Chita Rivera and The Art Attack Foundation have joined forces to create the Graciela Danielle Dance Scholarship, which will be offered to dancers aged 14 to 20 of all disciplines beginning February 2022. Funding for the program includes initial donations from LA Dance Magic and Broadway Dance Center.
"Graciela Daniele has cared about others her entire life and has left an indelible mark on the theatre, having mentored, directed, and taught so many," shares Tony winner Rivera, who is chairperson of the board of directors of AAF. "This is a small way to pay tribute to my amazing friend and to pass it on. There is no one who deserves this honor more than Graciela. Who knows—we might be training the next artist to follow in her steps. No one would love that more than Grazie."
Rivera first worked alongside Daniele in the original company of Chicago, with Rivera creating the role of Velma Kelly and Daniele the original Hunyak. Rivera would go on to be choreographed by Daniele on Broadway in The Rink and The Visit, and Daniele choreographed and directed Rivera's retrospective solo show The Dancer's Life as well.
"I’m moved and forever thankful for this honor, better than any award," says Daniele, who is set to return to Broadway next year staging the new musical Paradise Square. "This is what I want to do now in my long-lived life, to help and inspire young people, as I was years ago—to study, work hard, and finally make their dreams a beautiful and fulfilling reality."
Earlier this year, Daniele was honored with a Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement at the 74th annual ceremony.
Donations to the Graciela Daniele Dance Scholarship Fund can be made at ArtAttackFoundation.org, where applications for the scholarship will be available beginning February 2022.