ANNUAL BENEFIT GALA: Presidio Performing Arts Center
WHY DOES PPAC HOLD A BENEFIT GALA?
Two Opera House performances attended by 6,000 San Francisco children (PPAF’s "Children's Day" at the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House) and the Spring Season showcase at the Palace of Fine Arts are extraordinary venues and extraordinary experiences for our children to participate in as students of Presidio Dance Theatre. The Spring Benefit helps defray production costs for these performances.
"Children's Day" at the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House : features Presidio Dance Theatre & Junior Company in its signature production of "DANCING ACROSS CULTURESTM", an educational, fully-narrated, multi-cultural dance performance. It is offered at no cost to children of San Francisco through the public school system and is fully funded by PPAF.
The Spring Season Performance at the Palace of Fine Arts : features the Preschool Twinkles, Prep, and Trainees of The School of Presidio Dance Theatre, and students who participate in PPAF’s DANCE OUT!, outreach program for kids from underserved communities in San Francisco. While the School’s instruction is underwritten by parents through tuition and DANCE OUT! is underwritten by the Keon Foundation and the California Arts Council, neither program fund the Spring Season recital and productions at the Palace of Fine Arts.
TO: PPAF/Presidio Dance Theatre Parents: How Does Supporting The Annual Spring Season Benefit Your Child?
Extraordinary Performance Experience : Performance is a fundamental component of dance education. Thanks to PPAF's co-founder Robert Leefeldt, who served on the Opera Board for many years, our students are able to perform on one of America's most prestigious stages, the San Francisco War Memorial Oper House. Except in extremely rare cases, it is booked exclusively for the San Francisco Opera & Ballet. It is an extraordinary honor and privilege and a great experience on many different levels for our children to perform at this venue. Mr. Leefeldt envisioned that our children would perform for their peers at this great venue, sharing the stage with international professional artists who inspire in front of the lights, while learning about stage production from technical and artistic professionals behind the scenes. This inter-generational collaboration is a life lesson - with real audiences (big audiences - 6,000!) and is a resume-worthy experience. It builds team-work, confidence, and artistic expression, as well as empathy (mixed ages promotes learning from each other).
Giving Back to the Community : "Giving back" to the community is another important element in Presidio Dance Theater's education curriculum.The two FREE community service performances of "Children's Day" at the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House gives thousands of San Francisco's underserved children an opportunity to come to the Opera House for a spectacular show. Our students are able to share their passion on stage and then mingle with a diverse crowd of kids in the foyer between shows. As dance ambassadors, they acquire leadership and communication skills, and help recruit those who may wish to study dance at our summer camps and school year sessions.
World Class Guest Artists & Choreographers : Each year, Presidio Dance Theatre brings in choreographers who create new works for our repertoire. This Spring, students will work with the legendary Ahmet Luleci, Patricia Kennelly, and Ian Enriquez. Please check our website/blog to read about these amazing artists and what they bring to your child's education. Without benefit funding, we would not be able to bring in guests for new choreography and performance. Along with new works, new costumes are needed. For design and manufacturing, we need benefit funding, as we consider authentic costumes educational tools that bring the world cultures to the students. For example, we have set a new dance from Turkey, and a beautiful new set of costumes is en route from Istanbul especially designed for your children.
Resume-Building Experiences : Both Sherene Melania, Artistic Director and Judy Bretschneider, Executive Director write personal, compelling recommendations for Junior Company & Academy students when they are applying for preschool, elementary school, high school and college, that are highly valued by admission directors. All applicants who received Presidio Dance Theatre recommendations, which included the Opera House performances as representation of very strong Community Service, received their first choices of schools. Two of our Junior Company were accepted into two of America's most prestigious boarding schools on the East Coast (Deerfield and Northfield Mount Hermon). The Opera House performances are clearly resume-building and serve as a tangible and distinct reference to the accomplishments of your child, reflecting a high level of proficiency in the subject matter.
Developing Opportunities for Other World-Class Venues : Successful performances at venues of this caliber lead to more extraordinary opportunities for our students. Our professional quality and range are what set us apart. In the last year this has led us to performances in Saint Petersburg, Russia, at the famed White Nights Festival, and with the San Francisco Symphony. Last June, we were selected to headline the Opening Weekend of the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival. In February 2010, our high schoolers will perform in New York and Philadelphia. In April, younger members of the Junior Company will perform on their second international tour to Turkey. Some of these events will be attended by key decision-makers about future venues we are working on such as: Paris and Dubai. We will continue to grow and develop the performance activities but in order to maintain our commitment to this high level of activity, we require support from the community.