Oklahoma City Ballet’s New Home
Since re-forming as Oklahoma City Ballet in 2008 under the artistic vision and leadership of Robert Mills, the trajectory of growth for the organization has been unstoppable. The size of the professional company and the school has steadily grown, and the Summer Intensive Program more than doubled in size from 2015 to 2016, leading to a need for more space. Oklahoma City Ballet’s new home will increase the organization’s available space from 8,000 square feet and three studios to almost 29,000 square feet with the potential for eight studios. The iconic architecture and natural light will match the beauty and grace of Oklahoma City Ballet’s product.
In our new home, The Oklahoma City Ballet Yvonne Chouteau School will have capacity to increase classes and different class offerings to both adults and students in a more comfortable and safe environment. OKC Ballet outreach programs, which serve over 5,000 students annually, can expand and offer on-site classes and performances. There will be opportunities to host small performances and rehearsal viewings for small audiences or school groups.
An increase in students at the School will create an increase in the earned income of Oklahoma City Ballet, helping the company flourish. At a time when the arts are being drastically cut from schools, Oklahoma students will benefit from the opportunities to learn while visiting Oklahoma City Ballet as we aim to impact even more youths through community outreach. Not only will Oklahoma City Ballet benefit from our new facility, but the entire community will benefit from having more fruitful and enriching cultural experiences for generations to come.
Campaign Co Chairs
Sally Nichols Starling and Larry Nichols, Campaign Co-Chairs
Larry Nichols served as Oklahoma City Ballet’s President of the Board of Trustees from 1985 – 1986. His daughter, Sally, will serve as President from 2017 – 2019.
The growth of Oklahoma City Ballet over the last decade has led to our primary need: more space. Moving Oklahoma City Ballet to The Susan E. Brackett Dance Center will enable:
- Our professional dancers to rise to new heights with more space to rehearse, perform, and stay healthy.
- Expansion of class offerings at The Oklahoma City Ballet Yvonne Chouteau School, including holding adult and children’s classes simultaneously.
- Our scholarship program to continue and thrive.
- Increased enrollment in our summer training programs.
- An increase in earned income generated by more students of all ages.
- Intimate performances in the on-site theater.
- Special visits from school groups and our outreach programs to watch a performance or rehearsal, or take a class.
Not only will Oklahoma City Ballet benefit from our new facility, but the entire community will benefit from having more fruitful and enriching cultural experiences for generations to come.
A Campaign in Three Acts
Act I of The Turning Pointe Campaign came as a wonderful surprise. After already planning to launch a capital campaign in the future, December 2016 provided an opportunity when the AELP Fitness Center became available for purchase. It was swiftly decided that it would be a perfect fit for Oklahoma City Ballet’s new home. The Board of Trustees and key stakeholders agreed that we should try to raise nearly $5 million in six weeks to purchase the building with plans to continue raising funds for renovations and an endowment. With amazingly generous lead gifts, the goal of securing donations and winning the bid for the new facility came into fruition when the documents were signed February 15, 2017. Our new home, the Susan E. Brackett Dance Center, is a transformative move that will allow the company, the school, and its programs to thrive for decades to come.
A new home, a new day.
Act II of The Turning Pointe Campaign will take the facility to new heights by raising funds to renovate and customize the Brackett Dance Center and build an operating endowment. While much of the building will be untouched, there is a lot of work to be done to make the building suit the needs of a growing ballet company and school.
Act II renovations include:
- Transforming the basketball court into the main studio (Studio A), which includes installing a sprung dance floor.
- Combining the racquetball courts into one large studio and installing a sprung dance floor.
- Adding at least three additional dance studios.
- Building artistic and administrative offices and a conference room.
- Transforming the former facility into the new Production Headquarters. This annex is where our Costume Director and Production Manager will office and where we will store costumes and sets.
Act II will also have Oklahoma City Ballet planning for the future by creating an endowment that will cover operating expenses in perpetuity. The endowment will ensure that Oklahoma City Ballet will thrive in our new home for generations to come. It will help continue the dream and the mission of Oklahoma City Ballet and create a legacy of which we can all be proud.
The final step in The Turning Pointe Campaign will send Oklahoma City Ballet dancers soaring with the completion of a new in-studio theater. The main studio (Studio A) is large enough to build an intimate theater that will seat over 200 people. While large Company productions will remain at the Civic Center Music Hall, the in-studio theater will allow the company to showcase up-and-coming choreographers at a fraction of the cost of renting another venue. The school can utilize the theater to enrich our young students’ experiences with additional performance opportunities. In addition, small outreach performances for local schools and youth groups could be easily accommodated. This opportunity helps expand the company’s repertoire, offers more performances for our professional dancers and students, and fulfills our mission to inspire audiences through classical and contemporary dance performances.
Would you like a tour of the facility? Or for more information or to make a donation, call Whitney Cross Moore at (405) 208-8858