ALVIN AILEY DANCE FOUNDATION, GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS AND DIGNITARIES CELEBRATE
ROOF-BREAKING AND DESIGN UNVEILING OF NEW EDUCATION WING,
NAMED IN HONOR OF PHILANTHROPIST ELAINE WYNN
Ailey Announces $48 Million Raised, Enabling Building Expansion and
Launch of Education Programs and Initiatives Including Destination Dance
Photo credits (left to right): Elaine P. Wynn and Ailey II; Board Chairman Daria Wallach, Elaine P. Wynn, Eleanor Applewhaite, Artistic Director Robert Battle, Chairman Emerita Joan H. Weill, Sandy Weill, Tom Finklepearl, Ailey II; AAADT’s Jacqueline Green, Executive Director Bennett Rink, Eric Wallach, Chairman Daria Wallach, Artistic Director Robert Battle, John Schaefer, Chairman Emerita Joan H. Weill, and dancers from Ailey II and The Ailey School. All photos by Christopher Duggan.
On Tuesday, September 20, 2016, a host of New York leaders and dignitaries, including government officials and philanthropists, joined with the Ailey organization for an unveiling of the design for the expanded Joan Weill Center for Dance. The ceremonial roof-breaking also included the announcement of new initiatives launching the next phase of Ailey’s dramatically increased education and community programming in New York and across the country. Performances by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s Jacqueline Green, the rising stars of Ailey II and talented students from The Ailey School were presented for the more than 100 guests, signaling a moment of upward growth on a national level for the company.
During the event, it was announced that the organization has raised $48 million towards its $50 million campaign in honor of Mrs. Weill’s legacy and that the expanded portion of the building will be named the Elaine P. Wynn & Family Foundation Education Wing, in honor of Mrs. Wynn’s extraordinary support of Ailey. Programming announcements included the launch of Destination Dance, a major new initiative that uses dance as a centerpiece for community engagement in urban centers across the country, that will begin in Atlanta in 2017; and the expansion of AileyCamp, AileyDance Kids and Ailey’s Arts In Education programs.
Student dancers from The Ailey School were featured in a special performance for the occasion, entitled Ascension, which culminated in the reveal of the design for the building in a ceremonial roof-breaking. Celebratory bows followed where Elaine Wynn, Joan and Sandy Weill, Daria Wallach, Debra Lee, Robert Battle, Bennett Rink and government officials joined the dancers on stage to mark this monumental moment for the Ailey organization.
As an additional tribute to Ailey’s future, guests were invited to sign a steel beam, set to rise with the expanding building, indicating their support for Ailey’s ongoing impact on arts and culture in the New York community and beyond. Excerpts from Alvin Ailey’s beloved signature work Revelations were danced by Jacqueline Green and dancers from Ailey II in Ailey’s beautiful fifth floor studio with the stunning Manhattan skyline as a backdrop.
Throughout the morning, remarks were made by Ailey’s Chairman Daria L. Wallach, President Debra L. Lee, Chairman Emerita Joan H. Weill, Philanthropist Elaine P. Wynn, Executive Director Bennett Rink, and Artistic Director Robert Battle.
Attendees included Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl, Ailey Chairman Emeritus Joan H. Weill, Philanthropist Elaine P. Wynn, Ailey Board of Trustees Chair Daria L. Wallach, Ailey Board President Debra L. Lee, Artistic Director Robert Battle, Executive Director Bennett Rink, Artistic Director Emerita Judith Jamison, former Executive Director Sharon Gersten Luckman, dancers from Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Ailey II and The Ailey School.
Currently on a two-month international tour, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will return to the New York City Center stage from November 30th – December 31st 2016 with premieres and new productions performed by 32 acclaimed dancers during a five-week engagement, which has become a joyous holiday tradition. Tickets are now on sale. A coast-to-coast North American tour from February 3rd – May 14th, 2017 will include performances at Atlanta’s Fabulous Fox Theatre from February 15-19. For further information on Ailey’s performances, training programs, classes for the public, and educational activities, visit: www.alvinailey.org.
About Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, recognized by U.S. Congressional resolution as a vital American “Cultural Ambassador to the World,” grew from a now‐fabled March 1958 performance in New York that changed forever the perception of American dance. Founded by Alvin Ailey, recent posthumous recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom – the nation’s highest civilian honor, and guided by Judith Jamison beginning in 1989, the Company is now led by Robert Battle, whom Judith Jamison chose to succeed her on July 1, 2011. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater has performed for an estimated 25 million people in 71 countries on 6 continents – as well as millions more through television broadcasts, film screenings, and online platforms – promoting the uniqueness of the African‐American cultural experience and the preservation and enrichment of the American modern dance tradition. In addition to being the Principal Dance Company of New York City Center, where its performances have become a year‐end tradition, the Ailey company performs annually at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami‐Dade County in Miami, The Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley, CA and at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark where it is the Principal Resident Affiliate), and appears frequently in other major theaters throughout the United States and the world during extensive yearly tours. The Ailey organization also includes Ailey II (1974), a second performing company of emerging young dancers and innovative choreographers; The Ailey School (1969), one of the most extensive dance training programs in the world; Ailey Arts in Education & Community Programs, which brings dance into the classrooms, communities and lives of people of all ages; and The Ailey Extension (2005), a program offering dance and fitness classes to the general public, which began with the opening of Ailey’s permanent home—the largest building dedicated to dance in New York City, the dance capital of the world —named The Joan Weill Center for Dance, located at 405 W 55th Street, New York, NY 10019. For more information, visit www.alvinailey.org.