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Ballet Palm Beach Ticket Giveaway: The Nutcracker

Posted by on Thursday, December 9th, 2021 at 9:27am.

Ballet Palm Beach Gives Away 600 Tickets For This Weekend's Performance of 'The Nutcracker'

Ballet Palm Beach is donating more than  600 tickets to this weekend's performance of "The Nutcracker" at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts.

The ballet company is reaching out to nonprofit organizations and programs, which will then distribute the tickets to families in Palm Beach County. The groups include: Community Partners, El Sol, For the Children Inc., Habitat for Humanity of Palm Beach County, Little Smiles, Milagro Center, Pandora’s Kids, Place of Hope, Speak Up for Kids of Palm Beach County Inc., The Lord's Place, Vita Nova Inc., Families First of Palm Beach County, Friends of Foster Children, and the West Palm Beach Parks & Recreation Department.

"The Nutcracker" is a perfect first ballet for young children to experience, according to Colleen Smith, the executive and artistic director of Ballet Palm Beach. Smith said that becomes clear before the dancing even begins.

"The music is so recognizable — all children have heard this music, and already, they are lit up,” she said. When the curtain finally opens and the spectacular set is revealed, the children are in awe, ready to be transported into the Christmas Eve story of Marie and her nutcracker.

Smith describes the experience in the theater as a give and take between the performers and the audience, and it is one all children and families should experience. “If it is done well, it is magical.”

Beth Zigler, volunteer recruiter with Palm Beach County Guardian ad Litem Program, explains that the 94 tickets they got are for the children as well as the volunteers, foster parents, and relative or non-relative caregivers who will accompany them.

“Our children have already been through a traumatic experience, so this is an amazing experience they can share,” said Zigler. “These children have never been to a show — or their family members have never had an experience like this. We are grateful for the overwhelming generosity during this time of giving.”

Children in the Guardian ad Litem program have been removed from their homes because of abuse, abandonment or neglect, and their parents are working toward reunification. With a Guardian ad Litem volunteer advocating for their best interest, a child is half as likely to languish in the foster care and child welfare system and more likely to find a safe, permanent home.

Zigler understands the significance that one special experience can have in a child's life.

“Exposing children to art gives them a whole new world — something they may never have known about.”

Amy Mauser, chief development officer of Habitat for Humanity of Palm Beach County, is anticipating 150 tickets will be distributed to Habitat for Humanity homeowner families.

“When we build a home with a family, we welcome them into the Habitat family for as long as they own their home,” Mauser said. “This is an excellent way for us to remind them of that and for us to continue celebrating the holiday season with these families, many of whom we’ve known for a very long time.”

For many families, one of the challenges they have is a lack of exposure to the world beyond their own poverty, Mauser said. Attending a performance, such as this, is a way to increase their exposure to art and culture, she said, adding “It’s wonderful to play a part in that and expand the reach of the cultural partners in our community.”

Ballet Palm Beach has offered free performances for Palm Beach County's school children throughout their many seasons. But Smith points out that attending a performance with family is different as it becomes a memory to cherish for years to come.

“We are incredibly proud to make it possible for children and families who would otherwise be unable to afford it, to attend this magical holiday tradition,” says Smith. “We don’t deserve to be in the community if we aren’t serving the community.”

The Nutcracker will be performed on Saturday and Sunday. For tickets, visit or call the Kravis Center box office at 561-832-7469 or 800-572-8471. New health and safety requirements can be found on

Article By: Donna, Murray of The Palm Beach Post

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