Creativity helped Sacramento Ballet save season

Posted on: August 21, 2009

In a program that aired Thursday (8/20) on Sacramento’s Capital Public Radio , Paul Conley reports, “In recent years, the Sacramento Ballet has been on a roll. Among other things, they announced plans for a new studio and offices, and they made their first international tour to China. Last fall, the Ballet’s co-artistic directors Ron Cunningham and his wife Carinne Binda were gearing up for another successful year. But, when ticket sales for the season opener ‘Alice in Wonderland’ came up short, they were concerned. … Cunningham says the ballet faced a potential 600-thousand dollar deficit by the end of their season if they didn’t do something drastic. … The Ballet cut three staff positions, immediately stopped advertising , and most dramatically, cancelled the remainder of its season in the huge and expensive Community Center Theatre. Then Cunningham did something really radical, he added performances… dozens of smaller ones at the Mondavi Center, McClatchy high, in art galleries and mostly in the Ballet’s home studios. The revamped season was a gamble.” But audiences loved the intimate settings, Conley reports. The dancers “set up their own website for donations, held a silent auction, and lobbied local businesses and media for support. In the end, the re-configured season and all of the fundraising efforts worked. The company not only survived the season, it ended with a surplus.”

Posted August 21, 2009