NEWS: Louisville Ballet Names New Executive Director

LOUISVILLE, KY, Wednesday, August 12, 2020 – The Louisville Ballet Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Nichole Gantshar, who has been serving as Interim Executive Director since March 12, as Executive Director for the organization. Robert Curran, who has held the role of both Executive and Artistic Director since 2015, will continue in his Louisville Ballet leadership role as Artistic Director.

Prior to joining Louisville Ballet, Ms. Gantshar most recently served as Executive Director of The Rochester City Ballet. Under her tenure, the ballet received two grants for world premieres from the National Endowment of the Arts, joined the roster of Shubert Foundation supported companies, tripled grant revenue, and increased ticket sales by 30 percent. She has also previously worked on staff with Tulsa Ballet and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre as well as with Richmond Ballet, Syracuse Stage, and Milwaukee Ballet. As a freelance artist, she has worked for Playwrights Horizons, Pittsburgh Public Theatre, and others.

Ms. Gantshar received early dance training at Boston Ballet and later graduated from the Walnut Hill School for Performing Arts. She earned her BFA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and an MFA from the University at Stony Brook. Nichole has taught at Syracuse University, University at Stony Brook, University of Pittsburgh and the Wooster Center for the Arts.

“I feel so lucky to have this opportunity,” Gantshar said. “It inspires me to work even harder to ensure Louisville Ballet builds on its success as we invest in our marvelous dancers so they can give back to a community that needs the respite and joy people find in art.

“I had kept my eye on Louisville Ballet over the years and had recently been so impressed with the direction and vision of Artistic Director Robert Curran, as well as his clear investment in and love of this community. I couldn’t be more thrilled to have the opportunity to help lead the Company and support Robert’s artistic vision.”

Robert Curran, who began his tenure as Louisville Ballet’s Artistic Director in August 2014, shares, “I’m excited to welcome Nichole to join me in leadership of this Company’s dedicated and talented team as we continue to move forward, during our upcoming digital Season of Illumination and beyond. The dancers and staff have proven their capacity for great things, even in the midst of significant challenges. I look forward to pulling together, with Nichole’s insight and support, to continue making moving art, this season and for many seasons to come.”

“​On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I am excited to formally welcome Nichole as Executive Director,” said Jim Haynes, Louisville Ballet Board President. “We believe that Nichole brings a strong background of administrative leadership, financial discipline, and ballet experience, when combined with Artistic Director Robert Curran’s incredible vision and drive, that will ensure the continued success of the Company. We look forward to celebrating the positive outcomes of this promising partnership.”