Over the course of its 44 year history, Ballet Arkansas's world-class programming has touched the lives of nearly HALF-A-MILLION Arkansans. Ballet Arkansas's roots can be traced to the Little Rock Civic Ballet, founded in 1966 by Donald C. Cranford. The organization was incorporated as a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation in 1979 with a dream to become the region's foremost professional ballet company. In its early years under the direction of Lorraine Cranford, Ballet Arkansas presented performing greats such as Mikhail Baryshnikov, Rudolf Nureyev, and Edward Villella, in addition to a number of internationally celebrated dance companies.
Each season, Ballet Arkansas presents a vibrant repertory of the classics, masterpieces of American dance, and original works by the world's most daring dance makers, reaching an audience of more than 40,000 per year. The organization's programming now reaches all 50 states and 24 countries. Under the visionary leadership of Michael and Catherine Fothergill, Ballet Arkansas's company of 15 dancers is ranked among the Top 100 Ballet Companies in America by the Dance Data Project.
A statewide leader in dance education, Ballet Arkansas provides children and adults of all backgrounds with exceptional training from a distinguished staff. Its interactive lecture demonstrations and community outreach initiatives reach more than 8,000 k-12 students per year, and more than 300 children participate in its annual Community Cast productions.
The organization is firmly committed to equity and inclusion and to bringing diverse populations together to experience the power and beauty of dance.