Cincinnati Ballet Announces Departures of Artistic Director and CEO in Quick Succession

Less than a week after the departure of artistic director Jodie Gates, the ballet said its president and CEO is moving on too.

click to enlarge Cincinnati Ballet dancers rehearsing February performance of Alice (In Wonderland). - Photo:
Cincinnati Ballet dancers rehearsing February performance of Alice (In Wonderland).

In less than a week, the Cincinnati Ballet has announced the departures of two leaders within the organization.

On Friday, Sept. 22, the ballet announced artistic director Jodie Gates had departed the organization to pursue other opportunities, calling it a “mutual decision.”

“The entire Board of Trustees is grateful for Jodie’s artistic impact on the 2023-2024 season and wish her the best in her future endeavors,” Board of Trustees chair Joel Stone said in a press release.

“It has been an honor to program the 60th anniversary season and I am proud of the work we have done together to ensure the artistic growth of the company and the academy,” Gates, who was also the artistic director of the Otto M. Budig Academy, said in the release. “However, at this time, I wish to focus on choreographic projects, staging, and teaching. I sincerely thank the Board of Trustees, the artistic and administrative staff, the patrons, and the extraordinary dancers for an enriching experience.”

Following Gates’ departure, the board appointed rehearsal director and former Cincinnati Ballet principal dancer Cervilio Miguel Amador as the interim artistic director.

And on Thursday, the ballet announced president and CEO Scott Altman would be leaving the organization at the end of the year. Altman joined Cincinnati Ballet in August 2016 and will be leaving to become president and CEO of Los Angeles Master Chorale in January.

Chair of the Cincinnati Ballet Foundation Deborah S. Brant will take over Altman’s role as the interim president and CEO.

“We thank Scott for his incredible leadership during a period of monumental growth and transformation at Cincinnati Ballet,” said Stone in a separate press release. “From the construction of an iconic new home to the implementation of record-setting operating budgets, Scott had led Cincinnati Ballet to unprecedented new heights. We wish him well in the future and look forward to collaborating with our colleague Debbie Brant as interim president and CEO. For many years, Debbie has fostered a deep and meaningful relationship with Cincinnati Ballet and has been one of the organization’s biggest supporters. This is a natural step for Debbie and the organization.”

In the release, Altman said he was confident in Cincinnati Ballet's stability and said it was a good time to hand over leadership and move to the next phase of his journey.

“I want to thank the amazing Cincinnati Ballet team for their dedication, innovation, and creativity. I applaud the board for choosing Debbie as my interim successor. Debbie is a thoughtful and capable leader with a passion for the art form, who is already deeply committed to the success of Cincinnati Ballet. I will be working closely with Debbie and the Board of Trustees over the next three months to ensure a seamless transition.”

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About The Author

Katherine Barrier

Katherine Barrier is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati’s journalism program and has nearly 10 years of experience reporting local and national news as a digital journalist. At CityBeat, she oversees the digital and social media strategies, edits web and print content and writes for the dining and arts...
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