Jonathan Solari

Jonathan Solari, CEO of Madison Ballet 

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At Madison Ballet, we make decisions based on two simple questions: Does this remove barriers to our work? Will this improve lives in our community? We see ourselves as more than a ballet company, but as an organization that serves our city. We happen to do that through dance.

In order to serve all of Madison, we rely on our collaborators. Through a partnership with Nehemiah, formerly incarcerated men can take their families to a ballet. ARTS for ALL Wisconsin helped us give 100 families with special needs a safe space to experience the magic of dance. One of those families hadn’t had an opportunity to see a live performance in 14 years.

Barriers don’t just need lowering for audiences, but for artists as well. We’re proud that for the first time in our 39-year history, there will be no charge for auditioning for The Nutcracker next year thanks to the generosity of Better Dash Faster Consulting.

These collaborations happen because we’re stronger, as organizations and as a city, when we work together. Madison’s artistic output is too rich to have barriers dictating who can participate and who can’t. By working together to remove them, our stages will be more diverse and our lives more enriched.

—As told to Abigail Becker 

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