Permanent home represents new era for Evergreen City Ballet
BY DANA E. NEUTS

After spending the past three-and-a-half years in the old McLendon Hardware building, Evergreen City Ballet has a new ome – a 7,600 square foot building in the Cedar River office complex at 2230 Lind Avenue Southwest. The new building eatures three studios, two of which join together to form a black box theater seating 125, office space, storage and a lobby area where parents can watch their children practice.

The search for a permanent home began earlier this year. Kevin Kaiser, artistic director, says they considered two other facilities prior to finding this location.“It hit us right away that this was going to be the new home to Evergreen City Ballet,” Kaiser remembers. Owned by Tarragon, the office complex sits off Lind Avenue in a seating and fountain, Kaiser said the location was ideal for the professional ballet company. Kaiser and his team have spent the past seven months planning the design of the space and the move, which took place in late August. Evergreen City Ballet unveiled its new studios at a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house celebration the first week of September.

Andi Bryndza, ballet mistress, is excited about the new location which she describes as clean, finished and professional.
“The No. 1 thing is that the new studio is a much more welcoming space,” she says. “It will better show families and the community the work we are doing.”

Everything is coming to the forefront to help us and to recognize that we bring to the community a high level of education and performance.We now have a very professional, state-of-the-art facility to educate our youth and to grow as an organization. ~ Kevin Kaiser, Evergreen City Ballet artistic director

Kaiser says the owner of the McLendon Hardware property was great to work with and understanding about the need for a move. The issue was the ballet company’s inability to get a long-term lease to ensure stability.“It worked well for us while we were there,” Kaiser explains. “This facility, however, takes us to a whole new level with the city of Renton and urrounding areas.”

As Kaiser, Bryndza and ECB board members and volunteers prepared for the move, they were overwhelmed with community support from the city, Wizards of the Coast, 4Culture, Sam’s Club and other local organizations that contributed time, talent and funding to help ECB reach its goals.

“Everything is coming to the forefront to help us and to recognize that we bring to the community a high level of education
and performance,” Kaiser says. “We now have a very professional, state-of-the-art facility to educate our youth and to grow as an organization.”


Evergreen City Ballet will celebrate its new studio with its Oct. 17-18 Young Choreographers Showcase, in which students
and company members choreograph and plan the entire performance. Two shows are planned for the spring. More information is available on the Web site, www.evergreencityballet.org.

While the majority of the project has been funded already, ECB is still looking for a sponsor to help pay for a retractable
wall with an estimated cost of $23,000. The wall will separate two of the ballet studios for daily use, but open during performances to transform the studios into a black box theater with the audience on one side and the stage on the other. Until a sponsor is found, the studios are separated with a heavy, fabric curtain. More information is available from Kaiser at 425- 228-6800.