The Joffrey Ballet, led by Artistic Director Ashley Wheater and Executive Director Greg Cameron, announced today that the Joffrey Academy of Dance, Official School of The Joffrey Ballet has been awarded a $200,000 challenge grant from the Reva & David Logan Foundation expressly to support a new initiative aimed at annually funding more than $400,000 in scholarships for talented and motived youth at the Joffrey Academy of Dance.
Based in Chicago, the Reva & David Logan Foundation provides strategic grants to support the arts, investigative journalism, scholarship, and social justice organizations with innovative approaches to teaching and community organization across the country. In recognition of Joffrey’s dedication to equity in arts education, the Foundation will match all contributions received by The Joffrey Ballet through June 30, 2016 – up to $200,000, the second largest grant awarded by the foundation in the first quarter of 2016. This is the first time The Joffrey Ballet has received support from the Reva & David Logan Foundation.
The funds raised will underwrite Joffrey Academy of Dance scholarships for under-resourced and under-represented youth ages 3-24 who have demonstrated ability and financial need, with the majority provided to participants in the Joffrey’s Chicago Public School residencies in areas with limited-to-no access to arts programming. This support allows more students the ability to continue from school-based programs into community engagement programs conducted at Joffrey Tower, including the Lemonis Bridge Program, which provides kindergarten through second grade students a successful pathway into the Joffrey Academy through highly-structured classical ballet training as well as the Middle School Dance Clubs Extensions Program, a weekly program providing youth the opportunity to choreograph and perform their own work.
The grant will also support five full scholarships plus living stipends towards the Joffrey Studio Company, comprised of 10 outstanding students at the cusp of their professional careers hand selected by Ashley Wheater and Artistic Directors of the Joffrey Academy of Dance Alexei Kremnev and Anna Reznik. These students receive individualized training to prepare for professional careers in dance as well as performance opportunities alongside The Joffrey Ballet’s professional company dancers.
“The discipline and sheer joy of dance education has proven to be a powerful and transformative tool in the lives of young people. Our foundation felt strongly that making this opportunity available to so many children in Chicago was a vision worthy of support” commented Richard Logan, the President of the Reva and David Logan Foundation, “and the fact that it is provided by the world-class artists and teachers of The Joffrey Ballet is truly extraordinary – not every child will become a star of the ballet, but each child’s star will burn a little brighter for the experience.”
“Throughout its history, The Joffrey Ballet has always welcomed a diverse array of talented dancers. But without early access to quality training, few can achieve the skills necessary to pursue professional careers,” said Artistic Director Ashley Wheater. “Nothing is closer to my heart than a young person who finds a means of expression through dance. The Reva & David Logan Foundation’s support is critical to ensuring that the Joffrey Academy continues to grow in size and reputation – it is a commitment to the next generation of young dancers and dance audiences.”
“The Joffrey is committed to ensuring that high quality dance education is available to all, regardless of ability to pay,” added Academy Managing Director Karine Provost. “This grant provides youth from Chicago communities and beyond the platform to develop positive skills and disciplines both in the studio and in their academic lives, create new relationships with peers who share their enthusiasm for dance, as well as encourage healthy lifestyles through classical dance training. This grant also creates opportunities for ALAANA (African, Latino(a), Asian, Arab, and Native American) students who’ve faced numerous historical barriers to entry in classical ballet. We are thrilled to provide meaningful experiences for deserving youth and shine a light on the Joffrey Academy’s major growth through the Reva & David Logan Foundation’s support.”
About The Joffrey Ballet and Joffrey Academy of Dance
Established in 2009, the Joffrey Academy of Dance, Official School of The Joffrey Ballet, is committed to providing students of all ages, levels and backgrounds who have a desire to dance with a world-class education built on a foundation of classical ballet. With the talents cultivated at the Joffrey Academy, students can pursue careers as professional dancers at companies throughout the world, higher education opportunities in dance, or success in other fields. Through the Joffrey Academy’s programs, students develop a diverse set of skills including artistry, creativity, discipline and confidence, among others.
Named Outstanding School in 2010, 2012, 2015 and 2016 by the Youth America Grand Prix, the world’s largest international student ballet competition, the Joffrey Academy’s high-quality, educational programming forms future audiences and support for the Joffrey and builds the organization’s reputation worldwide.
Joffrey Academy of Dance, Official School of The Joffrey Ballet, is the only training program owned, operated or endorsed by The Joffrey Ballet. The Joffrey Ballet is not affiliated with any other dance training or school program, including the Joffrey Ballet School in New York. The Joffrey Academy, located in the Exelon Education Center at Joffrey Tower in Chicago, Illinois is the only school that follows the organizational mission, training syllabi, and artistic vision of The Joffrey Ballet. No other program, including those holding the Joffrey name, is sanctioned by The Joffrey Ballet. For more information on the Joffrey Academy of Dance, please visit joffrey.org/academy
About the Reva & David Logan Foundation
The Reva and David Logan Foundation is a Chicago-based family foundation that provides strategic grants to support the arts, investigative journalism, scholarship and social justice.