Atlanta Ballet Receives $1 Million Towards Arts Education & Community Outreach Programs
ATLANTA (June 19, 2018) – Atlanta Ballet has received more than $1 million towards its current arts education and community outreach programs, which collectively serve 20,000 children annually – a majority of whom are considered “at-risk” students or in Title I schools. The Molly Blank Fund of The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation awarded Atlanta Ballet a $750,000 three-year grant to support all activities within the Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education, including scholarship support, dance classes and community programs. Additionally, The Coca-Cola Foundation granted $300,000 for Atlanta Ballet’s partnership with Michael R. Hollis Innovation Academy, which will provide after-school and in-school dance programs for over 500 students.
The Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education has a strong history of collaborating with public schools and community organizations to offer economically disadvantaged and at-risk members of the community access to dance classes and performances.
“Exposure to dance at a young age can create a lifelong appreciation of the arts, and facilitating this access lies at the heart of Atlanta Ballet’s mission,” says Atlanta Ballet President & CEO Arturo Jacobus. “We are dedicated to providing unique artistic programs and quality dance education to develop Georgia’s home talent of artists and fuel support for the arts. We are extremely grateful to The Molly Blank Fund and The Coca-Cola Foundation for giving us the resources to reach so many young people.”
Atlanta Ballet has witnessed first-hand the powerful transformations created by a child’s exposure to dance. The CDE’s outreach programs are designed to provide children with tools, such as goal setting, discipline, and motivation, which they can apply towards creating an improved quality of life for themselves and their communities.
Since its headquarters moved from downtown to Atlanta’s burgeoning Westside neighborhood in 2010, Atlanta Ballet has worked to expand its impact on the Westside community through special outreach programming. With The Coca-Cola Foundation’s generous award of $300,000, Atlanta Ballet will have the opportunity to bring quality dance education and experiences to the Hollis Innovation Academy, a PK-8 STEM School located in the underserved neighborhoods of Westside Atlanta. The goal of this partnership is to bring quality dance education and experiences to children who might not otherwise have access to the arts and provide an alternative learning environment that encourages self-confidence, discipline, self-expression, and social awareness.
“We are deeply grateful to the leadership of both The Molly Blank Fund and for The Coca-Cola Foundation. Their generous gifts will support the fantastic partnership with Hollis Innovation Academy and our nationally renowned Centre for Dance Education,” says Steven Libman, Chief Advancement Officer at Atlanta Ballet. “We are committed to playing a role in our own neighborhood’s upward trajectory of growth by providing its youth with the opportunity to participate in a quality arts program that will encourage them towards a better future.”
As part of Atlanta Public Schools, Hollis Academy serves grades Pre-Kindergarten through sixth and will grow one grade level each year through eighth grade. Atlanta Ballet’s dance program at Hollis Academy provides dance education and instruction to the entire student population (currently 500 students) during the academic school year. The program is held five days a week, including one to two days of after-school instruction. The dance program is designed to grow in tandem with Hollis as it adds grade levels.
The program consists of both after-school and in-school programs that offer students the opportunity to learn dance skills, a healthy living regimen, and an awareness of the role that the arts can play in their lives. Both programs culminate in a final performance for their peers, faculty, parents and community members. Atlanta Ballet worked with Hollis Academy to integrate the class into Hollis’ curriculum and schedule to ensure the students feel that dance class is a regular part of their school day.
For more information about Atlanta Ballet and the Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education, please visit www.atlantaballet.com. To learn more about Atlanta Ballet community outreach programs, please visit http://centre.atlantaballet.com/community-programs.