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Classical 101

Remembering Cheri Mitchell

Cheri Mitchell
Cheri Mitchell

Cheri Mitchell had a lot going for her. She'd been embedded in Columbus's arts community for over 20 years. She ran CATCO and she ran Ballet Met. She was smart as hell. She was a warm and generous person. She was gorgeous.

Cheri was killed yesterday while out jogging near her home in Granville.

I'm a mess.

Edwaard Liang, Artistic Director of Ballet Met emailed of "shock" and appreciated prayers for the Company.  

A Ballet Met board member buddy was leaving his office to go to the dance studio "just to be there." Tim Feran of the Dispatch called to cry and rant. The random waste is most shocking.

I saw Cheri a few days ago. She had retired from Ballet Met to go back and finish a Ph.D. She was in great form. Smart and beautiful.

I was not a close friend and I don't claim to know her well. She was my guest on All Sides Weekend plenty of times over the years. She bravely tolerated the old 'Arts Unscripted' segments I did with Barbara Zuck for 10 years.

Cheri was always a pithy and warm hearted interview subject and she saw to it that Ballet Met's dancers were as well. With the exception of one guest choreographer who shall be nameless, and Cheri and I made faces behind his back.

Recently I had some family difficulties the dealing of which required easy parking in downtown Columbus for weeks and long waits in the car. I didn't want my wife sitting for hours waiting at a parking meter on Cleveland Avenue or stuck in a garage. Gingerly, I asked Cheri if some accommodation-for money-could be made in the Ballet Met parking lot.

It was done the next day. Parking passes, offers of coffee, tea and sympathy. Cheri extended herself to people she didn't know because I asked for help and she wouldn't take a dime. I know there are many, many reasons that Cheri has earned her place in heaven, though far too soon. But I'm part of one of them. Godspeed, dear lady.