BNY Mellon was honored at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s Opening Night Gala Benefit for the support and partnership it has provided to Ailey for nearly 10 years, including as lead sponsor of this year’s benefit. The proceeds from the evening support the creation of new works and a range of educational programs. BNY Mellon Chairman and CEO Gerald L. Hassell and his wife, Agnes Hassell, a former Alvin Ailey Trustee, accepted the recognition on BNY Mellon’s behalf and were presented with a gift by current Ailey students.
In his remarks, Ailey’s Artistic Director, Robert Battle, noted, “Under Gerald’s stewardship at BNY Mellon and Agnes’ leadership as a member of the Ailey Board, BNY Mellon has had an enormous impact on Ailey’s Arts in Education & Community Programs, which reach thousands of young bodies and minds.”
BNY Mellon’s support helps provide scholarships for talented students at The Ailey School, one of the most revered dance schools in the nation, as well as the AileyCamp program for at-risk youth across the country. The Scholarship Program offers 400 talented dancers each year the opportunity to attend the School and pursue professional training in preparation for a dance career, regardless of their financial resources.
Battle added, “Alvin Ailey’s original vision was to use the power of dance to enrich and positively alter lives, particularly the lives of young people. With philanthropic partners like BNY Mellon – whose commitment to community and employees, and investment in people and innovation inspires us all – the Ailey organization will be able to keep moving forward for decades to come.”
“BNY Mellon has a long history of supporting the cultural institutions that make this city vibrant, distinctive and a magnet for the best minds. Alvin Ailey exemplifies that,” said Hassell. “As President Obama said last year when he posthumously presented the Congressional Medal of Freedom to Alvin Ailey, the dance theater that bears his name has become a place where artists of all races have a home. All that matters is talent. This organization is not just one of the greatest and most distinctive modern dance troupes of all time, it’s also a powerful symbol for how we need to think and behave as a people and a country.”