For only the third time in its history, The Richmond Ballet ..Virginia’s State Ballet .. has launched a $10 million fundraising campaign, they call it, Road to the Future.
As dancers from the two Richmond Ballet companies rehearsed and students, of all ages, gathered in the lobby before going to classes, the ballet’s artistic director, Stoner Winslet noted, "You know Richmond Ballet is really sixty years old this year. It started as a local company with teachers sending their best students and then evolved into a really fine company of students performing for the School of the Richmond Ballet who were actually trained by professional teachers who came to town and then evolved into the professional company we now all enjoy today."
The Road to the Future campaign has already garnered $6.5 million during what they call it’s “quiet phase."
"The first part of the campaign is really just to sure up our financial footing to be sure they we preserve and protect all of the good work that not only the artists put the community have put into building the Richmond Ballet thus far ..so there is an endowment component."
The next part is to expand facilities.
"It’s become a center not only for training and education but also for performing so we’re going to add some studios so that we can have more classes. There’s a facilities component to it."
Now after 30 years as a professional company, 40 years as a ballet school, and 20 years with its Minds in Motion program:
"We really need to make increased funds available to use in the community so that no one is closed out of our programs, so there’s money for scholarships and education."
The school has some 800 students and Minds in Motion, in 24 elementary schools, reaches 2,400 students.
"And then, we are the one of the biggest commissioners of new ballets in the United States so there’s a component of the campaign that’s for new work."