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The Greater Wayne County Links, Incorporated, in conjunction with The Links Foundation, Incorporated, partner with The Michigan Opera Theatre to offer Detroit Students World-Class Dance Exposure, Immersion, Instruction, Scholarships and Training Opportunities

The continuing education funding crisis in Detroit has forced schools and districts to severely cut arts education funding in order to deliver on core academic strategies. Access to instruction in the arts- particularly in dance– is severely limited for many Detroit students despite research indicating exposure to dance provides benefits in academic achievement and student engagement. In addition, at-risk students who have access to the arts in or out of school have better academic results, better workforce opportunities and a heightened level of civic engagement.

Concerned about the lack of exposure to dance and the critical benefits that it provides for students in our city, the Greater Wayne County Chapter, The Links, Inc. in conjunction with The Links Foundation launched Link 2 Arts 4 Life in 2016 – a major dance education initiative in partnership with the Michigan Opera Theatre (MOT).

Link 2 Arts 4 Life – The Second Act In a continuation and deepening of our commitment to the arts, the Greater Wayne County Links will take students of Figure Skating in Detroit, a Sphinx Scholar and our two Ballet Detroit students to experience a variety of arts events taking place throughout metro Detroit. The goal will be to educate students about the important role the arts can play in building character, leadership skills and a more profound understanding of the world.

GWCC/MOT Dance Education Partnership

The Greater Wayne County Links will continue the very successful Dance Education Partnership with the Michigan Opera Theatre and will host 30+ students at several dance performances during the 2017-2018 season including: American Ballet Theatre’s “Romeo & Juliet,” The Dance Theatre of Harlem and The Paul Taylor Dance Company. Students will experience a wonderful afternoon of dance, which will provide opportunities to expand their imagination and understand the dynamic role dance plays in the world of the arts. Prior to the Dance Theatre of Harlem performance, students will have an opportunity to meet with members of the Dance Theatre of Harlem to learn about the real world of professional dance.

Arts Immersion – Classics through the Ages with a Twist and a Twirl

To align with the Links Incorporated national signature program, “Classics through the Ages,” the Greater Wayne County Chapter will sponsor and provide scholarships for two young ladies to pursue advanced ballet training at Ballet Detroit and for one young lady to receive advanced violin training through the Sphinx Organization.

The Links, Incorporated

The Links, Incorporated, established in 1946 is an international, not‐for‐profit corporation with over 12,000 professional women of color in 282 chapters located in 41 states, the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. It is one of the nation’s oldest and largest volunteer service organizations of extraordinary women who are committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the culture and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of African ancestry. The Links Foundation, Incorporated (the “Foundation”) is the philanthropic arm of The Links, Incorporated and a non‐profit organization operated exclusively for charitable and educational purposes.

The organization has a nearly 50-year commitment to supporting the fine arts throughout the country. Links chapters throughout the United States partner with museums, orchestras, arts councils, educational institutions and corporations in order to support arts organizations. Specifically, the Links create and support opportunities for educating minority youth in the arts as well as supporting their performances.

In order to support Links 2 Arts 4 Life and other key initiatives, the Greater Wayne County Links will celebrate the opening night performance of American Ballet Theatre’s (ABT) “Romeo and Juliet” featuring its new principal dancer Misty Copeland*. This historic performance will take place on February 8, 2018 at the Detroit Opera House.

This unforgettable evening will include a VIP pre-event for sponsors as well as a fabulous post performance reception where attendees will be able to meet the cast of “Romeo and Juliet.” As the City of Detroit’s transformation continues, we must ensure that our children experience and are inspired by the transformational beauty of arts and culture.

With support from our sponsors, we will be able to provide life-changing cultural and creative opportunities for Detroit students. The Chapter’s additional community programming will also benefit from funds raised through the opening night performance including these ongoing areas of focus: International Trends, Health and Human Services, National Trends, and Services to Youth.

*Scheduled to appear.

Greater Wayne County (MI) Chapter, The Links, Inc

Executive Board President – Angela Porter

1st Vice-President – Theresa Peace-Agboh

2nd Vice-President – Dianne Bostic Robinson

Treasurer – Kelly Major Green

Corresponding Secretary – Kim Cole

Recording Secretary- Benay Dabney

Parliamentarian – Lula Mullens

Financial Secretary – LaVonda Jackson

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