Atlanta Ballet Introduces The Time is Now: The Campaign for Atlanta Ballet

ATLANTA (August 1, 2017) – Following a successful first performance season under new artistic director Gennadi Nedvigin, Atlanta Ballet announces The Time is Now: The Campaign for Atlanta Ballet – a fundraising effort in 2016-17 that will allow Atlanta Ballet to grow its needed resources and to enable its goal to be one of the premier ballet companies in the country.  

As of this announcement, Atlanta Ballet has secured over $15.1 million toward its $23.5 million goal. The largest donation to the campaign has come from the Thalia N. and Chris M. Carlos Foundation with a $3 million challenge grant towards Atlanta Ballet’s new Nutcracker production, which will debut in December 2018. Additionally, Mayor Kasim Reed and the Atlanta City Council have provided a $1 million grant to Atlanta Ballet. The PNC Foundation has also awarded $500,000 to support Atlanta Ballet's performances and education programs through 2024.   

“We are so thankful for the tremendous support from the Thalia N. and Chris M. Carlos Foundation, Mayor Reed and the City of Atlanta, and PNC,” said Atlanta Ballet CEO & President Arturo Jacobus. “These generous gifts – and all donations to Atlanta Ballet’s capital campaign – create a foundation upon which Atlanta Ballet can grow and prosper as one of the top dance companies in America – a company that shares brilliant artistry and has a positive impact on the region’s children and youth, all supported by a strong financial base.”  

With a budget of $10 million, Atlanta Ballet is one of Georgia’s largest arts organizations. More than 71,000 patrons annually attend the Company’s ticketed performances. Atlanta Ballet’s Centre for Dance Education reaches an additional 23,243 people of all ages, including those in the school’s enrollment division, summer camps and community and in-school programming. With 2016-17 box office sales at $3.19 million, it is evident that Atlanta Ballet is a company on the move.  

Through The Time is Now, Atlanta Ballet seeks to expand its significant education and outreach efforts, grow its endowment, further increase earned revenue by building audiences and, as always, strengthen its artistic caliber. This $23.5 million capital campaign – a combination of $13.5 million for education & building audiences through new programming, and $10 million for endowment – provides the organization with a multi-year plan that focuses on fiscal sustainability and artistic success. With a motto of “the time for Atlanta Ballet is now,” this campaign will provide Atlanta Ballet with a new level of excitement and increased audiences that will ultimately put Atlanta Ballet in a place of fiscal sustainability and financial success.  

The Trustee leadership of the Capital Campaign Committee includes Chris Carlos (Chair), Elizabeth Adams (Vice Chair), Allen W. Nelson (Board Chair), Lynda Courts, Nancy Field, Barbara Joiner and Ron Breakstone. The staff campaign leadership includes Jacobus, Nedvigin and Chief Advancement Officer Steven Libman. The Atlanta firm Coxe Curry & Associates has served as Campaign Counsel. Extended details about the campaign components are as follows:  

  • Access and Education - $1,300,000
    • Each year, Atlanta Ballet reaches more than 22,000 students through its Centre for Dance Education, student matinees and other educational outreach efforts. Through this Campaign, Atlanta Ballet will expand education efforts to include increased complimentary tickets, additional student performances and transportation to these shows, expanded partnerships with schools and community centers, and enhanced scholarship funds.
  • Building Audiences - $8,000,000
    • Increasing earned revenue is critical to Atlanta Ballet’s success. Atlanta Ballet will expand its reach in the community to attract a larger, more loyal audience and donor base by focusing on two primary areas:
      • New Nutcracker Production ($6,000,000) - Under new artistic leadership, Atlanta Ballet has a golden opportunity to further build its brand through investing, creating and effectively marketing a new Nutcracker that will increase earned income and touch immeasurable families and young people during the holiday season for the next two decades and beyond.
      • Balanced Programming ($2,000,000) - Atlanta Ballet is nationally recognized for its inclusion of contemporary programming and the commissioning of new works by both emerging and established choreographers. Under the leadership of Nedvigin, Atlanta Ballet will undertake an aggressive initiative to enhance the diversity of programming and expand the Company’s repertoire by bringing more balanced programming to its audiences, providing more of the popular classical favorites and pillars of the neoclassic genre while continuing to produce innovative new and existing work by some of the most brilliant creative artists of our time. Providing the new artistic director with a strong base of support will allow him the freedom to create a multi-season artistic plan of diverse programming, which will help build audiences and increase earned income. Funds will cover costs over the next five years associated with creating, building, rehearsing and performing these works.  
  • Maintenance and Capital Expenditures - $900,000
    • In 2018, one of Atlanta Ballet’s endowed funds will provide much of the funding needed to cover annual maintenance needs at the Michael C. Carlos Centre for Dance Education. In the interim, Atlanta Ballet has a focused list of items that need to be updated or repaired at the facility as well as the two other Centre for Dance Education satellite locations.
  • Strategic Operating Capital - $3,300,000
    • These funds, already secured through Board pledges, allow Atlanta Ballet to bridge the financial gap during the Campaign and provide the necessary working capital, beyond normal ticket sales and annual fundraising, for operations over the next five years while endowment is being raised and pledges are being paid.
  • Growing the Endowment - $10,000,000
    • Endowed funds provide income that Atlanta Ballet can count on year after year – freeing the organization from fundraising emergencies. The endowment also allows Atlanta Ballet to include visionary works and new-to-Atlanta programs in its offerings. During challenging economic times when annual contributions or ticket sales suffer, a healthy endowment will allow Atlanta Ballet to continue to provide excellent programming.

Atlanta Ballet and The Time is Now campaign rely on the support of generous foundations, corporations and individuals. To date, Atlanta Ballet’s Board of Trustees has dedicated over $8.5 million of the $15.1 million raised. Other key leadership donors include Robert W. Woodruff Foundation, SunTrust Trusteed Foundations: Florence C. and Harry L. English Memorial Fund and the Walter H. and Marjory M. Rich Memorial Fund, The Imlay Foundation, The Rich Foundation, The Vasser Woolley Foundation, David, Helen and Marian Woodward Foundation and Winn Fund.  

“We are so grateful for the advocacy from such honorable corporations, government agencies and foundations, and feel proud to be backed by such a strong and supportive Board of Trustees,” said Allen W. Nelson, Chairman of Atlanta Ballet’s Board of Trustees. “We are very fortunate to have these organizations and individuals by our side as we continue to further the mission of Atlanta Ballet within the community and reinforce Gennadi’s vision for the Company and Centre for Dance Education. The support is an endorsement of the direction Atlanta Ballet is headed.”  

The Time is Now campaign is Atlanta Ballet’s essential next step – building on our past successes to create an enduring legacy of great cultural and community impact. Atlanta Ballet is poised to make the leap to greatness, and the time has never been better. The time is now, and Atlanta Ballet invites all to join.  

A Challenge to the Atlanta Community

Atlanta Ballet Trustee Chris Carlos recently announced that the Thalia N. and Chris M. Carlos Foundation has committed to a $3 million challenge grant to support Atlanta Ballet’s new Nutcracker. This ground-breaking gift will honor Carlos’ mother, Thalia N. Carlos, and serves as a testament to the Carlos family’s tremendous dedication to enhancing and sustaining Atlanta Ballet as well as the arts in Atlanta.  

This generous gift will go towards Atlanta Ballet’s $6 million Nutcracker goal and is designed as a challenge grant to the Atlanta community. This means that all additional support for the new Nutcracker will be matched dollar for dollar up to $3 million, effectively doubling the impact of giving.   

“We are proud to honor my mother’s passion for ballet and commitment to the arts by contributing to the creation of Atlanta Ballet’s new Nutcracker,” says Carlos. “The Nutcracker is one of our city’s most beloved holiday traditions, and we hope to see fellow Atlantans take on the challenge to support this magical new production.”  

A Gift from the City of Atlanta

Atlanta Ballet celebrated its 37th annual Atlanta Ballet Winter Ball this past February, where more than 500 guests gathered for the 88-year-old organization’s largest fundraising event. Mayor Kasim Reed was an honored guest at the black-tie affair, and in a wonderful speech highlighting his dedication to supporting Atlanta’s arts community, Mayor Reed announced that the City of Atlanta would make a gift of $1 million to Atlanta Ballet.  

“The City of Atlanta is proud to award $1 million to the Atlanta Ballet in support of its capital campaign,” said Mayor Reed. “My Administration has been intentional about giving back to the creative community that gives so much of its talent to our city. Atlanta Ballet has a long and distinguished history of bringing the finest in classical and contemporary dance to our residents and visitors, and this donation is our way of appreciating the essential role Atlanta Ballet plays in Atlanta.”  

Multi-Year Grant from PNC Foundation

PNC has awarded $500,000 to support Atlanta Ballet's performances and education programs through 2024. Atlanta Ballet will use PNC’s multi-year grant to support the new Nutcracker production as well as the Kids in Step and Tickets for Teachers programs, which provide discount performance tickets to students, educators and schools in need.  

“During the past two years, PNC’s work with Atlanta Ballet has allowed us to support first-rate programming and educational outreach for thousands of teachers and students throughout the region,” said Eddie Meyers, PNC regional president for Georgia. “With this expanded sponsorship, we’ll have the opportunity to help Atlanta Ballet consistently reach and engage more students over the next seven years.”    

For more information about Atlanta Ballet, please visit To learn more information about The Time is Now campaign, please contact Atlanta Ballet Chief Advancement Officer Steven Libman at or 404.873.5811 ext. 213.



About Atlanta Ballet: Founded in 1929, making it the oldest ballet company in nation, Atlanta Ballet is one of the premier dance companies in the country and the official state Ballet of Georgia. Atlanta Ballet's eclectic repertoire spans ballet history, highlighted by beloved classics and inventive originals. After 87 years, Atlanta Ballet continues its commitment to share and educate audiences on the empowering joy of dance. In 1996, Atlanta Ballet opened the Centre for Dance Education and is dedicated to nurturing young dancers while providing an outlet for adults to express their creativity. Atlanta Ballet serves more than 90,000 people in metro Atlanta each year. Atlanta Ballet's roots remain firmly grounded in the Atlanta community and continue to play a vital role in the city's cultural growth and revitalization. For more information, visit, follow us on Twitter @atlantaballet, and like us on Facebook at  



Julia Berg
Public Relations Manager – Atlanta Ballet
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