Choreographing Our Future


About the Campaign

Having just celebrated our 20th Anniversary Season, it seems a proper time to contemplate Carolina Ballet’s future. The accomplishments of the past 20 years have been significant. However, we still have much to look forward to in the future and we can’t do it without you, our community.

The guiding principles of this Campaign are our commitments to the future. The future is not only the next five years, but what this Company will mean and the role it will play in our community, our state and nationally for generations to come.
Choreographing Carolina Ballet’s Future is a


Commitment to Our Company

Carolina Ballet is committed to growing the Company alongside the amazing renaissance that Raleigh and the Triangle continue to experience. To this end, we look to increase the salaries of our dancers and staff. Adding to the number of weeks the dancers are employed will allow us to have more creative time, which will also better the lives of the artists who serve our community. As stewards of this company, we will invest in the infrastructure of Carolina Ballet with continued improvements in everything from our facilities to new technology which will assure us moving forward responsibly.

Commitment to Our Art Form

Carolina Ballet continues to lead the dance world today in the path of classical, neoclassical and modern classical ballet—eschewing fads and trends for the more difficult task of creating new work that grows out of the past, but is still relevant and speaks to us today. The reason the great artistic works of the past are timeless is because they are based on timeless principles. As the great French painter Eugene Delacroix said, “great art derives both from a humility before the past and a conviction that what has already been said is not enough.”

Commitment to Our Community

Over the past 20 years, Carolina Ballet has brought ballet to tens of thousands of people across North Carolina. Through our collaborations with many corporations, foundations and individuals, we have introduced ballet to many people who have never seen it before—ages ranging from preschoolers to senior citizens—by traveling the state with such programs as Dancers in Schools, Cartwheels, Grow up Great, Moving Bodies/Learning Minds (through the Kennedy Center), Leadership Raleigh, and student matinees for The Nutcracker.
Carolina Ballet is constantly striving to show just how accessible this rich art form can be for people of all ages and backgrounds. Classical, theatrical dance is beautiful movement to beautiful music, sometimes with a story and sometimes just for the sheer joy of the dance. As with all great artistic endeavors, ballet gives us the opportunity to open our minds to the possibility of hope, peace and harmony. It entertains the highest sense of who we can be as humans. Reaching out to more and more people is always at the forefront of our thinking. This campaign will help us to continue to achieve this goal.

We hope you will join us as we lay the foundation for Carolina Ballet’s future.
Robert Weiss and Zalman Raffael


You can become a part of Choreographing Carolina Ballet’s Future by:

  • Making a multi-year commitment to the Annual Fund;
  • Making a special gift to the Creative Capital Fund and help bring live music to all the
    Raleigh Memorial Auditorium performances;
  • Including Carolina Ballet in your estate plans.



We are thankful for the many individuals who generously contributed to the Choreographing Carolina Ballet’s Future. Through their multi-year commitments, legacy gifts, and helping us meet Judy and Steve Zelnak’s $750,000 challenge, early investors to the Campaign are enabling Carolina Ballet to:

  • Retain our talented dancers, craft artisans, technicians and staff—those individuals who are directly responsible for bringing our ballets to the stage. We are making strides toward offering salaries and contracts that can compete with other professional ballet companies and performing arts organizations across the country.
  • Ignite a passion for dance in our children by offering world-class training in the Triangle for beginner to pre-professional dancers through our new School of Carolina Ballet. With the opening of the school, we have added more than 4,000 square feet to our Atlantic Avenue studio complex.
  • Offer an additional program featuring live music. The ability to fill Raleigh Memorial Auditorium with orchestral accompaniment for the spring performances of Monet Impressions is a gift to our dancers, our community’s professional musicians, and to everyone who experiences Carolina Ballet.

Judy and Steve Zelnak's Matching Campaign Gift Challenges
$750,000 Matching Gift Challenge
Join the Zelnak’s challenge with any new or increased gift in support of the Annual Fund.
Live Music Challenge
The cost of an orchestra accompaniment at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium will be matched by the Zelnaks.
$2,000,000 Legacy Gift Challenge
Every new dollar committed to the Ballet’s Artistic Director’s Society will be matched up to $2 million by a legacy gift from the Zelnaks.
“Steve and I both recognize what a unique gift Carolina Ballet is to our community. It is a cultural jewel and economic asset that we need to foster, not just now, but for the future. This was the impetus for our commitment. The Ballet is an important part of the cultural fabric that makes Raleigh and our area unique. It is our hope that an increasing number of individuals and businesses will join us and the many other current supporters in lifting Carolina Ballet to an even higher level.”
—Judy Zelnak, Carolina Ballet Board Member
For more information, please contact
Adam Schiffer
Development Manager