Artistic Director and Co-Founder
Lauren Jonas trained at the Marin Ballet under Maria Vegh and Margaret Swarthout, and then with Sally Streets. She performed with the Milwaukee Ballet, the Oakland Ballet, the Southwest Ballet, and toured the United States with the Moscow Ballet, directed by the Bolshoi Ballet’s Vaslav Gordeyev. Since Diablo Ballet’s premiere in 1994, Ms. Jonas has recruited dancers from around the world to present the finest in contemporary and classical ballets. A firm believer in the need to stimulate the cultural development of future generations, she co-created the Ballet’s PEEK Outreach Program. Ms. Jonas’ awards include the 2005 National Philanthropy Day honor, the 2000 Arts and Culture Commission Award of Contra Costa County, and the1998 Contra Costa County Woman of Achievement Award for the Arts. She has served as an advisor on several non-profit boards, and served on scholarship and dance festival committees. Ms. Jonas has guest taught for various schools and colleges throughout California and nationally. She is the 2014 recipient of the Contra Costa Commission for Women Contributing to the Arts, Hall of Fame award.
This loan is special because:
More about this loan
Diablo Ballet is an internationally recognized professional ballet company, providing world-class for 22 years. Diablo Ballet is committed to enriching, inspiring, and educating children and adults through the art of dance.
Diablo Ballet is invested in Bay Area youth. Based on Board of Education Standards, the Performing Arts Education & Enrichment (PEEK) Program was founded in 1995 to bring in-school movement curriculum to diverse students at Title I schools. Artistic Director Lauren Jonas, PEEK Associate Director Edward Stegge (former dancers), and the professional dancers work directly with under-served students, including those who have attention deficit/learning disorders, autism, or were born with drugs in their system. PEEK is endorsed by Assemblywoman Bonilla, who commended Diablo Ballet for, “Developing students’ creativity, overall well-being, and academic achievement.”
In 2015, Diablo Ballet was thrilled to receive a JUMP StArts grant to launch PEEK Extension in partnership with Martinez Juvenile Hall’s Mt. McKinley School. The Program made a powerful impact among the teenagers, allowing them to express their feelings and experiences through movement – a therapeutic experience.
Diablo Ballet’s purpose is: 1) To make professional-quality dance available to all residents of Contra Costa County and surrounding counties; 2) To support dancers and new works by emerging choreographers in order to further the field of dance; 3) To promote and serve community alliances through working with businesses, schools, and other non-profit organizations to enhance the arts and arts education; 4) To support youth by using the arts to teach in-school lessons of self-esteem, group process, and the joy of artistic expression.
To accomplish these goals, efforts are focused on performances, and the PEEK Program which has reached over 65,000 under-served school children since 1995. The PEEK Program is made possible only through grants, corporate support, and individual contributions. The partnering schools include 60-100% of students receiving free lunch programs.
Please enjoy this video about PEEK: http://diabloballet.org/peek-outreach/
What is the purpose of this loan?
$10,000 will make it possible for Diablo Ballet to add two more partnering schools (reaching 54 more at-risk students) to its PEEK Program – providing in-school creative movement curriculum to under-served children, and increase the PEEK Extension Program residency, which reaches teenage girls incarcerated within the juvenile justice system, to a total of 20 working sessions throughout the 2016-17 season.
$10,000 would support the expansion of Diablo Ballet’s Performing Arts Education and Enrichment for Kids (PEEK) Program, allowing PEEK to add two more partnering Title I schools to its current residencies at five Bay Area schools – reaching 54 more at-risk students. Additionally, the Ballet’s PEEK Extension Program, which reaches teenage girls incarcerated within the juvenile justice system, would be able to increase the number of working sessions with the young women to a total of 20 over the 2016-17 school year. Based on State Board of Education Standards, and endorsed by the California Arts Council, the PEEK and PEEK Extension Programs allow the Diablo Ballet dancers to work hand-in-hand with students, guiding them in using creative movement to express themselves – a life-changing experience for them.
Years in operation: More than 5 years
A loan of $10,000 helps Lauren reach more at-risk, under-served students and girls to inspire through dance.