Knight Foundation Grant: $5 Million for Miami City Ballet


Miami City Ballet, Florida’s internationally acclaimed dance company, will be able to further expand its reach throughout South Florida on a community and artistic level with a new, much needed $5 million grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

The Knight Foundation’s grant was presented to Miami City Ballet during a ceremony at the New World Symphony campus. The support is part of $23 million in new funding for South Florida arts that the Knight Foundation announced this week, as a way to engage South Floridians and expose more people to the beauty of the arts. “This grant will greatly enhance our repertoire and it will help us become an even greater asset to the South Florida community,” says Miami City Ballet’s Executive Director Daniel Hagerty.

The $5 million grant, with funds to be distributed over the next five years, will help Miami City Ballet plan, develop and initiate grass-roots community and educational outreach in the counties in which it performs (Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Collier). It will also facilitate adding new works to its repertoire and commissioning works by some of the world’s leading choreographers.

In the past years, Knight Foundation grants have helped fund Miami City Ballet’s Opus One Orchestra and world premieres of critically acclaimed new works by choreographers such as Alexei Ratmansky and Liam Scarlett.

For its 2013-2014 season, Miami City Ballet Artistic Director Lourdes Lopez hopes to expand the company’s repertoire by presenting existing masterworks by George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins — that are new to the company and to South Florida audiences — and works by some of the world’s leading choreographers such as Nacho Duato, Alexei Ratmansky and Christopher Wheeldon.

Born in Cuba, Lopez came to Miami by age two but left at fourteen to pursue dance, going on to become a principal dancer with New York City Ballet, under legendary choreographers, George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. Lopez is also the Director of Morphoses, a contemporary dance company she co-founded with choreographer Christopher Wheeldon.

“This grant will help broaden and deepen our penetration of existing and potential audiences and therefore cement Miami City Ballet’s ability to impact the South Florida community,” says Lopez. “South Florida has become a 21st century cultural Mecca substantially due to the commitment and pioneering work of the Knight Foundation.”

Knight’s $23 million in new funding brings its total investment in South Florida’s diverse and dynamic cultural community to $86 million in six years.

“Miami City Ballet’s success is critical to our arts community. As its reputation for artistic excellence grows, so does our region’s reputation,” says Dennis Scholl, vice president for arts at Knight Foundation.


Daisy Olivera


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