Kingsport Ballet Renovates Downtown Facility
Creates Center for the Arts
October 31, 2010KINGSPORT, TN – Situated on the corner of Market and Cherokee streets, Kingsport Ballet's new facility is not just the new location for the ballet company, it is also a new center for the arts in downtown Kingsport.
At more than 15,000 square feet, the building features four studios with sprung floors, dressing rooms and offices, spacious waiting areas with observation windows into each of the studios, an arts wing and a fitness and wellness lounge.
The new spacious facility affords the opportunity for more scheduling flexibility for all forms of dance, as well as the capability to add a variety of offerings for the community, such as Tai Chi, Zumba, boys classes, Mommy and Me, Salsa, and Pilates, in addition to more of the usual offerings in ballet, jazz, modern, tap, and pre-school classes.
The ballet's recent re-working of its long-range plan included the goal of diversifying its offerings and reach, in order to remain sustainable in an ever-changing economy. Its long hallways and waiting room walls will hold rotating art exhibits. The Charlie Houston Arts Wing subleases space to artists and arts teachers who provide instruction in piano, clarinet and other art forms.
The company is conducting a capital campaign whereby sponsors may underwrite part or all of a studio or room. Business sponsors have generously donated goods to make the renovations possible, such as mirrors and glass from AGC Flat Glass, chairs, desks and other furniture by Workspace Interiors and Meadowview Resort and Conference Center, and labor by Fixalotta Home Construction. The organization has enjoyed a substantial volunteer workforce, which provided over $40,000 of in-kind labor and materials.
Kingsport Ballet has raised approximately half of the actual cash expenses for its renovations. The remaining $30,000 will be raised in the coming year through additional capital campaign efforts.
It is the company's plan to appeal to healthcare providers to want to support its fitness and wellness lounge. The lounge is a space featuring hardwood floors original to the building (it was originally the Dixie Maid Bakery constructed in the early 1940s). The space offers the services of a licensed physical therapist, a massage therapist, exercise equipment, and resource area.
The aim of the program is to equip dancers with education, cross-training and fitness plans that will focus on prevention and therapy.
The fitness lounge will offer safety tools, prevention education, and strengthening guidelines. Dancers will be able to sign up for menu items offering anything from a simple bag of ice to evaluation and treatment of sore muscles, to strengthening exercises, to actual therapy for an injury.
Kingsport Ballet is funded for general operations by the Tennessee Arts Commission under the General Assembly and an agreement with the National Endowment for the Arts.
To make a donation to Kingsport Ballet's renovation fund, visit www.kingsportballet.org and click on "Support Kingsport Ballet".
The company's 2010-2011 performance season includes The Nutcracker December 3-4 at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center, Greeneville, Tenn. (tickets: 423-638-1679) and the premiere of Don Quixote, March 18-19 in the Wellmont Performing Arts Center at Northeast State Community College in Blountville, Tenn. The Spring Concert Showcase is scheduled for May 27 and the yearly Summer Intensive will take place the last three weeks of June 2011.
A new spacious studio accommodates a variety of dance, exercise and other activities.
The ballet's Charlie Houston Arts Wing subleases space to artists and arts teachers who provide instruction in piano, clarinet and other art forms.