Atlanta Ballet was founded in 1929 by Dorothy Alexander as the Dorothy Alexander Concert Group[2]. During the 1940s, the organization was known as the Atlanta Civic Ballet[3], with Dorothy Alexander acting as Director. It was the nation's first regional ballet company. In 1946 the Company became the first in the nation to help fund a symphony by donating the season's annual proceeds to the Atlanta Youth Symphony, which later developed into the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
In the 1950s Robertt Barnett joined the company from New York City Ballet as a principal dancer and associate director. Barnett received exclusive permission from George Balanchine to use his choreography for The Nutcracker as well as other signature works, making Atlanta Civic Ballet the only company in the country to perform works by Balanchine outside of New York City Ballet for several decades. Alexander guided her dance company for more than three decades before hand picking her successor, Robert Barnett, who was named artistic director in 1961. In 1967, the company gained professional status as Atlanta Ballet.
In 1994 Robert Barnett retired from his role as artistic director and John McFall accepted the position. The focus of the company has shifted to include education as a key point in addition to providing innovative and entertaining performances to the Atlanta community.

Atlanta Ballet was founded in 1929 by Dorothy Alexander as the Dorothy Alexander Concert Group[2]. During the 1940s, the organization was known as the Atlanta Civic Ballet[3], with Dorothy Alexander acting as Director. It was the nation's first regional ballet company. In 1946 the Company became the first in the nation to help fund a symphony by donating the season's annual proceeds to the Atlanta Youth Symphony, which later developed into the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
In the 1950s Robertt Barnett joined the company from New York City Ballet as a principal dancer and associate director. Barnett received exclusive permission from George Balanchine to use his choreography for The Nutcracker as well as other signature works, making Atlanta Civic Ballet the only company in the country to perform works by Balanchine outside of New York City Ballet for several decades. Alexander guided her dance company for more than three decades before hand picking her successor, Robert Barnett, who was named artistic director in 1961. In 1967, the company gained professional status as Atlanta Ballet.
In 1994 Robert Barnett retired from his role as artistic director and John McFall accepted the position. The focus of the company has shifted to include education as a key point in addition to providing innovative and entertaining performances to the Atlanta community.

In April 2009, the Robert W. Woodruff foundation made a $1 million commitment toward the Atlanta Ballet’s $14.8 million "Choreographing Our Future" campaign, the largest fundraising effort in the company's history. The campaign not only funded the renovation and relocation to the new headquarters in Midtown West, it also went towards expanding the marketing and development for the ballet.[5] The ballet also received the single largest gift in its 79-year history - $3 million from the Michael C. and Thalia N. Carlos Foundation. The donations were part of a campaign to purchase and renovate the new headquarters on Marietta Boulevard west of downtown. The $3 million from the Carlos Foundation, to be paid over four years, is a naming gift: The new headquarters, which opened in May 2010, is named the Michael C. Carlos Dance Centre. The funds from the $14.8 million campaign will also be channeled into boosting the ballet’s endowment, marketing and audience development, and toward long-term financial and artistic stability. Integral to the package is the inclusion of the Atlanta Ballet Orchestra in performances.[6]
The new Atlanta Ballet headquarters was built in a 5,000 foot renovated warehouse that was converted into an LEED certified and environmentally friendly new home for the Company. The building utilizes all recycled carpeting and contains areas dedicated for recycling used materials. The materials chosen for the construction all contained high recycled content and were purchased from local and regional distributors.

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