Harriet Ross to be honored at Annual Fundraising Gala - April 14, 2016


CHICAGO – The Chicago Academy for the Arts will honor friend and legendary Chicago dance icon Harriet Ross at its upcoming Fundraising Gala on April 16, 2016 at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel. Ms. Ross has been pivotal to the coaching and training of Chicago Academy for the Arts dancers alongside her friend and longtime artistic collaborator, Academy Dance Department Chair Randy Duncan, most recently providing consultation and guidance for the Spring Dance Concert (April 23 at the Athenaeum Theatre). The Academy will be presenting Harriet Ross with its Essie Kupcinet Civic Award. Named in memory of The Chicago Academy for the Arts’ founder Essie Kupcinet, the award honors individuals who strive to positively impact and develop the Chicago arts community.

Ross served as General Manager of The Joffrey Ballet since its beginning in Chicago, 1995 to 2006, and was Founding Managing Director of the Gerald Arpino and Robert Joffrey Foundation until 2011. She is a core member of Chicago Dancers United, which organizes Dance For Life Chicago, an event that has raised millions of dollars to support organizations and dance community professionals with critical health issues including, but not limited to, HIV/AIDS though the art of dance. Furthermore, in 1994, Ross founded the Dancer’s Fund, which gives direct grants to those in the dance world fighting disease.

The Academy’s 2016 Gala is its largest fundraising event of the year and includes performances by all six arts departments in addition to a live and silent auction. Proceeds from “Movers, Shakers, Art Makers” will directly support the scholarship fund and will contribute to the 15% gap between tuition and cost of educating an Academy student.

About the Chicago Academy for the Arts

Established in 1981, the Chicago Academy for the Arts is a nationally recognized, internationally influential independent high school acclaimed for its successful academic model and pre-professional arts training. Designated a National School of Distinction by the John F. Kennedy Center, The Academy offers a rich, interwoven, and stimulating curriculum comprised of rigorous courses, workshops, and practicums that encourage complex creation and problem solving through both collaboration and self-motivated learning. Students undertake a rigorous academic high school schedule as well as pre-professional training in one of six courses of study: Dance, Media Arts, Music, Musical Theatre, Theatre, and Visual Arts. The Chicago Academy for the Arts transforms emerging artists through a curriculum and culture which connect intellectual curiosity, critical thinking, and creativity to impart skills to lead and collaborate across diverse communities.