Intro Image - Dollar-for-Dollar Match for Garth Fagan Dance 

Dollar-for-Dollar Match for Garth Fagan Dance 

May 1, 2024

With more than 53 years of award-winning choreography, Garth Fagan Dance is synonymous with innovation, creativity, and excellence in contemporary dance. This world-renowned troupe is a Rochester treasure.

Dozens of dancers in bare feet practice on pointed toes in a ballroom.
Photo provided by Garth Fagan Dance

Their Summer Movement Institute provides empowering cultural and educational opportunities and exposure to careers in dance to 40 youth and young adults. Structural racism and biases are long-standing roadblocks for African American dancers and choreographers, so this program focuses on expanding access to the transformative power of dance, particularly to African American youth.

Two Community Foundation fundholders and avid Garth Fagan Dance supporters — Barbara and Sid Sobel — are generously offering to match, dollar for dollar (and up to a total of $30,000), contributions to support this summer program. 

Students attend three dance classes per day for 15 days, with a fourth class each day that delves into a variety of art forms and health topics (i.e. Afro Caribbean Dance, African Dance, Yoga, Music Appreciation, Injury Prevention, Stage Makeup, and Stagecraft). Through a structured and supportive class environment, the students learn work ethic, healthy habits, and creative expression, as well as tools to address physical fitness, health risks, anxiety, and stress.

The tuition cost for one student to participate is $1,200. Scholarships reduce barriers that would keep some dancers from ever reaching the stage.

The past few years have brought new obstacles to arts and culture organizations, including Garth Fagan Dance, that have resulted in halted tours, the loss of dancers and key staff, and a significant drop in revenue. With a new executive director, Natalie Rogers-Cropper, the organization is committed to strengthening its connections with local and national initiatives and rebuilding its capacity. 

Earlier this year, the Community Foundation’s Board of Directors approved $20,000 in operational support to Garth Fagan Dance, continuing a tradition of investment that goes back decades.

If you would like to invest alongside the Community Foundation, please make your contribution to Arts Tomorrow Fund for Garth Fagan Dance to pool your gift with others in the Greater Rochester community. Contributions of all sizes are eligible for this match opportunity.

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