An update on the fallout at Miami City Ballet from Edward Villella's
announced departure by Jordan Levin in The Miami Herald.
Treasurer Ron Esserman, a longtime ballet supporter on the executive board, said some of his colleagues cared more about Villella’s tendency to alienate major donors than his artistic achievements. “Keeping donors happy is not [Villella’s] strong point,” Esserman said. “We’ve lost some big donors. Some of the big donors [on the board] want him to go. ... The donors want special attention and to have someone pat them on the back. Edward isn’t always capable of that.”
Like most ballet companies, Miami City Ballet faces frequent financial challenges, and suffered losses and cutbacks at the height of the crisis in 2008 and 2009. Yet it has earned outsize acclaim despite a budget (currently about $14.5 million) much smaller than troupes such as New York City Ballet or San Francisco Ballet. About half its income comes from ticket sales and other earned income, and the rest from donations, the majority of them from individuals or foundations.The company finished the 2011 season last spring in the black, but after returning from its stellar Paris season, it was in such dire financial straits that it had to solicit emergency donations to cover dancer salaries in October.
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