SALT LAKE CITY (Nov. 18, 2020)— Today, out of an abundance of caution and in the interest of the community’s health, Salt Lake County has made the decision to close county-owned performing arts facilities through December. In response, Ballet West today announced it will keep the 65-year Utah holiday tradition of The Nutcracker alive by partnering with KSL-TV to air the production commercial free on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.  

“There is no more important time to give this gift to our community than now,” said Ballet West Executive Director, Michael Scolamiero. “Our classic version of The Nutcracker will provide the entertainment and inspiration that many will need, especially since gatherings with extended family and friends are strongly discouraged.” Artistic Director Adam Sklute adds, “While we are not able to perform Mr. C’s Nutcracker live this year, we will continue its historical unbroken run by offering our community this beautiful broadcast created in collaboration with BYUtv.”

In the past nine months, Ballet West has innovated and adapted to make ballet more accessible. The Company has reached new communities and built deeper ties with its loyal patrons through digital avenues. The Nutcracker, which will air on KSL-TV December 24, 25 and January 1 at 5:30 p.m. (MST), is another example of this commitment. Utah’s NBC affiliate has generously agreed to donate the time for the broadcasts and will also allow Ballet West to embed appeals into the broadcast. The broadcast will subsequently be available to stream on KSL-TV’s free app.

As with most ballet companies nationally, The Nutcracker provides a substantial portion of Ballet West’s overall ticket revenue, which is critical to sustain the organization throughout the year. Because of this challenge, Ballet West will also launch a major fundraising campaign and encourage the community to make a gift to the ballet company this holiday season.

“We need your help more than ever to support these talented artists and to allow us to continue to innovate and enrich our community,” said Sarah West, Ballet West’s Chief Development Officer. “As families enjoy The Nutcracker from the comfort and safety of their homes, we hope they will be compelled to make a gift, small or large, so we may continue this beloved holiday tradition for years to come,”

KSL-TV Vice Senior Vice President Tanya Vea said, “KSL-TV has a long history of supporting Utah’s arts organizations, including Ballet West. Carole Mikita, our arts and religion reporter has been diligently covering Ballet West since 1979. She will continue to do so as the host for this special Nutcracker broadcast. The arts are an economic driver in Salt Lake, and it is important to our organization to assist these cultural gems in their time of need.”

For season subscribers and others holding tickets to live performances, Ballet West is offering three options: request a refund, receive a gift certificate valid through 2021, or donate the value of the ticket as a charitable contribution to the Company. Refunds can be processed by calling Patron Services at 801-869-6920 and donations and gift certificates may be requested here.