Founded 37 years ago, the Institute’s mission is to further cultural and educational development in the arts and dance spaces across the country of Colombia as a whole, within the challenging context of an on-going 65 year-old internal war that has uprooted hundreds of thousands from their homes and villages, and expanded greatly the size of cities. The institute offers three art-based programs: Classical Ballet, National and Contemporary Dance, and Traditional and Folkloric Cultures.
Based in Cali, Colombia, it currently has 456 students, many of whom take advantage of the institute’s full, all-day educational program, that combines traditional schooling topics with ballet and dance programs. Against the odds, the institute has produced some exceptional dancers down the years, some of whom have gone on to dance internationally in highly regarded companies, including the English National Ballet.
The Institute takes a good number of its students from highly disadvantaged, low-income or no-income sections of society, who depend completely upon grants, scholarships and donations for their tuition fees and to purchase clothing, shoes and other materials they need for their school and dance activities. The Colombian government helps out where it can, with funding from the Ministry of Culture and from various regional bodies.
Cafe + is working with Incolballet to better understand what they need. As a beginning, we are offering study and maintenance grants for pupils from very low income or no-income families, as well as purchasing ballet shoes for those students that are unable to afford them: a good pair of ballet shoes can cost around US$150.00, and with continuous use can last up to three months or so. Without good shoes, dance performance, and so access to future opportunities, suffers.