Pacific Northwest Ballet announced last week that it received a $1 million gift from the Friday Foundation.

With the gift, PNB created a new endowment, the  Jane Lang Davis New Works Fund. According to a press release, annual income from the invested fund will be used in perpetuity to provide support for one new ballet each season, as well as to support PNB’s New Works initiative, including workshops for emerging artists.

PNB established the Pacific Northwest Ballet Foundation in 1998 to receive endowment gifts and bequests. PNB Foundation is a separate entity and is governed by its own board. 

“The Pacific Northwest Foundation is honored to receive this transformational gift from the Friday Foundation establishing the Jane Lang Davis New Works Fund,” said Peter A. Horvitz, chairman of the PNB Foundation Board of Trustees in the press release. “Richard E. Lang and Jane Lang Davis loved Seattle and their philanthropy enriched the cultural life of our city for decades. Jane Lang Davis loved ballet and through her passion and determination Pacific Northwest Ballet was born. Jane was an enthusiastic supporter of PNB throughout her life and had a particular love for new works. New choreography is the lifeblood of ballet, so it is of great importance that the Friday Foundation’s generous gift has endowed the Jane Lang Davis New Works Fund and that beginning this season, and for many years to come, the Jane Lang Davis New Works will be performed by PNB on the McCaw Hall stage, celebrating the legacy of Jane Lang Davis and her devotion to Seattle and her beloved Pacific Northwest Ballet.”

The first dance artist to benefit from this gift will be choreographer Penny Saunders, whose debut work for PNB will be financed in part by the new fund, with additional support provided by a gift from Seattle dance philanthropist Glenn Kawasaki. The as-yet-untitled ballet will have its world premiere Nov. 12 during PNB’s  2020-21 digital season.

According to the release, Lang Davis was instrumental in the formation of Pacific Northwest Ballet as a founding member of the organization and remained a life-long supporter, trustee and cheerleader for the company.

The Friday Foundation is dedicated to supporting arts organizations following the passion and philanthropy of Jane Lang Davis and Richard E. Lang during their lifetimes.

The Friday Foundation also awarded a $1.5 million grant to the Seattle Symphony. The funds will establish the Richard E. Lang and Jane Lang Davis Living Music Program. According to a press release, the funds will directly support Seattle Symphony initiatives that “foster cultural exchange and awareness through ambitious and innovative programming.”

Each season, The Richard E. Lang and Jane Lang Davis Living Music Program “will be tied to a specific concert that features an emerging artist, a work by a living composer or an iconic modernist work that has reshaped symphonic repertoire in a fundamental way,” according to the press release.