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 Now Open

January 10, 2020 – Orlando Ballet held an official ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new home, Harriett’s Orlando Ballet Centre. A historic gift totaling $7.5 million from longtime Orlando Ballet supporter Harriett Lake made this project possible, along with the support and generosity of the Orlando community. Harriett’s gift paired with a landmark $4 million gift from Orange County’s tourist tax development (TDT) dollars, and $500,000 from its cultural facilities-grant program, fully funded the building at the start of construction.

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 is 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.


One Built-for-Purpose Facility

An Epicenter of Arts and Culture in Orlando

The building re-unites 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. Harriett’s Orlando Ballet Centre is a beautiful addition to Loch Haven Cultural Park, an epicenter of arts and culture in Orlando.

The entire community came together to bring Orlando Ballet’s new home to fruition. Harriett’s dream was made reality by a committee that included Building Committee chairman Sibille Pritchard, notable developers and philanthropists Alan Ginsburg 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.”


The location of Harriett’s Orlando Ballet Centre was made possible in part by the City of Orlando’s generous $1 per year, 99-year lease agreement that began in 2014.

Harriett’s Orlando Ballet Centre gives 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 is also available for the surrounding community to enjoy and the public will have access to the building for artistic performances, events and other uses.


“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.”

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)


Host an Event at Harriett's Orlando Ballet Centre

Experience events in a new way at Harriett’s Orlando Ballet Centre, indulge in the culinary delights of Arthur’s Catering and transcend the ordinary with our unique entertainment options. Our centre offers three ballet classrooms, a multipurpose ballroom, spacious lobby, and an outside terrace which offers a beautiful view of Lake Formosa. With a dedicated team of professionals ready to help you every step of the way, you can be assured that your special day will be executed flawlessly, whether you are planning a lavish gala for an organization or an unforgettable wedding!