BalletMet has been working internally to bring the work externally to cultivate and create more opportunities to address barriers within our direct community and the ballet world. In addition to partnerships working towards creating programs within the King Arts Complex, Franklinton Arts District, Reynoldsburg City Schools, Columbus City Schools and more we’re excited to announce a pilot program working with the International Association of Blacks in Dance.
This relationship was formed as a part of the Artistic Director Collective where Dance Company Artistic Directors Work to Address Systemic Racism in Ballet.
In spring 2020, a number of events ushered in an international outcry to reevaluate the ongoing problems with racial equity and civil rights the world continues to face. As a response, a group of leaders in the classical ballet and dance field assembled to discuss and address how we could affect change in the art form and to foster greater trust in how their organizations are run. Dance should be open and inviting to everyone. This will require thoughtful action and a more inclusive vision. After months of evaluation, what became clear was that the art form needs an overhaul in order to move further into the 21st Century. The Collective is committed to build broader diversity and create greater equity. Expanding educational opportunities is paramount to this goal. The hope is to foster trust and embrace a broader vision of cultural inclusion in classical ballet and dance.
The Collective’s first initiative is a pilot program hoping to create access and opportunity for all BIPOC and young artists. The goal is for the program to have aspiring young artists of all color and races feel welcomed into the art form. Participation, collaboration and involvement by all will shape and define dance of the future. This pilot program is the first in a number of action steps and reforms the Collective plans to implement over time so that ballet and other forms of dance truly become an art form for everyone.
The Collective’s pilot program will provide BIPOC and young artists free online experiences with America’s classical ballet and contemporary dance companies. Each participating dance company will create a two-hour virtual visit specifically designed to best represent their vision, culture, and artistic philosophy. The two-hour virtual experience may include:
- A chance for BIPOC and young artists, their families, and teachers to virtually visit the organization’s facilities.
- An online, live ballet or repertory class with the company’s leadership and artists so that participants can experience each organization’s unique style and approach.
- The opportunity to interact with and ask questions of the company’s leadership, artists and students.
BalletMet is excited to participate in this pilot program and believes it is an important opportunity to continue our Anti-Racism and Equity initiatives.
Artistic Director Collective
Kyle Abraham, Artistic Director, A.I.M
Peter Boal, Artistic Director, Pacific Northwest Ballet
Jodie Gates, USC Professor. Artistic Director, Laguna Dance Festival
Virginia Johnson, Artistic Director, Dance Theatre of Harlem
Julie Kent, Artistic Director, The Washington Ballet
Edwaard Liang, Artistic Director, BalletMet
Lourdes Lopez, Artistic Director, Miami City Ballet
Mikko Nissinen, Artistic Director, Boston Ballet
Desmond Richardson, Artistic Director, Complexions Contemporary Ballet
Dwight Rhoden, Artistic Director, Complexions Contemporary Ballet
Adam Sklute, Artistic Director, Ballet West
Jonathan Stafford, Artistic Director, New York City Ballet
Helgi Thomasson, Artistic Director, San Francisco Ballet
Stanton Welsh, Artistic Director, Houston Ballet
Ashley Wheater, Artistic Director, Joffrey Ballet
Wendy Whelan, Artistic Director, New York City Ballet