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 of 2006.
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.