It is with great excitement that we introduce you to Joan and Mack Schwing, longtime champions for the arts, who have generously put forth a $50,000 matching gift challenge. Hear about what inspires them to give and how they see the role of the arts in our community.
Joan & Mack Schwing
What sparked your passion and commitment to ensuring the arts thrive?
We both fell in love with classical music when we were young children through our school systems. We realize that in today’s world, few schools are able to offer students the level of musical education that we had in our schools. We want to ensure that there are open avenues for students and adults to experience and learn about the arts because it has added much enjoyment to our lives through the years.
Why do you give to arts and specifically Ballet Arizona?
We have been involved with enough arts organizations to know that they cannot survive without contributions from the community. Ticket sales are never enough to begin to cover the costs of the arts organization. We specifically give to Ballet Arizona because we were so pleased to find out, when we moved here in 2013, that this level of artistry of dance existed in the Valley. Ballet is really our passion among all the art forms because it takes our love of classical music and adds another dimension to it that is always beautiful to watch.
How do you see the role of the arts in our communities?
We believe that the arts are a necessary part of our communities to keep us all human. They help connect us to others and to our emotions. They give us a way to express ourselves and for others to express themselves. The arts are also a very useful tool to integrate into teaching at all levels and in all disciplines. It can help students comprehend issues and also helps them remember history when they can connect it to music, dance, or acting.
In this difficult time, that none of us could have foreseen, the arts must continue to thrive to help us see the beauty in life and transport us to another world if only for a short time. For that to happen, Ballet Arizona needs our support more than ever.
What ballets or contemporary works have inspired you the most?
We are especially fond of contemporary ballets. We love George Balanchine’s ballets but also love seeing new works come to the stage. One of our favorites was Ib Andersen’s Eroica, which Ballet Arizona performed at Desert Botanical Garden in 2019.
Jillian Barrell and Nayon Iovino in Ib Andersen’s “Eroica” at Desert Botanical Garden. Photo by Alexander Iziliaev.