This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Ballet West officials had reason to dance Tuesday.
First, the Salt Lake County Council came through as expected, approving the allocation of $918,000 in Zoo, Arts and Parks (ZAP) tax funds to the troupe for its 2012 budget.
More important for the ballet's long-term sustainability, council members all but approved a memorandum of understanding that assures the county would work hand in hand with the nonprofit group to renovate downtown Salt Lake City's Capitol Theatre and to build a facility next to it that would house a "Center for Dance."
The only thing preventing the council from signing off on the memorandum was a legal requirement that public hearings be held because a name would be attached to the new building "The Jessie Eccles Quinney Center for Dance."
On Nov. 17, the county's Center for the Arts Advisory Board will hold a hearing and then vote on the memorandum. After that, the document will return to the council for a second public hearing and, most likely, final approval.
The memorandum stipulates that Ballet West and the county each would be responsible for providing $13.4 million toward the project's anticipated cost of $33.6 million. The additional $6.8 million would come from federal New Market Tax Credits.
Ballet West Executive Director Johann Jacobs said completion of the memorandum would seal a "good public-private partnership" that ensures a permanent home for Ballet West's envisioned dance academy and helps finance renovations to the lobby and restrooms at county-owned Capitol Theatre.
He also lauded the ZAP funding, calling it "totally integral to our operations," particularly since the "economy has thrown a wrench into our stability."
Ballet West was one of 22 large cultural organizations including Utah Symphony/Utah Opera and Red Butte Garden that will divvy up $8.4 million in ZAP funds in 2012. In addition, Hogle Zoo and Tracy Aviary will divide another $2.1 million from ZAP.