Kansas City Ballet Receives $900,000 Challenge Grant From Kresge Foundation

The Kresge Foundation in Troy, Michigan, has awarded a $900,000 challenge grant to the Kansas City Ballet toward the completion of a permanent campus for the company, the Kansas City Star reports.

In order to receive the grant, the company must raise $3 million over the next eighteen months — funds that will be applied toward its remaining capital campaign goal of $5.8 million. The total cost of the project is $39 million, $7 million of which will be used to create an endowment to support future operating costs.

Named for a former artistic director of the company, the Todd Bolender Center for Dance and Creativity will "allow dance to do for Kansas City what film did for Sundance," according to Jeffrey Bentley, the company's artistic director. Despite the difficult economic climate, Bentley said he was optimistic that the company would be able to raise the matching funds.

"We're going to do it because we've always done it," Bentley said. "We've never backed off a goal, and this is much more than about a building...Our supporters have been very generous, not just once, but many have given two times. There will be people who step up, people who don't even know or necessarily have a great affinity for ballet. They just know that it is an important part of a community's culture."