ADF announces fundraising campaign

Jun. 13, 2013 @ 06:46 PM

In celebration of its 80th anniversary season and sparked by the opening in 2012 of the Samuel H. Scripps Studios, the American Dance Festival announced a $3 million comprehensive fundraising campaign, “Shall We Dance.”

Jodee Nimerichter, ADF director, announced the campaign at Thursday’s opening night of ADF's 2013 season. Of the $3 million, $1.8 million has already been committed toward the campaign, Nimerichter said.

The festival has been a nationally and internationally recognized leader in the field of modern dance. Generations of dancers and choreographers have come to ADF as students, taught as faculty and created and performed work as professional artists.

"ADF has changed the life of every dancer who has ever attended. I was one of those dancers,” said choreographer Shen Wei, honorary co-chairperson of the fundraiser. “It was at ADF that I founded my company and since then, I received 14 commissions for new works from the festival.”

Two volunteer leaders were introduced as co-chairs of the campaign. New York attorney and ADF board member Curt C. Myers, and Chapel Hill resident and current ADF studio faculty member Rebecca B. Elvin will lead a volunteer committee charged with completing the fundraising.

Last summer, ADF opened its permanent dance teaching facility, the Samuel H. Scripps Studios, on Broad Street, which should help the fundraiser, Elvin said. "The new studios give us a local advantage we have not had in the past," she said. "Durham has been our home for 36 years, but for the first time we can now invite the public to be part of our world in these year-round studios."

Myers noted that the two dance studios are being named for ADF luminaries through gifts from colleagues, students, and friends from all over the country. Studio A will be known as the Stephanie and Charles L. Reinhart Studio in honor of the longtime ADF director and his late wife, who worked alongside him for many years. Studio B will be known as the Martha and Gerald Myers Studio in honor of the dean emeritus of the ADF School and in memory of her husband, who was ADF's philosopher in residence. Curt Myers is the son of Martha and Gerald Myers, and a donor to the studio named for his parents.

The Samuel H. Scripps Foundation of New York made the initial commitment of  $1 million which enabled construction of the studios to go forward while the campaign was in its quiet phase, Nimerichter said. Board members and other donors from 15 states have also made gifts toward the campaign thus far.

The campaign is seeking support for three priorities, Nimerichter said, including $1.3 million in capital gifts for the purchase and upfitting of the Samuel H. Scripps Studios on Broad Street; $1.25 million toward the ADF Fund, supporting performances and commissions, scholarships, community classes, outreach, and ADF's archives; and $450,000 for endowment to support future needs for student scholarships, choreographer residencies and commissions, new workshops and expanded performance programming both locally and nationally.

More information about the campaign is available via the ADF website at, by calling (919) 684-6402 or emailing