Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church Parish Hall
850 Wolcott Avenue (Route 9D)
Beacon, NY 12508
Phone: [+1] 845-838-5454
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National Arts Group Salons

Founded in 1977, the National Arts Group has conducted Salons throughout its history. These are evenings in which ticket holders attend a performance, and then afterward meet the artists who have performed at an informal dinner. The salons are traditionally hosted by individuals involved with and supportive of ongoing arts programming, provided their homes have sufficient space to host such an event. Individuals have sometimes rented a hall in which to hold the salon when the popularity of the event draws more people than can fit easily into their home. It is important, however, that the atmosphere is relaxed and informal. After performing, artists are tired, hungry and just want to sit down, take off their shoes and relax.

Due to Mr. Ludden's long, international career he has many contacts in the world of the performing arts, and is able to have notable guests at the salons. It is very important that the events remain respectful of the guests. They are willing to add a public appearance to a tiring performance day in order to help raise funds for the ongoing operation of the Academy, but are also needing to feel relaxed and at ease. Therefore, autographs will not be signed at the salons. Should patrons desire autographs, the items to be signed, along with instructions for what it should say, will be collected by the Academy representative and a time and place will be set up for this purpose, just not at the salon.

Dame Margot Fonteyn was presented at three Salons, and the Royal Ballet was the subject of two additional ones. These evenings, ticketed attendees were able to sit in the comfort of homes and listen to the stories Fonteyn shared about her experiences on stage and off. The humor of notables like Leslie Edwards, Michael Somes, Gary Grant and others was always a hit when the Royal Salons were held. In addition, Fonteyn herself kicked off an entire season of Salons (1976) on the subject of Swan Lake. She was able to share the extraordinary struggle that ballet had presented in her career, the challenge of it technically, and the dramatic interpretations she developed through the years.

In another Salon with Ballet as a focus, Marcia Haydee of the Stutgart Ballet shared her journey from dancer to director. At that particular Salon, the entire company attended, and a fleet of 28 automobiles, each driven by an attendee, drove the dancers to and from the Salon. To this day, some of the friendships that were formed that night have continued to flourish. Miss Haydee shared her particular concerns for her dancers, and some very intimate discussions between her and individual dancers took place.

Over the years, the Salons became a cherished institution in the cultural life of Washington, DC and New York City. Now they will be moved to Beacon as well.

As a result of these salons, the National Arts Group has been able fund 25 productions in 7 Countries and 6 States of the USA.

Events include:

  • US representation in International Ballroom Dance Competitions (USSR, Italy, Switzerland, Estonia)

  • Production and direction of the Rudolf Nureyev Tribute (Kennedy Center, American Film Institute Theater, Washington, DC)

  • Dame Margot Fonteyn Memorial Services (Saint Matthew's Cathedral, Washington, DC and New York Public Library for the Arts at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts)

  • Educational exchange program between US and Ukraine elementary schools

  • Audience educational events with Stuttgart Ballet, Royal Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Metropolitan Opera, Washington Opera, Opera Milano alla Scala, Philip Glass, and others.

This long tradition now comes to Beacon to support the Margot Fonteyn Academy of Ballet.

To contribute to any of the current MFAB programs or future projects, send your contribution check with the specific program clearly indicated in the memo line. Otherwise, contributions will be accepted for general operating expenses. All contributions are fully tax-deductible.

Please send contribution checks to:


33 Spring Valley Street

Beacon, NY 12508

Make checks payable to:


Educational Branch of the National Arts Group,

formerly Summergate Dance Theater, Inc.


Margot Fonteyn Academy of Ballet. Copyright ©, 1986-2019. All Rights Reserved.