$3M in donations lift troubled troupe

09/24/2012 7:57 PM

09/25/2012 6:51 AM

The Miami City Ballet, which has struggled in the past year with financial shortfalls and conflict related to the departure of founding artistic director Edward Villella, has raised $3 million in new donations, company officials said Monday evening.

The revival came with the help of Michael Kaiser, the president of the Kennedy Center and a consultant known for turning around troubled arts institutions, who has been working with the Miami troupe since July.

Kaiser announced the news to the troupe’s board of trustees Monday afternoon, and also told them that $1 million of the troupe’s accumulated debt of $3 million had been forgiven.

The new donations represent almost one-quarter of the company’s approximately $13 million budget. They included one gift of at least $1 million and another of at least $500,000.

Kaiser said Monday that the donations, all of which were pledged since the beginning of August, represented a major positive step for the beleaguered company. “It’s not that there are no financial issues, but we have really turned a corner,” Kaiser said. “People are getting optimistic again.”

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