Jorge Laico, our Artistic Director for over three years, has submitted his resignation to move to California near his family for personal reasons. We have secured another excellent person to become our new Artistic Director – Ian Thatcher. Ian was a master instructor in our Summer Intensives and a guest artist in our Nutcracker productions. His wife Molly Daly will become our Ballet Mistress.
Ian graduated from National Ballet School of Canada, and danced professionally with San Francisco Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Ballet de Monte Carlo, and Metropolitan Opera in New York City. He has administrative experience during internships at American Ballet Theatre and The Washington Ballet.
Molly danced professionally with American Repertory Ballet, Hartford Ballet and Ballet Michigan. She sets ballets for the internationally acclaimed choreographer Septime Webre. They both have been teaching for over 12 years and are Certified Teachers with ABT’s National Training Curriculum.
Peoria Ballet has been awarded another grant in the amount of $3,000 from the Illinois Arts Council Agency! The grant was funded with Federal money provided by the National Endowment for the Arts through the CARES Act Emergency Relief Fund. Since April, we have been applying for grants and making every effort to secure funding from various sources to help replace revenue lost during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We are grateful for the Illinois Arts Council Agency and the National Endowment for the Arts for their ongoing support of Peoria Ballet’s programming and productions!
This year’s Academy Recital will be a virtual performance premiering via Vimeo on August 1st. Since the annual Academy Recital is so important to our students, parents, and teachers, we have devised a way for the show to go on! This unique approach will allow all of Peoria Ballet’s students to participate and have closure on this year, while having the opportunity to perform in costume for a live (virtual) audience!
Peoria Ballet is thrilled to announce that we have been awarded a $50,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act! Out of 3,100 applications nationwide, Peoria Ballet is one of the 846 organizations chosen for funding. This grant will assist us in sustaining operations as we begin a new Academy year, especially since we have lost budgeted revenue from classes and our spring productions that were either postponed or presented for free via livestream video.
On June 15 Peoria Ballet reopened the studio for in-person classes while also continuing Zoom online instruction. We are excited to have students returning to the studio. At the current time to best protect our students, families, and faculty, we are limiting the number of classes and students in the studio and have implemented new safety procedures for all to follow. Peoria Ballet will continue to update safety procedures as new directives become available from relevant authorities including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the State of Illinois. Peoria Ballet is committed to cleaning and disinfecting the studios, bathrooms, and lobby in compliance with CDC protocols.
National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Acting Chairman Mary Anne Carter has approved more than $80 million in grants as part of the Arts Endowment’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2019. Included in this announcement is an Art Works grant of $10,000 to Peoria Ballet Company to support performances of The Nutcracker 2019 and accompanying educational activities. The agency received 1,592 Art Works applications for the round of grantmaking, and will award 977 grants in this category.
“Organizations such as Peoria Ballet are giving people in their community the opportunity to learn, create, and be inspired,” said NEA Acting Chairman Carter.
“This funding will help us continue to present this holiday tradition to the central Illinois community. The Nutcracker exposes a wide and diverse demographic to the arts, while also providing a unique learning experience for the student performers. A further benefit is that the school performances engage children, seniors, and adults with disabilities, many of whom would not otherwise have an opportunity to attend a live theatrical performance.” said Wendy Thomasson, Executive Director of Peoria Ballet.
For more information on this NEA grant announcement, visit arts.gov/news.
Peoria Ballet was named the winner of Peoria Journal Star’s “Best of the Best” competition in 2 categories ~ Best Dance Studio & Best Dance School! This is the second year in a row that Peoria Ballet has won these categories.
We are thrilled to announce that Peoria Ballet was awarded “Best Theater Production” for The Nutcracker! Many thanks to Peoria Magazine and everyone in our community that voted for us. Don’t miss The Nutcracker 2017 ~ December 9th & 10th at the Peoria Civic Center Theater with live music by Heartland Festival Orchestra!