Arts and Culture

Colorado Ballet Receives $500,000 COVID-19 Relief Grant

Mike Watson
Kevin Gaël Thomas and artists of the Colorado Ballet.
Amid economic strife, the Colorado Ballet has finally found some luck in its sixtieth season.

Just after Colorado’s esteemed ballet company announced how it would navigate the pandemic with budget cuts and a company-wide furlough and launch a relief and recovery fund, an anonymous couple reached out with a $500,000 matching grant.

Through November 15, all donations made to Colorado Ballet’s relief and recovery fund will be matched at a two-to-one ratio of up to $250,000 (matching began October 1). If donations reach $250,000 by November 15, the total amount will equal $750,000.

“The performing arts industry has been hit especially hard by the pandemic,” the anonymous couple says. “As a nonprofit organization that relies on charitable giving, we want to ensure that Colorado Ballet will be able to resume as a strong company when they are able to perform again. ... We wanted to make a substantial gift to inspire and challenge others to give generously, to support this vital art form and to boost the morale of the company weathering an incredibly challenging time.”

“We are extremely grateful for these supporters’ generosity and dedication to Colorado Ballet,” says Gil Boggs, the company's artistic director. “This incredibly generous gift makes an enormous impact on Colorado Ballet and on our efforts to not only survive during the pandemic, but to come out on the other side of it and resume being the organization that we’ve become over the past sixty years.”

This charitable donation has also been a boost for the rest of the team at the Colorado Ballet.
click to enlarge Colorado Ballet's Relief and Recovery. - COURTESY OF COLORADO BALLET
Colorado Ballet's Relief and Recovery.
Courtesy of Colorado Ballet
“[This gift] has personally motivated me to work even harder to keep our academy strong, connected, progressive and engaged,” Colorado Ballet Academy director Erica Fischbach says. “The students are so happy to feel the support from this gift and the many wonderful people who have donated so far. It has truly given our students renewed energy and purpose.” 

“It is a really nice reminder that there are people out there who still care about and appreciate the arts, and that not everyone is sweeping us under the rug,” apprentice dancer Everette Larson says. “[This gift] means a little bit can go a long way; that might encourage someone to donate even a small amount, knowing it will be tripled.”

Principal dancer Francisco Estevez also hopes the matching donation will motivate others to donate.

“The matching incentive is a great way to extend one’s donation dollars,” Estevez says. “And hopefully many people will take advantage of that at any giving level.

“Receiving these types of gifts is a great way to get Colorado Ballet into the community consciousness during these difficult times,” he continues. “The arts are all around us in many ways that the public doesn’t realize, and hopefully, these types of matching initiatives keep attention on the importance of the arts in our community.”

To give to Colorado Ballet’s Relief & Recovery fund, visit its website. To learn more about the company and stay up to date on its sixtieth season, visit the Colorado Ballet website.