NEWS: Louisville Ballet Renews Executive Director Search

The Company’s current Executive Director, Nichole Gantshar,

has announced her decision to step down from the role.

LOUISVILLE, KY, Wednesday, February 3, 2021 – The Louisville Ballet Board of Directors has announced that the Company will re-launch its national search to fill the role of Executive Director.

As Jim Haynes, Louisville Ballet Board President explains, “The role of Executive Director is critical to the continued growth and success of Louisville Ballet. This has become even clearer through the Company’s recent work to create a strategic plan under the guidance of Michael Kaiser, Chairman of the DeVos Institute of Arts Management and former President of John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.”

Louisville Ballet’s current Executive Director, Nichole Gantshar, who joined the organization in March 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, recently announced her decision to step down from the role.

“Looking at the need for additional staff and the goals set by the Company’s recently approved strategic plan, the Executive Committee and I agree that Louisville Ballet should move into the implementation of this strategic plan with a new Executive Director,” Ms. Gantshar said. “I came to Louisville to facilitate, with the guidance of Mr. Kaiser and the support of the Ballet’s Leadership Team, the creation of this strategic plan. Additionally, I was charged with stabilizing the financial position of the Company, especially in light of the challenges that came with the pandemic. With that work complete, I believe it’s an ideal time for another candidate to step in to lead and support Louisville Ballet’s next phase.”

Ms. Gantshar has committed to remain in her current role until an Interim Executive Director is in place, anticipated to be by early March, to ensure a smooth transition.

Louisville Ballet Artistic Director, Robert Curran, expressed that, “Louisville Ballet has had an incredible season so far and looks forward to continued success. With Nichole’s support, and with the Board’s unwavering commitment, Louisville Ballet was able to offer our Company artists a full season contract, minimized staff layoffs, kept The Louisville Ballet School operating, and launched the fully-digital Season of Illumination, including, ‘Kentucky! Volume 1,’ our original ballet art film that premiered in November 2020.”

Mr. Haynes adds, “The Louisville Ballet Board of Directors thanks Nichole for her commitment to the fiscal stability of the organization during a daunting period for the performing arts. Her work with Louisville Ballet has been invaluable.”

“It’s been gratifying to have been part of Louisville Ballet, even in an exceptionally challenging time,” Ms. Gantshar said. “Louisville Ballet has been a bright spot for our dancers, inspiring for our audiences, and a joyful outlet for thousands of students and their families across the state. I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished together.”

More information regarding Louisville Ballet’s Executive Director search will be available in the coming weeks. For press inquiries, please contact Louisville Ballet Director of Marketing, Natalie Harris, at (502) 777-1672 or at


Louisville Ballet makes moving art that respects tradition, encourages innovation, and fosters life-long learning. We inspire connection, conversation and a profound sense of community, by striving for bold collaborations, by nurturing the next generation of artists, by celebrating diversity, and by creating access for all. Led by Artistic Director Robert Curran, and committed to boldly communicating artistic stories both classic and new, Louisville Ballet has been one of the nation’s leading regional ballet companies since 1952. As the Official State Ballet of Kentucky, Louisville Ballet has worked with some of ballet’s brightest lights, including Mikhail Baryshnikov, Twyla Tharp, and Wendy Whelan, performs for tens of thousand of people each season, and reaches over 20,000 school children throughout the Commonwealth with educational programs annually.