The arts bring people together. And if you’re lucky, it can lead you to the love of your life. Jacquie and Kyle Ward both grew up in musical households and eventually fell in love via their mutual passion for the arts and music. Now, the duo wants to give the gift of the arts to future generations through their legacy gift commitment.
Every child deserves to take center stage
“I was that kid that would invite my friends over for sleepovers with their instruments,” Jacquie laughs.
Music and dance are a part of who Jacquie is. She is trained in piano, guitar, clarinet, saxophone, and enjoyed learning others for fun. She grew up taking and competing in various forms of dance, but ballet was always her favorite one.
Kyle played trumpet in a jazz band and sang in show choir. The high school sweethearts happily supported each other through countless dance and music competitions.
The duo continued to share their love for the performing arts together long after graduation, eventually coming across Kansas City Ballet’s young professional group BARRE KC.
“You often see avid lovers of the arts drop off from supporting the arts because at a young person’s point in life, you must prioritize your dollar. BARRE was an entry point for us, and we believe it encourages supporters and attendees to dip their toe in and then hopefully stay for life,” Jacquie says.
Not only does BARRE KC provide an opportunity for early-career individuals to connect through the arts, but it also encourages philanthropy. “BARRE KC supports the Reach Out And Dance program to eliminate any barriers for kids to express themselves,” Jacquie shares. “Arts and music got me through a lot of good and bad times. It’s important that this next generation has that opportunity too.”
The Reach Out and Dance Program (R.O.A.D.) is a nationally recognized dance residency program offered in schools throughout the Kansas City metro, teaching students about live music and the fundamentals of dance: space, time, effort, self-discipline, and cooperative learning.
“R.O.A.D. is great because it introduces ballet at a young age. I think sometimes there’s this perception that it’s reserved for a specific demographic, but that’s not true,” Jacquie says.
Encouraging students of all backgrounds to see themselves on stage is something both Jacquie and Kyle are passionate about – and it led them to making a legacy gift commitment with Kansas City Ballet.
Planning for the future
When Jacquie and Kyle first came to Kansas City, the best resource they could give was their time. Now, they’re able to support KCB with BOTH their time and a gift for the future. “I want to help instill a love for ballet in kids from a young age. I hope 20-50 years from now we have a diverse audience and a broad group of people that can come and enjoy the ballet,” Jacquie says.
Jacquie loves to plan for the future. She created her will in her early 20’s just to get ahead of the game. She believes in a 70-30 policy: 70% dedicated to family and the other 30% dedicated to giving back to the community.
“Muhammad Ali said that ‘service is how you pay for your time on this earth’ and the Ballet was an obvious choice for us,” Jacquie said. “I think if you can give, I think it’s important for you to do. To me, it’s part of being a good human.”
You can support the arts for generations to come
Jacquie and Kyle’s dedication to supporting and uplifting the arts in Kansas City helps others discover the lasting impact the arts can have.
If you are considering a gift in your estate plan to the Kansas City Ballet, now is a great time to let us know by joining the Legacy Challenge! The Muriel McBrien Kauffman Family Foundation has pledged $100,000 in current funds to the Kansas City Ballet City Ballet’s Endowment when 10 new legacy intentions are documented.
Creating a Legacy can be as simple as just a few words in your will or trust. Additionally, designating KCB as a beneficiary of your retirement plans, IRAs, life insurance, and donor advised funds, is as easy as filling out a form with your account administrator.
We honor those who wish to make a Legacy commitment as members of the Tatiana Dokoudovska Legacy Society. By becoming a member, you join a distinguished group of people who share the determination, vision, and grace of the Ballet’s founder.
We would gladly assist you with ways to make a gift that is meaningful to you and has a lasting impact for Kansas City Ballet. Please contact Director of Gift Planning, Rebecca Zandarski, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 816.216.5612.