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The Kennesaw State University Department of Dance has received a $541,000 gift that will enable the school to bring in two guest choreographers in residence each summer to create world premieres.

The Eleo Pomare-Glenn Conner Dance Endowment is funded by a gift from Jay and Debra Yunek. The fund honors their late uncle, Glenn Conner, and his partner, Eleo Pomare, who passed away in 2008 and was known for developing innovative choreography that deals with social inequality and injustice.

“We are grateful to the Yuneks for their generous donation,” Ivan Pulinkala, dean of the College of Arts and founder of KSU’s dance program, said in a press release. “The KSU Choreographic Residency will help support the careers of emerging choreographers nationally and give our students a unique experience of collaborating with professionals in the field.”

The residency will provide each choreographer with a $6,000 honorarium during the four-week term, as well as a budget to produce an original work. Students will also audition for the opportunity to work with one of the choreographers. Both works will be presented in the KSU Dance Theater.

A screening committee of university and community professionals will annually review the work of emerging choreographers from a national pool of applicants to select the two choreographers in residence.

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