BALLET WEST RECEIVES PRESTIGIOUS DIVERSITY AWARD

When Adam Sklute started at Ballet West, he said, “I want my dancers to be as diverse as the world around us.” Now, ten years later, dancers of all colors and creeds, from several foreign countries reflect one of the most diverse ballet companies in the country. In recognition of these efforts, Ballet West received the Utah Diversity Connection’s Business Award, which recognizes employers that have built diverse workforces and have strong diversity initiatives.  It is presented in conjunction with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

The Huffington Post and The New York Times have recognized Adam for the diversity presented on the Ballet West stage. Recently, Sarah Kaufman of The Washington Post wrote, “Sklute, as savvy as he is skilled, also seems uniquely positioned to be the ballet director to bring the art form into the modern age. To see quite a few African American dancers, including ballerinas, in a classical production was momentous indeed and deeply moving.”

The drive for a more inclusive ballet environment continues off stage where Felicia Cowan, Human Resources Director has pushed for greater diversity among the administrative staff. Felicia reaches out to local organizations to notify minority communities of openings. She also advocates for women in the workplace and nurtures their development. She encourages men and women to bring children to work if they need to, to work from home, when necessary, and has an flexible leave program after pregnancy.

The Company thanks Utah Diversity Connections for their recognition of Ballet West’s commitment of strength through diversity.