In this white paper Ballet Memphis and National Arts Strategies (USA) share the findings of the initial stage of fact finding work that set out to ‘reinvent’ Ballet Memphis by ‘building bridges to new communities and planning a variety of sustainable scenarios for the future business model’. It gives a fascinating insight into the questions Ballet Memphis posed to a large number of community stakeholders and arts partners. This work was supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and jointly authored by Dorothy Gunther Pugh, Founder and CEO of Ballet Memphis and Russell Willis Taylor President.
Ballet Memphis, a nationally acclaimed regional dance company, is facing all of the challenges endemic to the not-for-profit arts: rising costs, decreasing audiences, more competition for philanthropic dollars, and how to create work of real value to audiences in Memphis and beyond. Deeply committed to both Memphis and the future of dance, the leadership of Ballet Memphis recognized that running faster to stand still would not only use time and energy for a short-term result, but could also mask the underlying challenges that need to be addressed for the Company.