Rep VI – Letter from Ellen Walker, Executive Director

Dear Friends,  

Thank you for joining us for our final digital repertory program of this wholly unique season. A year ago, we were consumed with apprehension about the wellbeing of our colleagues, the future of PNB, and the impact of Covid on our region’s incredible, but vulnerable, arts and culture sector. Among the pandemic’s many lessons are stories of what can happen when community comes together. As we put plans in place to return to the stage in September, all of us at PNB thank you for your part in converting so many lemons into the ultimate lemonade: PNB produced 89 individual videos watched by 15,370 households from 50 states and 39 countries. 53,600 hours of content was viewed by all of you, our big global dance neighborhood, and many of you met us for the first time here, on your screen. You will never know how you uplifted us, alleviated our grief, and encouraged us to be patient and persevere.  

A group of you also recognized that Peter Boal’s artistic vision is animated by a love for new work, and you supported his bold direction for this exceptional year, cheering on his commissions for choreographers of color, women dance-makers, and longtime PNB collaborators who took on the constraints of Covid and created such captivating beauty on the film stage at McCaw Hall. Our company of dancers shone in these films, and made us so proud. Our list of new works donors is below. If you are one of them, I offer profound thanks from all of us at PNB.  

Chap & Eve Alvord
Donald Ankney 
Bill Ballard 
Carroll Ballard 
Dan & Pam Baty 
Bob Benson 
Jack Blaylock & Jane Evans 
Susan Brotman 
Elizabeth Brown 
Jon R. Conte & Margaret Kerrigan 
Dennis Cunneen 
Rob & Donna Dughi 
Katharyn Alvord Gerlich 
Lynne Graybeal & Scott Harron 
Levke Haas 
David & Cheryl Hadley 
Aya Stark Hamilton 
Toni Hoover & Alfred Nettles 
Stephanie Jung 
H. David Kaplan 
Glenn Kawasaki 
Megan & Tim Kirley 
David Kerlick 
T.R.Ko 
Sharon Lee 
Barbara Lewis 
Dr. Frank & Lynn Lindsay 
Maria Mackey 
Marcella McCaffray 
Dr. Joe G. Norman, Jr. 
Sandra Perkowitz 
Elizabeth Pirnat 
Barbara Ries 
Denise Littlefield Sobel 
Dr. Michael & Peggy Swistak 
Jennifer Thompson 
Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation 
Deidra Wager 
Robert & Lisa Wahbe 
Tom & Connie Walsh 
Susan Ward 
Jodi Wong 
Leslie & Tachi Yamada 
The Board and Members of Young Patrons Circle 

Lastly, I really can’t close out the season without acknowledging our phenomenal revenue team, which facilitated so much of the work behind the metrics above. This stellar group of marketers and fundraisers is led by Chief Marketing & Advancement Officer Lia Chiarelli. She will not want this shout-out, but over the past 16 months Lia converted her team into film producers and distributors; she managed an all-new, and dramatically depleted, revenue model; partnered with us so effectively around PNB’s commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility; and collaborated with our development team to meet donors on their screens, engaging them with the art form they love and expressing our gratitude for their generosity. Lia’s job could not have been more difficult this season. Yet she met every Zoom day with a smile, the smartest, most highly principled ideas, steadfast encouragement of her colleagues, and one eye (and ear) on her kids’ online school and Harper’s trumpet lessons. Thank you from my heart, Lia.  

And thank you to every PNB staff person and volunteer who carried such a monumental load this year and will continue to do so as we walk out of Covid. You personify the power of joy, ingenuity, and connection, and I am deeply appreciative of every one of you.  

Kind regards,  

Ellen Walker 


Featured photo: PNB Dancers in Edwaard Liang’s The Veil Between Worlds, photo © Lindsay Thomas.

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