Dance organizations in the United States are nearly always struggling. There are lots of complicated reasons for this – government belt-tightening on arts funding, poor management of non-profit finances within the company, or an uncertain economy forces audiences to stay home and watch dance on tv rather than attend a live performance. In addition to yearly pledges and donations from generous supporters, dance companies rely on funding and attendance to continue their mission, and many are falling short of their goals.
One such dance organization in Texas is in desperate need to raise funds. The Texas Ballet Theater calls the Dallas/Fort Worth area home and their mission is to provide “unprecedented talent, beauty and artistic expression, as well as the highest levels of dance education, training, and appreciation to North Texas and surrounding areas.” Although I live about 5 hours away in Houston, I would hate to see this organization go under.
The company apparently needs to raise over $300,000 in cash alone (not pledges) by September 10 or face bankruptcy or closing its doors. To do so, Texas Ballet Theater is holding two major fundraisers. The first is a giant fundraising sale, silent auction, and raffle this weekend at their studios and the second, is an event called Rock the Ballet featuring dancing, food, and bands to be held September 19 in Fort Worth. For more information on these events, please visit Get Behind Your Ballet. Also, Texas Ballet Theatre will be presenting new and traditional works at The Majestic in Dallas for their annual Gala on September 12 and have planned performances for October and beyond, assuming they are not forced to close their doors. As always, the company accepts donations – none are too small (particularly now), and you can even download a printable contribution form for your tax-deductible offering.
I have no affiliation with the company or with professional ballet, for that matter, however as a fellow artist and dancer I particularly empathize with the dancers and dance students in this situation. Faced with losing their jobs in an already unlucrative career, the company members have taken their campaign for donations door to door to help raise money for the organization. Little has been said of what will happen to the school which operates within the TBT organization but it may be safe to assume that these kids could also be without a dance home if company debts are not paid. It seems that a series of events that had little to do with these dancers led to the current situation in which the Texas Ballet Theater finds itself. If you can show your support in some small way, I would encourage you to do so.
Here are some additional articles in which you can find more detailed information on Texas Ballet’s financial woes and on their upcoming fundraising events:
- Help the Texas Ballet Theater
- Texas Ballet Theater must raise 1.4million
- TBT faces uphill climb in fundraising
- Officials say they would step down to save ballet
Nichelle Suzanne is a writer specializing in dance and online content. She is also a dance instructor with over 20 years experience teaching in dance studios, community programs, and colleges. She began Dance Advantage in 2008, equipped with a passion for movement education and an intuitive sense that a blog could bring dancers together. As a Houston-based dance writer, Nichelle covers dance performance for Dance Source Houston, Arts+Culture Texas, and other publications. She is a leader in social media within the dance community and has presented on blogging for dance organizations, including Dance/USA. Nichelle provides web consulting and writing services for dancers, dance schools and studios, and those beyond the dance world. Read Nichelle’s posts.