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Pennsylvania Ballet Executive Director Michael Scolamiero to Step Down

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Michael Scolamiero, Executive Director of Pennsylvania Ballet since 1997, announces he is stepping down and has accepted the position of Executive Director at Miami City Ballet, effective June 30. Pennsylvania Ballet’s Board of Trustees has appointed an Interim Executive Director, David Gray, who will work closely with Mr. Scolamiero for six weeks prior to his departure at the end of June.

“The decision to leave Pennsylvania Ballet was one of the most difficult decisions of my professional career.  Aside from the amazing artistry of the Company, Pennsylvania Ballet has offered me the opportunity to hone and improve my administrative and leadership skills, and my partnership with [Artistic Director] Roy Kaiser has been extremely productive and fulfilling,” Scolamiero says. “Nonetheless, I am very excited about the opportunity at Miami City Ballet, and furthermore, I feel strongly that organizations benefit from new leadership.  Now that our 50th Anniversary Season is winding down, it seems like an appropriate time for change.”

“Michael has been a very effective Executive Director over these last 17 years, and I am very proud of what we have accomplished together, both artistically and managerially.  I wish him the best in the future,” says Louise Reed, Co-Chair of Pennsylvania Ballet’s Board of Trustees.  “Michael will be missed by his many friends!”

“It has been a pleasure working Michael these past eight months.  As his potential move has unfolded, he has continued to keep his attention and energy focused on the Company,” David Hoffman, Board Co-Chair, says. “He will aid in the transition process to our Interim Executive Director David Gray. I wish Michael the best in Miami. New challenges bring out our best and help us grow. That will be true for Michael in Miami as well as for Pennsylvania Ballet.”

Mr. Scolamiero arrived at Pennsylvania Ballet following a seven-year tenure as Executive Director of the Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia.  He immediately set to work stabilizing Pennsylvania Ballet’s finances and setting the organization on a course of artistic growth.  Under his leadership, the Company embarked on its first capital campaign in 2002, Raising the Barre, and exceeded a $10 million goal by nearly $2 million. The campaign provided the resources to invest in Pennsylvania Ballet’s first major full-length production in more than 10 years: Swan Lake, choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon.  The stunning production, commissioned to celebrate the Company’s  40th Anniversary, proved to be a turning point. Not only did sales exceed all of the Company’s previous box-office results in Philadelphia, the production provided the impetus for Pennsylvania Ballet’s invitation to the Edinburgh International Festival in 2005 and a reinvigorated touring program.

Mr. Scolamiero also played a critical role in creating the Ballet’s endowment, purchasing property on North Broad Street, and leading the campaign to build the Louise Reed Center for Dance.  He also recognized how vital it was for the Ballet to have its own school, a goal he and Mr. Kaiser worked relentlessly to achieve for nearly 10 years.  The re-establishment of The School of Pennsylvania Ballet is something of which Mr. Scolamiero is most proud.

- Steven Weisz

Founder & Editor
While not a dancer himself, Weisz’s love for the arts and dance started as a child growing up in New York City. With parents, who were strong supporters of the arts and part of a community with an incredible array of notable artists in music, dance, theater and fine arts, Weisz’s access and affinity for the performing arts took root. Upon attending college in Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania in the mid 70’s, Weisz started performing as a puppeteer, magician, juggler and fire eater as a means of supplementing his income. This soon grew in to what became Rainbow Promotions Inc., one of the largest entertainment and special events producers in the region. It was here that he began to promote and book dance for major events throughout the city. Many of the dancers he worked with in the early days of his company are now major choreographers in Philadelphia. At the same time, Weisz’s interest in computers and the early developments of what is now known as the Internet, led him to also start another company, Delaware Valley On Line, which became one of the first regional ISPs. It was this combination of event production, internet development and event marketing that led him to examine the use of the internet as a means to promote the arts. Dance continued to be a major interest for Weisz and in 2005 he founded PhiladelphiaDANCE.org as a major online resource to promote dance in the city. It was soon after that the Dance Journal was also founded as a way to provide an outlet for writing on a range of topics that encompass the ever growing and emerging dance community in the region. Weisz continues to run both PhiladelphiaDANCE and The Dance Journal on purely a voluntary basis with no income derived from any of his projects. He is also the Artistic Director of Graffito Works, a unique platform for dancers and performing artists to create site-specific work and to make it readily accessible to the public.

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