Last night’s superb Yo-Yo Ma concert at the historic Greek Theatre was dedicated to the memory of Earl F. “Budd” Cheit, the Founding Chair of Cal Performances’ Board of Trustees.

Earl F. Cheit (August 5, 1926–August 2, 2014), an unabashed advocate for the essential importance of the performing arts, was former Executive Vice Chancellor of UC Berkeley, Dean and Professor Emeritus at the Haas School of Business, and Founding Chair of Cal Performances’ Board of Trustees.

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Dean Cheit, or “Budd,” as he was known to friends and colleagues, joined the business school in 1957 and stayed until retiring in 1991. While there, he served as dean twice (1976–1982, 1990–1991) and presided over the school’s growth and modernization. He was a pioneer in the study and teaching of the impact of business on society.

Budd held key roles at UC Berkeley, including as Executive Vice Chancellor (1965–1969), Athletic Director (1993–1994), and Trustee of the University of California Berkeley Foundation. He also served as Vice President of Financial and Business Management for the University of California system in 1981–1982.

Soon after his faculty appointment in 1957, Budd, a man of wide interests, added the performing arts to his numerous activities, first as a performer, then as sponsor, and for almost four decades as volunteer. He even played cornet in the Faculty Dixieland Band.

Budd Cheit’s long association with Cal Performances began prior to the opening of Zellerbach Hall in 1968. During its construction, he created and chaired the Zellerbach Hall Policy Board, which developed a budget for the new facility and oversaw its use. In 1996, he was named Founding Chair of Cal Performances’ first Board of Trustees, and he continued to serve on the Board for the rest of his life. In 2010, Budd received Cal Performances Award of Distinction in the Performing Arts for his steadfast advocacy for and support of the performing arts, and his transformative impact on Cal Performances.

Matías Tarnopolsky, Cal Performances’ Executive and Artistic Director, says that: “Budd had an incredible capacity to bring together the visionary and the practical, with his unabashed advocacy for quality, and for the essential importance of the performing arts. His voice at Cal Performances’ board and committee meetings would often be the last heard, and importantly so—summing up the issues in an artistic, historical, and economic context which simply made sense, and showed us all a clear path to the future. This clarity of thought and ambitious vision, when combined with his enthusiasm and sheer enjoyment of the performances that he and June attended—they rarely missed any—was a powerful combination. 


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“I will never forget his delight at sitting on stage with the Takács Quartet as they serenaded him on the occasion of his receiving the Cal Performances Award of Distinction in 2010. Above all, Budd’s infinitely warm and compassionate personality is an example to us all: He always would put you at ease and have time to talk and reflect—a rare and essential gift. Budd was a dear friend and wonderful mentor, and we miss him deeply.”

More information about Budd Cheit’s life and work may be found at the Berkeley NewsCenter.

AileyCamp Week 6: The End of AileyCamp 2014

imageAfter an unforgettably fun and challenging six weeks, the final day of camp came like the blink of an eye. After meeting with each instructor on Friday morning, the campers had a graduation ceremony. In addition, we also awarded four Most Outstanding Campers:image

Sofia C. Dower

imageDemetri Freemanimage

Amyah Molina

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Miya Wandera

We ended the day with a celebration lunch for all of the campers and their families. With good food and great company, the campers thoroughly enjoyed their final moments as AileyCampers. Luckily for them, this is not goodbye; we’ll be seeing them at our reunions in the upcoming year! We wish everyone a restful rest of their summer and good luck into their school year. And remember: keep on dancing!imageimage

AileyCamp Week 5: Rehearsals

imageCampers prepare for their dress rehearsal and wait in costume.

Week 5 of AileyCamp marks a transition in the summer. Campers have now taken dance technique classes for almost a whole month; the remaining two weeks are dedicated to creating the final performance. Each group is assigned one dance style from ballet, jazz, modern, and West African. In addition, every camper performs repertory from the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater including Memoria and Wade in the Water.
imageJazz instructor Rosario Lionudakis works with campers from Group A.imageBobbie Brown rehearses her poem on the microphone.

AileyCamp Week 4: Talent Show

Auditions are tough and tense, and here at AileyCamp, we like to balance our work with a lot of fun. This means it’s time for the Talent Show!imageKelsei Cobbs shows off her dance movesimageMestewal Thomas graces the stage with her flute soloimageDavid McAllister pours out his heart in song

Our campers courageously shared their wide range of talents; only a few might had wanted to take the stage, but everybody supported each other with applause and cheers. Week 4 has officially ended, and there are only 2 more weeks left of AileyCamp!

AileyCamp Week 4: Auditions

imageModern Instructor Mr. Derrick Minter teaching audition choreography.

Week 4 marks the end of our technique classes and the transition to rehearsals for our final performance. Campers participate in an audition process; for many of them, it is their first audition experience.

imageimageCampers are given a number to pin on their front and back. Our instructors teach choreography, and the campers have a few rounds to practice the movement. The campers then perform the choreography in small groups; finally, the staff calls a few numbers, referring to the campers who were selected to perform the choreography a final time in a “callback.”imageThough many of the campers are nervous, they support each other through the tough moments. They watch the process attentively and applaud after every round. Only a few dancers will be selected for featured roles, but it takes the combined effort and support of the whole AileyCamp 2014 family to create a performance over one short summer.

AileyCamp Week 4: Guest Artist Robert Dekkers

imageRobert Dekkers, founder and artistic director of Post:Ballet, taught a partnering workshop for our AileyCampers this week. Here are a few pictures of our campers practicing lifts and bonding with each other.imageHermes Ramos (left) and Demetri Freeman (right)imageNgalifourou Matingou (left) and Ciearra Mathis (right)imageSofia Dower (left) and Tehya Ruiz (right)

AileyCamp Week 4: The Final Creative Communications Class

imageWelcome to Week 4 of the Berkeley/Oakland AileyCamp. This week is a major turning point of the summer because it is our final week of classes before we move into our rehearsal period.

Ms. Ishkabibble (Ms. Érika Padilla-Morales) offered a closing ceremony for her Creative Communications class, as well as tokens of appreciation for each camper. We will certainly miss the visual art and creative space that Ms. Ishkabibble has shared with us this summer!image

AileyCamp Week 3: Swimming Field Trip

imageThe bay area may not always provide your typical sunny Californian summers, but the sun decided to make an appearance just in time for the Berkeley/Oakland AileyCamp’s swimming field trip. imageEvery camper had the chance to enjoy the cool water on their skin, even if they decided not to swim! imageThe swimming field trip was a great way to unwind after a long week of dance classes and workshops with National AileyCamp Director Nasha Thomas-Schmitt. However, let’s congratulate our campers for making it to the halfway mark of AileyCamp! Three week done, and three more to go. Next week, we start our final week of technique classes and start planning our Final Performance.image

AileyCamp Week 3: Guest Artist

Nasha Thomas-Schmitt, the National AileyCamp Director, spent two days in Zellerbach Hall teaching our campers choreography for our Final Performance. Here are a few pictures of her working with the Berkeley/Oakland AileyCamp:image

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AileyCamp Week 3: What do you like most about dance?

image"It’s a way to express myself, and it’s related to music" - Amir Weksler

image"Dancing allows me to get out of my comfort zone" - Tayari Henry