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Louisville Ballet On the Hunt, Again, For An Executive Director

A moment from a "pre-contract" class at Louisville Ballet taken through the window of the ballet's facility.
A moment from a "pre-contract" class at Louisville Ballet taken through the window of the ballet's facility.

Louisville Ballet’s executive director, Nichole Gantshar, will step down from her position.

Gantshar joined the ballet nearly a year ago as the interim executive director. The organization named her executive director in August.

In a press release, Gantshar said she would stay on until a new interim director is selected.

“Looking at the need for additional staff and the goals set by the company’s recently approved strategic plan, the Executive Committee and I agree that Louisville Ballet should move into the implementation of this strategic plan with a new executive director,” Gantshar said in the release. 

She said she joined the ballet to assist with the creation of this new strategic plan, and was “charged with stabilizing the financial position of the company, especially in light of the challenges that came with the pandemic.” 

“With that work complete, I believe it’s an ideal time for another candidate to step in to lead and support Louisville Ballet’s next phase,” she continued.

With the announcement of Gantshar’s departure, the Louisville Ballet Board of Directors will once again launch a national search for the position. 

The ballet has been working with well-known arts administrator Michael Kaiser, who is chairman of the University of Maryland’s DeVos Institute of Arts Management, to help develop a strategic plan. Kaiser is also credited with saving arts organizations such as Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, American Ballet Theatre and the Royal Opera House from financial disaster. 

“The role of executive director is critical to the continued growth and success of Louisville Ballet,” Jim Haynes, Louisville Ballet board president, said in the release.

Louisville Ballet artistic director, Robert Curran, thanked Gantshar for helping allow the ballet to offer its company dancers full-season contracts, keep the school operating and launch a fully digital season

“It's been gratifying to have been part of Louisville Ballet, even in an exceptionally challenging time,” Gantshar said.