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PITTSBURGH, PA (April 10, 2018) - Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre is proud to announce
the completion of its nearly 10-year, $21.2 million campaign to expand its Strip District
campus and build long-term funding for artistic priorities, student scholarships and
PBT will honor major campaign donors at a May 3, event hosted by the Benter
Foundation at its new office in the historic Benedum Trees Building prior to the
company’s dress rehearsal of “UPMC Presents West Side Story Suite + In the Night +
Fancy Free” on stage May 4-6, at the Benedum Center.
The $21.2 million Campaign for Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre started in 2009 with a $1.25
million investment from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to launch a multi-phase
campus expansion project. In 2015, PBT publicly announced additional campaign
priorities to build endowment and innovation funding for key artistic and educational
Campaign leadership came from Campaign Co-chairs Carolyn and Bill Byham and
Dawn and Chris Fleischner. And of the total $22.2 million raised, 22 percent was
contributed by members of PBT’s Board of Trustees.
Since 2009, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has invested a total of $3.25 million
through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program toward the Byham Center for
Dance and other campus expansion projects.
Leading corporate contributors include Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield and PNC
Bank, which invested in student scholarships, as well as Giant Eagle, MSA - The Safety
Company and UPMC which invested in innovation funding for artistic priorities.
“The people and organizations who have rallied around this campaign have galvanized
our mission and made a visible impact on PBT today and for the long-term,” said PBT
Executive Director Harris Ferris. “Already they have brought new productions to the
stage, funded scholarships programs for aspiring dancers, invested in live music,
opened new community class opportunities for the public and made it possible for us to
include more students than ever in our internationally recognized training program. Most
importantly of all, these supporters have made these things sustainable for the future.”
Among the campaign’s most high-profile achievements are the construction of the
14,000-square-foot, $6.5 million Byham Center for Dance, which opened its doors in
September 2016, and the 2010 opening of Byham House, PBT School’s student
residence for full-time high school students.
The campaign also will leave other equally enduring legacies to the art PBT stages, the
audiences who experience it and the students the company trains. Other campaign
impacts to date include:
● The acquisition of five new productions - “Giselle,” “Beauty and the Beast,”
“Romeo and Juliet,” “Swan Lake” and “Alice in Wonderland” - for PBT’s
permanent repertory. Already this year companies, including Joffrey Ballet and
Nevada Ballet, have rented and staged these productions in Chicago, Dallas,
Denver, Ft. Worth, Las Vegas and San Diego, providing PBT with sustaining
● A new line of Community Division dance and fitness classes for members of the
public and increased enrollment in PBT School thanks to the new Byham Center
● The upcoming PBT premieres of Jerome Robbins' "West Side Story Suite," "In
The Night" and "Fancy Free" presented by UPMC in honor of centennial
celebrations for Jerome Robbins and Leonard Bernstein
● The creation of new endowed PBT School scholarship funds established by
PNC, Highmark and the Henry L. Hillman Foundation
● An endowed Community Youth Scholarship fund established by the Ladies
Hospital Aid Society to provide annual need-based scholarships to talented
students between the ages of 5 and 8
● An endowment gift from Richard E. Rauh to permanently fund a principal dancer
● PBT’s March 2017 collaboration with Dance Theatre of Harlem funded by BNY
● Endowment funding to expand PBT’s Dance for Parkinson’s class series and
other accessibility programs
For additional information about supporting ongoing programs like these, community
members can contact Lois A. Wholey, director of development, at 412-454-9133 or
firstname.lastname@example.org , or visit www.pbt.org/support.
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