The residency program will focus on the Midwest, Southeast, West Coast, and Washington, D.C., area. It will include residencies at universities, educational programs, and dancer training.
The Mellon grant, the largest ever given by the organization to a performing arts group, is a challenge grant: ABT must raise matching funds in order to receive it. Of the grant, $3.5 million will go to endow the residency program and $1.5 million will be used for its initial costs.
"The Mellon Foundation's award will have a tremendous impact on our overall mission of building ABT's tradition of artistic excellence," said ABT executive director Rachel S. Moore. "By allowing us to bring dance of the highest quality to audiences across the United States, the Mellon Foundation has given a gift not only to ABT, but to the entire country. This grant will not only strengthen our financial position, it will allow us to expand ABT's brand as America's national ballet company."