American Midwest Ballet [AMB] is thrilled to be the resident dance company of the new Hoff Family Arts and Culture Center in Council Bluffs.
This move is part of a multi-year campaign to strengthen AMB’s core operations by investing in staff and dancer infrastructure. The company is grateful to its many supporters who are making this possible, including major operating gifts from the Iowa West Foundation, the Fred and Eve Simon Charitable Foundation, the Holland Foundation, the Peter Kiewit Foundation, and the Nebraska Arts Council and Nebraska Cultural Endowment.
Who Has Made this possible?
Pottawattamie Arts, Culture and Entertainment (PACE) is an Iowa West Foundation Initiative. In partnership with the nonprofit organization PACE, the Iowa West Foundation announced plans for the new arts center in August 2016. The initiative has transformed the empty Harvester II Building into a destination for art, theater, and entertainment.
Leadership gifts for this $26.8M project include a $9M gift from the Iowa West Foundation, a $2M gift from Ted and Polly Hoff, a $1M gift from Polina and Bob Schlott, a $1M grant from Enhance Iowa and additional major gifts from regional foundations along with the generous support of many community members.
How did it all start?
American Midwest Ballet began as Ballet Nebraska, a grassroots organization founded in 2009. As a reflection of the company’s increasing stature as a regional asset, the company rebranded under the new name American Midwest Ballet during its 2018-2019 Season.
We’ve always been a presence in both Omaha and Council Bluffs, and this name more fully reflects our identity. The people behind American Midwest Ballet have given their lifeblood for the past decade, and have created a wonderful professional company that the region can be proud of.
HOW DOES AMB BENEFIT FROM OUR NEW HOME?
The new arts center provides a state-of-the-art facility that allows the ballet to consolidate its rehearsal, costume and scenic construction, and administrative functions under one roof. It also gives the company access to a fully-equipped onsite theater, the Polina and Bob Schlott Performing Arts Center. This creates a number of logistical efficiencies for the company, which until recently juggled the challenges of working in various borrowed spaces.
All of these improvements help us be more efficient and productive. They let us concentrate even more of our energy on our primary mission: bringing high-quality ballet to the region.
Who else is involved?
In addition to the ballet, other residents of the Hoff Family Arts and Culture Center include: PACE, which operates the facility and provides arts programming, as well as lends expertise and support to other arts and culture organizations in the areas of marketing, fundraising, and administration; Chanticleer Theater, a long-established community theater offering musicals, plays, and children’s theater workshops; Kitchen Council, a kitchen incubator for food startups to grow their business, spearheaded by the Iowa West Foundation and the Greater Omaha Chamber under the umbrella of its regional economic development partnership; and the Kanesville Symphony Orchestra, an intergenerational orchestra open to musicians of all backgrounds and experience levels.
The facility includes an art gallery with a rotating schedule of exhibitions; studios for working artists; a large event space with a cafe and bar; music lessons; visual art classes; and archival storage for several area museums.
How can I keep up with what’s happening?
Follow American Midwest Ballet on our website and social media for our latest news. We also encourage you to follow PACE to learn about all the exciting events happening in the Hoff Family Arts and Culture Center.
We look forward to having all of our supporters with us as we take this exciting next step into the next decade as the region’s resident professional dance company.
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