Campaign Chair Designates $4M Capital Dance Project Gift

Estimated $4M Still Needed to Complete Facility



The December 2015 issue of More Scripps reported on the pressing need for a new Scripps dance facility. The College is proud to announce that the project— which has been discussed in the abstract for over three decades—will become a bricks and mortar reality thanks to a transformative $4 million gift from Campaign Chair Nancy Katayama ’77.

Says Katayama, When I joined the board in 2000, the College had acquired Garrison Theater and plans were underway to begin renovation of that space. A new dance studio was one of the planned elements within the performing arts complex. I was excited that we would consolidate music, dance, and theater into one building.

One day not long after that, I was in line at Starbucks and in front of me was a woman in a leotard. I started to chat with her and asked the obvious question: Are you a dancer?’ Indeed, she was a dancer; she was Gail Abrams, Professor of Dance at Scripps College. I told her I was a new trustee and I just saw the Garrison renovation plans; a new dance space was going to happen!

Unfortunately, the College has been unsuccessful at securing the funds needed to complete this project. Here we are, 16 years later, and our dancers are still rehearsing and dressing in the same outdated, outmoded studio space and ‘temporary’ dressing trailer.

Dance has traditionally been an important discipline in the Scripps arts curriculum. Our students majoring and minoring in dance, as well as the many students who participate in the program desire —and deserve— so much better than what we have now. I hope my gift will jump start the effort to construct the new dance facility.

The new space will alleviate a number of issues facing the dance program: overcrowded and insufficient studio space; inadequate faculty offices, dressing areas, and media/production areas; lack of space for rehearsals, choreographic development, movement research, and performance.

Says Professor of Dance and Chair of the Dance Department at Scripps College, Ronnie Brosterman, “This gift marks a dream come true for dance at Scripps College. After decades of fighting against substandard space to maintain and expand a thriving dance program, we will finally have the opportunity to bring dance at Scripps into the 21st century with a state of the art facility for our students and the entire Scripps community.”

Katayama’s $4 million Campaign gift, which previously was undesignated, will provide approximately half of the estimated $8 million needed to complete the dance facility project. An updated design plan will be completed this spring.

Despite arranging this exceptionally generous lead gift, Katayama has elected to leave the center unnamed at this time, in hope of attracting another significant gift to complete the project. Says Katayama, “As Campaign Chair, my intention is to launch this project, and to encourage other dance facility donors to partner in a meaningful way. Keeping the naming opportunity open is an inviting way to do that.”

Scripps is grateful to Campaign Chair Nancy Katayama for her generosity and thoughtful leadership on this project.