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A & E

Faith-based Ballet 5:8 in Frankfort receives grant

Ballet 5:8’s performances bring professional ballet to not only to communities in the heart of Chicago’s arts and theater districts but also to communities with little or no immediate access to professional arts. Pictured are (from left) are Sophia Snider, Jeremy Slager, Megan Acke.
Ballet 5:8’s performances bring professional ballet to not only to communities in the heart of Chicago’s arts and theater districts but also to communities with little or no immediate access to professional arts. Pictured are (from left) are Sophia Snider, Jeremy Slager, Megan Acke.

Ballet Five Eight NFP (Ballet 5:8), a Frankfort-based nonprofit arts organization, has been awarded a second grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency in the amount of $12,900, for general operating support.

The grant will be partially supporting operations between September 2018 and August, 2019. Ballet 5:8 is committed to investing in Illinois communities, artists and residents through high-quality, accessible dance education and performance and is thrilled to have this operating support for the 2018/19 season.

The mission

Ballet 5:8 has 20-plus adult, professional dancers and teachers whom the company both employs locally, and attracts to relocate to Illinois in order to work with Ballet 5:8.

College-age dancers are also a part of this mission. Through a high-caliber trainee program, the company is able to bring many of these young artists to Illinois in their formative career years, providing the final training and professional performing experience they need to begin their own professional careers.

Ballet 5:8’s professional artists participate in the process of creating brand new, all-original full-length performances, in Frankfort. The company’s goal with each new ballet is to create beautiful, engaging experiences through the combination of innovative storytelling and breathtaking dance.

Performances

Ballet 5:8 performances invite people to participate in open conversation about life and faith topics, regardless of what viewpoint they hold.

Projects in Ballet 5:8’s most recently completed season include the premiere of a collection of original ballets called "Compass," themed on navigating cultural tension with compassion, and performances of "Scarlet," a groundbreaking ballet-film hybrid production based on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s famous novel "The Scarlet Letter."

Slager’s newest work "The Space in Between," set to premiere in October, is set on a bus ride between heaven and hell, drawing inspiration from C.S. Lewis’ work "The Great Divorce."

Ballet 5:8 professional artists also perform select roles in Illinois performances by its dance education center, Ballet 5:8 School of the Arts.

These performances, held at Lincoln Way West High School in New Lenox, include Beyond the Nutcracker, a holiday tale and local favorite in the Chicago South Suburbs, set to Tchaikovsky’s famous "Nutcracker" score.

Recent and upcoming Illinois performance locations include the Athenaeum Theatre in Chicago, Lincoln-Way West High School Fine Arts Center in New Lenox, the Hemmens Cultural Center in Elgin, Illinois Central College in East Peoria, the Scottish Rite Cathedral in Moline, Urbana High School Auditorium in Urbana and Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights.

Ticketed and free performances were shared by a total of 12,900 audience members in Illinois during the 2017/18 performing season.

Funding

Thanks to funding from individual donors and sources such as the the Illinois Arts Council Agency, Ballet 5:8 is able to keep performance ticket prices ranging from $12-$35 for most performances, in addition to participating in a number of free-to-the-public performances.

Upcoming free performances include the Harold Washington Library Center in Chicago on Jan. 31. Performances like these ensure that our work remains accessible to community members from many different socioeconomic backgrounds.

Donor funding additionally enables us to work with charitable nonprofits to provide reduced-cost and donated performance tickets to the homeless, families who have children with mental and physical disabilities, inner-city schools, military veterans and others

Ballet 5:8 also has the privilege of being able to invest in Illinois through accessible, high-caliber dance education. Over 250 Illinois children and youth receive dance instruction from our professional artists each year – and many of these young dancers will become professional artists of tomorrow.

In the Ballet 5:8 school, which also attracts students from across the U.S., the well-being of each individual dancer is valued just as much as the dancer’s potential in the field.

Ballet 5:8 has multiple distinct training divisions and classes available that range from pre-professional level classical ballet training to recreational classes in a wide variety of dance disciplines.

Thanks to funding from individual donors and sources such as the Illinois Arts Council Agency, Ballet 5:8 is able to keep tuition rates accessible to families from many socioeconomic backgrounds and offer financial aid scholarships to families with particular need.

Founded in 2012, Ballet 5:8 a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization based just outside of Chicago, IL. The mission of Ballet 5:8 is to engage communities in Chicago, the Midwest and across the nation in conversation of life and faith through innovative storytelling and breathtaking dance.

Ballet 5:8 performs over 40 times throughout Chicago and across the nation each year, in settings ranging from school gyms and professional theaters, in addition to teaching workshops and master classes.

Ballet 5:8’s dance education center serves over 250 students each year through a wide range of dance classes, nationally-recognized advanced classical ballet training programs, and a five-week summer intensive.

Visit www.ballet58.org.

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