Company Artist Brandon Ragland’s “I Am” selected for Fund for the Arts ArtsMatch grant

Louisville Ballet is pleased to announce The Fund for the Arts has selected Louisville Ballet Company Artist Brandon Ragland’s dance and poetry piece, “I Am,” to be part of the 2021 ArtsMatch crowdfunding campaign.


Help us reach our $10,000 goal by June 30th, knowing that your gift will be matched by The Fund for the Arts thanks to the generous support of LG&E/KU and Churchill Downs, Inc.

Your gift via The Fund for the Arts’ ArtsMatch program will provide Louisville Ballet with the resources to share “I Am” as a critical tool to foster student and community conversations hosted by the Louisville Ballet Community Engagement team in 2021/2022.

Your ArtsMatch support will also pave the way for Brandon’s ultimate vision for his powerful work – a collaboration with Dance Theatre of Harlem artists on a national stage.

THANK YOU for choosing to make Brandon’s vision come to life with your gift.

First created as part of Louisville Ballet’s 2021 digital production #ChorShow, “I Am” explores the discomfort and growth that comes from occupying unwelcoming spaces. Through movement – and in concert with the voices and words of three Louisville-based Black poets – Ragland’s choreography evokes the complexity and challenges Black people often experience when inhabiting “white spaces;” their efforts to adapt; and their self-discovery upon confronting their discomfort, defying stereotypes, and asserting their presence.

“I Am” strives to open the door to all viewers, to encourage and support conversations about race, the humanity that binds us, and the path toward building on our shared humanity.

You can watch the film version of “I Am” now as part of #ChorShow 2021, streaming on-demand through June 30.

Hear more from Brandon about his process and inspiration for “I Am” by viewing this short video here.

Born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, Brandon joined Louisville Ballet in 2010. He is a graduate of Butler University with a B.S. in Dance-Arts Administration. Since joining the Louisville Ballet, he has had the opportunity to perform leading roles in classical and neoclassical works such as Ronald Hynd’s The Merry Widow, Stanton Welch’s Velocity, Adam Hougland’s Romeo & Juliet, Val Caniparoli’s The Brown-Forman Nutcracker, Lamberena, Lady of the Camellias, Robert Curran’s Coppélia and Swan Lake, Serge Lifar’s Suite en Blanc, George Balanchine’s Square Dance, Kammermusik #2, Divertimento No. 15, Serenade, and Western Symphony. Brandon has originated roles in new works such as Lucas Jervies’ Human Abstract and Firebird, and Tim Harbour’s Models and Odyssey.

As a choreographer he has created works for Louisville Ballet, Louisville Ballet Youth Ensemble, Alabama Ballet, Alabama Ballet School, AROVA Contemporary Ballet, Ballet Arkansas, Next Generation Ballet, J. Lockhart Performing Arts Institute, and Sedona Chamber Ballet. In 2019, Brandon received The Lift a Life Foundation: Emerging Leader in the Arts Award.