"We are so lucky that we get to work in an environment that is creative and new and challenging and pushing boundaries."

Birute Barodicaite emigrated to Chicago from Lithuania when she was five years old. She learned Lithuanian folk dances and studied ballet with Richard Ellis, Christine DuBoulay Ellis, and Larry Long. She performed with the Chicago Ballet and the Lyric Opera Ballet and has staged Ruth Page’s Nutcracker. Birute is the Ballet Mistress for the Ruth Page Civic Ballet and teaches at Lou Conte Dance Studio and Ruth Page Center for the Arts.

Patricia Barretto, CEO Harris Theater for Music and Dance, portrait

"It was truly the guts, the determination, the tenacity of some brilliant women in this city who realized the need to create a home like that for these companies."

"I take this as a responsibility and a challenge to make sure that I'm mentoring the smart, intelligent, brave women who are going to be the next generation of arts leaders."