The Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation is proud to establish a leadership grant
designed to sustain and reinvigorate the Dance Theatre of Harlem.
Founded in 1969 by Arthur Mitchell and Karel Shook, Dance Theatre of Harlem has
become “one of ballet’s most exciting undertakings”. Following the
assassination of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Mitchell was inspired
to start a classical ballet and dance school that would offer children —
especially those in Harlem, the community in which he was born — the
opportunity to develop their self-esteem and acquire the skills of focus and
discipline, through dance and the allied arts.
Now in its fourth decade, the Dance Theatre of Harlem has grown into a
world-class multi-cultural arts institution. Among the highlights of the
Dance Theatre of Harlem’s early years are command performances for European
royalty and historic engagements at London’s Royal Opera House.
The Dance Theatre of Harlem and Arthur Mitchell were honored at a gala White
House dinner and ceremony on February 2, 2006. Featured artists included soprano
Harolyn Blackwell, Broadway legend Audra McDonald, County Music artist LeAnn
Rimes, Soul and Gospel singer The Reverend Al Green, and young performers from
the Dance Theatre of Harlem school. Hosted by President and Mrs. Bush, the
glittering event was sponsored by the Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation, and will
be broadcast nationwide on the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) in the summer
This broadcast will be the latest in a distinguished
series of PBS television specials which began with an historic 1978 recital in
the East Room by legendary pianist Vladimir Horowitz. Through five
successive presidencies, these critically acclaimed telecasts have highlighted
every facet of the very finest in the American performing arts. “In Performance
at the White House: Dance Theatre of Harlem” promises to be fully worthy of the
exacting standards established by its landmark predecessors.
The Dance Theatre of Harlem is a national treasure that plays a pivotal role in
educating and inspiring thousands of young people around the world.
With a Fete for Founder
Arthur Mitchell, the Bushes
Give a Lift to Dance
Theatre of Harlem
February 8, 2006 Washington Post