M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust

Oregon Ballet Theatre, which, over the years, has produced such great works under the guidance of artistic directors James Canfield and Christopher Stowell and now Kevin Irving, continues to evolve off the dance floor as much as on it.
Beset by financial problems a few years back, OBT started to rebuild and now finds itself expanding and charting its course toward better days. The company, now boasting a budget surplus, plans to move into its swanky new building in South Waterfront in January, relocating from its longtime spot at 818 S.E. Sixth Ave., and, at the same time, setting up residence at the site of the Moxie Dance company in West Linn to further expand its successful School of Oregon Ballet Theatre. And, there are many other things happening in what appears to be a promising time for the company entering its 26th season.
“It’s refreshing to see new leadership and board come in and really rally, learning from what (OBT) went through and invest in the mission and program to become a healthier company,” says Dennis Buehler, OBT’s fairly new executive director. “It’s not so much a rebuild, but a commitment to how we look at the next 25 years, dances and dance education.”
The expansion comes in the wake of Oregon Ballet Theatre establishing the OBT2 pre-professional dance ensemble, a bridge program between OBT and the community that begins performances in smaller venues and spaces such as community centers and schools around the metro area in December. It was created by a M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust multiyear grant.
“It’s an exciting time for us,” says Anthony Jones, who just passed the two-year mark as school director. “The school is in a good healthy place to grow.”
Read more>>

back to top

The Trust guides nonprofit organizations through every level of their development through grants and other resources.

Sectors the Trust is committed to enriching in the Pacific Northwest:

The Trust has a wealth of knowledge and experience that can make all the difference to you and your organization.