Valley Philanthropists Launch Ballet Arizona Recovery Fund During Pandemic
By Christina Caldwell -
Wednesday Nov 18, 2020
While the COVID-19 pandemic has been a stressful time for many, the arts have been hit especially hard. As an institution that relies on group performances and nonprofit donations, Ballet Arizona is no exception.
To combat the financial impact of the pandemic on this vital Valley arts organization, longtime philanthropists Jacquie and Bennett Dorrance have launched the Be Our Bridge Recovery and Relief Fund and made the first gift of $250,000 to support the dancers and staff that bring classical dance to life in our community. The goal is to raise $1 million to build a “bridge” for Ballet Arizona through the pandemic and thriving into the next season.
“Especially in times of crisis, we protect what we love and value and do our best to help others,” said Jacquie Dorrance. “We hope you will join us with a gift in support of Ballet’s relief and recovery. We understand that these are challenging times for all of us in different ways, but hope that you will continue your generosity at your current giving levels and in addition, consider making a stretch gift this year. Please help us create the bridge Ballet Arizona needs to get to the other side of this pandemic.”
Ballet Arizona is the only professional ballet company in the Valley and integral part of the Phoenix Metro area’s arts community. Thousands of people enjoy the artistry and athleticism of Ballet Arizona throughout the year, including staged productions, free community engagement events and education that expands the love of ballet in underserved communities.
Due to ongoing concerns related to COVID-19, Ballet Arizona announced a departure from the company’s previously planned 35th Anniversary fall season of main-stage performances. Director’s Choice, Giselle and the beloved annual production of The Nutcracker have been removed from the performance calendar and a more digitally focused fall season is planned. Ballet Arizona continues to innovate in the digital events realm and recently began the free, inaugural Ballet Arizona Book Club, which meets quarterly via Zoom, and began Sunday Streaming, 24-hour periods where Ballet Arizona fans can watch stage performances from years past on YouTube.
“We continue to find ways to be flexible at this time,” said Samantha Turner, executive director at Ballet Arizona. “While our season might not look like seasons past, we hope the community will provide the support needed at this time to ensure heralded productions like The Nutcracker, Ballet Under the Stars and An Evening at Desert Botanical Garden continue to be artistic bedrocks in the Valley for seasons to come.”