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Arts Entertainment Lifestyle Reader Contributed

Ballet Theatre Company Receives CT Humanities Grant

Ballet IV students and Ballet Mistress/Faculty Member, Emily Silva in BTC's The Ron and Nancy Compton Studio. Photo by Tracy Dorman (we-ha.com file photo)

Ballet Theatre Company is one of more than 600 organization is the state, and a dozen in West Hartford, to receive a CT Cultural Fund Operating Support Grant from CT Humanities.

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Connecticut Humanities, the statewide, nonprofit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), has awarded Ballet Theatre Company a $34,900 CT Cultural Fund Operating Support Grant (CTCFOSG).

Ballet Theatre Company (BTC) will primarily use the CTCFOSG grant funding to activate a formal Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiative for the winter of 2022.

BTC began its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) work in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement and has been working to address issues that are central to DEI, as well as healthy body images, within its ballet community.

BTC leadership believes that all professional ballet dancers, staff, and young students within The School of Ballet Theatre Company, regardless of race, color, gender, age, ethnicity, socio-economic background, religion, or sexual orientation, should thrive within the organization. As such, BTC was pleased to apply to the CTCFOSG for funding to formalize and make changes to match the organizational sentiments.

“Ballet is an art form that upholds traditional values of esthetic and skill. Yet, like dancers, ballet bends to the times; as all art should,” said BTC’s Artistic Director, Stephanie Dattellas, on committing to improve DEI within the ballet company. “The culture of ballet is changing. It’s already changed for the better. We are ready to do the deep work, and thanks to CT Humanities and the CT Office of the Arts, we will hire a DEI consultant to assess and professionally guide our nonprofit to make real and sustainable changes within BTC.”

The CTCFOSG grant funding will also be used to improve staff capacity at Ballet Theatre Company and reach greater audiences in Connecticut. As a growing ballet company, this funding will directly help the organization to keep offering beautiful and accessible ballet performances to our communities.

BTC was one of 624 organizations in Connecticut that was awarded CT Cultural Fund support totaling $16M from CT Humanities. The CTCFOSG are part of $30.7M of support allocated to arts, humanities, and cultural nonprofits through CTH over the next two years by the CT General Assembly and approved by Governor Ned Lamont. The CTCFOSG will assist organizations as they recover from the pandemic and maintain and grow their ability to serve their community and the public.

This grant was administered by CT Humanities (CTH), with funding provided by the Connecticut State Department of Economic and Community Development/Connecticut Office of the Arts (COA) from the Connecticut State Legislature.

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