Alejandra Duque Cifuentes, Executive Director
Alejandra Duque Cifuentes is an immigrant, activist, artist, producer, and educator. With more than 10 years of production and stage management experience in theatre and dance, she has toured nationally and internationally with Zaccho Dance Theatre, Bandaloop, Dancing in The Streets, The Foundry Theatre, and Columbia University School of the Arts, among others. As a teaching artist, Ms. Duque Cifuentes taught children and adults of all ages how to express themselves through theatre and movement practice in over 100 New York City public schools and through community theatre programs. In 2011 she founded Theatre That Transcends, which taught local, underserved communities how to express themselves and address community issues through the art of theatre. As an activist, she plays an integral part in advancing a more equitable arts and cultural ecology by working on measures to increase access, justice, equity, and inclusion within dance for disabled artists, immigrant artists, and artists of color in the five boroughs of New York City. Ms. Duque Cifuentes serves as a board member of Nonprofit New York, New Yorkers for Culture and Arts and part of the Leadership Council at Creatives Rebuild New York. She is a member of the National Association for Latino Arts and Culture, the Children Museum of Manhattan's Dance Portal Advisory Board, and Eva Yaa Asantewaa's Curatorial Advisory Team at Gibney, and is an advisor for the Latinx Artists Retreat, an annual convening for Latinx cultural producers across all artistic disciplines and fields. In April 2021, Alejandra was mentioned as Crain's New York Business, Notable in Non-Profits & Philanthropy. She was born in Medellín, Colombia, and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Drama and Theatre Arts from Columbia University School of General Studies.
Brinda Guha, Symposium Coordinator
Brinda Guha identifies as a non-disabled, caste-privileged, cisgender and queer South-Asian American, and is a trained Indian Classical Kathak dancer for over 20 years and has traveled throughout USA and to India, England, and Spain to perform. During training and performing for years in the Kathak (Malabika Guha) & Manipuri (Kalavati Devi) dance disciplines, as well as Flamenco (Carmen de las Cuevas; Dionisia Garcia) and Contemporary Fusion vocabularies, she co-founded Kalamandir Dance Company in 2010 based in the vocabulary of #ContemporaryIndian. This name is currently under review. Through Kalamandir, Brinda choreographed for many national stages, the North American Bengali Conference at Madison Square Garden, and self-produced and choreographed original feature-length dance productions which earned her artist residencies at Dixon Place (2018) and Dancewave (2019) to continue to develop work. Now, she is represented by CESD Talent Agency and is pursuing artistic direction, performance and arts education. She continues to train in Kathak, Manipuri, YorchhA? (est. Ananya Chatterjee), and Contemporary. Brinda also dances with dynamic percussive trio Soles of Duende, featuring Flamenco (Arielle Rosales), Tap (Amanda Castro), and Kathak. Her dream of having art meet activism was realized when she created WISE FRUIT NYC, a seasonal live arts installment (est 2017) dedicated to the feminine divine and honoring select women-led organizations. Between live installments, Wise Fruit NYC functions as a community-led space for beginner tools in social justice. For her day job, she works as the Symposium Coordinator for dance service organization based in the values of justice, equity & inclusion: Dance/NYC.
Candace Thompson-Zachery, Senior Manager of Programming and Justice Initiatives
Born in Trinidad and Tobago, now local to Brooklyn, NY, operates between the spheres of dance, cultural production and fitness and wellness, with a focus on the Contemporary Caribbean. She has had an established career as a performer, choreographer, fitness professional, cultural producer, teaching artist, community facilitator and Caribbean dance specialist. In addition to her work in these areas, she leads ContempoCaribe, an ongoing choreography and performance project and is the founder of Dance Caribbean COLLECTIVE, an organisational platform for Caribbean dance in the diaspora that spearheads the New Traditions Festival in Brooklyn, NY. She graduated from Adelphi University's BFA program for Dance, and has presented, performed and taught at major venues including: Queen's Hall (T&T), John F. Kennedy Center, New York Live Arts, Brooklyn Museum, and The Ohio State University. She was an inaugural member of the Dancing While Black Fellowship Cohort 2015/2016, was an awardee of Adelphi University's 2017 - 10 Under 10 program, and a Dixon Place Artist-in-Residence for fall 2017. As a cultural producer and strategist, Candace has worked with the Dance and Performance Institute of Trinidad and Tobago, WIADCA (NY), Sydnie L. Mosley Dances, Renegade Performance Group, and curator Claire Tancons, for the 2019 Sharjah Biennial. Ms. Thompson-Zachery holds an M.A. in Performance Curation from the ICCP program at Wesleyan University and a certificate from the Executive Program in Arts & Culture Strategy at UPenn. with National Arts Strategies. Of tantamount importance to her is the vital role dance plays in our communities and she is eager to see dance artists of various styles, practices and traditions thrive in New York City.
Caridad Kinsella, Grantmaking Assistant
Caridad is an Irish-Cuban American studying Digital Technology and Emerging Media at Fordham University. They are a queer, non-binary person, and are passionate about queer activism and racial justice. Caridad is a National Hispanic Merit Scholar and an alumnus of the National Hispanic Scholarship Fund's Youth Leadership Program. They have a background in theater and costuming, having worked as part of The Theater Offence's Youth Troupe. Caridad feels strongly about making the art industry a more welcoming and just place for everyone. When they're not studying or working, they enjoy reading and eating chocolate.
Francis Madi Cerrada, Grantmaking Assistant
Francis Madi Cerrada is an immigrant, writer, producer, public speaker and consultant. Her scope of professional work includes community organizing, research, project management, content creation, campaign coordination and storytelling. She is a 2019 National Urban Fellow. Non-Profit/Government experience: New York Immigration Coalition, Arab American Association of NY, Houston Health Department, South Bronx Rising Together, Herstory Writers Workshop, Restaurant Workers Community Foundation and the Hispanic Federation. Campaign experience: the Dream Act, Immigration Reform NOW, Green Light NY, and many others. Creative Practice: Playwriting, poetry, as well as co-hosting & producing La Arepa y El Taco Podcast.
Gregory Youdan, Research & Advocacy Coordinator
Gregory Youdan Jr. works at the intersection of dance, science, health and advocacy for various communities in NYC. He identifies as a gay, latinx, non-disabled, cisgender Dominican American. As a dancer, he toured domestically and internationally with the NY Baroque Dance Company, Sokolow Theatre/Dance and Heidi Latsky dance, where he now serves as a board member. Other company credits have included David Parker and the Bang Group, HT Chen and Dancers, Catherine Gallant/DANCE, Gloria Mclean and Dancers among others. Greg lectures on dance science and at several universities, including Columbia University, NYU, University of Rochester. He has presented scientific research at various academic conferences, including the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine and the International Society for Posture and Gait Research as well as published in academic journals. Greg is a certified Pilates teacher, having trained under several second-generation teachers. He continues to teach workshops for Pilates teachers based in movement science. Greg is a graduate of the dance program at Hofstra University. He holds masters degrees in motor learning/motor control and applied statistics from Teachers College, Columbia University. Aside from his work life, Greg is an avid foodie and enjoys traveling. He lives in Manhattan with his partner and their three cats. photo credit: Diana Kapatos
Izzy Dow, Programs Coordinator
Specializing in the visual and performing arts, Izzy's breadth of experience ranges from working as a K-12 educator to developing and producing events and performances. Over the course of her career, Izzy has coordinated hundreds of events for various cultural institutions, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, Artists Space, Bard Graduate Center, The Artist's Institute at Hunter College, the Chicago History Museum, and the Art Institute of Chicago. Prior to joining Dance/NYC, she produced a year-long series of performances for the Museum of Modern Art's 2019-2020 reopening season.
Izzy holds a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with concentrations in Visual Art and Art History and a certification in K-12 Art Education. Outside of her professional work, she enjoys biking, camping, sewing, making ceramics, and indulging in all things vintage.
Jenna Purcell, Grantmaking Assistant
Jenna Purcell is a performer and arts administrator from the San Francisco Bay Area. As a dancer, she has performed with Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Tandy Beal & Company, Donofrio Dance Company, Andrew Schneider, Anne Zuerner, Caitlin Dutton-Reaver, and Lindsey Hanson, among others. She was also a long-time cast member of Third Rail Projects' Bessie Award-winning production Then She Fell, where she also served as Rehearsal Director.
As an arts administrator, Jenna has worked with Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, Brooklyn Academy of Music, RIOULT Dance NY, Chashama, Project 44, and Mare Nostrum Elements, with a special interest in institutional giving and grantmaking. She holds a BA in Modern Literature from UC Santa Cruz. Outside of her professional work, she enjoys reading, journaling, hiking, camping, traveling, and gluten-free baking.
Kirsten Reynolds, Grantmaking Manager
Kirsten Reynolds is passionate about the arts and advancing the field of dance. As a dance artist and choreographer, Kirsten has worked with several companies including: Rachel Thorne Germond Performance Collage, Ninja Ballet, insert dance company title here, Regina Opera Company, Salvatore LaRussa Dance Theater, 7 Midnights Physical Research, Golden Hour Dance and Nuo Spiritual Art Foundation. She is also a teacher and studio manager with Petite Performers Williamsburg. As an arts administrator, Kirsten cultivated the archives of the Stephen Petronio Company and supports the programming of 7 Midnights Physical Research and insert dance company title here. Kirsten is a graduate of Texas Christian University where she earned BFA degrees in Ballet and Modern Dance and is proud to be working with Dance/NYC as an organization that centers values of justice, equity and inclusion.
Kyle Rudnick, Operations Manager
Kyle is of German and Puerto Rican descent, second generation, and identifies as someone with dyslexia and auditory processing disorder. A stage actor by trade, he has been working in a multi-disciplinary arts environment as an administrator for over a decade. Kyle graduated from the Virginia Commonwealth University with a B.S. in Business Management and moved shortly afterwards to Upstate NY, where he spent time working for institutions such as the Glimmerglass Festival and Bard College SummerScape Festival. During university and residency in Upstate, Kyle managed financials and operations for Purely Pets, a worldwide holistic animal supplement wholesaler. Upon moving to NYC, he continued a career as an arts administrator, having worked with New York City Opera, Valentina Kozlova Dance Conservatory of New York and the Princess Grace Foundation - USA. On film, Kyle has most recently been seen in Crossing Rivers, which is set to be featured in the Toronto and Barcelona International Film Festivals later this year. His active role in theatrical improvisation and film production has deepened his knowledge as an artist. Aside from the arts, Kyle is strongly passionate about travel, food, hiking and cycling. He peacefully resides with his partner on Roosevelt Island (Minnehanonck Island, land of the Lenape).
Njeri Rutherford, Administrative Assistant
Njeri Rutherford is a dance artist, arts administrator, scholar, and entrepreneur from Detroit, MI. After receiving her B.A. in Dance and Communication Arts from Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, NC. Njeri relocated to New York City to pursue her career as an artist where she discovered her zeal for arts administration and gained experience in development and fundraising through her work at Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, The Yard, Ephrat Aesherie Dance, and Movement Research. Njeri has danced professionally for Davalois Fearon Dance, Dance The Yard, The Wanda Project, and O'Toole and Dancers. She has choreographed and performed in many notable venues including Charlotte Dance Festival, Dixon Place, and BRIC. She is the owner of The Barre, an artist services company whose mission is to bridge the gap between Black and artists of color and proper funding, resources, and notoriety. Njeri is currently an MFA candidate the University of Michigan where she is pursuing her Masters in Dance.
Sarah Cecilia Bukowski, Administrative Assistant
Sarah Cecilia Bukowski is a dancer, writer, and community activist. She identifies as a nondisabled, queer, mixed heritage Latinx cisgender woman. Sarah discovered her love for dance at the age of three and hasn't stopped dancing since. Her sixteen-year professional performing career stretches from New York City to the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond, moving between classical and contemporary ballet, modern dance, performance art, film, and multidisciplinary collaborations. Writing follows Sarah as a parallel passion throughout her life, and she currently writes about issues of cultural equity and social justice both as a freelancer and as Writer in Residence for Amy Seiwert's Imagery, a contemporary ballet company based in San Francisco. As a community activist, Sarah is an active member of Dance Artists' National Collective and the American Guild of Musical Artists, where she advocates for dancers' rights as workers. She is passionate about engaging communities in conversation and crafting transformative change through arts activism. Sarah is currently studying dance and anthropology at Columbia University School of General Studies. Outside of school and work, she can be found reading, writing, dancing, swimming, or tending to her jungle of houseplants.
Vicki Capote, Senior Manager of Development
Vicki Capote is a multidisciplinary artist and fundraiser committed to building a more accessible, equitable, and inclusive arts ecosystem. She was born and raised in New York City and has more than 15 years of experience as a singer, actor, and stage manager in the performing arts field. Vicki is passionate about utilizing art as a vehicle for social change, civic engagement, and self-actualization. Prior to joining Dance/NYC, she worked as the Development Manager at A Blade of Grass, where she advocated and secured resources for socially engaged artists nationwide. Vicki has also worked as the Director of Development & Communications at ARTs East New York, where she co-created initiatives for community-centered placemaking and emerging socially engaged artists.
She holds a B.A. in Arts Management and Applied Performance from Hampshire College and is an alum of the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institutes' Innovative Cultural Advocacy Fellowship. Outside of work, Vicki enjoys hiking, crafting, and drawing.
James H. Monroe, Designer/Strategist Consultant
Monroe&Co is a New York City-based strategy and design studio that creates branding, websites, and print publications for non-profits, arts organizations, and growing businesses. Principal James Monroe has 15 years of experience designing and leading design projects. He is passionate about helping others learn and grow while remaining mindful of society and the environment. He believes it is important that even organizations with limited resources have access to effective communication design.
Jovanka Ciares, Executive Consultant
Jovanka Ciares is a former entertainment executive turned freelance project manager and director of operations. She is also a certified wellness coach and clinical herbalist. With over 7 years of experience in business consulting and strategy, project management & team building. She has managed the launch of 2 startups, worked as interim Chief-of-Staff & COO & managed product launches for herself and high-profile clients. Her consulting projects include partnerships with Corporations like Facebook, BRAVA Investments, Coca-Cola, Chase & non-profits like The Adelante Movement and Take The Lead Women. As an Executive at EMI Music, Jovanka managed a team of 19 and was responsible for generating over $20 million dollars/year in revenue. She became one of the youngest VP's in a company of over 2,000 employees worldwide and worked in projects with brands like Hallmark, Hasbro, Kodak and Mattel.
Michelle Tabnick, Public Relations Consultant
Michelle Tabnick PR is a full-service public relations firm specializing in the arts. The company creates PR strategies with the goals of promoting the client's brand image, building ticket sales, and reaching target audiences, with specific focus on integrated marketing campaigns. Photo credit: Christopher Duggan
Rila Group , Data Analytics Consultant
Rila Group is committed to providing exceptional research and analytics services to businesses and non-profit organizations. Our skills and experience help us deliver insight and impact for clients through a wide range of flexible support models, providing ad hoc and ongoing analytics solutions. In partnership with our clients we can identify and capture the most value and meaningful insights from data and turn it into competitive advantages. As a fully technology agnostic firm we are able to work with our clients' preferred technologies and platforms. We strive to be the first choice for any company interested in gathering and utilizing data related to their operations.
Rosemary Reyes, Grant Writing Consultant
Rosemary earned her B.A.'s in both International Studies and Communications from Loyola University Chicago (summa cum laude), her MSc in Global Media and Communications from the London School of Economics (merit), and her M.A. in Journalism from Fudan University in Shanghai, China where she also worked as a columnist for the Shanghai Daily. She worked as Manager of Global Initiatives at The Juilliard School in New York, spearheading international satellite programs in Mexico City, Northern China, and Brazil. She then honed her writing practice as Managing Editor and Development Manager at the contemporary art publication, Pelican Bomb, in New Orleans. Upon her return to her native New York City, Reyes led the Building Community Capacity Initiative in Southeast Queens in partnership with the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation and the Department of Cultural Affairs of NYC. Reyes currently works in New York City as an independent consultant specializing in grant writing, qualitative research, communications, justice, equity, and inclusion best practices, and community engagement. She worked as the Qualitative Analyst for the NYC Mayoral Commission on City Art, Monuments, and Markers and was the In-House Writer and Press Consultant for Performa 17. Her past clients also include: Randall’s Island Park Alliance, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, Vera Institute, Queens Council of the Arts, A Blade of Grass, Ascendant Neighborhood Development, The Shelley and Donald Rubin Foundation, and Xavier University. In addition to being an institutional consultant, Reyes is a certified reiki practitioner, shamanic practitioner, visual artist, and DJ. She is Co-Founder of SoulShifting Retreats, an eco-spiritual global community of conscious evolutionaries working with cross-cultural indigenous technologies in service to a shared vision of a peacefully evolving Earth, clean waters, healthy land, and liberated souls.
Equal Employment Opportunity
Dance/NYC provides equal employment opportunity without regard to race, color, sex, age, disability, religion, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, ancestry, political belief or activity, or status as a veteran. The policy applies to all areas of employment, including recruitment, hiring, training and development, promotion, transfer, termination, layoff, compensation benefits, social and recreational programs, and all other conditions and privileges of employment in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local laws. It is the policy of Dance/NYC to comply with all the relevant and applicable provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Dance/NYC does not discriminate against any qualified Employees or job applicants with respect to any terms, privileges, or conditions of employment because of a person’s physical or mental disability. Dance/NYC makes reasonable accommodation wherever necessary for all Employees or applicants with disabilities, provided that the individual is otherwise qualified to safely perform the duties and assignments connected with the job and provided that any accommodations made do not require significant difficulty or expense.
Photography: Jo Chiang Photography: www.picturedbyjochiang.com