The Emily List Fund for Performing Arts Therapy has been established by Emily's family to honor her memory as an actor, a dancer, a reviewer and a lover of the performing arts. The Fund will be used to support theater, dance and music projects aimed at helping the sick and disadvantaged in the interest of making their lives better and brighter through the performing arts.

Grant Recipients


Amherst BalletAmherst Ballet Theatre Co. received a grant to partner with the Springfield Boys & Girls Club to introduce ballet to an underserved, inner-city population.      

ABT Director Sueann Townsend taught five ballet classes involving more than 30 children aged 8 to 13 in 2015 at the Boys & Girls Club. This grant will be used to expand the program to two classes twice each week in a new studio equipped with barres, flooring and mirrors, which was built with a grant from Lowes.

Sueann said many children in Springfield count on the B&GC to provide them with a safe environment for extracurricular activities. The grant will help provide “a new and creative outlet for these youths, many of whom have no arts exposure.”

Ballet training, she said is “a vehicle by which we teach discipline, focus, taking directions, accepting corrections, and giving young people confidence to not only perform but to become responsible citizens and leaders who are supportive of the arts.”

Emily was both a dancer and an instructor at ABT, so it seems especially appropriate that one of her grants supports this work.