulf Coast Community Foundation in support of The Sarasota Ballet’s Emergency Fund, created help the Company react to and withstand the dramatic economic effects of the COVID-19 crisis. In response to the pandemic, The Sarasota Ballet committed to paying their dancers’ salaries and medical insurance through the end of the Season even with the financial loss from cancelled performances. Likewise, the Company has continued to provide education offerings for its over 300 students with over 50 free online classes a week, and beginning in the coming weeks, The Sarasota Ballet will begin specialized classes for the over 150 students of the drop-out prevention program, Dance – The Next Generation.
“The Gulf Coast Community Foundation’s generous Arts Appreciation grant in support of our Emergency Fund will make a vital difference to The Sarasota Ballet,” stated Iain Webb, Director of The Sarasota Ballet. “Not only must we ensure the future of this important artistic institution, but we must protect and strengthen the future of our many dancers and students. Through this grant, we can continue to support our Company members, Studio Company dancers, Trainees, and students—making sure that when theaters and studios re-open, we are ready to bring this extraordinary art-form to life for this incredible community.”
In addition to providing for dancers’ salaries and medical insurance, The Sarasota Ballet has been focusing on the wellbeing on the several Company dancers of international origin who cannot depart the United States or seek additional work. In these cases, the Emergency Fund will assist the Company with providing financial support to those dancers to pay for their rent and additional health insurance costs—as these costs to the dancers would have been unanticipated and, for many, insurmountable. The Emergency Fund has also allowed The Sarasota Ballet to offer free online classes to students of The Sarasota Ballet School, Trainees of the Margaret Barbieri Conservatory, and members of the School’s Adult Program. It has also served as a substantial boon for Dance – The Next Generation, The Sarasota Ballet’s drop-out prevention program that includes over 150 students, by funding the production of recorded classes and content to engage these students during this difficult time.
“For this essential act of generosity, I want to personally thank Mark Pritchett, Chief Executive Officer of Gulf Coast Community Foundation,” says Joseph Volpe, Executive Director of The Sarasota Ballet. “His organizational leadership and quick response to this ever-evolving crisis has been crucial in effectively addressing the needs of Sarasota’s performing arts community. We are truly grateful.”
About The Sarasota Ballet
Since 1990, the mission of The Sarasota Ballet has been enriching lives, captivating emotions, and strengthening the community through the art of dance. Under the leadership of Director Iain Webb, Executive Director Joseph Volpe, and Assistant Director Margaret Barbieri, The Sarasota Ballet has received national and international recognition for its diverse repertoire of rarely performed ballets, as well as the integrity and artistry of its performances. The Company’s expanded repertoire includes works by world-renowned choreographers such as Sir Frederick Ashton, George Balanchine, Sir Matthew Bourne, Dame Ninette de Valois, Michel Fokine, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Rudolf Nureyev, Jerome Robbins, Paul Taylor, Twyla Tharp, Antony Tudor, and Christopher Wheeldon. During Webb’s tenure, The Sarasota Ballet has been invited to perform twice at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and twice at the Fall for Dance Festival at New York City Center, as well as week-long residencies at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and the Joyce Theater in New York. In May 2017 The Sarasota Ballet performed at the inaugural National Choreographic Festival in Salt Lake City and in August of 2018 returned to the Joyce Theater for another sold out week-long residency.
About Gulf Coast Community Foundation
For 25 years, together with our donors, Gulf Coast Community Foundation has transformed our region through bold and proactive philanthropy. Gulf Coast is a public charity that was created in 1995 through the sale of the Venice Hospital. Since then, we have become the philanthropic home of nearly 1,000 families, individuals, organizations, and businesses that have established charitable funds there, and together we have invested over $370 million in grants in the areas of health and human services, civic and economic development, education, arts and culture, and the environment. Learn more at GulfCoastCF.org.