What a Monumental Year 2018 was for Cincinnati Ballet

January 2, 2019

What a monumental year 2018 was for Cincinnati Ballet! We wanted to share some of the organization’s recent accomplishments, none of which would be possible without you, our Cincinnati Ballet Family.

The Otto M. Budig Academy is experiencing tremendous growth, easily outpacing our projections. We are so pleased to report the Academy currently has more than 560 students enrolled in Children’s and Main division classes. This is an increase of 15% over last year alone.  We are expanding programming to meet the vibrant demand for the elite-level professional training only Cincinnati Ballet can provide to children in the region.

Our education and outreach programs are changing lives every day in our community. CincyDance! is once again sharing the love of dance with third-graders in classrooms across the Tri-State. This year, for the first time, we also hosted an open audition for ALL third graders in the city! The event was a huge success. We have a growing waitlist for enrollment in our Ballet Moves classes, a life-changing partnership with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, which provides dance instruction for children with special needs such as Down Syndrome and Cerebral Palsy. We have an incredible story to share with you about a very special 7-year-old girl, Martaisha Thomas, who was the innocent victim of a drive-by shooting three years ago. Despite suffering permanent paralysis on her right side, her holiday wish was to dance. When we heard about her story in the Cincinnati Enquirer, Cincinnati Ballet made her dream come true. Starting in January, the brave little girl, Martaisha, will be attending Ballet Moves classes. When we told her the news, she exclaimed, “This is the best day of my life!”

Our mainstage productions highlight new levels of artistic excellence, push boundaries, and break records. While creative collaborations with choreographers challenged audiences with our Kaplan New Works Series, this season’s The Nutcracker presented by Frisch’s Big Boy just shattered sales records for the fourth year in a row! This year also celebrates a beloved Cincinnati icon, as we commemorate the 50th anniversary of Maestro Carmon DeLeone as the Company’s Music Director.

Cincinnati Ballet prides itself on our growing community partnerships.  We delighted audiences when we collaborated with Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden on the creation of a character based on the zoo’s famous hippo, Fiona. On stage, the Cincinnati sensation has been both a hit with critics and audiences alike. Fiona, along with our Dancing Doll from The Nutcracker, attended the in-patient holiday party at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, spreading joy to children confined to the hospital for the holidays.

We are on a mission and we are flourishing. We are proud and humble stewards of the treasure that is the Cincinnati Ballet and all it has represented for the past 56 years. We are honored to be part of this lineage, driving us toward elevated greatness. In the coming year, we look forward to our continued service as the Ballet’s champions and cheerleaders, promoters and protectors. Knowing you share our passion galvanizes and energizes us surrounding the opportunities that lie ahead. Thank you for a fantastic 2018, and here’s to a watershed 2019.


Scott Altman                           Victoria Morgan                                                  Debbie Brant
President + CEO                   The Sue & Bill Friedlander Artistic Director    Board Chair

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