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In Memory ...

An image of dancer Libby Komaiko with her face half hidden by a lace folding fan

Dame Libby Komaiko created and founded the Ensemble Español in 1976. After performing for the University community in 1974, in accompaniment with concert pianist and mother, Dorothy Komaiko, she became the University’s artist in residence. Two years later she created the Ensemble with five Northeastern students. Today the company trains and houses 43 dancers. Dame Libby passed away on Feb. 2, 2019. She inspired and changed the lives of countless dancers, students, and Spanish dance aficionados.

To honor her legacy and memory, the Ensemble has renamed its fund The Dame Libby Komaiko Legacy Fund for Ensemble Español. The fund will support the same initiatives that meant so much to Dame Libby and will ensure that her wish for the Ensemble to continue to bring the passion of Spanish dance to all will be honored.

Your contributions will continue to support:

  • Establishing the company as a full-time professional performance and teaching company 

  • Supporting the Youth Company, apprentices, scholarship and endowment programs

  • The American Spanish Dance and Music Festival, featuring world-renowned artists and musicians

  • Production of the annual Holiday Family Concerts at Northeastern Illinois University

  • Increasing the educational programming of the company

  • and much more!

We did it!

The Ensemble Español has reached its campaign goal of $1.5 million two months prior to the June 30, 2019, deadline! Our sincere thanks to you!

The Caerus Foundation Growth Grant awarded $500,000 to the Ensemble in 2016 with the challenge to raise an additional $500,000 over three years ending on June 30, 2019. Our goal was reached two months ahead of schedule. The Ensemble was then awarded a final $500,000, for a total of $1.5 million! Olé!

Click the photo below to watch Ensemble Español's campaign promo video:

Female dancers in red dresses raise open yellow fans

With these vital funds, Ensemble Español is poised to expand arts education programming, hire full-time dancers, increase audiences and stabilize the company for the next 40 years.

      Click the photo below to view Ensemble Español's Meet the Artists video:

      One male and 10 female dancers strike a pose on a stage lit with blue lighting 

        For more information on our donor programs and sponsorships and how you can help, please contact Kimberly Grigsby, Development Manager for Ensemble Español (773) 620-6046 or

        Thank you for your gift and your generosity!