Time to pay it forward to Oregon Ballet Theatre

2007 Nutcracker. Photo: BLAINE TRUITT COVERTYou’ve read here and elsewhere about the deep financial hole Oregon Ballet Theatre has stumbled into. Scatter partner Barry Johnson broke the news in The Oregonian last week that the company needs $750,000, fast, to keep from going under. The problem isn’t getting customers in the seats — OBT’s concerts are extremely popular — but a precipitous 50 percent drop in individual contributions.

The arguments have been made. I believe the loss of this company would be devastating for Portland, even for people who have no interest in ballet. Now’s the time to help.

First: If you can, write a check or use your credit card to make a contribution. I’m doing that. Here‘s where to do it.

Second: Buy tickets to the season finale concert of ballets by Jerome Robbins and Christopher Wheeldon, June 5-7 at Portland’s Keller Auditorium. Here‘s where to do it. Or call the ballet at 503-227-0977.

Third: Buy tickets for Dance United, the benefit performance June 12 at the Keller that will bring together dancers from major companies across North America, including New York City Ballet, Boston Ballet, Houston Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, San Francisco Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Washington Ballet, Trey McIntyre Project, Ballet West, BodyVox, White Bird/Minh Tran & Company, Oslund+Co., Linda Austin Dance, and OBT. Program details are here. It’s an astonishing show of solidarity, and an astonishing array of talent. Here‘s where to do it.

Fourth: OBT is organizing an online auction to help raise money. Maybe you have something to donate, or maybe you’re in the market to buy. Here‘s where to get details.

Barry Johnson has been following the situation more closely than anyone else in the press. For more insights, see this and this from his Portland Arts Watch blog and column for The Oregonian.

All together, now. Let’s get this thing done.