Document Type

Case Study

Publication Date



D. David Brown; Denise Bolstad; Peter Horvitz; Jane McConnell


Susan Kunimatsu


In the fall of 2001, Pacific Northwest Ballet (PNB) School’s Eastside location was bursting at the seams. PNB leadership had been looking for a new location to accommodate growing enrollment, but the right location proved difficult to find and the company was in the midst of a huge capital campaign to build Marion Oliver McCaw Hall at Seattle Center. Yet when a former Gold’s Gym suddenly became available, PNB School leapt at the opportunity, taking on the challenge to simultaneously raise $5.5 million dollars and build a new state-of-the-art dance school, eventually named the Francia Russell Center (FRC), to serve the Eastside community. They overcame significant challenges to build a school that met both their own needs and those of the community, in just one year. A story emerges of Kent Stowell and Francia Russell’s singular vision to provide the same excellence in dance education to the Eastside that existed in Seattle. This vision, supported by a strong board, experienced staff leadership, and a demographic market ripe for expansion, was key to the project’s success.

Organization or Event

Pacific Northwest Ballet

Form of Entity


Area of Activity

Producer, Presenter, Arts Education

Artistic Discipline