The aphorism “a rising tide lifts all boats” is associated with the idea that improvements in the general economy will benefit all participants in that economy, and that economic policy, particularly government economic policy, should therefore focus on the general macroeconomic environment first and foremost. The phrase is said to have been coined by Seán Lemass, the Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister) in 1959–1966] It was also associated with John F. Kennedy, who employed the expression to combat criticisms that his tax cuts would benefit mostly wealthy individuals.
As we near the end of our current fiscal year (June 30),.. I have decided to GO FOR THE ASK. Not just for our Ballet Company, Charleston Ballet Theatre, but the Ask FOR ALL the ARTS ORGANIZATIONS here in the Lowcountry. Be it The Spoleto Festival USA, Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Charleston Stage, The Gibbes Museum, Footlight Players or Pure Theatre etc etc. . . . we all need you.
Through sheer creativity and business acumen, CBT keeps trying to achieve the rare pas de deux of mastering both its art and its finances. Since its formation in 1987, CBT has been praised for its eclectic, bold and youthful programming that has wowed audiences and critics alike around the South. Raising money for the arts in today’s financial climate can be daunting, thankless and endless. Federal and state funds continue to be pushed into the background. And the product, dance, is difficult to sell.
I gotta say, I believe there is room and potential funding for everyone, but it won’t be as easy (if it ever was) to do what we’ve done in the past, we’ll have to come up to a new mark, generate new interest and operate in an accepting and generous manner…or if we’ll fail – that lost becomes generational to our children .
It takes a driven group to carry off a high wire act like this, but Charleston is that place ya’all . Donors who come from areas other than the arts often want to see concrete results, like a statue in a public garden, or Darla Moore’s new 10 million dollar gift to the City of Charleston Parks infuses the concrete portion of the full pie. . .
What we have is truly unique. … but we also have the cost of GAS. .
These days, courting a donor gets even harder when you factor in the uncertainties that face every new artistic endeavor: the possibility of failure, the relatively short life of most dance and theatre works (most of which disappear in a few years from company reps), and the danger that donors new to dance may neither fully understand nor deeply appreciate the finished product; the issue of individual taste often creates complications.
This season, is more reality than fairy tale, I am proud to say the company garnered the best ticket sales it ever – had in any Piccolo Spoleto festival due to the sell out Twisted Tango Performances . plus our debut at the North Charleston Arts Festival and our joint performance with the CSO on the Custom House Steps opening night of Spoleto. I hope that CBT’s whirlwind pace of artistic activity this past 20th Anniversary Season will spur you to invest in us through season ticket sales, program ads and contributions.
In the next few days, a packet will be arriving at your house from CBT, outlining our revamped Dance Partner program. I hope you remember community support, plain old-fashioned goodwill around town, is an essential ingredient in any arts organizations survival. Dance cannot afford to be seen as an elitist pastime, a fact confirmed by the great amount of time that artistic directors must spend these days in community-outreach projects, in educating and building audiences.
As my blogging continues.., Think about joining our high wire act. Please remember what live performing arts do for you, your children and your community. It is art that defines how communities are viewed and so often is the only memory of any society and culture from ages past.
Through movement, CBT speaks the primal self and makes an indelible impression on children that are a catalyst for change and create an appreciation that lasts a lifetime. We need you.
If you did not receive a packet of info.. Email me !
Charleston Ballet Theatre
South Carolina’s World Class Dance Company
477 King Street Charleston SC 29403