ICYMI: Ballerina/Author/Entrepreneur Misty Copeland Launches The Misty Copeland Foundation

"Groundbreaking ballerina Misty Copeland announced today the launch of The Misty Copeland Foundation (MCF), a new non-profit organization that aims to bring greater diversity, equity, and inclusion to dance, especially ballet. The MCF’s signature program, BE BOLD, is a free afterschool dance program, that is designed to serve girls and boys, ages 8-10, in community-based, child-focused settings. BE BOLD is an acronym, which translates into Ballet Explorations, Ballet Offers Leadership Development, and aims to make ballet accessible, affordable, and fun for children."

"In designing the BE BOLD teaching and learning framework, Copeland brought together a group of diverse leaders from ballet, dance education, DEI, and child development as an advisory council to make sure that the program would holistically serve children – mind, body, and spirit."

"The BE BOLD model has five linked program components: Introductory Ballet, Music for Ballet, Health & Wellness, Tutoring, and Mentoring. The twelve-week program, beginning this month, will initially launch at six sites of the Kips Bay and Madison Square Boys & Girls Clubs in New York City. The selected Clubs have the staff and facilities in place to provide a dance-based program and mentorship to its young Club members."

“I’ve shared my story about how I discovered ballet at 13 years old on the basketball court of my local Boys & Girls Club in San Pedro, CA, and four years later, I moved to New York City to join American Ballet Theatre. It was because someone at that Club saw something in me that I had not seen in myself,” says Copeland. “In thinking about establishing The Misty Copeland Foundation and its BE BOLD program, it was important to me to provide to children the same type of opportunity and environment that helped build a path for me to succeed not just in this artform, but in my life overall.”

"At the heart of BE BOLD are the program’s teaching artists, who were personally vetted and selected by Copeland and her MCF team. The teaching artists are completing a week of training in partnership this week with the NDI Collaborative for Teaching and Learning in Harlem before beginning to work at the BE BOLD sites."

"'I’m thrilled that The Misty Copeland Foundation partnered with the NDI Collaborative for Teaching and Learning, the professional development center of the National Dance Institute (www.nationaldance.org), to train our BE BOLD teaching artists,' says Copeland. 'NDI, founded by the late Jacques d’Amboise, has a long and impressive history of engaging tens of thousands of children of diverse backgrounds and abilities through arts education. I couldn’t think of a better organization to help provide our teaching artists with the necessary tools to work with MCF’s young participants.'"

"The Misty Copeland Foundation has also engaged Dr. Gess LeBlanc, a Hunter College professor whose research focuses on culturally responsive teaching, to guide development of BE BOLD’s evaluation system to measure program impact."

"The Ford Foundation and The Goldman Sachs Foundation’s One Million Black Women initiative are lead founding funders of the BE BOLD program. Other founding funders include the Arison Arts Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, John and Jody Arnhold, and the Wendy E. Scripps Foundation. The Misty Copeland Foundation is also grateful for the generous support provided by other individuals and families."

Learn more about the foundation here.