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Sara Mearns' Fundraiser:

Giving Back: NYC Ballerina Raises Funds For Hometown Studio

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Sara Mearns

THE STORY:

Last fall, devastating rains and floods put many communities in South Carolina under water, including my hometown of Columbia, South Carolina, also home to Ann Brodie’s Carolina Ballet. Carolina Ballet is a civic company that has an outstanding reputation for training talented dancers who go on to enjoy celebrated dance careers in both the United States and abroad. Miss Ann was my first ballet teacher at age 3, and my early training with her is where I learned everything about being a performer. She shaped me into the ballerina I am today. 

In the 1990s, my mom Sharon Mearns, her late brother Jeffrey Potter, Thom Jones, then president of the Columbia Music Festival Association (CMFA), and John Whitehead, the current artistic director of the ballet company and executive director of CMFA, found a dilapidated warehouse and completely transformed it into a place that would be a 23,000 square foot cultural arts center known as the CMFA ArtSpace, all through personal funds and sweat equity. Carolina Ballet, founded in cooperation with CMFA, is the resident ballet company with access to two studios, a black box theater, costume shop, warehouse, and props storage.

This ArtSpace has been through a lot, but nothing compared to the damage and devastation last fall during the floods. When I was home visiting over the holidays and I saw the studio damage in person, my heart just broke. The main studio floor and roof were destroyed, along with damage to the warehouse and costume shop. That place houses so many memories for me, seeing it in shambles moved me more than I can say. 

So, I had to do something, and this is where you come in. 

In this day and age, arts organizations, especially civic ballet companies, need all the help we can give. The CMFA and Carolina Ballet boards and staff have been able to bandage the situation so that the ArtSpace can continue to operate as a unique community resource, but there are many more repairs to be done. Every year, 300 students take class there, and the studio presents several full evening productions including Nutcracker and annual recitals. Over 22,500 people use the warehouse ArtsSpace to attend programs every year and it also used for free by non-profits and artists as a community resource.  

It is my turn to give back and I hope you will help me. Any amount is appreciated and tax deductible. The entire ArtSpace community will be so grateful. Thank you for your support of my hometown studio- it is so much more than just a studio to me. It’s where I fell in love with dance. 

With much gratitude,

Sara Mearns

DONATE

To This Fundraiser

$7,080

MONEY RAISED
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  • Anonymous

    $100

  • Elyse Jahnke

    $50

  • Anonymous

    $20

  • Kristine Covillo

     

  • Tim Sutton

    $50

  • Lars Nelson

    $100

  • Beverly Bullock

    $10

  • Nev Schulman

    $250

  • Kelley Hunsicker

     

  • Jim & Barbara Guignard

    $100

  • Marc happel

    $100

  • Kerry Stubbs

    $100

  • Jack Zaleski

    $100

  • Christian

    $100

  • Terrell Rittenhouse

    $100

  • Pamela Cooper

    $500

  • YOUR FRIENDS AT COLE HAAN

    $5,000

  • Miranda Liskov

    $25

  • Melissa Riley

    $50

  • Sarah Henderson

    $100

  • Kim & Alonzo Cox

    $100

  • Michael Cerveris

     

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7% Raised of $100,000 Goal

Fundraise for this Campaign

The Team: $7,080 TOTAL RAISED SO FAR

JOIN THE TEAM

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Donor Comments

Michael Cerveris

Michael Cerveris

In honor of my sister, Mr B, and all the beauty you bring to the world, Sara 11 months ago

Kim & Alonzo Cox

Kim & Alonzo Cox

DONATION: $100

1 year ago

Sarah Henderson

Sarah Henderson

DONATION: $100

Many great memories made in CMFA 1 year ago

Melissa Riley

Melissa Riley

DONATION: $50

Sara, you have so inspired my 9 y.o. daughter by your dancing, perseverance and heart. She just donated on behalf of the studio, so I am donating as well. 1 year ago

Miranda Liskov

Miranda Liskov

DONATION: $25

I feel lucky to have a studio where I ballet, and everyone should have the same opportunity. 1 year ago

YOUR FRIENDS AT COLE HAAN

YOUR FRIENDS AT COLE HAAN

DONATION: $5,000

Sara, we are proud to support your hometown studio. 1 year ago

Pamela Cooper

Pamela Cooper

DONATION: $500

1 year ago

Terrell Rittenhouse

Terrell Rittenhouse

DONATION: $100

1 year ago

Christian

Christian

DONATION: $100

1 year ago

Jack Zaleski

Jack Zaleski

DONATION: $100

1 year ago