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Mrs. Byrd

A Celebration of the Life of Laurie Picinich Byrd:
Community Event to Take Place October 26 at the Florida Theatre

The historic Florida Theatre will be the site of a celebration of the life and work of Laurie Picinich Byrd later this month, leaders of the organizations announced today. The event will include tributes and music, along with performances by some of Byrd’s former students.

“The response to Laurie’s passing has been tremendous,” said Florida Ballet President Suzanne Jenkins. “This amazing woman touched many lives and hearts, and this celebration will be a chance to honor her incredible contributions. We are grateful to the Florida Theatre for generously providing a venue for the community to come together.”

“Laurie Byrd was a tireless advocate for the arts in our community,” Numa Saisselin said. “While dance was her chosen art form, she was always one of the first to support the work of others. We are honored to be able to host this event at the Florida Theatre.”

WHO: All Are Welcome

WHAT: A Celebration of the Life of Laurie Picinich Byrd

WHEN: Oct. 26, 2014
3:00 p.m.

WHERE: The Florida Theatre
128 E. Forsyth St.
Jacksonville, FL 32202


Statement from the Board of The Florida Ballet
Regarding the Loss of Laurie Picinich Byrd

“With deep sorrow, the members of the Board of The Florida Ballet today mark the passing of our founding director, Laurie Picinich Byrd,” said Suzanne Jenkins, President. “Laurie’s vision and commitment to ballet, and to her students and dancers, was always foremost in her life. Her dedication to dance and to the arts in general was evident in everything she did.”

“Laurie’s life and work touched countless people in our community and supported the dreams of countless young dancers. Her love of the art form, her commitment to excellence and her tireless work to educate and inspire made a difference for her students and dancers and for Jacksonville. Although she will be dearly missed, Laurie’s legacy of performance and education will continue in the work of The Florida Ballet and Conservatory.”

Quotes from other board members:
“Laurie was a unique combination of grace, talent and determination. Her drive and creativity made The Florida Ballet one of the most respected dance organizations in the southeast. Her smile will be missed.” – Marc Sellers, Immediate Past President

“Laurie was my mentor, teacher and friend. I knew her for half of my life and saw her raise countless students as if they were her own children. She was truly an amazing woman who put everyone and the city of Jacksonville before herself. She was a pioneer for the true art of ballet here. She will forever be in my heart and I know she is dancing free with her true love, Michael, now.” – Denise Chislett, Board Member

Laurie’s inspiration, talent and discipline has propelled many young dancers to a successful career in dance. Her achievements are known throughout the world. Laurie exuded love: love for her family, love for dance and the arts, love for the community, love for her staff, and love for her students. Her legacy will live on for many years through the lives she has touched and The Florida Ballet.” – Leila LeVan, Board Member

“I feel truly blessed to have had the opportunity to work with Laurie Picinich-Bryd. She was a true educator, mentor and artist, an inspiration to us all.”
Linda Reifsnyder Jenkins, Artistic Director