Arts Consulting Group (ACG) congratulates Ballet Memphis on the opening of its brand-new multimillion-dollar facility as well as its additional Ballet Memphis School location at the Memphis Jewish Community Center Markell Dance Center. ACG previously provided executive search services for Ballet Memphis, placing Philip West as Managing Director/CAO in 2007.
After a multi-year feasibility study and search, Ballet Memphis opened its new purpose-built facility in August 2017. Located in the city’s performing arts district in Midtown Memphis, the 38,000-square-foot building offers five studios, administrative and artistic office space, dressing and locker rooms for both professional company dancers and students, a costume shop and warehouse, and a cafe. The space’s versatility, prominent neighborhood location, and street-level windows invite the public to experience dance in the making.
Dorothy Gunther Pugh, CEO/Founding Artistic Director, noted Mr. West’s importance to the project. “Philip’s processing skills are copious and he has been an integral part of our organization’s success. An example: while functioning as our Managing Director/CAO, he also undertook the role of project manager on the new building.”
Ballet Memphis is undertaking a $31 million campaign to fund the new headquarters as well as boost the endowment to sustain the company and create original works. The organization has raised nearly 70 percent of the $21 million needed to complete the building project and is raising an additional $10 million for the endowment.
“If you’re going to survive, you need to be seen. You have to make contact with people’s lives,” Ms. Pugh continued. “Our dance school enrollment doubled but we were out in ‘Big Box Land’ next to a Walmart. Our professional dancers lived in the city, and there’s no reliable public transportation. It wasn’t the place for us to sustain or be connected. The world is constantly changing, and we can’t freeze. We’re always moving into unknown territory.”
“Congratulations to the entire team at Ballet Memphis as they embark upon this exciting new chapter in the organization’s history,” said ACG President Dr. Bruce D. Thibodeau. “The new facility will allow students, professional dancers, and the revitalized Memphis community to enjoy and support the art of dance for years to come. We wish the school, company, staff, and board all the best in their new home.”