San Francisco Ballet Receives $60 Million Gift From Anonymous Donor


In what is believed to be the largest single gift ever to SF Ballet and possibly the largest ever to an American ballet company, an anonymous donor has gifted $60 million to San Francisco Ballet.  The company intends to apply the donation to staging new works and revolutionizing the art of ballet.

Tamara Rojo © San Francisco Ballet, photo by Lindsey Rallo
Tamara Rojo © San Francisco Ballet, photo by Lindsey Rallo

"We are thrilled by this exceptional generosity and such a tremendous commitment to our company, our artists, and our vision to take artistic risks," said Artistic Director Tamara Rojo, now in her inaugural season with the company. "I came to San Francisco with the goal of introducing new audiences to the ballet, expanding the repertoire, and helping move forward our collective vision of what ballet can be. This gift allows us to invest in innovative works like Mere Mortals, to work with a wide range of talented collaborators, and to change the way ballet is made. I am excited for the company to reach new heights in the coming seasons."

The company will apply $50 million to SF Ballet's endowment for the annual development and acquisition of new works. The remaining $10 million will go toward financing Rojo's first few years with the company. Rojo has already shown her zest to take the company in new directions with the premiere of the AI, electronically enhanced Mere Mortals and other company firsts. 

"Through this generous gift from an anonymous donor," stated a company press release, "the company will be able to continue prioritizing the development and acquisition of new work, foster the talents of emerging and established choreographers with a variety of viewpoints, and strengthen the financial health of the company for seasons to come."

"With the help of this revolutionary gift, we will be able to continue serving our local community as well as dance-lovers around the world by expanding our company's repertoire and ensuring that new work development is an annual priority," said Alison Mauzé, Board Chair. "San Francisco Ballet is deeply committed to contributing to and advocating for the cultural richness of the Bay Area through the creation and presentation of new and contemporary choreography on our stages while also maintaining a strong dedication to the classics."

"This gift gives us the invaluable ability to take artistic risks, to allow artists to explore the full breadth of their creativity, and to expand and diversify our repertoire, inviting new generations of artists into the fold and providing the best artistic opportunities for our exceptional company," said Arturo Jacobus, Interim Executive Director. "As an innovator in dance focused on shaping the future of ballet, it's equally important to ensure that we have the financial stability necessary to operate a world-renowned ballet company at the pinnacle of excellence. The generosity of our donors is instrumental in supporting the company, and it is our hope that this exemplary gift will serve as a model for continued, thoughtful investment in SF Ballet for years to come."

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