City Ballet is celebrating an incredible milestone—20 years of bringing dramatic beauty and art in motion to San Diego communities of all ages and cultural backgrounds. Under the guidance of world-renowned dancers Steven and Elizabeth Wistrich since 1993, City Ballet has flourished through 26-week seasons that reach over 10,000 people every year! Productions have ranged from classic such as Nutcracker, Rome & Juliet, and Giselle to contemporary pieces such as Carmina Burana and Emerald Jubilee.
A nonprofit artistic establishment, City Ballet has made great strides in culturally enriching a wide variety of local communities, including Hispanic and Russian populations, as well as a strong emphasis on youth education. In fact, a full third of City Ballet’s budget is funneled directly into year-round children education programs, including:
- Ballet Goes to School – Special stage performances are offered during school hours and in-school assemblies, with study guides provided to teachers for follow-up learning opportunities.
- Discover a Dancer – At-risk youth from the City Heights neighborhood (specifically the at Washington Elementary and Porter Elementary) have access to year-round ballet training free of charge!
- Summer Intensive – This nationally recognized three-week training program attracts both national and international dancers to study in San Diego.
Further enrichment efforts include select free performances at the Spreckels Theatre—City Ballet’s main production center—as well as steep military discounts and outreach to the most diverse and socio-economically challenged communities throughout Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego proper. The junior company, City Ballet II, also often performs at free area festivals, such as North Park Spring Arts Festival, Fiesta de los Penasquitos, and Linda Vista Cultural Fair.
In 2013, City Ballet is looking to expand operations on numerous fronts, including adding critical administrative staff to help develop further education and outreach programs, increase dancer salaries, and explore the possibility of transitioning to a new, larger facility.
All of these goals rely on the ongoing generosity of the San Diego community at large. Currently, any donations made up to $20,000 will be matched in full by the City Ballet Board of Directors! This is an incredible opportunity to double one’s investment in City Ballet’s ongoing growth and support the cultural value and generational empowerment such performances and education efforts bring to the area.