The Chautauqua Regional Youth Ballet has found a new home at the Willow Bay Building.
To celebrate the move, the organization will host a public ribbon-cutting ceremony at its new location, 21 E. Third St. in Jamestown, at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 24. A reception will also be held at the new studio location for funders and volunteers at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, April 25. Reservations are required for the reception, and can be made by calling 664-9766.
On Saturday, April 26, the studio will open its doors to the community for a variety of free classes, including: 3-5-year-olds, 11 a.m.; 6-10-year-olds beginning ballet, 11:30 a.m.; adult barre workout, noon; teen and adult, 12:30 p.m.; 6-year-olds and older, 1 p.m.
According to Elizabeth Bush, executive director, the Saturday, April 26, events are aimed at anyone who might be interested in taking a class or are curious about the new space.
“It’s a celebration, and our way of sharing it with the community,” Bush said. “We were at the other location for so long, but everything finally came together – it’s a new lease on life for us as an organization.”
The youth ballet hasn’t been downtown for more than two months, but Bush said it already feels like they are becoming part of the arts scene. The move has brought the youth ballet closer to the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts, where the organization hosts a variety of productions, as well as Infinity Visual and Performing Arts, which it hopes to establish a collaboration with in the near future.
“This location is much more accessible to the community – so I think there is a lot more we can offer now as far as outreach,” Bush said.
The move was made possible by a variety of funders, such as: The Gebbie Foundation, Sheldon Foundation, Lynn Development Group and the Department of Development at City Hall. But, the project also wouldn’t have been possible without a group of more than 20 volunteers who will be recognized at the reception, some of whom include: Greg Mager, Bob Karbacka, Bill Jones, Ryan Stefanik and Mark Good.
One of the aspects of the move that Monika Alch, artistic director, is quite excited about is having more space. The location kept intact the original interior decor, but added to it. So, not only are there two studios now, but they are beautiful spaces to suit the level of talent found within.
“It’s big and beautiful – I think it’s going to be a pretty good home,” Alch said. “The kids love it too. We feel like we should have been here all along, so it feels like finally coming home.”
The Chautauqua Regional Youth Ballet is now located on the third floor of the Willow Bay Commerce Center, 21 E. Third St. in Jamestown. For more information, call 664-9766 or visit www.cryb.net.