MEMPHIS: Since its founding in 2006, Collage Dance Collective (CDC), a minority-owned ballet school in Memphis, TN, has dramatically impacted the lives of children through professional ballet training. The program, which teaches children between ages 2 and 18 from all socioeconomic backgrounds, has generated demand for programming that quickly outgrew the facility’s capacity. Enhanced Capital made an investment through the federal New Markets Tax Credit program in CDC to finance operational expansion and a new state-of-the-art facility.
Once complete, the new CDC Center will offer more opportunities for area students, serve as a cultural anchor for the community, and house the city’s first and largest professional full-time ballet company of color. The Center will be ten times larger, more than double the on-site training capacity, and become the largest minority ballet school in the South and one of the country’s largest. CDC expects to create 31 full-time jobs, and of these jobs, about 60% will employ low-income persons. The construction and development of the building will create nearly 80 temporary full-time jobs.
“We are honored to play a role in a project dedicated to building relationships between artists, students, and communities,” said Catherine Blume, Vice President at Enhanced Capital. “CDC is an exceptional organization that will improve Memphis’s historic Binghampton community through revitalization and enriching programs for the arts and those affected by systematic poverty issues.”
Of the estimated 245,000 children in the Memphis area, nearly half of them are without cultural or arts exposure. To increase opportunity and diversity, 50% of CDC students receive some level of scholarship, of which 80% are children of color, and 40% are children from low-income families. Adults, arts supporters, citybuilders, and tourists are also a target population for CDC and can take part in many aspects of the school, company performances and community-based initiatives.
“We are humbled by Enhanced Capital’s partnership on this project and their support of the communities we serve. This monumental, groundbreaking first, will not only enhance our city, but will be a national leader in making ballet and the fine arts more diverse and accessible,” said Marcellus Harper, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Collage Dance Collective.
The new Center can hold an array of exciting events and expects to welcome the public in the summer of 2021, or when safest to do so, near the corner of Sam Cooper Boulevard and Tillman Street.
About Collage Dance Collective, Inc.
Collage Dance Collective works to inspire the growth and diversity of ballet by showcasing a repertoire of relevant choreography and world-class dancers representative of our community. The professional company has presented ten full-length seasons in Memphis, plus national and international touring presenting a diverse range of classical and contemporary choreography. Its institutional arm, the Collage Dance Conservatory, trains more kids of color in a classical art form than any other non-profit in Memphis or the Mid-South. In early 2021, Collage is set to open a state-of-the-art facility designed to expand its programming, training and impact.
About Enhanced Capital
Enhanced Capital is a leader in unlocking value for private investors seeking returns through socially responsible public investment initiatives. At the forefront of aligning private sector resources with public policy goals, we transform local economies to the benefit of both investors and community stakeholders through Impact Credit and Impact Equity strategies.