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September 22, 2011

Columbus Arts Endowment Announces Raymond J. Hanley Fellowship Recipient Gerard Charles, Artistic Director for BalleMet Columbus

COLUMBUS, Ohio –The Columbus Arts Endowment has announced the third recipient of the annual Raymond J. Hanley Fellowship, Gerard Charles, Artistic Director of BalletMet Columbus.

The $10,000 award from the Endowment goes to an artist who has demonstrated a high level of achievement while working at least five years in the arts in any discipline. Fellowship money is awarded without restriction, so the artist can use it to further his or her career as needed.

“This award to Gerard Charles in the name of Ray Hanley is well deserved’” said Peggy Mativi, chair of the Columbus Arts Endowment. “Ray led the Greater Columbus Arts Council for more than 20 years and this award was endowed in his memory to recognize the kind of artistic achievement Mr. Charles has brought to our community.”

Gerard Charles was named artistic director in 2001, having served as interim artistic director and associate artistic director for the previous three seasons. Mr. Charles was born in Folkestone, England, and trained at theRoyal Ballet School in London. In addition to numerous guest appearances, he danced professionally for Ballet International in London, Milwaukee Ballet and BalletMet. Upon retiring from the stage, he served as Ballet Master for BalletMet and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens. He then returned to BalletMet as ballet master and associate artistic director, serving as an advisor to the artistic director and as coach and teacher for Company dancers. Mr. Charles has choreographed and staged works internationally and received an National Endowment for the Arts Choreographic Fellowship. Audiences have been delighted with his BalletMet productions of Alice in WonderlandThe NutcrackerCinderellaCoppeliaThe Sleeping Beauty and Aladdin. The award will be presented at a private reception honoring Mr. Charles in early October. Previous winners include Geoffrey Nelson in 2010 and Abdi Roble in 2009.

Created by past chairs of the Greater Columbus Arts Council, the Columbus Arts Endowment continues the spirit of advocacy and partnership GCAC has encouraged since its inception. Culture is the exclusive focus of the endowment, which is intended to supplement, not replace, existing broad-based philanthropic support.

The Board of Trustees of the Columbus Arts Endowment consists exclusively of past chairs of the Greater Columbus Arts Council and includes Peggy Mativi, Chair, David Barker, S. Ronald Cook, Jr., Loann Crane, Kathleen Ransier and Charles R. Saxbe.

About the Greater Columbus Arts Council: Through vision and leadership, advocacy and collaboration, the Greater Columbus Arts Council supports art and advances the culture of the region. A catalyst for excellence and innovation, we fund exemplary artists and arts organizations and provide programs, events and services of public value that educate and engage all audiences in our community. GCAC thanks the City of Columbus, Franklin County, the Ohio Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts for their continued support.

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