City Beat

Sacramento Ballet parts ways with executive director

Capital Dance Project members Kaori Higashiyama and Christopher Nachtrab rehearse for a performance on May 19 in Elk Grove. The Sacramento Ballet laid off its dancers three weeks before the end of their season.
Capital Dance Project members Kaori Higashiyama and Christopher Nachtrab rehearse for a performance on May 19 in Elk Grove. The Sacramento Ballet laid off its dancers three weeks before the end of their season. aseng@sacbee.com

The Sacramento Ballet has parted ways with executive director Caty Solace and will begin searching for a replacement with a background in marketing and ticket sales, the organization announced Wednesday.

Solace has served in the top post since last year. She will remain as a consultant with the organization.

The move comes after the ballet ended its 2014-15 season early this spring, canceled its popular Beer and Ballet event and laid off dancers with three weeks left in the season. Nancy Garton, the ballet’s board president, said the organization did not have the money to cover the last three weeks of expenses, roughly $80,000, and that the decision to end the season early was made to help stabilize the ballet for next season.

The ballet is attempting to stabilize its bottom line as it gets ready to move into a new rehearsal, office and performance space at the Studios for the Performing Arts in midtown. The organization is raising $250,000 for tenant improvements at the Studios and expects to move into the space by the end of the year.

The ballet also announced it was creating a new development manager position to oversee the organization’s marketing base. Erica Kobbe will take on that role.

Solace was lauded for stabilizing the ballet’s accounting and “backend infrastructure” over the past year.

“The next step is to bring on a new executive director that specializes in marketing and building ticket sales for our new home at the Studios, as well as future performances at the Community Center Theater,” Garton said in a statement.

The ballet’s dancers organized a summer company called the Capital Dance Project and held their first performance Saturday at the Crest Theatre, drawing a near-capacity audience of more than 800.

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