Brand shakeup announced by Columbia City Ballet

Penchant for ‘bigger, brighter, and better’ drives change

For 62 years it was known as Columbia City Ballet, an anchor of the eponymous capital city’s arts scene.

Going forward, you can call it South Carolina Ballet.

In a statement, the ballet says the change “underlines its ongoing dedication to making ballet accessible to all while showcasing the state’s cultural vibrancy throughout South Carolina and the national stage through its extensive touring calendar.”

Columbia residents need not fear, according to the ballet, which promises Columbia will remain as the company’s heart as they promote its hometown’s role as a thriving center for the arts.

A similar change occurred decades ago when the Columbia Philharmonic rebranded as the South Carolina Philharmonic, now recognized as an orchestral leader in the state.

“As South Carolina Ballet, our commitment to accessibility remains unwavering,” CEO and Artistic Director William Starrett said. “Many of you know my penchant for things that are bigger, brighter, and better. After 62 years and tremendous popularity throughout South Carolina and the nation, our name has to evolve with the increasing demand for our services. Our expansion has been in no small part due to the enthusiasm of our Columbia audiences, who have actively participated in our growth.”

“Although our name has changed, our core values endure, and we will continue our mission of enriching lives through the art of dance. Our non-profit status underscores our dedication to providing diverse audiences with opportunities to experience the beauty and joy of dance through our performances and educational outreach programs.”

Starrett was a recipient of the South Carolina Governor’s Award for the Arts in 2002 and was featured earlier this year in the SCAC’s retrospective celebrating 50 years of the award on South Carolina ETV. South Carolina Ballet is a long-time recipient of SCAC grants, including its signature General Operating Support grant.

Updates to the ballet company’s website and social media channels to reflect the new brand are forthcoming. The 2023/2024 season begins in October and runs through April.