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Los Angeles fundraiser named executive director of Miami City Ballet

October 31, 2011 |  3:12 pm

Windows - Goldsborough and Schick
Nicholas T. Goldsborough, a Los Angeles resident since 1980 and a longtime arts fundraiser, has been appointed the executive director of the Miami City Ballet, the company is announcing this week. Goldsborough has helped raise funding for prominent U.S. arts institutions, including the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Valley Performing Arts Center and the Harman Center for the Arts in Washington, D.C.

The Rochester, N.Y.-born Goldsborough chatted last week in anticipation of the announcement. He said: “I’m creating a short- and long-term plan that will strengthen Miami City Ballet from a financial perspective.”   

“I’d like to see a $30-million endowment for this institution, built over five to 10 years, both from pledges and estate gifts,” he said, noting that the company now has a small endowment of a few million dollars.

Goldsborough joins the respected classic ballet troupe at a time of transition. Just last month, founding artistic director Edward Villella, 75, announced his retirement, which will cap one of ballet’s most enduring and distinguished careers. The success of the beloved former New York City Ballet principal dancer in establishing ballet in South Florida has been one of the gleaming triumphs of dance's  post-Balanchine era.

“Edward has created one of the three great ballet companies in America,” Goldsborough said. “In this particular repertoire [Balanchine choreography], they rival the NYCB, and some people say on a given night, they do it better.”

Goldsborough will serve on the selection committee for a successor to Villella, who will remain through the 2012-13 season. "There are probably not more than a handful of candidates sufficiently qualified [in the Balanchine tradition] for the job,”  he said.

Villella said, in an email from Miami, “I look forward to working with Nicholas Goldsborough and to welcome such an experienced professional to help us provide the next step in Miami City Ballet’s development.”

Goldsborough is a longtime colleague and collaborator of Jane Jelenko, who is president of Center Dance Arts, the founding support organization for Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at the Music Center.

She said, “It’s a big loss to L.A. but a great gain for the ballet world. Nick loves the art form; he’s extremely knowledgeable and passionate. He will be an amazing asset for MCB and I look forward to greeting him in his new capacity, hopefully when they next come out to L.A.”

Goldsborough was a driving force in getting Walt Disney Concert Hall built. He was chief operating officer of the Music Center when the board gave Frank Gehry and his ambitious project the green light.

He also was the producer for "Windows," a play about Bill Gates that had a limited run last week at the Odyssey Theatre.

Goldsborough said he plans to spread his Midas touch around South Florida.

“There’s a lot of potential for fundraising. The company has four markets: Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach and Naples. Under my direction, there is going to be a much more concentrated effort particularly in Palm Beach, where,” said Goldsborough, with a smile of mystery, “I know people.”

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--Debra Levine

Photo: Nicholas Goldsborough, left, with  actor Clemens Schick at the Odyssey Theatre's opening of "Windows." Credit: Sean Lambert

The affable fundraiser, dressed in his signature bowtie, chatted last Thursday from the backstage offices of the Odyssey Theatre prior to the opening of his production of "Windows," a Bill Gates-themed play. He said: “I’m creating a short and long term plan that will strengthen Miami City Ballet from a financial perspective.” 

 
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