The has announced a $5 million pledge in support of a new center for choreography to be launched by the and .
Building on a partnership begun in 2006 between the university and the performing arts group, the National Center for Choreography will select national choreographers and dance companies to participate in residency programs that give them full access to the facilities of the university's Center for Dance and Theatre. The creation of a center that seeks to strengthen the dance ecosystem of the region and the nation follows the recommendations of a Knight-funded blue ribbon panel and a subsequent feasibility study, with significant input from the Northeast Ohio community. The foundation has agreed to pledge $5 million in support of the center once it is created.
"With enhanced resources, we look forward to having many prominent choreographers in our studios, on our campus, on a regular basis, year after year," said Neil Sapienza, the University of Akron's associate dean of fine arts and humanities. "For our students, having that national presence is just enormous. It dynamically enhances their educational experience, combining classroom learning with real-world lessons from professionals."
"The next generation of great American choreographers needs space and time to develop the craft and to explore the full potential of the creative process," said Knight Foundation president Alberto Ibargüen. "The new National Center for Choreography at the University of Akron will fill that need, building on the resources of Northeast Ohio to create the works that inspire tomorrow’s audiences."