As a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, NFB is highly regarded for providing world-class ballet performances, training students in the art of dance, and reaching out into our community through our educational endeavors. In many ways, this depth showcases NFB as a cultural mosaic arranged to represent the best of the Emerald Coast.
From the facility in downtown Fort Walton Beach where we train our students to the local family attending a ballet performance for the first time, we recognize that every facet of who we are as an organization is part of this mosaic. Through the people, the places and their stories the NFB mosaic takes shape and provides an incomparable cultural experience.
NFB Mission Statement:
The Northwest Florida Ballet’s mission is to provide premiere professional performances, provide an enhanced arts curriculum within the framework of a public school education, identify and develop dancers through exceptional training, and increase community engagement via outreach.
NFB Vision Statement:
The Northwest Florida Ballet strives to provide a premiere arts education and classical ballet experience that enriches the lives of the Northwest Florida community.
NFB by The Numbers:
- 385,000 patrons at 444 main stage productions
- 58,000 patrons at 71 free outdoor performances
- 20,000 children at 90 lecture-demonstrations in Okaloosa and Walton counties
- 2,820 local children as performers in The Nutcracker for 37 consecutive years
- 10,000 special needs children and young adults at exclusive performances tailored to their needs
- 250 students taught weekly in evening school dance classes
- 12 professional dancers employed
- $1,000,000 economic impact on downtown Fort Walton Beach community
- 156 students annually enrolled in the NFB Academie in grades 3rd-8th with 15 years as an A+ school in the Okaloosa County Public School District
- 13,000 square foot Sybil Smith Lebhertz Center for Dance Education houses NFB’s primary dance studios, a fully equipped Pilates studio, administrative offices, academic classrooms, costume shop and storage
- 3,500 square foot Studio Annex serves as a large studio and is used mainly by the growing Pre Professional High School Program
Indigenous Land Acknowledgement
NFB is located near a key site of the Fort Walton culture (1200-1500), associated with the widespread Mississippian Tradition of the Southeast. The Mississippians constructed large ‘temple’ mounds in central communities across the Southeastern states on the Gulf Coast, serving populations scattered along rivers and bays. The Temple Mound Museum in Fort Walton is one such center.
During the historical period, the descendant Mississippian people are represented by confederations of tribes speaking various Muskogean languages. The precise group connections among the Muskogean inhabitants of the region are difficult to state with certainty. However, the early historic Fort Walton people appear generally to have been connected to Western Muskogean speakers. These people ultimately became affiliated with the Choctaw Confederacy in Alabama and Mississippi after moving west under pressure from the Creek Confederacy of Eastern Muskogeans in the 18th century. The Creek population was itself fleeing encroachment by Europeans in Georgia. After the forced removal of the Creek people to Oklahoma after 1829, a few isolated Creek families remained in the region. These families remained unaffiliated with a tribal group until the late 20th century.
In 1974, the State of Florida created the Northwest Florida Creek Indian Council, now known as the Muscogee Nation of Florida, though the group did not receive federal recognition as a tribe. However, some of the Florida families are on the tribal rolls of the Poarch Band of Eastern Creeks, located near Atmore, Alabama.
Mississippian Culture: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mississippian_culture
Muscogee Nation of Florida: http://www.mnoffl.com/history5.html
Poarch Creek Indians: https://pci-nsn.gov/wordpress/
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