Orlando Ballet

Harriett's<br>Orlando Ballet <br>Centre

Harriett Lake Donates an Additional $5 Million to Orlando Ballet’s New Home

Harriett’s Orlando Ballet Centre Expected to Open in Late 2019

June 11, 2018 – Orlando Ballet is pleased to announce that philanthropist Harriett Lake has donated an additional $5 million toward the construction of a new facility in Loch Haven Park. Together with Ms. Lake’s previous gifts, her total contribution to the project is $7.5 million. As a result of this incredibly generous gift, Orlando Ballet is re-launching its plan to build a state-of-the-art dance facility in Loch Haven Cultural Park.

One of Orlando’s most generous philanthropists, Harriett Lake supports more than 150 charities annually and is a longtime champion of the performing arts, providing an unprecedented amount of support to Orlando Ballet.

Harriett’s Orlando Ballet Centre will be a world-class facility featuring ample rehearsal space, administrative offices, studios for Orlando Ballet School, as well as a Great Hall multipurpose auditorium that will be used for company rehearsals, workshop performances and a venue for the community to host special events such as weddings, recitals, and meetings.


Renderings: RSVP Rob Schaeffer Visualization and Planning

One Built-for-Purpose Facility

An Epicenter of Arts and Culture in Orlando

The building will re-unite the company, school and offices in one built-for-purpose facility. Larger studios will allow Orlando Ballet to better prepare high quality performances for the Dr. Phillips Center stage, expand class offerings, community outreach, and operate more cost efficiently. Orlando Ballet’s permanent home will be a beautiful addition to Loch Haven Cultural Park, an epicenter of arts and culture in Orlando.

The project will be led by a building committee that includes Orlando Ballet board chairman, Sibille Pritchard, who serves as chairman of Orlando Ballet’s building committee; notable developers and philanthropists, Alan Ginsberg and Marc Hagle; and Orlando Ballet board president Jonathan Ledden.


“We are so honored and grateful that Orlando Ballet has the extraordinary support of Harriett Lake,” said Pritchard. “She is a dear friend and I truly appreciate the trust and confidence she has in Orlando Ballet’s desire to bring the gift of ballet to our community. Her presence is etched into the hearts of Orlando Ballet and this legacy gift means the world will understand her dedication to the arts for generations to come.”


Orlando Ballet currently rehearses in the Loch Haven Neighborhood Center through a generous $1 per year, 99-year lease agreement with the City of Orlando. This location will serve as the site for Harriett’s Orlando Ballet Centre. The company moved into the facility in 2014, after harmful mold was discovered in its rehearsal studios. The main school campus, wardrobe department, and administrative offices relocated to separate locations.

Harriett’s Orlando Ballet Centre will give the company and students a high-caliber facility that connects the professional dancers with aspiring students and provides greater opportunities to bring dance to the community. The facility will also be available for the surrounding community to enjoy and the public will have access to the building for artistic performances, events and other uses in the same way as Loch Haven Neighborhood Center serves the community now.


“I am so grateful for community leaders like Harriett Lake who give so generously to support our arts community and make Orlando the vibrant place it is to live,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “As a City, ensuring the arts and culture thrive and grow in our community is a top priority, and for nearly 50 years Orlando Ballet has served as an anchor institution in this effort. I am proud and so thankful this gift will help ensure that legacy continues to flourish.”

Partnering with the City of Orlando

A Common Goal

“Orlando Ballet has worked hard to build a sound reputation in our community and continues to achieve its mission of ‘entertaining, educating and enriching’ the lives of the residents of Central Florida,” said Orlando District 3 City Commissioner Robert F. Stuart. “I am glad that the City is in the position to partner with Orlando Ballet to allow them to further their mission and provide a crucial element to the cultural landscape of our great city.”



“The entire team at Orlando Ballet is so thankful for Harriett’s support,” said Ledden. “Harriett’s generous and unprecedented gift makes it possible to move forward with this critically important project for Orlando Ballet.”


Since undertaking plans to create a new home for Orlando Ballet at the Loch Haven Neighborhood Center, Orlando Ballet has further explored renovation needs. Due to the age of the facility and a thorough analysis by Orlando Ballet’s team of architects and engineers, Orlando Ballet has proposed demolishing the existing building and constructing a new facility. This proposal required an amendment to the current lease with the City of Orlando, which the Orlando City Council approved at the June 11, 2018 meeting.


Construction of the approximately 38,000 square foot facility will satisfy one of the major goals of Orlando Ballet’s Long Range Plan, the guiding strategy for the organization’s artistic and financial success. Additional funding will be needed to complete the project and to create an operations reserve to ensure the long-term success of the facility. Anticipated opening of Harriett’s Orlando Ballet Centre is set for Fall 2019.

Harriett's Legacy

The Angel of the Ballet

We were heart broken to hear that Harriett Lake, a long-time supporter of the Orlando Ballet, died Tuesday, July 10 at the age of 96. Harriett’s impact on this organization and her footprint on the arts community of Central Florida and beyond was truly incredible. We will endeavor to honor her memory and are privileged to be able to continue her legacy through Harriett’s Orlando Ballet Centre. Known for her passionate support of the arts, Harriett Lake was a philanthropist, style icon and the 2014 Orlando Sentinel Central Floridian of the Year. Our thoughts are with her loved ones at this time.


– The Team at Orlando Ballet





“It’s very difficult to raise money for the arts,” Lake said as part of an oral history she recorded for the Orange County Library System’s Orlando Memory project. “I’m dedicated to keeping the arts alive, because somebody has to do it, and I consider it now my job.”

The thousands upon thousands Lake poured into local arts groups resonated nationwide.


» Read the full story by Matthew J. Palm, Orlando Sentinel (July 10, 2018)





» Listen to the audio story by Crystal Chavez, WMFE (July 13, 2018)