Mr. A Reveals Future Plans for Chicago Ballet Center

April 01, 2019

The Chicago Ballet Center hosted the first ever CBC family meeting at Fannie’s Café on Sunday, March 3.  Paul Abrahamson (Mr. A), founder and director, shared some exciting news about new and future programs at the CBC including:

New Opportunity to Dance Through High School

The CBC will be home to the new Performing Arts Career Training (PACT) program for high school students beginning in the 2019-2020 school year. The program is in partnership with Carl Schurz High School in Chicago’s Old Irving Park neighborhood.  PACT will allow students to attend academic classes in the morning, and then travel to CBC every afternoon to dance.  Students will also learn about arts administration and technical theater and can earn college credit via Roosevelt University.  This is a wonderful opportunity for students at Chicago Public Schools who will be available to attend tuition free. PACT is the only program in CPS to make college credit available for both dance education and technical theater classes.

Dance All Day!

For dancers in 6th – 10th grade interested in the PACT program, CBC is hosting three all-day dance workshops.  Sign up on this Spring: April 5, May 5 or June2 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.  Dancers can come to one or all. There’s no cost—just bring a lunch and a desire to dance.  To reserve a spot, click on one of the links above.

The Chicago Youth Ballet

Due to the launch of the PACT program (above), the foundation for the pre-professional division of CBC will be established, allowing us to launch the Chicago Youth Ballet in 2020.  The Company, led by Mr. A, will have performances at a variety of community venues in and around Chicago. CBC dancers not in the PACT program will also be eligible to audition and perform with the Company.

Performance Volunteer Team for Parents

CBC parent Tracy DiAsio, head of the new CBC Performance Volunteer Team, spoke at the meeting.  She is seeking a few dedicated parents to lead the front and back of house operations for CBC performances. This includes the Tutu Café, box office and ushers.  To be on the team, or to volunteer in one of these areas for the upcoming Spring performance May 18 and 19, contact Tracy directly at tldiasio@gmail.com.

CBC Parent Advisory Board

Mr. A aims to launch a Parent Advisory Board (PAB) this Spring with six to eight parents to provide advice and guidance in a variety of professional arenas, including finance, business planning, HR, event planning and fundraising. The PAB will meet quarterly.  If interested, contact Mr. A directly in the studio for more information or through e-mail at Mr.A@chicagoballetcenter.org

Portage Park School Partnership

This February we began a partnership with Portage Park Elementary to incorporate dance into the PE curriculum for middle school students, and to host our Spring performance, Extrava-DANCE-a on May 18 and 19.  We’re also thrilled Portage Park recently received the hard-earned designation as a CPS Magnet Cluster – Fine & Performing Arts school, which means they will receive additional programming support for the arts—including dance–beginning in the 2019-2020 school year.

Summer 2019 Sessions

Attendees shared their preferences for summer programming dates and offerings.  August seemed like a popular choice by attendees.  Therefore, summer sessions will begin July 8 and end Aug. 25.  There will be a three-week summer ballet intensive Aug. 5-23.

New Theater and Classroom Space

World-renowned architect firm Gensler is committed to helping CBC design its future classroom and performance space Initially the space at 4901 W Irving Park Rd. (same buidling as Binny’s and Retro Fitness) was under consideration, but now we know it will not work for the needs of CBC. Mr. A is actively working with Gensler to identify another location.  Stay tuned for developments!

 

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