Leaders of the Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation today celebrated the expansion of Ailey’s permanent home, The Joan Weill Center for Dance, with a ceremonial roof-breaking to mark the company’s upward growth. The event featured an unveiling of the design for the expanded building and performances by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s Jacqueline Green, Ailey II and students from The Ailey School.
Ailey’s Chairman Daria L. Wallach and President Debra L. Lee announced that the expanded portion of the building will be named the Elaine P. Wynn & Family Foundation Education Wing. Adding three floors to the west side of Ailey’s building, the expansion provides much-needed space in response to the demand for Ailey’s education initiatives. The start of construction marks the next phase of Ailey’s dramatically increased education and community programming in New York City and across the country, including the new Destination Dance, also announced today, which will be launched in 2017 as a pilot program in Atlanta.
Ailey Executive Director Bennett Rink said, “We are deeply grateful to Sandy and Joan Weill, whose extraordinary leadership started this incredible journey, and to Elaine Wynn and her family for the exceptional support that will allow Ailey to take another great leap upward. Daria Wallach, Debra Lee, John Schaefer, our generous Board, and the supporters of the Campaign for Ailey’s Future have also graciously stepped forward to carry on the Weill’s legacy of philanthropy. We are honored by the important capital investment from the City of New York, which is a testament to Ailey’s vital contributions as a cultural treasure, and to the role of dance in New York City - the dance capital of the world. As we grow to magnify the positive impact of Ailey’s performances, training programs and educational activities on people around the world, the future looks bright.”
Philanthropist Elaine P. Wynn said, “Ailey’s wonderful programs benefit so many people, from children training at all different levels at The Ailey School, to underserved students in AileyCamp and other education programs across the country, to the Company’s breathtaking dancers who awe people around the world with their grace and power. My family and I are proud to be a part of this remarkable organization, which gives us all so much joy and inspiration. I look forward to opening the doors to this new wing next year.”
Ailey Artistic Director Robert Battle said, “Following in the footsteps of our legendary founder, Ailey’s mission continually touches the hearts and minds of people of all ages and backgrounds in life-changing ways. The Elaine P. Wynn & Family Foundation Education Wing, along with initiatives like Destination Dance for audiences in U.S. cities and a new Ailey Arts In Education curriculum for public school students, provide further opportunities to discover our shared humanity and imagine the boundless possibilities to join in building an ever-expanding legacy of revelations.”