Sunday, June 11, 2000

Cincinnati Ballet steps into second phase of fund-raising

By Carol Norris
Enquirer contributor

        With the initial goal of $7 million met, Cincinnati Ballet is moving into the second phase of its 21st Century Campaign.

        “We're not only ahead of schedule by 10 months, at $8 million we're also ahead of our initial goal,” John Zurick, executive director, says.

        The company's ultimate goal of $10 million is scheduled for completion May 13, 2001, and will enable the company to stay on its feet well into the century.

        “We have two major objectives — to attain the capital to expand facilities and to build endowment funds to help support operating expenses indefinitely,” Mr. Zurick says.

        Goals are to bring the company to a higher level artistically, focus on audience growth, continue to improve the quality of instruction and enrollment at the Budig Academy in Blue Ash, develop a “sister city” relationship to expand the company's reach and performance opportunities, and upgrade technological support.

        “We are gratified by the initial strong support of our campaign. The message is clear — Greater Cincinnati believes in the arts and in what our company gives to the community,” campaign co-chair Tom Neyer Jr. said in a release.

        Phase I and the opening of a new ballet school was announced in October. The Otto M. Budig Academy of Cincinnati Ballet opened in January.

        Phase II was kicked off in April with $800,000 from Frisch's Restaurants and the Maier family, earmarked for Nutcracker productions.

        Other Phase II contributors:

        • Joni Herschede, $1 million to endow the artistic director position.

        • Richardson and Betsy McKinney, $1.5 million.

        • Cinergy Foundation, $250,000 for education programs.

        • Federated Foundation of Federated Department Stores, $200,000.

        • Thomas and Francis Hiltz of the H.C.S. Foundation, $100,000.

        • The State of Ohio, $450,000 for Central Parkway studio expansion (pending approval of the state budget).

        Official launch of Phase II is scheduled for a reception at Saks Fifth Avenue, downtown, 5-8 p.m. on June 19. Call 621-5219 for more information.


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