Atlanta Ballet Executive Director Arturo Jacobus Extends Contract

Atlanta Ballet board chair Allen Nelson announced today that executive director Arturo Jacobus will remain at the helm of the 85-year-old institution for at least another five years, as he has accepted an extension to his employment agreement.

Effective immediately, the new contract will ensure the continued leadership of the successful management team at the top of the nationally-recognized dance company, which, in addition to Jacobus, includes artistic director John McFall and Centre for Dance Education dean Sharon Story, who both recently renewed for three years as well.

As a team, McFall, who will celebrate his 20th anniversary with the Company this fall; Story, who celebrates 18 years; and Jacobus, who joined in December 2009, have achieved unprecedented success.

Under their shared administration over the past five years, Atlanta Ballet has prospered as an organization and raised the profile of the Company nationally and internationally. Specifically, their accomplishments include:

- Completion of the $20M "Choreographing Our Future" capital campaign, the largest fundraising effort in the organization's history

- Opening of the Ballet's new headquarters, the Michael C. Carlos Dance Centre - the 55,000-square-foot facility in the epicenter of Atlanta's emerging west midtown arts and culture district

- Full-time return of the Atlanta Ballet Orchestra

- Addition of a choreographer in residence, Helen Pickett

- Establishment of the artistic innovation fund - an initiative that has already spawned world premieres such as Twyla Tharp's The Princess and the Goblin and collaborations with world-renowned choreographers like Ohad Naharin, Alexei Ratmansky and Jean-Christophe Maillot

- Addition of the Conservatory division to Atlanta Ballet's Centre for Dance Education

- Participation in China's inaugural "International Ballet Festival" - the troupe's first international tour in more than a decade

In addition to the extension, Jacobus' title will change from executive director to president and CEO - a change that, according to Nelson, will more accurately reflect the Board's expectation that he is ultimately accountable for all administrative and financial aspects of Atlanta Ballet, including long-term strategies and strategic partnerships as well as the day-to-day operations and bottom-line performance.

It's also a title and responsibility that Jacobus is familiar with. The veteran arts executive previously served as president and CEO of Pacific Northwest Ballet from 1984 through 1993 and later went on to be the executive director of San Francisco Ballet, where he built its endowment from $3.2 million to $35 million and helped transform the then-regional company into an internationally-renowned powerhouse.

Atlanta Ballet is now poised to follow the same trajectory.

With its leadership firmly in place for the foreseeable future, the organization is prepared to embark on its next chapter.

Its new strategic plan outlines a continued focus on long-term financial stability through the increase of its cash reserves and the building of its endowment; a commitment towards further establishing a distinct artistic profile for the Company; and continued growth for the Centre for Dance Education.

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