Monday, May 7, 2012

CBT attempts to allay concerns with extensive statement

Moving Forward

Posted by Erica Jackson Curran on Mon, May 7, 2012 at 3:00 PM

Charleston Ballet Theatre officials have kept pretty quiet as news of both internal and external issues have spread around town, but today they released a statement in an obvious attempt to quell any fears about their potential closing. The company hopes to regain its footing through a number of actions, some planned, some already implemented.

Perhaps most significantly, they've established a new board of directors, which will allow them to once again meet the requirements to qualify for funds as a nonprofit. The four new members include new board president Belinda Cole, who served as the board secretary for 25 years; vice president O'Neal Compton, who's also an actor, writer, and filmmaker; secretary Hannah Gillard, who works at Wells Fargo; and treasurer Joshua P. Cantwell of Young Clement Rivers. The board will be restructured into working committees that will present budgets to the full board.

They've also outlined fundraising goals for 2012 in a Major Gifts Initiative that includes four objectives: school outreach, collaborations with local musicians, local cultural partnerships (with the Gibbes, Children's Museum of the Lowcountry, etc.), and increased marketing efforts.

Starting May 15, Joseph Kelly (who was previously on the CSO's board of directors) will serve as the CBT's Director of Artistic Operations. According to the release, Kelly will liaison with the CBT board and artistic staff, present artistic programming budgets, and bring recommended financial plans to the board to help create CBT's annual budget. He'll also integrate CBT dancer concerns into the plan by giving them a shareholder stake in the final budget. The release states that all internal staffing with be evaluated and staff replacements will be made if necessary. They're also seeking a new director of operations.

As for the company's taxes, which have been reported to be in arrears, the statement reports that they're "fully committed to complying with these payment plans in order to address these issues in an expedient manner." Find out more about the company at charlestonballet.org.

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