Gladys Lasky Fund
Gladys Lasky was a ballet teacher, choreographer, dance critic and scholar credited with enhancing culture in Macon in the late 1950s. During the last year of Miss Lasky’s life, when she was critically ill, the Macon Ballet Guild raised $20,000 to preserve her legacy in support of classical ballet. The Gladys Lasky Fund at the Community Foundation of Central Georgia memorializes Lasky’s distinguished career and promotes the study of classical ballet by annually awarding a scholarship to a ballet student to participate in classical ballet instruction or a summer intensive.
Miss Lasky performed in Europe for many years before settling in Macon in 1955. She established her dance studio on Mulberry Street and the Macon Ballet Guild. Through the Guild she produced classical story ballets and invited dance celebrities to perform alongside local students. “She was all about education and the arts, and enriching people’s lives with culture,” says Laura Lengel of Dance Arts Studio in remembering her mentor.
Christopher Crawford received a scholarship from the Gladys Lasky Fund in 2016 to attend a summer intensive at the Boston Ballet, and he wrote a note of thanks describing how he had been “transformed” by the experience afforded him by receiving the Gladys Lasky scholarship. “Thanks to the training and life lessons I learned during the intensive, I walk into my ballet classes with a new mindset and focal point for myself. The intensive not only made me a better dancer but it made me a better person, teacher, student and young adult. Now, I know that I have what it takes to be great and very successful at what I do.”
The money raised sat dormant for many years until the funds were transferred to the Community Foundation of Central Georgia. “I wish we had known about the Foundation sooner,” says fund advisor Patrick Cramer. “The Community Foundation is equipped to handle scholarship funds. They facilitate everything and send us a report of how the funds are awarded and how the students are impacted.” This fund is another example of the power of an endowment. Miss Lasky’s legacy lives on through the students who receive scholarships from the fund.