Ford Foundation appoints Lourdes Lopez to board of trustees

Arts / Article

By Michael Bolden, Knight Foundation editorial director

Lourdes Lopez, artistic director of the Miami City Ballet, will serve on the board of trustees for the Ford Foundation, a New York-based nonprofit established by Edsel Ford in 1936. In an announcement, Ford said Lopez is the first artist to join the board.

Lourdes Lopez coaching Miami City Ballet dancers in Apollo. Choreography by George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust. Photo © Daniel Azoulay.

Lopez, who was born in Cuba, grew up in Miami but left to pursue a dance career at the age of 14. She spent 24 years dancing at New York City Ballet under Jerome Robbins and George Balanchine. She retired as a principal dancer in 1997 but continued to work in the arts world, most recently heading the George Balanchine Foundation. She returned to South Florida in 2012 to head Miami City Ballet.

“Lourdes brings a dynamism and creative energy that will enrich and advance the work of the foundation,” Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation, said in a statement. “She shares a deep commitment to social justice and has continually broken barriers in her own life while working to expand opportunity for everyone.”

Ford said trustees, who set policy for the foundation across a range of areas including grantmaking, serve six-year terms. Ford, which has assets of more than $11 billion, has offices around the world and works in all 50 states and more than 50 countries.

In 2012 Knight Foundation endowed Miami City Ballet with $5 million to help expand its repertoire and to commission new works. Susan D. Kronick, a Knight trustee, chairs the board of Miami City Ballet.