Related Features


Your support helps us cover dance in New York City and beyond! Donate now.

Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Celebrates The Unveiling Of The Elaine P. Wynn & Family Foundation Education Wing

Alvin Ailey  Dance Foundation Celebrates The Unveiling Of The  Elaine P. Wynn & Family Foundation Education Wing

Published on September 21, 2016
Photo by Christopher Duggan

and Launches a Major Community Engagement Initiative - DESTINATION DANCE

On Tuesday, September 20, 2016, a host of New York leaders and dignitaries, including government officials and philanthropists, joined with the Ailey organization for an unveiling of the design for the expanded Joan Weill Center for Dance. The ceremonial roof-breaking also included the announcement of new initiatives launching the next phase of Ailey’s dramatically increased education and community programming in New York and across the country.  Performances by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s Jacqueline Green, the rising stars of Ailey II and talented students from The Ailey School were presented for the more than 100 guests, signaling a moment of upward growth on a national level for the company.

Elaine P. Wynn and Ailey II. Photo by Christopher Duggan

During the event, it was announced that the organization has raised $48 million towards its $50 million campaign in honor of Mrs. Weill’s legacy and that the expanded portion of the building will be named the Elaine P. Wynn & Family Foundation Education Wing, in honor of Mrs. Wynn’s extraordinary support of Ailey. Programming announcements included the launch of Destination Dance, a major new initiative that uses dance as a centerpiece for community engagement in urban centers across the country, that will begin in Atlanta in 2017; and the expansion of AileyCamp, AileyDance Kids and Ailey’s Arts In Education programs.

Student dancers from The Ailey School were featured in a special performance for the occasion, entitled Ascension, which culminated in the reveal of the design for the building in a ceremonial roof-breaking. Celebratory bows followed where Elaine Wynn, Joan and Sandy Weill, Daria Wallach, Debra Lee, Robert Battle, Bennett Rink and government officials joined the dancers on stage to mark this monumental moment for the Ailey organization.

Executive Director Bennett Rink, Eric Wallach, Chairman Daria Wallach, Artistic Director Robert Battle, John Schaefer, Chairman Emerita Joan H. Weill, AAADT, Ailey II, Ailey School. Photo by Christopher Duggan

As an additional tribute to Ailey’s future, guests were invited to sign a steel beam, set to rise with the expanding building, indicating their support for Ailey’s ongoing impact on arts and culture in the New York community and beyond. Excerpts from Alvin Ailey’s beloved signature work Revelations were danced by Jacqueline Green and dancers from Ailey II in Ailey’s beautiful fifth floor studio with the stunning Manhattan skyline as a backdrop.

Throughout the morning, remarks were made by Ailey’s Chairman Daria L. Wallach, President Debra L. Lee, Chairman Emerita Joan H. Weill, Philanthropist Elaine P. Wynn, Executive Director Bennett Rink, and Artistic Director Robert Battle.

Attendees included Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl, Ailey Chairman Emeritus Joan H. Weill, Philanthropist Elaine P. Wynn, Ailey Board of Trustees Chair Daria L. Wallach, Ailey Board President Debra L. Lee, Artistic Director Robert Battle, Executive Director Bennett Rink, Artistic Director Emerita Judith Jamison, former Executive Director Sharon Gersten Luckman, dancers from Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Ailey II and The Ailey School.

AAADT's Jacqueline Green and Jamar Roberts. Photo by Andrew Eccles

Currently on a two-month international tour, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will return to the New York City Center stage from November 30th – December 31st 2016 with premieres and new productions performed by 32 acclaimed dancers during a five-week engagement, which has become a joyous holiday tradition.  Tickets are now on sale.  A coast-to-coast North American tour from February 3rd – May 14th, 2017 will include performances at Atlanta’s Fabulous Fox Theatre from February 15-19.  For further information on Ailey’s performances, training programs, classes for the public, and educational activities, visit:

Related Features

View More Features