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The California Ballet Company Points to Social Media Campaign

Above: A ballerina leaps during a production of The California Ballet Company's "The Nutcracker."

It’s no secret that social media revolution is steadily afoot. Now, the California Ballet Company is implementing an Obama-esque online campaign in the hopes of reviving their 2010-2011 budget – and saving the ballet’s 43rd season.

Yes, Culture Lust readers, you heard right: this just might be the first Christmas without “The Nutcracker.”

“(The campaign) was encouraged by my younger staffers,” explains Director and Founder Maxine Mahon, who’s just getting comfortable with the online tools, which include Twitter, Facebook’s Causes App, a blog, and Network for Good, an online donation aggregator, to raise funds. “They keep telling me it will be ok.”

A YouTube account will also chronicle the musings of CA Ballet members on the subject, including dancers, creative directors, and then some.

As of 2:45 p.m. today, $6,810 is in the bank.

The campaign arose after the company took a blow from the economic recession, which have seriously hampered the donations a lot of non-profits rely on for funding, says Mahon.

Though the California Ballet Company is considered a local stalwart, boasting more than 40 years in San Diego and an international roster of stars, it, like many arts programs, relies on private donations to stay afloat.

In 2007, the ballet’s budget was around $1.3 million. This year, it faces slipping below the one million mark – something that could mean the demise of the company’s many educational outreach programs, as well as its much-cherished productions of “Swan Lake” and, yes, “The Nutcracker.”

Mahon says that if the campaign, which aims to raise $225,000 by April 13, doesn’t pan out, the company will approach one of their donors to bridge the gap. Though their participation, she says, isn’t guaranteed.

“The problem with running an arts program is that you never know what your budget will be,” says Mahon. “We never know how much donors will be willing to provide.”

"You have to run on blind faith sometimes," she adds.

Faith may be blind, but as for the viral public? Fingers crossed, we'll have to wait and see.

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