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ABT News

May 20, 2020

ABT Joins New York Cares to Assist Volunteer Efforts for The Actors Fund and KEEN

ABT dancer Rachel Richardson. Photo: Connor Holloway.

Building on the success of American Ballet Theatre’s “80 Hours of Service” with the New York Cares Coat Drive, which kicked off the Company’s 80th Anniversary earlier this year, ABT staff and artists are again joining forces with New York Cares to serve New Yorkers in need.  In addition, ABT will begin its first collaboration with KEEN, Kids Enjoy Exercise Now, to bring creative movement to children and young adults with disabilities.

During the world health crisis resulting from COVID-19, New York Cares continues to serve the NYC community by mobilizing New Yorkers in volunteer service.  To aid in this effort, volunteers from American Ballet Theatre will participate in virtual phone banking to assist seniors and other adults served by The Actors Fund, a human services organization focused on the needs of the entertainment community, including dancers.  This socially distanced activity will take place through one-on-one phone calls to clients of The Actors Fund.  The calls will serve as an important source of socialization and a way to connect those in need to appropriate support.

American Ballet Theatre will extend its service by working with KEEN, Kids Enjoy Exercise Now, a New York Cares Community Partner.  Participants in KEEN, an athletics-based program open to youths with physical or development disabilities, will be given exclusive access to free online creative movement classes, designed by ABT Teaching Artists and tied to themes around ABT’s repertory.  KEEN families will gain insight into ballet through exposure to ABTKids Daily activities and virtual dance classes.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for ABT artists and staff to share the warmth and empathy that is the hallmark of American Ballet Theatre,” said ABT Executive Director Kara Medoff Barnett.  “We are grateful to our partners at New York Cares for their incredible leadership and exemplary model of service to the city we call home.  We are proud to partner with New York Cares, The Actors Fund, and KEEN to offer our time and talents to our fellow New Yorkers.”

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