Grand Rapids Ballet receives $1M gift


Peter Melvin Wege. Photo via

A local philanthropist has left one more gift to the Grand Rapids Ballet.

The ballet said yesterday that it has received a $1 million endowment from the estate of Peter Melvin Wege.

Wege, a big supporter of Grand Rapids and its arts, culture and environment, died in July at 94.

“Peter M. Wege was a true blessing to our organization and the community at large and will always hold a special place in our hearts,” said Glenn Del Vecchio, executive director, Grand Rapids Ballet. “We are honored to receive such a monumental contribution from Mr. Wege. His generous donation will contribute to Grand Rapids Ballet’s continued growth and further our mission of lifting the human spirit through the art of dance for years to come.”

The Grand Rapids Ballet will kick off its 2014-2015 season with a party on Sept. 13, which will celebrate the life and support of Peter M. Wege.

Ballet benefactor

Wege was a major financial supporter of the Grand Rapids Ballet during his life, including the ballet’s LEED-certified Meijer-Royce Center for Dance and the Peter M. Wege Theatre.

The theatre opened in 2007 and was named after Wege’s father, Peter Martin Wege, the founder of Steelcase.

Wege was also a supporter of "The Nutcracker" production and offered performances of "The Nutcracker" to Grand Rapids Public Schools free of charge. 

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