Verb Ballets, a national repertory dance company based in Cleveland Heights, is planning to expand this year to a larger space in a Shaker Heights church.
The city of Shaker Heights will provide a $10,000 job creation grant to the dance company to facilitate their move to the basement of Christ Episcopal Church on Warrensville Center road. Shaker Heights has recently gained attention for its proactive efforts to recruit new commercial tenants to the city, which has historically had a largely residential tax base.
The grant will be used to defray moving expenses and purchase equipment. Verb Ballets has negotiated a five-year lease with Christ Episcopal Church, where the basement will serve as an office, studio and future black box theatre.
Phase I of the project will include construction of the studio and offices. Verb Ballets anticipates being able to generate additional income from tuitions and rentals to independent artists.
Phase II of the project calls for theatrical lighting equipment, sound board, stage and seating area. This black box space will then be used for Verb Ballets performances, and also leased to other artists for performance use. Verb Ballets expects Phase I to be completed this year. There is no timeline yet for Phase II.
Income tax revenues from Verb Ballets’ new Shaker Heights location are expected to repay the $10,000 job creation grant in a little over two years, according to the city of Shaker Heights.
This season, Verb Ballets will perform at Cleveland Public Theatre and St. Ignatius High School. The dance company has also performed at Cain Park.