Sue Ann and Dick Fagerberg have a long history with Kansas City Ballet. It was the 80s when Sue Ann joined the Kansas City Ballet Guild.
Sue Ann Fagerberg grew up loving dance. “For me, like many little girls, ballet was always an interest. When I was in 1st or 2nd grade my mother signed me up for lessons. I took lessons until my senior year of high school,” Sue Ann remembers. “I lived in Paola, just south of Kansas City, and took lessons there and in Olathe. I was enthralled by every bit of it.”
Dick had some high school experience with the arts through musical theatre at Shawnee Mission East, but his real interest in ballet began when he met Sue Ann.
Getting Involved with the Ballet
The couple moved to Kansas City in the mid-70s. Sue Ann’s interest in the Kansas City Ballet began when Todd Bolender became artistic director in 1981. “The availability of a live performances with professional dancers was so exciting,” she says. Her participation in the Ballet Guild at that time, brought her to performances and soon enough Dick joined her. Once there, they were hooked. “Ballet, in particular, stimulates many senses of the imagination,“ Sue Ann says. “We had the rare privilege to get to know Todd. Those are special memories,” she adds.
“Today, watching ballet is like night and day from what I did,” she chuckles. “But it enhanced my appreciation of what I see now. I enjoy the artistic talent and the escape from everyday life. I’ve watched the recent New Moves episodes, all of them, and some more than once. I think it is a wonderful idea that I hope continues.”
True to his roots, Dick appreciates the story ballets like Tom Sawyer-a ballet in 3 acts, The Wizard of Oz, Cinderella, and more.
A Plan for Support
The Fagerbergs believe in using a balanced approach to their philanthropy by supporting the arts as well as, education, human needs, and historic preservation. “Life needs all of these,” Sue Ann says. “Every year we volunteer to work the Guild’s Boutique at performances of The Nutcracker. It is such a thrill to see the really young kids dressed up and smiling with joy at what they have just seen on stage,“ Dick says.
The pair are particularly grateful for live music at performances so they made an endowment gift to Kansas City Ballet to preserve live music at performances in the future.
Hopes for the Future of KC Ballet
“Our hope is that there is continuity and growth for the organization, including more productions,” Dick states. They would also like to see more invitations for the Company to tour. The last tour was in 2017 when KC Ballet was invited to perform Devon Carney’s Nutcracker at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
Closer to home, Dick says he hopes the Ballet continues to provide enriching experiences for all—a break from everyday life issues. He believes enjoying a performance of great beauty, art, music, and athleticism energizes the soul.
Because of the Ballet, the two have developed numerous friendships over the years and have the chance to experience many behind-the-scenes and education events. Sue Ann says, “on the selfish side, it’s been a lot of fun.”
Dick states, “Our hope is for the audience to continue to grow and recognize the treasure they have in KC Ballet. Performances are a big part of our lives, personally. We are looking forward to attending events this fall.”
What are You Passionate About?
To make a gift that is meaningful to you and makes a lasting impact for Kansas City Ballet, please contact Director of Gift Planning Rebecca Zandarski at 816.216.5597 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Top photograph by Larry F. Levenson