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March 09, 2016

Donor Shortfall Dooms 30-Year-Old Bay Area Ballet Troupe

A year after changing its name in hopes of attracting tech-industry donors, Silicon Valley Ballet is shutting down, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The company, formerly known as Ballet San Jose, has canceled its two remaining productions for the season and let its 30 dancers go.

The arts group, founded in 1986, broke even for the first time last year on the back of a $3.5 million emergency campaign, but the money was not sufficient to carry the company through 2016, and officials concluded another such appeal was not feasible. Lacking an endowment, the ballet relied on philanthropy to provide half its annual $5.5 million budget, but "donations that we thought were a 'yes' turned into a 'no,' " said board member Millicent Powers.