I’m a season ticket holder and a ballet geek. I’m not rich, I’m not snotty, I didn’t dance in earlier years, I just really like ballet, and Tulsa has a good one, and it’s quite affordable to attend.
I love it every bit as much as I love the NFL. I shrugged off the earlier fundraising email that sent up warning flags about coming tax issues and donations, infuriating as it was. First, this fundraising plea, in all of it’s inoffensiveness:
I hope you will consider making a year-end gift so that Tulsa Ballet can maintain these extraordinary standards. Just to remind you of what your contributions annually make possible at Tulsa Ballet:
Tulsa Ballet serves 2,000 at-risk youth annually in educational outreach programs, transforming their lives and introducing them to the arts and new forms of expression.
The Center for Dance Education offers financial-need scholarships to 30 students each year, providing them with the most superior ballet training in the region by internationally-renowned instructors.
Staff welcomes over 8,000 clients of area social service agencies to the ballet dress rehearsals at the Performing Arts Center.
I don’t have a program handy, but as I recall, there’s not one Oklahoma dancer in Tulsa Ballet’s troupe, which is perfectly fine by me (there’s not even that many Americans fwiw). Seriously – I don’t care. The show is the show – that’s my interest. The quality of the ballet itself is literally all that interests me.
I’m guessing that some ballet benefactors care about scholarships and exposure to the needy children of the fair city
I’m also guessing that somewhere, someone exists who is concerned about at-risk youth not getting enough exposure to ballet, a fine art that I not only respect but enjoy; that said, I do wonder: how much money is being wasted attempting to expose at-risk youth to a fine-art none of them, regardless of race, creed or culture, is going to give a shit about?
In my very white, very middle-class social group, I’m the only person I know of who has season tickets to the ballet, and this counts people who used to, er, ballet. If my peer group isn’t scooping up season tickets or forcing their offspring into the pursuit, then seriously, why the emphasis on the fair city’s underprivileged.
Oh … I get it. I do. No, seriously, I do.
The point is the point, though – ballet is not appreciated or consumed by the vast swath of the public, and that’s not really surprising. Unless you really like it, it’s boring, tedious, pretentious and forced. For most people who go see the Nutcracker every December, it’s spinach, sort of like going to church on Easter. It’s something you do because it’s expected, not enjoyed.
I appreciate Tulsa Ballet’s efforts and I’m new to the game, but fundraising aimed at me illustrating how much money is thrown at people who will never enjoy, appreciate or experience the Ballet’s efforts is a wasted attempt at fundraising. The economy is collapsing, and even in the best of times, my interest at ballet’s efforts to interest at-risk youth would be, er, minimal.
Just. Don’t. Care.