Milwaukee Ballet
Press Release

Milwaukee Ballet announces $500,000 donation from the Argosy Foundation

Gift supports of the expansion of the Company’s educational and engagement initiatives

By - Mar 12th, 2019 03:11 pm
Baumgartner Center for Dance. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Baumgartner Center for Dance. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Milwaukee – March 12, 2019 Milwaukee Ballet proudly announces a $500,000 gift from the Argosy Foundation to the company’s capital campaign, which supports the construction of its new headquarters – the Baumgartner Center for Dance – as well as its artistic, educational and community engagement programs.

The Baumgartner Center for Dance, a two-story, 52,000-square-foot facility, is located at 128 N. Jackson Street in Milwaukee’s Third Ward.

‘The Argosy Foundation is proud to support this important project for our Milwaukee Ballet,” said Chris Abele. “The Baumgartner Center will allow an already world class institution to not only build on the incredible artistic work we are privileged to enjoy on stage, but also further expand their work partnering with the community and delivering ever more members of the next generation of great dancers.  Extraordinary outcomes are only achieved when strong organizations with great leadership lean with confidence into ambitious goals; and we at the Argosy Foundation are always excited to help when that happens here in our home town.”

The new center will include three more rehearsal studios than its current location, the Jodi Peck Center in Walker’s Point. The increased space will facilitate the creation of new classes and centralize the community engagement programs to a more accessible, more visible location. Additionally, the new headquarters will include more spacious waiting areas for Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy families and community engagement partners.

“The Argosy Foundation’s support better empowers Milwaukee Ballet to provide exceptional dance training while remaining accessible to students of various ages, levels and backgrounds,” explained Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy Director Rolando Yanes. He added, “With this gift, we can expand our reach to engage even more students and better support our mission to connect communities and transform lives.”

In recognition of its donation, Milwaukee Ballet plans to name the student library in the new building in honor of the Argosy Foundation. The library will serve as a resource for students who study during the day whilst participating in a new pre-professional program as well as those eager to increase their knowledge of dance history.

The capital campaign was accelerated in September 2018 with the announcement of a $10 million leading gift from Donna and Donald Baumgartner, whose name will be featured on the new facility. Since then, The Herzfeld Foundation and The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation have also publicly announced their donations.

The Baumgartner Center for Dance will open by September 2019 and will house the administrative functions of the current headquarters, as well as Company rehearsals and the operations of Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy. The new facility will feature seven studios as well as improved access for Tour de Force students with mobility challenges. It will provide additional capacity for the School & Academy, while enabling the creation of new classes and program offerings.

About Milwaukee Ballet

Milwaukee Ballet was founded in 1970. Led by Artistic Director Michael Pink, Milwaukee Ballet’s mission is to create a rich and diverse community through its inspiring dance performance, education and community engagement. Milwaukee Ballet hosts an international company of dancers and is one of the few companies in the nation to maintain its own orchestra. Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy is the only professional dance school in the Midwest accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance. Milwaukee Ballet’s award-winning Community Engagement department serves more than 38,000 people in Southeastern Wisconsin each year through original, interactive programs. Milwaukee Ballet celebrates its 50th Anniversary in the 2019-20 season.

About the Argosy Foundation
The mission of the Argosy Foundation is to support people and programs that make our society a better place to live. They seek to employ creative and entrepreneurial approaches that help people to help themselves, and become self-sustaining whenever possible. The Foundation’s intention is to solve systemic problems, build teams and communities, create replicable solutions, and inspire others to contribute in their own ways.

About the Baumgartner Center for Dance

The Baumgartner Center for Dance is designed by a team from HGA Architects and Engineers, led by Design Principal James Shield, FAIA, John Chapman, Principal-in-Charge, and Andrew Lasca, Project Manager. The due diligence, entitlement and construction process is managed by Catalyst Construction and The DeMichele Company, respectively led by Adam Arndt and Michael DeMichele.

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