When artistic director Glenda Carhart left California Riverside Ballet last spring she knew she wanted to devote herself full-time to expanding her classical ballet school, Riverside Ballet Arts, located in the historic Aurea Vista building in downtown Riverside.
William Willson Lewis III/The Press-Enterprise
Michel Gervais, left, watches ballerinas dance in preparation for their performance of the Nutcracker at Landis Autorium at Riverside Community College in December.
In pursuit of this goal, she formed the nonprofit organization Ballet Resource Active Volunteer Association, or BRAVA, which will combine the school, performing opportunities, mentoring programs, workshops, scholarships and community outreach to eventually become a performing arts center.
The association will hold it's first big outreach program - Art for the Heart - along with its first production, David Allan's "Nutcracker," in December. The Art for the Heart program will provide free shows to at-risk children.
There are 1,000 seats reserved for the Nov. 17 performance of the "Nutcracker" at the Landis Performing Arts Center as part of the Art for the Heart program. Children who qualify for the program will be bused to the free performance, which will include a behind-the-scenes talk about what goes into a professional productions like the "Nutcracker."
So far, some of the tickets are pledged to the Boys and Girls Clubs in Redlands and San Bernardino, the YMCA in Riverside and an Inland shelter for battered women and abused children.
There are still seats available. To nominate an organization that serves families who wouldn't ordinarily be able to experience a professional ballet, call 800-870-6069.
BRAVA is still raising funds for the outreach program; a portion of each ticket purchased in advance for the Dec. 18 and 19 performances of the David Allan's "Nutcracker" will go to the program. To donate to the program, purchase tickets to the "Nutcracker" or learn more about BRAVA, visit www.brava-arts.org.