July 8, 2013
Atlanta Ballet has received a lot of recognition in the last couple of months for some of its accomplishments off stage. And this is exactly part of the plan.
When the Atlanta Ballet Board of Trustees approved a new five-year strategic plan nearly a year ago, the two overarching imperatives of that plan were to build the Atlanta Ballet brand and to capitalize the Company. The centerpiece of the plan to capitalize the Company is, of course, a capital campaign centered primarily upon building a substantial endowment, and we continue to ready ourselves for that major undertaking. Building the Atlanta Ballet brand, though, is a much more complex, all-encompassing endeavor. It is first and foremost about distinguishing ourselves artistically, but it is also about excellence throughout the organization, from governance to all aspects of the various functions of staff and management. To that end, we have seen an unusual level of visibility recently.
On May 21st, the Georgia Center for Nonprofits honored Atlanta Ballet’s Chairman of the Board, Allen W. Nelson, as the Outstanding Nonprofit Board Leader of the Year.
On June 13th, Atlanta Ballet and Georgia Center for Nonprofits leadership gave a presentation to the annual Dance/USA conference in Philadelphia around the subject of board development. Allen W. Nelson spoke about the relationship between the board chair, artistic director and executive director; Karen Beavor, President of The Georgia Center for Nonprofits, spoke about board engagement and unveiled “hot off the press” research around the subject; and I spoke about the board’s role in the fundraising process.
On June 26th, Atlanta Ballet was recognized publicly and awarded a $5,000 grant by the Home Depot Foundation, under its IMPACT awards program in the category of building Leaders for the Sector, for its “innovative mentorship opportunities.” We are one of only four nonprofit organizations across Georgia to receive an IMPACT award this year.
So, while we have made great strides in our objective of “consistently presenting compelling performances of extraordinary works” on stage with the choreography of Wayne McGregor, Ohad Naharin, David Bintley, Christopher Wheeldon, Jorma Elo, Helen Pickett and other great creative talent, along with the exquisite performances of our dancers, we are beginning to gain a level of recognition for the excellence of our board and staff, as well, who are so critical to the all-around support of our art and building of our brand.