The Misty Copeland Foundation

Our vision: In a just world, everyone can experience the beauty and power of dance.

      —The Misty Copeland Foundation

A Year-End Message from Misty

Photo by Sindy Folgar

What an amazing year the Misty Copeland Foundation has had! We celebrated the first year of our signature program, BE BOLD, and through this innovative afterschool dance program, children continue to engage their bodies, hearts, and minds in learning through ballet.      

During 2023 we’ve increased the number of sites where BE BOLD is taught. We are now teaching at 14 sites this fall. We’re not only at the Madison Square and Kipps Bay Boys & Girls Clubs but also at Union Settlement, a YMCA in the Bronx, Harlem Children’s Zone, and a KIPP Infinity Charter School. 

Program Director Sindy Folgar is doing an amazing job managing the partnership with our 14 sites. There are now 15 to 20 students per class and we taught over 400 girls and boys in 2023! Sindy also oversees 30 BE BOLD teaching artists and 10 BE BOLD musicians. One of our goals for 2023 was to increase the number of male teaching artists and we now have five male teaching artists. We already see the effect it’s having on the boys – they feel more comfortable and eager to participate in the program.

We have made significant changes to the BE BOLD framework this year. The Foundation is working with Dr. Gess LeBlanc, who is a co-founder of Hunter’s Urban Center for Assessment, Research, and Evaluation and a child developmental psychologist. Dr. LeBlanc designed our impact study and is conducting research. Dr. Durell Cooper, a DEIA specialist, is working with our teaching artists, musicians, and MCF leadership team. The most significant change to the BE BOLD framework was dividing the classes into two age groups: 5- to 7-year-olds and 8- to 12-year-olds. With this new model, we have seen huge success among all the students.  

Dr. LeBlanc has begun Phase II of the impact study by providing surveys to the teaching artists and musicians. Because the sites are now holding the program for a full school year, he will be able to monitor the progress of BE BOLD and that of the teaching artists, musicians, and students. With this work, we can change the Framework to meet needs in real-time.  

Dr. Cooper is working with the teaching artists to help them understand the life stressors the students face prior to walking through our classroom’s door. He is guiding our teaching artists as they learn how to make a BE BOLD classroom a supportive and nurturing experience, counteracting our students’ worries and cares. The effect of the children’s positive class interactions and activities ripples from the classroom into their homes, schools, and their community. 

2023 has been a truly pivotal year for the Foundation. We look forward to continuing our meaningful collaborations in the coming year. Thank you for your support of our work and for being an integral part of our success.

Best Wishes,



MCF’s Advisory Council Brings Wisdom


Photo by Sindy Folgar

We hosted an Advisory Council Meeting in early December. This included professors and leaders in dance education, Dr. LeBlanc, Dr. Cooper, and the MCF team. It was an incredible day filled with reflections on how far MCF has come since the last time our Council met and the accomplishments achieved due to deepening the BE BOLD Framework. 

Thank you to our Advisory Council members:

Aubrey Lynch

Dean of Faculty and Students Affairs and Co-Director of ABT Education at American Ballet Theatre

Barbara Bashaw

Executive Director, Arnhold Institute, Teachers College, Columbia University

Benjamin Houghton

Executive Director, Broadway for Arts Education, Inc.

Brad Wentworth


Darrell Grand Moultrie


Deborah Damast

Program Director, NYU Dance Education

Ellen Weinstein 

Artistic Director Emerita and Senior Advisor, National Dance Institute

Monica Stephenson

Director of Preparatory Dance at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts

Pamela Levy

Director, ABT/NYU Masters In Ballet Pedagogy Program

Robert Garland

Director, Dance Theatre of Harlem School and resident choreographer

Royce Zackery

Associate Professor, Coordinator of Dance Arts Program, Howard University

Taryn Kaschock Russell 

Founding Director, ArtsOrb

BE BOLD’s First-Year Anniversary


Photos by Cat Trzaskowski

We joyously marked BE BOLD’s first-year anniversary this past September. Our incredible teaching artists and musicians came together to present a BE BOLD demonstration class for our cherished friends and supporters. We are so excited to have reached this significant milestone. Here’s to many more years of creativity, growth, and celebration!

  We Are Grateful For…

Photo by Madison Square Boys & Girls Club

Our amazing teaching artists and musicians and their dedication to creating welcoming classes where kids can feel confident and express their creativity. 

Dr. Gess LeBlanc and Dr. Durell Cooper and their work with our teaching artists and staff to develop culturally responsive teaching and thoughtfully measure program impact.

Our Advisory Council who are instrumental in developing and deepening the BE BOLD Framework and teacher training approaches.  

Our site partners that host BE BOLD and help us to reach the children and families who can most benefit.

The wonderful, amazing, enthusiastic children who are the reason for BE BOLD!

And, last but not least, our generous supporters who have made this all possible.

Your support truly makes a difference! 

The Misty Copeland Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization that raises funds to support its programs. You can help children grow and learn through BE BOLD our innovative afterschool ballet program:

  • $25 will help furnish BE BOLD classroom materials for one class. 
  • $60 will help provide a BE BOLD class with tee shirts
  • $80 will help ensure a BE BOLD class has ballet shoes.
  • $100 will help fund live music accompaniment for a BE BOLD class
  • $150 will help supply BE BOLD books for a class
  • $250 will help support opportunities for BE BOLD students to attend live performances.
  • $600 will help cover teaching artist stipends for BE BOLD training workshops
  • $1,000 will help underwrite the cost of a child’s participation in BE BOLD.