The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (JKO) School at American Ballet Theatre recently announced it had received an anonymous $2 million donation, representing the single-largest amount of funding to the organization in its nine-year existence.
In an impressive case of putting practically every cent of the donation to good use, the school plans to broaden its offerings through the following programs:
- Expanded injury prevention, strength, and pre-professional division and Studio Company dancer training
- Master classes with guest faculty and American Ballet Theatre alumni
- New works created and produced by emerging choreographers
- Tuition-free scholarships, tuition assistance, housing stipends, and ad tutoring
- Ensuring the continued operation of the JKO School's student exchange program with the Royal Ballet School in London
In addition, funds will help pay for infrastructure improvements, including new technology investments, equipment, and maintenance enhancements. The school also plans to set aside $1 million to support a three-year fundraising drive called the "Friends of JKO Challenge," during which donations will be matched on a two-to-one basis. The Friends of JKO Challenge was officially launched on September 4, 2013.
The $2 million donation comes at a time when the JKO School is experiencing astonishing growth. The school, whose primary focus is pre-professional ballet training for students ages 12 to 18, has grown from 11 dancers to more than 350 in the nine years since its inception.