I am writing this letter to you on the anniversary of my third year at Ballet West. In all honesty, these past eight months have been trying, as I am sure all of you would agree. We have all felt the pressure of these unprecedented times.
As Ballet West emerges to present on stage, in front of an audience, with stringent safety protocols, I am feeling proud. Although many performing arts companies made the heartbreaking decision to close their doors, we chose a different course. With more than 100 employees who depend on Ballet West for income, Adam and I, with the full support of our Board, agreed we must at least try to return to the studios and get back to work, always with safety in mind. The Frederick Quinney Lawson Ballet West Academy employs instructors at four campuses who train more than 1,000 aspiring ballet dancers. For our organization, the idea of closing did not feel right. And, perhaps the most important reason to stay open is for you! For our patrons who adore Ballet West, who come to the theater to escape and be lifted up. Thank you for returning to the theater with us, I hope you take joy and comfort in being together again. Even as we are physically distanced.
I would be remiss on this anniversary not to thank you for the hospitality you have shown me. From the day I arrived, our Board of Directors, donors, and this community have been incredibly gracious. The dedicated individuals who bring you performances, both on stage and behind the scenes, have also made my tenure here rewarding during good times, and yes, when we are challenged as we are today.
I have felt your love for this company. In turn, I too have fallen in love with it, as well as this city and its people.