June 5, 2020
As the founding Artistic Directors of City Ballet of San Diego and the City Ballet School, we would like to express our support of the current movement that is demanding equality worldwide. We are inspired to see how we as a nation, have come together to fight for equal rights and the idea that racism of any kind must not be tolerated.
We are extremely proud that throughout its 27 year history, City Ballet’s company and school have always embraced and promoted diversity. Through our educational programs, including Discover a Dancer and Ballet Goes to School, we maintain a presence within minority communities throughout San Diego County. Our outreach programs offer many of these children ballet classes, dance attire, and professional ballet performances free of charge. These programs have been created in the hopes of making ballet a more inclusive art form. As individuals, we can all make a difference by allowing our voices to be heard in the condemning of racial injustice. As a company, we at City Ballet strive to create opportunities that will result in positive change within our community and the dance world.
As of this week, we are proud to announce that City Ballet of San Diego has launched a new initiative called the Diversity in Dance Scholarship Program. Each year we will award two minority students free tuition to go towards their ballet training. This scholarship will continue to support each student for as long as they choose to study ballet at our school. Additionally, we will offer two full-tuition scholarships to minority pre-professionals each year. This scholarship will allow more individuals the opportunity to be a part of our world-renowned Summer Intensive Program. Through this program, students will be offered the opportunity to study with some of the world’s greatest dance artists and allow them the ability to audition for City Ballet of San Diego’s trainee and apprenticeship programs.
Furthermore, several of our City Ballet dancers and staff will be attending a Racism in Dance seminar hosted by Karida Griffith, a former Rockette and founder of tapteachertrainingonline.com. We encourage each of you to do the same!
On behalf of everyone associated with City Ballet of San Diego, we would like to send out a great deal of love and support to all of our wonderful minority dancers, teachers, choreographers, and staff. We feel honored to have the privilege of working with you throughout the years. You ALL hold a special place in our hearts.
In love and unity,
Steven and Elizabeth Wistrich