Sunday, February 28, 2016

Dance/NYC Symposium 2016 - Participant Bios


AYElET DANIELLE ALDOUBY, Partner & Artist HR IDEASxLab, Special Projects curator - Residency Unlimited, a NYC public art organization. She has curated public art projects commissioned by Alliance for Downtown NY, DDC, MTA and developers (Silverstein Properties, Time Equities Inc) under “Re:Construction” a public art initiative. As an independent curator, Aldouby’s has organized exhibitions at the Kennedy Center for the Arts, International Artists’ Museum with “Poles Apart, Poles together” and “Divine in Tent” at the 51st and 52nd Venice Biennales and Documenta (Kassel), at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design (Jerusalem) as well as the Orensanz Foundation (NYC), Yeshiva University Museum (NYC) and Mizel Museum in Denver (CO). As Special projects curator at Residency Unlimited (RU), Aldouby provides artists’ support for development of projects initiated during the residency. Aldouby oversaw the curatorial management of Xlerate Art funded by the NEA 2014 “Our Town” grant. As IDEASxLaB Curator at large and artists’ HR, Aldouby focuses on collaborating with artists to explore their artistic process and become civic and corporate innovators. As such she curates art projects in Healthcare, Advanced Manufacturing, eCommerce and Vocational Education (STEM to STEAM). Her current project in Smoketown Louisville KY, will collaborate with artists to become agents of health. Aldouby holds a BA from Boston University, an MA in Art market and Gallery Administration from FIT and is currently working on PhD candidacy proposal in Art Education. Aldouby is a great believer in the impact of the artistic process on the community and beyond and the ability of artists to become agents of change.

JODY GOTTFRIED ARNHOLD is a dance educator, advocate, and the Founder of Dance Education Laboratory (DEL) at 92Y. Ms. Arnhold has also taught dance in NYC public schools for over 20 years. She is the Executive Producer of the documentary, PS DANCE! Dance Education in Public Schools, created to raise awareness and advocate for her mission, Dance For Every Child. Jody serves on the Advisory Committee for Arts Education at New York City Department Of Education and is Co-Chair of the Committee that created the Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in Dance K-12. She is on the Board at 92Y, Hunter College, Ballet Hispanico, Harkness Foundation for Dance, and on the Advisory Committee of Dance/NYC. Jody has received the National Dance Education Organization’s Visionary Award, Teachers College Distinguished Alumni Award, and was honored by the NYC Arts in Education Roundtable. She recently received the New York State Dance Education Association 2015 Outstanding Leadership Award. Jody holds a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, an M.A. in Dance Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and is a Certified Movement Analyst.

MARIA BAUMAN is a dance artist and community organizer. She founded MBDance in 2007, based on her sense of physical and emotional power, desire for equity, and fascination with intimacy and relationship. Bauman brings the same tenets to organizing to undo racism in the arts and beyond with ACRE (Artists Co-creating Real Equity), the body she co-founded with Sarita Covington and Nathan Trice. ACRE is a grassroots collective of artists whom Bauman brings together monthly to decolonize individually internalized practices of white hierarchy, and to strengthen education and accountability around racial inequity in arts funding, education, curation, casting, community engagement, and audience development. In New York, Bauman’s MBDance has been showcased at SummerStage NYC, Harlem Stage, Dixon Place, 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Center, the Kumble Theater, the Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance (BAAD!), St. Mark’s Danspace, WOW Café Theater, BRICstudios, and DTW (now NY Live Arts). In addition, Bauman and MBDance have shared work across the U.S. and in Singapore. She was awarded 2014 and 2015 CUNY Dance Initiative residencies for her Attend Me, inspired by Audre Lorde's love poetry, and was recently Artist-in-Residence at Virginia Commonwealth University. Among other honors, she has also received a 2013 NY Foundation for the Arts Emerging Arts Leaders Award, and 2012-13 and 2009-10 Harlem Stage Fund for New Work via The Jerome Foundation. She was with Urban Bush Women (UBW) for eight seasons, originating several roles and recently serving as Associate Artistic Director. With Jawole Zollar, Bauman created UBW’s BOLD (Builders, Organizers, and Leaders through Dance) education and community engagement initiative. She continues to work closely with UBW as a consultant, BOLD facilitator, and Summer Leadership Institute faculty member.

JAMIE BENSON, a not-for-profit marketing/development professional since 2007, is known for doubling an organization's subscribership, inspiring charitable giving, and facilitating high-profile press coverage. Working for companies like Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Noel Pointer Foundation, Highways Performance Space and Trent and Company Public Relations, Jamie's successes include grant awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Brooklyn Arts Council, New York State Council on the Arts, and New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, as well as media coverage from The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Dance Magazine, Dance Spirit Magazine, NY 1 News, PIX 11 News, and more. Learn more at

CAMILLE A. BROWN is recognized for her daring yet introspective approach to cultural themes through masterful storytelling and political dialogues. She is the Artistic Director of Camille A. Brown & Dancers, Choreographer of A Streetcar Named Desire (2012), Fortress of Solitude (The Public Theater, Lucille Lortel Award Nominee for Choreography), Stagger Lee (DTC), Katori Hall’s BLOOD QUILT (Arena Stage), Jonathan Larson’s tick, tick...BOOM! (City Center’s Encores!) starring Lin-Manuel Miranda, Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale (Regional), Marcus Gardley’s The BOX: A Black Comedy, and GALOIS at the New Ohio Theatre. Camille is a 2015 Doris Duke Artist Award Recipient, 2015 TED Fellow, 2014 Bessie Award Winner for “Outstanding Production” (Mr. TOL E. RAncE), two-time Princess Grace Award Winner (Choreography & Works in Progress Residency), and has received several other accolades, awards and grants for her work. She has been commissioned by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (2 works), Phiadanco!, Urban Bush Women and Complexions, among others. In 2014, Camille founded two initiatives: The Gathering, an annual open forum for intergenerational Black female artists to advocate for greater cultural equity and acknowledgement in the contemporary dance world; and BLACK GIRL SPECTRUM, a multi-faceted community engagement initiative that seeks to amplify the cultural and creative empowerment of Black girls and women through dance, dialogue, and popular education tools. This past summer, Camille co-directed The School of Jacob’s Pillow’s new program, Social Dances: Jazz to Hip Hop, with Moncell Durden. Camille was featured on the cover of the 2015 August edition of Dance Teacher Magazine. For a full biography on Camille A. Brown please visit

ANNA BOTELHO The daughter of a music teacher, Anna Botelho has been involved in all the arts since early childhood. After graduating from Yale with a degree in music, Anna taught, competed, and performed worldwide in ballroom dancing. She branched into teaching hip hop, Latin, and Bollywood in the corporate fitness setting, especially at Google. Eventually, she founded and managed the dance program at Google (The Danceplex). She enjoyed growing the dance program from a few classes to 36 classes per week in styles from ballet to bhangra to breakdancing. She is currently working on building the GoogleArts program to meet all Googler's creative needs through visual and performing arts. Anna is fascinated by creating and growing programs, and specializes in creative marketing, user research, and new content to grow a community by 10x. 

CHRISTINE BRUNO, Disability Advocate, comes to Inclusion in the Arts with a varied background as an actor, director and coach. She has represented Inclusion in the Arts at symposiums, forums, panels, resource events and radio outlets across the country and internationally at film and arts festivals, and serves as the organization’s representative on the Broadway League Diversity Committee. A proud member of AEA and SAG-AFTRA, Christine is the Chair of the New York Local SAG-AFTRA PWD Committee, served as the 2011 Co-Chair of the I AM PWD global civil rights campaign and is a member of the SAG-AFTRA National Committee for Performers with Disabilities and the Actors’ Equity EEO Committee. She holds an MFA in Acting and Directing from the New School, is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Skidmore College and is a member of the Actors Studio. As a performer and director, Christine has worked nationally and internationally in theatre, television and film, including Law & Order and the SXSW-nominated feature This is Where We Live. She most recently appeared in Jose Rivera’s adaptation of Genet’s The Maids at New York’s INTAR Theatre; toured England in the world-premiere musical, The Ugly Girl, and completed filming on the upcoming independent feature, Flatbush Luck.

VICTOR CALISE While riding a mountain bike in Forest Park in 1994, Victor sustained a spinal cord injury that left him in a wheelchair and without the use of his legs.Victor embraced this challenge.  He got involved with disabled sports through United Spinal Association, and took up the sport of sled hockey.  His dedication to the sport would take him to Japan in 1998 where he represented the United States on the sled hockey team in the Paralympics.In 1997, he began working with United Spinal Association as Recreation Coordinator. He was promoted up the ranks until he reached the title of Director of Sports Marketing. In October of 2006, Victor took on a new challenge, joining the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation as ADA Coordinator.The New York City parks system is a historic collection of properties, most of which were designed and built prior to accessibility requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  While at Parks, Victor coordinated an effort, worked on by staff at all levels, to improve compliance with the ADA agency-wide.  Additionally, Victor was tasked with preparing a transition plan to increase accessibility in the city's parks, beaches, recreation centers and other facilities. In June 2012, Victor was appointed the Commissioner for the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.  In Victor's new role he advises the Mayor on issues affecting disabled residents of, and visitors to, the city. He functions as a liaison between the disabled community and City government by working to connect disabled residents and visitors with the services they need.  While acting as the disability policy advisor to city agencies and the Administration, Victor's other responsibilities include:  working to spearhead projects, partnerships and initiatives that better the lives of people with disabilities; advocate for the passage of legislation that will help the disabled community; and acting as the Chair of the Accessibility portion of the 2008 NYC Building Code revision process.Victor currently lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with his wife and two children.

KEIRA CHANG Keira Heu-Jwyn Chang has spent many years trying to unite her seemingly divergent passions for the performing arts and technology. She worked at the Association of Performing Arts Presenters and City Center Theater followed by a brief stint in venture capital. Chang has served as Executive Director of two dance companies: KUNST-STOFF and currently the stellar Kate Weare Company. She also works as a freelance photographer, graphic designer, and web developer.

ANANYA CHATTERJEA A leading voice in Contemporary Indian dance, Ananya Chatterjea is a choreographer, dancer, and thinker who envisions her work as a "call to action" with a particular focus on women artists of color. Recently lauded for her “strong fierce, Odissi based” work (1/12/15 by Dance Magazine’s Wendy Perron, she is the Artistic Director of Ananya Dance Theatre ( The company’s work, described as “people powered dances of transformation,” proceeds both through concert performances and through participatory performances in non-traditional spaces, where audiences become co-creators of movement explorations with the dancers. Ananya is the recipient of a 2012 McKnight Choreography Fellowship and a 2011 Guggenheim Choreography Fellowship. Her most recent work Roktim was described as being characterized by “cohesive, precise movement vocabulary” and a “unique aesthetic” that “found a fresh liveliness in the agriculture sweatshop nightmare” (Star Tribune, 9/20/15). Ananya toured this work recently on a State Department funded tour to Ethiopia, and presented Roktim as the Keynote Performance at the Crossing Boundaries Festival in Addis Ababa, at the National Theater. She is Professor of Dance at the University of Minnesota, where she teaches courses on Dance Studies and technique. Ananya is vitally interested in discourses of dance and is currently writing her second book, Heat, contestations in line, about re-framing understandings of Contemporary Dance from the perspective of dancemakers from a south-south location. Ananya recently received the Sage Outstanding Dance Educator Award (2015). Ananya’s areas of expertise are: dance and social justice, issues of equity and justice in dance, contemporary dance, and dance from the global south.

ANDREW CHIANG, Executive Director, is a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a black belt in Karate and studied modern dance at the Martha Graham School. While in the Martha Graham School, he found the link between ancient Asian movement and contemporary dance styles.   His computer science career brought him extensive management experience in the for-profit world and he carried these ideas into his work with the Nai-Ni Chen.  He has been the Executive Director of the Nai-Ni Chen Company for twenty years.  While creating one of the most extensively toured Asian American dance troupes in the United States, he developed some of the most innovative digital systems in telecommunication, healthcare and finance. Besides developing Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company in a full-time capacity, Andy has been a board member of Dance/USA, ArtPride/NJ, Dance/NJ and served as a Trustee of the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation for 6 years. He was on the task force to develop the program supporting US Artists for international festivals.

SUSAN CHIN, FAIA, Hon. ASLA, Executive Director leads the Design Trust for Public Space, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the future of public space in New York City.  Her projects include: Five Borough Farm, expanding urban agriculture in New York City; Making Midtown, creating a new bold vision for a 21st C. Garment District; and Under the Elevated, reclaiming space under bridges and rail lines to connect communities.  The Design Trust, a nationally recognized incubator, jumpstarted projects such as the High Line and the Taxi of Tomorrow, and influenced the City’s sustainability initiatives, Local Law 86 and PlaNYC, with its suite of High Performance guidelines. For over 20 years she served as Assistant Commissioner for Capital Projects in the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, overseeing more than $3 billion in new construction, revitalization and public art projects citywide. Ms. Chin served as Vice President on the American Institute of Architects national board and after having served as AIA New York Chapter President. She has served on arts panels, lectured at colleges and universities and received numerous awards, including 2015 Honorary membership in the American Society of Landscape Architects, AIA New York State’s 2013 James William Kideney Gold Medal Award and 2011 Matthew Del Gaudio Award, Loeb Fellowship at Harvard and Distinguished Alumna from Ohio State University.

MARJAN CHITTAEE is an MBA with over 10 years of experience in human capital consulting and executive leadership advising, with a focus on helping leaders use transformational change to strengthen their organizations, engage their employees and cultivate healthy and effective cultures.

MELINDA DECHIAZZA CLOOBECK, CRPS® is a Financial Advisor, Financial Planning Specialist for Morgan Stanley Wealth Management and has held the Chartered Retirement Plans Specialist Professional Designation from The College for Financial Planning since 2009. Prior to joining the firm, Melinda enjoyed a successful career as a professional ballet dancer with the prestigious Boston Ballet Company and world-renowned Twyla Tharp, which allowed her to experience the inner workings of a non-profit company first-hand.  Melinda went on to earn her B.A in Economics at Yale University before joining Smith Barney in 2006. Along with her focus on wealth management for individuals, Melinda remains involved with the non-profit sector.  She has served on the Board of Directors for Stamford Ballet since 2007 and has been actively engaged in supporting other non-profit organizations on a personal and professional level, including numerous environmental and animal advocacy organizations. 

MISTY COPELAND joined American Ballet Theatre’s Studio Company in September 2000. In 2007, she was appointed Soloist and in 2015, she became the company’s first African American woman to be promoted to principal dancer in ABT’s 75-year history. Highlighted roles: title role in Firebird (Alexei Ratmansky), Clara in The Nutcracker (Alexei Ratmansky), Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, Juliet in Romeo & Juliet. Misty is the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir Life in Motion and the award-winning children's book Firebird. She has been featured in numerous publications and television programs including CBS Sunday Morning, 60 Minutes, The Today Show, MSNBC's Melissa Harris Perry, Vogue, Essence, Ebony, and People Magazine.

SAGE CRUMP is a culture strategist who seeks to expand and deepen the work of artists and arts organization to social justice organizing. Based in in New Orleans but working nationally, she believes in leveraging art, creative practice and the cultural sector to transform systemic oppressions. Sage Crump is currently a Program Manager for Leveraging A Network for Equity (LANE) LANE is a is a 4 year capitalization program for arts organizations of color, geographically isolated and community based arts organizations through the National Performance Network/ Visual Arts Network.

PATRICIA CRUZ began her term as Executive Director of Harlem Stage in 1998. Ms. Cruz is a member of the Board of Directors and is responsible for overseeing Board Development, long range planning, fundraising, and program development. The highlight of her tenure has been the renovation of the Gatehouse for use as Harlem Stage's new home. Cruz serves on the board of The Urban Assembly and the CalArts Board of Overseers. She is a past Board Member of The Andy Warhol Foundation and is also past president of The New York Foundation for the Arts and ArtTable.

AMY CUEVA Amy believes that design can help improve the human condition. It was with that mission and vision that she founded Mad*Pow in 2000 with Will Powley, and together they’ve created an award-winning agency serving Fortune 500 companies and startups across industries from health to financial services, technology, media, education, and hospitality. Amy plays an essential role in Mad*Pow’s visualization of a changed healthcare system in the United States. Her work with companies like Aetna, CVS, McKesson, and Fidelity has helped them improve the customer experience, leverage design to drive change, and facilitate human-centric innovation. As the chief instigator behind Mad*Pow’s Healthcare Experience Design Conference—now in its fifth year and expanded and rebranded as HxRefactored—Amy has successfully connected and networked disparate parts of a challenging and soiled system. As a speaker, Amy shares her vision and methodology at influential events such as Design Management Institute, UXPA, IA Summit, Partners Center for Connected Health Symposium, Stanford MedicineX, Health 2.0, and HIMSS. With her partners Will Powley and Bradley Honeyman, Amy’s grown Mad*Pow’s presence, client base, and revenue, leading to Mad*Pow’s 2009 recognition as one of Inc. 500’s fastest growing privately held companies. Mass High Tech, which named her one of its 2009 Women to Watch, has recognized Amy’s passion, energy, and commitment, and she’s been acknowledged as one of Boston’s “40 Under 40” by the Boston Business Journal for 2014. She supports the vision and mission of An Orphan’s Dream, a nonprofit organization offering an oasis for AIDS-orphaned children in Gachoka, Kenya.

LAURIE A. CUMBO New York City Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo represents the 35th district in Brooklyn.  As Chair of the Committee on Women’s Issues, she has been an aggressive champion of gender pay equity, parental and reproductive rights. She is also a strong advocate for youth empowerment; subsidized, affordable housing, the arts, tenant and seniors’ rights. 

CATIE CUAN Catie is a performer, choreographer, and technologist currently based in Brooklyn.  Her recent performance credits include the Metropolitan Opera Ballet, Clare Cook Dance Theater, Christina Noel & the Creature, Katherine Helen Fisher Dance, and numerous Off-Broadway and regional musical theater productions.  She has also worked in the strategy and marketing teams at Bain & Company, Google, and YouTube and was most recently Vice President at Color + Information, a boutique creative agency.  Catie graduated with High Honors from UC Berkeley and was a visiting student at the University of Oxford, New College. Stay in touch at

MAX DANA is a Brooklyn-based performer, director, and mask designer. In addition to managing technology development for ArtsPool, he also currently serves as Executive Director of Immediate Medium, a producing collective dedicated to providing comprehensive support and professional development to performing artists working between disciplines or without a formal company. In 2014, he led the Economics and Finance research team of the Brooklyn Commune Project, a grassroots initiative to create an artist-driven vision of a healthy arts ecosystem in America and to cultural stakeholders together to discuss difficult topics such as resource allocation, capital, value, labor, and quality of life.

JOSE DAVILA is Vice President for Policy and Government Relations for the Hispanic Federation. He coordinates the Federation's policy, advocacy, government relations and civic engagement efforts nationally and in several states including New York, Connecticut and Florida. Prior to joining the Hispanic Federation, José served as Director of Intergovernmental Affairs and Director of Community Organizing at the NYC Public Advocate's Office. He also spent over six years at the NY Immigration Coalition as Director of State Government Affairs as well as other roles. José has previously worked at the NY Public Interest Research Group and the Fiscal Policy Institute, as well as several electoral campaigns including for NYC Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and NY State Senator Gustavo Rivera. José earned a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry from Colgate University and a Master of Public Policy Degree from Rutgers University. He is a proud father of a twelve-year-old son.

AVIVA DAVIDSON Program Director, It’s Showtime NYC (IST) (Jan 2016-present), has over 25 years experience as an arts administrator, producer, and presenter. From 1998-2015, she was the Executive and Artistic Director of Dancing in the Streets. In that capacity, she produced over 50 site-specific works, including the Bessie-Award winning PASEO, a traveling celebration of the Latin music and dance history of the South Bronx. From 1999-2010, Aviva oversaw Dancing in the Streets’ Red Hook Initiative of community-based programs; and in 2010, she spearheaded the organization’s move to the South Bronx and its strategic commitment to the borough.

In 2015, in collaboration with the Mark Morris Dance Group, Aviva helped develop IST—a new program initiatied by the Office of the Mayor of New York that aims to celebrate and promote New York City street culture by providing performance and professional development opportunities to street and subway dancers as a legal alternative to dancing in subway cars. From 1993-98, Aviva was the Curator of Performing Arts at the John Michael Kohler Art Center, a contemporary arts center in Wisconsin, where she established Connecting Communities, a series of community-based projects with visiting artists. From 1985-93, she was a Producer and Marketing Director at Symphony Space. Aviva has an MFA in Arts Administration from Columbia University. She was a member of the selection committee for the Bessies) and served on several panels, including for the MAP Fund, the Alpert Awards, and the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs.

THOMAS F. DE FRANTZ is Professor and Chair of African and African American Studies at Duke University, and director of SLIPPAGE: Performance, Culture, Technology, a research group that explores emerging technology in live performance applications. He founded and continues to convene the Black Performance Theory working group. In 2013, working with Takiyah Nur Amin and an outstanding group of artists and researchers, he founded the Collegium for African Diaspora Dance, which will stage an international conference on New Black Dance Studies and Afrofuturism at Duke in February, 2016. He recently edited Black Performance Theory with Anita Gonzalez (Duke University Press, 2014). A director and writer, his creative works include Queer Theory! An Academic Travesty commissioned by the Theater Offensive of Boston and the Flynn Center for the Arts, and Monk’s Mood: A Performance Meditation on the Life and Music of Thelonious Monk. He has taught at NYU, Stanford, Hampshire College, MIT, and Yale. Current research imperatives include explorations of black social dance, and the development of live-processing interfaces for performance; he regularly teaches courses in these areas of expertise. He has taught at the American Dance Festival, ImpuseTanz, and the New Waves Dance Institute, as well as at MIT, Stanford, Yale, NYU, Hampshire College, and the University of Nice, and created musical scores for the Dance Theatre of Harlem. In 2015 he consulted with the National Black Arts Festival on its annual programming, and enjoyed creative residencies at the University of Colorado, Boulder and Washington University, St. Louis. 

SHIRA DICKSTEIN is a Consultant at Capacity Interactive. She works with many of the firm’s dance clients including Gibney Dance, Jacob’s Pillow, and Boston Ballet. Shira graduated with an MA in Arts Administration from Columbia University in 2014, during which time she held internships at The Whitney Museum of American Art and The Public Theater. Before graduate school, Shira worked in development at the UJA-Federation of New York, the world’s largest local philanthropy. Shira discovered her passion for helping arts organizations thrive while interning in the Marketing Department at The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. She received her undergraduate degree from The University of Maryland with a BA in English and Art History. Outside the office Shira can be found wandering around museums, attending live theater and dance, at a yoga class, or on a spin bike.

ANA "ROCKAFELLA" GARCIA DIONISIO Internationally known B girl, choreographer, mentor and performance artist Ana "Rokafella" Garcia will be screening her documentary "All The Ladies Say"  which highlights the lifestyle, challenges and triumphs of B girls in a male dominated Hip-hop dance community. Post-film discussion features stars of the documentary.

ELYSSA DOLE works in the areas of innovation, systems change, the arts and business. Currently, she works with the innovation agency SecondMuse on building a community-sourced incubator for hardware startups in New York City, and also on NASA’s Space Apps, an international hackathon that is solving challenges on Earth and in space with open data. Elyssa has worked with Nike Foundation to improve the lives of adolescent girls through mobile technology and perception change. As a strategy intern with the consultancy SYPartners, she worked on a team to help leaders of Fortune 500 companies define purpose and set strategy. Elyssa holds an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business and a B.A. from Barnard College. Before her career in business and innovation, she spent 10 years as a professional dancer in New York City. Elyssa writes about creative process, relating the arts to business, and is interested in growing agile teams and cooperative systems that strengthen and link organizations and communities.

WEN DOMBROWSKI MD, MBA is a geriatrics physician executive that brings a unique perspective to healthcare with her clinical, policy, business, social media, and technical expertise.  Dr. Dombrowski advises health tech startups, aging and technology industry organizations, and other healthcare stakeholders.  She develops technology and business solutions to help vulnerable populations with complex medical and social needs -- including older adults, people with disabilities, patients with life-limiting illnesses, and the urban poor. Wen is passionate about contemporary and traditional ethnic dances -- in addition to world music drumming -- as means for physical-emotional health, social bonding, and cross-cultural appreciation. She is a lifelong explorer and promoter of how dance and music can improve the health individuals and groups.

SIMON DOVE is the Executive and Artistic Director of Dancing in the Streets and an independent curator and educator currently co-curator of Crossing the Line, the annual trans-disciplinary fall festival in New York City. He was Professor of Practice and Director of the School of Dance at Arizona State University from 2007 to 2012.  Simon was Curator and Artistic Director of Springdance, the international festival of new developments in dance and performance in the Netherlands from 2000 to 2007. Prior to that he ran one of the first National Dance Agencies in the U.K, the Yorkshire Dance Centre in Leeds, was the founder and Artistic Director of Vivarta – the first contemporary South Asian performance festival in the U.K., contributed to national dance policy development with the Arts Council of Great Britain, and programmed an innovative arts centre in London. He has written articles for the Performance and South Asian press, devised and presented a series for BBC Radio 3 on Dance and Music, and extensively mentored students and professional artists from many countries in developing their creative practices.

JOAN FINKELSTEIN Joan Finkelstein is the new Harkness Foundation for Dance director. She replaces Theodore S. Bartwink, who served as executive director for more than three decades. For 12 years, Finkelstein (DT, November 2005) directed the 92nd Street Y’s Harkness Dance Center, where she oversaw the Harkness Dance Festival and the Dance Education Laboratory teacher training program. Most recently, Finkelstein was dance directorfor the New York City Department of Education, where she spearheaded the creation of the NYC Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in Dance.

AMY FITTERER has served as executive director of Dance/USA since January 2011.  Under her leadership, Dance/USA has developed the Institute for Leadership Training, a national mentorship program with support from the American Express Foundation; re-designed the re-granting program Engaging Dance Audiences, with support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation; and evolved the organizational structure of the branch offices.  Fitterer currently serves on the Board of the Performing Arts Alliance, a national network of more than 33,000 organizational and individual members comprising the professional, nonprofit performing arts and presenting fields.  In January 2014, Fitterer joined the Advisory Board for the Dizzy Feet Foundation whose mission is to support, improve, and increase access to dance education in the United States. Fitterer is committed to furthering Dance/USA’s core values of equity and inclusion and, in close collaboration with the Dance/USA Board and staff, is working to advance dance through the lens of diversity and equal opportunity in all aspects of Dance/USA’s programming and services. A former ballet dancer and classical pianist, Fitterer received her ballet training from the Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts in Connecticut and a BS in piano performance from Indiana University School of Music.  In 2008, Fitterer completed her masters in arts administration from Teachers College, Columbia University in New York City. Prior to becoming executive director of Dance/USA, Fitterer served as the director of government affairs for both Dance/USA and OPERA America.

ADAM FORMAN is a Senior Researcher at the Center for an Urban Future, an urban policy think tank. He has authored several reports for the Center, on topics ranging from the arts economy to city infrastructure. His reports and op-eds have appeared in local and national media outlets including The New York Times, TIME, The Guardian, New York Daily News and New York Post. Adam has previously worked at the NYC Public Advocate’s Office, in tax and trade consulting and as a freelance writer. He received his BA from Colgate University in economics and an MA in political science from the University of Washington. Adam currently lives in Brooklyn.

ANA NERY FRAGOSO is originally from the Canary Islands, Spain, where she performed and choreographed extensively. She attended the Alvin Nikolais Dance Lab (NYC) for two years, graduated from Hunter College (B.A. Dance/Education) and earned a M.F.A. in Choreography from Sarah Lawrence College. She has been the recipient of two grants from the Ministry of Culture in Spain and a J. Javits Fellowship award. For 11 years, Ana Nery taught at P.S. 315, a Performing Arts Elementary School in Brooklyn, where she created a dance curriculum supported by the Laban Movement Analysis framework that emphasized improvisation, technique and dance making. She was the dance specialist at the East Village Community School in Manhattan as well where she created a brand new dance program! Mrs. Fragoso was a member of the New York City Department of Education Dance Blueprint Writing Committee and worked as a NYCDOE dance facilitator co-designing professional development workshops for New York City Department of Education dance specialists. She worked as a dance coach for the Artful Learning Community Grant (ALC) doing action research to develop strategies for collaborative inquiry around formative assessment practices and student learning in dance for six years and was part of the Arts Achieve team, a four-year project that developed innovative dance assessment tolls and strategies. Mrs. Fragoso has been a faculty member of the Dance Education Laboratory (DEL) at the 92nd St Y from 2007 to 204. She is currently the Dance Director for the NYCDOE Office of Arts and Special Projects. 

CATHERINE GALLANT has been performing, creating and teaching dance for over thirty years. 
Ms. Gallant is now the full-time dance teacher at PS 89 in Manhattan where she explores dance with children using an integrated approach to the arts which includes the language of Laban Movement Analysis and investigations of dance across culture and history. Ms. Gallant served on the writing committee for the New York City Department of Education’s Blueprint for the Arts in DANCE and regularly conducts dance education workshops for DEL, NYCDOE, and NDEO.  Catherine was the assistant director of the 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Center from 1994-96 just as the Dance Education Laboratory was holding it’s first courses and workshops. DEL has been the foundation for her work with children and the source and inspiration for ongoing inquiry in dance education for all ages.  Ms. Gallant is the director of Catherine Gallant/DANCE which will appear at Danspace in June and her group, Dances by Isadora recently performed at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn. Ms. Gallant is a graduate of the Boston Conservatory and holds an MFA in Dance from Temple University. 

GINA GIBNEY, originally from Ohio, attended Case Western Reserve University, where she graduated with high honors (summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa) with a liberal arts degree. She went on to earn a Masters of Fine Arts degree in dance from Case Western University, where she worked with Kathryn Karipides and Kelly Holt. Her work has been honored with the Northern Ohio Live Arts Award, the Copperfoot Award for Choreography, Case Western Reserve University Young Alumni Award, Alpert Award (Finalist), the OTTY (Our Town Thanks You) Arts Award, and by Sanctuary for Families, Safe Horizon and The Retreat and the Vanity Fair Hall of Fame. Gibney currently serves on the Board of Directors of Dance/NYC and Danspace Project, and has served as a Dance/USA Trustee. She is a frequent panelist and speaker on topics of dance, entrepreneurship, and social action. Artist Statement: “In my work, I want to reveal what it is to be human—in the most simple, basic terms. I want to create a choreographic world where strength and tenderness are equally important, where touch and separation are meaningful, and where movement takes on the quality of an intimate conversation. Much of my work is about connection. I want to create work that reminds us that we share a common environment and that our similarities are greater than our differences. As a choreographer, I am an observer. I try to look honestly at how dancers connect to movement and to the complex web of relationships. For example, I look for stillness, for that charged moment of non-movement and what that means to dancers examining their internal motivations and those of each other. I look for gestures that reach and enfold, hold and rebuff, contain and lose. I look for movement that has authenticity and weight. I look for focus that reaches deeply inward, yet is clear and open, with active awareness and a sense of reciprocity.”

NAOMI GOLDBERG HAAS is a New York-based master teacher and choreographer. She has worked in concert dance, theatre, opera and film; collaborated with The Klezmatics, composer Michael Nyman, and playwright Tony Kushner; and performed with Pacific Northwest Ballet. In 2005, Haas founded Dances For A Variable Population (DVP), a multi-generational dance company with dancers from the ages of 24 to 86 that work together to bring dance to the community and to bring the community into the concert hall. In 2011, DVP was selected by the NYC Arts Alliance as one of “Seven Emerging Voices of 2011.” Haas’s performances with DVP include Times Square Roundup, Times Square Plaza between 46th and 47th Streets (2012); Washington Square Dances, Washington Square Park (2011); Autumn Crossing on the High Line, The High Line, New York (2010); and Fanfare, Whitehall Terminal for the Staten Island Ferry, Sitelines/River to River Festival (2009). Her awards include the Presidents Award for Performing Arts, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (2014) and the Art + Auction Award, Gibney Dance (2013). Haas received a B.A. from Barnard College at Columbia University and an M.F.A. from Tisch School of the Arts at New York University.

ELISSA D. HECKER practices in the entertainment and business fields. Her practice focuses on copyright, trademark and business law.  Her clients encompass a large spectrum of the entertainment world. In addition to her private practice, Elissa edited the books Entertainment Litigation - Know the Issues and Avoid the Courtroom, In the Arena and Counseling Content Providers in the Digital Age. Elissa is Chair of the Board of Directors of Dance/NYC. She is also a Member of the Advisory Board of MARACAS and the Legal Advisory Committee of Safe Football. She is Past Chair of the Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law (EASL) Section of the New York State Bar Association, Editor of the EASL Journal, member of the Editorial Board of the NYSBA Bar Journal, and Co-Chair and founder of the EASL Pro Bono Committee. She is also editor of the EASL Blog. Elissa is a frequent author, lecturer and panelist, a Trustee of the Copyright Society of the U.S.A. (CSUSA), a member of the Board of Editors for The Journal of the CSUSA, and the CSUSA’s Newsletter Editor. Elissa was selected repeatedly as a New York Super Lawyer and Top Attorneys – New York Metro Area’s Outstanding Lawyers. In addition, she was selected for Top Women Attorneys in New York Metro and Top Attorneys – Westchester Area’s Outstanding Lawyers, was the inaugural recipient of the Copyright Society of the U.S.A.'s 2011 Award for Excellent Service, and received the 2005 New York State Bar Association's Outstanding Young Lawyer Award. She was previously Associate Counsel with The Harry Fox Agency, Inc. and its parent company, the National Music Publishers Association, Inc.

JOHN HOOBYAR has managed fiscal sponsorship programming at Pentacle since 2011. He currently administers the Foundation for Independent Artists, Pentacle's comprehensive fiscal sponsorship program and the only one of its kind in the performing arts in New York City. Outside of the office John is a dancer and arts writer. He has collaborated with artists including Sarah Michelson and Rebecca Patek and currently writes for Culturebot and the Movement Research Performance Journal.

THERESA RUTH HOWARD is a former member of the Dance Theater of Harlem, and Armitage Gone! Dance. She has been a member of the Ballet Faculty at the Ailey School for over 18 years and has taught and choreographed internationally in conservatories, universities, dance festivals, and intensives. As a writer she has contributed to the Source and Pointe, Expressions (Italy), and Tanz (Germany) Magazines, as well as being a contributing editor for Dance Magazine where she collaborated with Editor in Chief Wendy Perron in See and Say Web-reviews. Her articles about body image prompted her to develop the My Body My Image workshop and blog which gives young adults the tools to create a healthier sense of self through principals of: Respect, Acceptance and Appreciation for themselves and their bodies. Her latest project is, which will work to present and preserve the Memoirs of Blacks in Ballet through video profiles and archival information. She has been a mentor for many of the young men and women that she has taught over the years, her motto is: "The only way to make the world a better place, is to be better people in it!"

STEVEN D. HURD is a partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department and co-head of the Employment Litigation & Arbitration Practice Group and Media & Entertainment Industry Group. For nearly 20 years, Steve’s practice has been concentrated in the area of employment litigation. He provides advice to clients concerning litigation avoidance, litigation strategy, and alternative forms of dispute resolution. Steve has extensive trial and appellate experience, in both federal and state courts focusing on claims of alleged individual and class discrimination, sexual harassment, wage and hour violations, whistleblowing and retaliation, defamation, fraud, breach of contract, wrongful discharge, and other statutory and common law claims. In addition to his litigation experience, Steve helps his clients stay in compliance with the ever-changing employment laws and regulations with respect to FLSA and state law wage and hour requirements by providing advice and conducting comprehensive audits. Steve also conducts investigations pertaining to reductions-in-force and individual employee terminations, as well as claims of gender, race, national origin, and disability discrimination. Steve has litigated employment related lawsuits in federal and state courts around the U.S., including in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and the District of Columbia.

VIRGINIA JOHNSON returns to Dance Theatre of Harlem as artistic director having been a founding member and principal dancer. Born in Washington, DC, Johnson graduated from the Academy of the Washington School of Ballet. She briefly attended the School of the Arts at New York University as a University Scholar before joining DTH in 1969. During her 28 years with the company she performed most of the repertoire, with principal roles in Concerto Barocco, Allegro Brillante, Agon, A Streetcar Named Desire, Fall River Legend, Swan Lake, Giselle, Voluntaries, Les Biches among others. Three DTH productions in which she danced leading roles were recorded fo r broadcast: A Streetcar Named Desire for Dance in America on PBS, Creole Giselle, which was the first full-length ballet broadcast on NBC, and Fall River Legend, which won a cable ACE award from the Bravo Network. In addition, she was included in two acclaimed television dance series, Margot Fonteyn’s “The Magic of Dance” and Natalia Makarova’s “Ballerina.”Her choreographic credits include the television film, Ancient Voices of Children In which she danced and an early, self-produced solo concert for Rae Metzger’s Concert Socials. Later choreographic works include ballets created for Goucher College, Dancers Respond to AIDS, the Second Annual Harlem Festival of the Arts, Thelma Hill Performing Arts Center and Marymount Manhattan College, where she was also an adjunct professor. The latter two projects were an outgrowth of Dancers Making Dances, a collaborative choreographic project with former DTH colleagues, Judy Tyrus and Melanie Person. Her honors include a Young Achiever Award from the National Council of Women, Outstanding Young Woman of America and the Dance Magazine Award, a Pen and Brush Achievement Award and the Washington Performing Arts Society’s 2008-2009 Pola Nirenska Lifetime Achievement Award and the 2009 Martha Hill Fund Mid-Career Award. Highlights of her guest appearances include a tour of Australia with Stars of World Ballet, several appearances at various International Festivals of Dance in Havana Cuba, and with the Royal Ballet at The Royal Opera House in London. Her commitment to community service is maintained through volunteer assignments with New York Cares.

MATTIE KAISER is the Promotion Manager for music publisher G. Schirmer, Inc. where she manages a roster of internationally acclaimed composers, and creates resources for choreographers.  She is a highly collaborative violist, arts advocate, and was the director of Classical Revolution PDX, which was hailed as "one of Oregon’s most important classical music institutions". (Oregon ArtsWatch) Mattie has a B.M. in viola performance from The San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She is continuing her education by pursuing certification in Dalcroze Eurhythmics, a method for teaching rhythmic movement as well as physical and instrumental improvisation, as a visiting scholar at Carnegie Mellon University.  G. Schirmer Inc. is the oldest continuously active North American music publisher and a part of the international Music Sales Group. For an interactive audio sampler please visit:

MICHAEL KERR MA is a dance artist/educator born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. He holds permanent K-12 teacher certification in dance in NY State and has been employed with the NYCDOE since 1996. He served on the writing committee of the NYCDOE K-12 Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in Dance, as a city-wide professional development facilitator and course instructor. Since 2000, Mr. Kerr has developed the middle school dance program at New Voices School of Academic & Creative Arts; one of five NYC public school dance programs featured in the film PS DANCE. During his tenure there, he served in elected office as Chair of the UFT/NYC Dance Educators, as a cooperating teacher for Columbia University Teachers College and New York University, on the faulty of the 92 Street Y Dance Education Laboratory, the Dance Department at Mason School of the Arts and Graduate School of Education at Rutgers and presented as a panelist, teaching artist and guest lecturer at numerous national and international dance conferences and venues. Throughout his teaching career in the private and public sector Mr. Kerr has performed for a variety of choreographers and dance companies in the United States and Europe. Most recently he made his acting debut playing Lance in an award winning independent film, Peace After Marriage, was awarded the 2015 Diana Domoracki-Kisto Dance Educator Award from the New York State Dance Education Association and recently founded DanceKerr & Dancers (a sponsored artist with Performance Zone Inc-dba The Field).

MAUREEN KNIGHTON is the Senior Vice President for Grantmaking at the Nathan Cummings Foundation, a national foundation pursuing social and economic justice.  There, she directs the Foundation’s grantmaking portfolio and serves as a member of the senior management team.  She was a core participant in the Foundation’s recently completed strategic planning process, helping to craft the organization’s new theory of change, which elevates the power of arts and culture to achieve social and economic justice.  Just prior to joining NCF, she was the Senior Vice President for Program and Nonprofit Investment at the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone, where she oversaw the organization’s arts and cultural sector efforts in Harlem, Washington Heights and Inwood. She is a frequent speaker, panelist, and advisor to a variety of programs.  She is a board member of Grantmakers in the Arts (GIA), a former board member of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, and a member of the Arts, Culture and Social Justice Network Steering Committee, chair of the GIA Racial Equity Committee, the Media Democracy Fund Steering Committee, New York Grantmakers in the Arts, and the Adapt & Thrive working group. Knighton is also the Executive Producer for dance and be still arts, the literary and performing arts organization founded by poet Sekou Sundiata.

JAAMIL OLAWALE KOSOKO Originally from Detroit, MI, Jaamil Olawale Kosoko is a Nigerian American independent performance and humanities curator, producer, cultural strategist, poet, and artist currently based between Brooklyn, New York and Philadelphia. With his creative partner Kate Watson-Wallace, he co-directs anonymous bodies, a visual performance company focusing on innovative approaches to curation, performance, and education. He is an inaugural APAP Leadership Fellow, a Co-Curator of the 2015 Movement Research Spring Festival and the 2015 Dancing While Black performance series at BAAD in the Bronx; a 2014 American Express Leadership Academy alum, a contributing correspondent for Critical Correspondence (NYC); a 2012 Live Arts Brewery Fellow as a part of the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival; a 2011 Fellow as a part of the DeVos Institute of Art Management at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; and an inaugural graduate of the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance (ICPP) at Wesleyan University. Kosoko is a Founding Advisory Board Member of the Coalition for Diasporan Scholars Moving and was most recently elected to the Executive Committee on the Board of Trustees at Dance/USA. Current curatorial appointments include projects with 651 Arts, The Watermill Center, Movement Research, and The Bushwick Starr in New York City.

HOONG YEE LEE KRAKAUER Hoong Yee Lee Krakauer is the Executive Director of the Queens Council on the Arts.  As a lifelong Queens resident, she is a firm believer in the power of the arts to mobilize and transform community. She is the author and illustrator of Rabbit Mooncakes, a multicultural picture book for children published by Little, Brown & Company and writes about how to create a rich life at She has served on many boards and panels including The Writers Room, Tony Bennett’s Exploring the Arts Foundation, the Americans for the Arts Executive Leadership Forum, and the Mayor’s Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission. She is a graduate of Oberlin College, attended the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria and received a Masters of Music in Piano Performance from the Manhattan School of Music.  Hoong Yee is married to a nice Jewish boy from Rockaway, Queens where you can find her catching waves.

HEIDI LATSKY first received recognition dancing for the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company (1987–1993). Commissions have included Lincoln Center, Cannes International Dance Festival, American Dance Festival, Whitney Museum of Art, and Joyce Theater.Latsky headed the movement department at the School for Film and Television (1998–2005) and is currently on the faculty of Steps NYC. Her company maintains an extensive outreach program and Latsky is a renowned advocate for diversity in the arts as a speaker (Harvard, Barnard, Chicago Humanities Festival, New York Academy of Medicine, APAP|2015). She has a BA in Psychology with honors, is a founding member of Dance/NYC’s Disability and NYC Dance Task Force and was honored to be selected as the first participant in Dance for Film on Location at Montclair State University, underwritten by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, through which her first film, Soliloquy, premiered in April 2015. Heidi Latsky founded Heidi Latsky Dance (HLD) in 2001. Her drive to use dance to explore the beauty in a diverse group of dancers resulted in The GIMP Project, a body of work that includes dancers with and without disabilities. The company has toured internationally and is the subject of a short film by Richard Move, GIMP—The Documentary, which premiered at the Film Society of Lincoln Center; an AP multimedia piece; and features on CNN, NET, and NPR. A profile on GIMP was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2010. Highlights include performances at Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, TEDxWomen, the Dance Center of Columbia College (Chicago). To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, in partnership with the Mayor’s Office and Dance NYC, HLD performed at Brooklyn Bridge Park and Whitney Museum of Art and at various sites throughout NYC like Times Square, Lincoln Center-Out-Of-Doors and the High Line in July. Upcoming venues include the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center (commissioned by Lincoln Center of the Performing Arts) and NYU Skirball. Upcoming commissions include University of Wisconsin-Madison, Ten Hairy Legs, and Cleveland’s Dancing Wheels.

ELIZABETH LEWIS is an Associate Brand Manager for Optic White Toothpaste at Colgate-Palmolive, an international consumer goods company that houses the Colgate Toothpaste brand, as well as Palmolive, Irish Spring, SpeedStick and many other well-known, loved household brands. Before Colgate-Palmolive, Elizabeth worked at the Penguin Random House Speakers Bureau where she marketed authors to give lectures at universities and corporations around the country. Additionally, she worked at Read Ahead, a literacy and mentoring organization, where she secured thousands of volunteers at Fortune 500 companies to read to elementary-school children. She also interned at LaPlaca Cohen , a strategy, design and full-service advertising firm, serving leading arts organizations, with the Strategy and Branding team. Elizabeth is a 2014 MBA graduate of NYU Stern School of Business and received a B.A. in English Literature from Washington University in St. Louis. While at NYU Stern, she founded the Stern Arts & Culture Club and while at Washington University, she co-founded the Aristocats Disney A Cappella group, who recently sang with the original Aladdin, Brad Kane. Elizabeth is a member of W.O.M.E.N. in America, an organization that pairs C-Suite women with budding executives for mentoring and professional guidance. She is also a flute and piano player and is former principal flautist of the Brooklyn Wind Symphony.

SIMI LINTON is an author, filmmaker, and arts consultant. Her writings include Claiming Disability: Knowledge and Identity, My Body Politic, and the essay “Cultural Territories of Disability” in Disability. Dance. Artistry., published by Dance/NYC. She is the subject of the documentary film Invitation to Dance, which she and Christian von Tippelskirch directed and produced. Linton’s consultancy practice, Disability/Arts, works to shape the presentation of disability in the arts. Projects include events at the Public Theater, Writers’ Guild of America, HBO headquarters, the Smithsonian, Margaret Mead Film Festival, as well as ongoing advisor to Inclusion in the Arts (2006-present). Linton holds an undergraduate degree from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. from New York University. She was a Mary E. Switzer Distinguished Fellow, US Department of Education (1995-1996), Co-Director of the University Seminar in Disability Studies at Columbia University (2003-2007), and Presidential Visiting Scholar at Hofstra University (2006).  Linton was on faculty at CUNY from 1985-1998. She received the 2015 Barnard College Medal of Distinction and was recently appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio to New York City’s Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission.

RICK LUFTGLASS is Executive Director of the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, which works to increase access and opportunity for all New Yorkers by supporting cross-cutting initiatives in areas from education and the arts, to healthy food and economic development, and beyond. He joined the Illumination Fund in 2011. Previously he was Executive Director of the Pfizer Foundation, Senior Director of U.S. Philanthropy and Community Engagement for Pfizer Inc., and managed the company’s health care access initiatives for low-income, uninsured patients. He has served as a consultant for private foundations and federal agencies focused on neighborhood revitalization. Rick began his career in arts organizations, including the Center for Traditional Music and Dance (nee Ethnic Folk Arts Center), which works in partnership  with New York City's immigrant communities to help them to maintain the vitality of their performing arts traditions and share them with the general public.  He also produced jazz concerts for the Brooklyn Museum, the South Street Seaport Museum, and Jazztrack. He is president of the board of the Center for Traditional Music and Dance, and is chair of economic development on the Economic/Waterfront, Community Development and Housing committee of Brooklyn's Community Board 6. Rick received an MBA at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business, where he focused on the intersections among the private, public and nonprofit sectors, and a BA in History from Haverford College.

POTRI RANKA MANIS is the Founder, Tradition-Bearer and Artistic Director of Kinding Sindaw Melayu Heritage, resident artists of world-renowned LaMama Experimental Theatre Club.  She grew up in the Royal House of Borocot of Lanao Del Sur, the daughter of the late Sultan A Gaus of Borocot, Maguing, Lanao del Sur (Southern Philippines) 15 Pagawidan of Pat Pangempong ko Ranao (15 Royal House of the four Sultanats of Ranao) a true modern-day princess and tradition-bearer.  In 2006, she was enthroned as a Bai Labi a Gaus,  (Bai a Labi, Maranao word for Queen). Potri Ranka Manis founded Kinding Sindaw in 1992 as a way to assert, preserve, reclaim and promote the indigenous music and dances of her childhood, which now faces extinction.  As a child in Lanao, she was trained in the traditional dance, music and martial art forms of her people and of other Philippine indigenous groups.  She has performed throughout the Philippines, the Middle East, Hong Kong and the United States. Potri Ranka Manis has conceived, choreographed and directed theatre productions such as: Rajah Mangandiri, 2000 (Maranao Ramayana variant)- LaMaMa, ETC. Lemlunay, 2003- LaMaMa, ETC (Based on the Tiboli epic Tudbulol play); written by Potri Ranka Manis ©1983 and produced by Kulturang Atin in Davao City and by PETA in the 1983 Makiisa Festival. Parang Sabil, 2004- LaMaMa, ETC. (Based on the Taosug people’s kissa on the massacre in Mt. Bud Dajo in 1906). Sultan Kudarat, 2005 – LaMaMa, ETC (Based on the life of the paramount sultan of Mindanao who united the different tribes). Bembaran Intertwined with Perang sa Bayang, 2007 LaMaMa,ETC (Play taken from the second chapter of the Maranao epic Derangen interwoven with accounts of real life events based on the massacre of the Maranao people in the town of Bayang). Pandibulan, 2009 –LaMaMa, ETC. (Based on the rituals of the Yakan people). Disappeared, 2000 – Dance Theater Workshop concept, choreography, and direction. 

MINA PARA MATLON is a researcher, arts administrator, attorney, artist, writer, and educator. She brings to Dance/USA more than 12 years of experience in identifying and addressing the particular needs and concerns of organizations and individuals operating in the creative industries. Mina began her post-law school career as a senior research associate for a Colorado-based Native law and policy institute. She subsequently  worked as an intellectual property attorney at top corporate law firms in New York before returning to the nonprofit sector. Her nonprofit experience includes work at major educational institutions, a media organization, an arts advocacy group, and a tribal museum and cultural center. She has been appointed to the boards and advisory committees of nonprofit arts organizations based in New York, Illinois, and Oregon and has served as a grant panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts. Mina holds an AB from Dartmouth College, a JD from Harvard Law School, and an MA in Arts Administration and Policy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is the co-founder of Plural, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing equity in the arts through support of Canadian and U.S. ethnocultural and community grounded arts organizations, artists, and arts administration. As part of her work with Plural, Mina was the principal co-investigator of Figuring the Plural, a landmark study examining the characteristics, needs, and support structures of Canadian and U.S. ethnocultural arts organizations. Her other written work has appeared in legal journals, academic periodicals, arts magazines, and blogs.

ROSALBA MAZZOLA has been a licensed, practicing CPA since 1998 in the state of NY and subsequently obtained license in New Jersey as well. She graduated from St. John’s University with an undergraduate degree in Accounting and pursued a career in public accounting.  She began her career working in the tax department of one of the largest accounting firms in the nation. She later took a position as a Controller for a mid-size accounting firm assisting managing partner with all aspects of firm’s operations. In 2004 she began working for a firm that specialized in the accounting and tax needs of those working in the performing arts industry. Mazzola decided to start her own practice, Mazzola Financial Services, in 2007 providing accounting and tax services to individuals and small businesses while continuing to specialize in tax services for those working in the performing arts industry. She recently obtained her Masters in Taxation from St. John’s University and has been an adjunct professor for over four years teaching accounting & taxation courses for both accounting and non-accounting majors.

JOHN MCEWEN (Pre-Symposium Participant) John serves as the Executive Director of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance, a service organization for the state’s 33 professional theatres. The Alliance provides advocacy, technical assistance, and programming that supports collaboration among the state’s non-profit professional theatres. Prior to the Alliance, John served as Vice President for Development of the New Jersey Network Foundation and the Director of Development for Paper Mill Playhouse. John is the founder and Chairman of the Cultural Access Network of New Jersey (a program of New Jersey Theatre Alliance), Trustee of ArtPRIDE NJ, The College of the Arts at Montclair State University, and the New Jersey Fund for the Blind. John has served as an adjunct professor in arts management for Seton Hall University, Drew University and New York University. John has been recognized by numerous state and national organizations for his work in the areas of arts access, program planning, and development. Awards include the first Leadership in Arts Access Award from the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. John received his BA from Montclair State University and his MA from New York University.

AMY MILLER joined Pentacle as Artist Representative in July 2014, following her graduation from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts with an MA in Performance Studies. Prior to her time at NYU, she lived in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis/Saint Paul, MN), where she worked as Community Programs Manager at Ordway Center for the Performing Arts. During her five years at the Ordway, her work strived to connect touring performing artists from around the globe to the local community by designing and producing community-based programs, events, and residencies. Before joining the Ordway team, she served the Twin Cities refugee community through work in refugee resettlement, nonprofit development, and as Chair of Twin Cities World Refugee Day. She also has a background in West African dance, social dance forms of the African Diaspora, piano performance, and photography, and she holds a BA in Global Studies and Music Performance, with a minor in Women’s Studies, from Hamline University in Saint Paul, MN. During her undergraduate career, she studied in Ghana, which instigated a deep relationship with Saakumu Dance Troupe, a performing arts company with whom she has studied music and dance, and assisted in touring.

SARAH NEEDHAM is a Program Officer at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation focusing on Arts & Culture and Education grantmaking. Prior to joining the Foundation, she worked in a range of roles at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. During her time at Lincoln Center, she helped organize an exhibit celebrating the institution's 50th anniversary, worked in the press office with a focus on Fashion Week and the redevelopment of the campus, managed the young patrons program, and worked alongside a board member to launch public art at Lincoln Center.  Sarah graduated from Williams College with a degree in Art History and received an MBA from NYU’s Stern School of Business.

JES NELSON Jes Nelson is the Dance Outreach Lead at Kickstarter. She’s advised project creators such as Martha Graham Dance Company, Third Rail Projects, and the Brooklyn Ballet to help bring their creative projects to life. In addition to her work at Kickstarter, Jes is a visual artist and choreographer. She studied at the New York Studio Program and received her BFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Jes has exhibited her work at the Walker Art Center, the Minneapolis Institute of Art and the Soap Factory. 

HAROLD NORRIS established H-Art Management in July 2002 as a full-service agency for touring performing arts companies in America and abroad. Successful artists and collaborations that H-Art has overseen since the company began include: SITI Company at the Dublin Theatre Festival, Batsheva Dance Company in collaboration with David Eden Productions, Rennie Harris Puremovement, the 50-State 50th-Anniversary tour of the Paul Taylor Dance Company/Taylor 2, the 11-city tour of the St. Petersburg Capella Choir also in collaboration with David Eden Productions, Rubberbandance Group from Canada, Emanuel Gat Dance from Israel, The Civilians’ Gone Missing, Universes’ Slanguage, and Ilkhom Theatre from Tashkent, Uzbekistan, performing Ecstasy With The Pomegranate, White White Black Stork, and Imitations of the Koran. For ten years, Harold Norris worked with Rena Shagan Associates, pairing major presenters with some of the world’s most accomplished dance and theater troupes. Norris was just honored at as Agent/Manager of the Year by North American Performing Arts Managers and Agents (NAPAMA) in January 2016. He is a past Vice-President of NAPAMA, and serves on the Arts Presenters Conference Committee. Before relocating to New York he worked with Stage One, the Louisville Children’s Theater, serving as Tour Coordinator/Company Manager and then instituted the troupe’s immensely successful national touring program. Harold attended Oklahoma State University as a theater/music major.

ZAZEL-CHAVAH O'GARRA is the Artistic Director of ZCO/DANCEPROJECT a physically integrated dance theatre company using dance as a means of self-empowerment. She has performed with Mark Dendy Dance Company and Alvin Ailey wksp II and has been in numerous stage productions. Her choreography has appeared in numerous venues in the United States and Europe. Zazel has appeared on two Essence Magazine covers and several print and runway jobs and has performed in numerous commercials and voice-overs. Zazel was the movement coach on the soap opera "As the World Turns." In 2001, Zazel was diagnosed with a brain tumor which proceeded to paralyze her right side. Consciously deciding to make the best of this debilitating circumstance, Zazel transitioned into teaching dance as a healing form to the disabled. One of her objectives is to give those with disabilities a vehicle for self-expression, helping them build a sense of self-esteem while providing them with the opportunities for community recognition and acclaim. Zazel was awarded the (VSA) Very Special Arts — National Teaching Artist Fellowship given to artist with disabilities. As a teaching artist, Zazel facilitates dance programs for special education students and engages core cirriculum learning experiences that motivate the body and excite the imagination. She has implemented dance programs at hospitals and rehab facilities in New York City. Wanting to share her story she performs Inside/Out...Voices of The Disability Community nationwide directed by Ping Chong. She also shares her disability story in Ping Chong's "Secret Histories" in the New York City Public Schools and most recently at Lincoln Center. In 2014 she appeared as a guest speaker and performing artist at the first Black History Month program on disability at the White House. Zazel is represented by Cunningham, Escott, Slevin and Depine talent agents and is a member of SAG-AFTRA and AEA and the IAMPWD (Inclusion in the Arts & Media of People with Disabilities). Zazel is the Ambassador for the Voices Against Brain Cancer and is a member of the Dance/NYC Disability Task Force. Zazel received a Master's Degree in Social Work from Fordham University.  

JINA PAIK is the Director of Advisory Services for Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF), and oversees the delivery of strategic and financial services to nonprofit organizations across the New York Metropolitan area. In addition to her role managing business development and funder initiatives, Jina works one-on-one with nonprofit leaders to build better budgets, long-term business plans and other management tools. She also regularly presents to both nonprofit and philanthropic audiences across the country on financially healthy practices. In addition to her work focusing on the New York nonprofit community, Jina leads NFF’s national knowledge management efforts to capture and share 35 years of knowledge about individual nonprofits and issues facing the nonprofit sector as a whole.  Jina came to NFF from the philanthropic sector, including the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and Helene Fuld Health Trust.  This is her second year serving as a Selection Committee member for the New York Nonprofit Excellence Award, which recognizes outstanding management practices among New York’s large and diverse nonprofit community.  In addition, she serves as board treasurer of Dance/NYC, which serves to promote the knowledge, appreciate, practice and performance of dance in the metropolitan New York City area. Jina holds an M.S. from the Milano Graduate School in Urban Policy Analysis, a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts from Carnegie Mellon University and a certificate in leadership from Columbia University’s School of Business.

MICHELLE RAMOS-BURKHART has a twenty-year successful history in business, consulting and work in the arts non-profit sector nationwide. She has worked as an executive director for multiple non-profit arts organizations and served as a program officer for a foundation. She was Director of Dance/NYC from 2006-2010. She has served as a panelist for several organizations including the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. She was an adjunct professor at New York University for four years and consults with several colleges and university departments. Michelle holds a B.S. in Organizational Behavior from University of San Francisco, a J.D. from Golden Gate University, and an LL.M. from California Western School of Law. She is pursuing her PhD in psychology with emphasis in cultural cognition and perception. Michelle consults in communications strategy, diversity and equity training as well as leadership with non-profit organizations in addition to her legal practice. She is the proud mother of a professional dancer and since retiring from her own dance career Michelle has become a competitive Ironman triathlete and marathoner.

JUDILEE REED Judilee Reed is the director of the Thriving Cultures program at the Surdna Foundation, a family foundation that seeks to foster sustainable communities in the United States -- communities guided by principles of social justice and distinguished by healthy environments, strong local economies, and thriving cultures. Since joining the foundation in 2011, Judilee has implemented a new strategic plan for the arts program that integrates its pre-existing funding categories: Artists Engaging in Social Change, Community Engaged Design, Artists and Economic Development, and Teens’ Artistic and Cultural Advancement with a sharper focus on cultural equity and social justice. And now several years into the program’s new strategic plan, Judilee continues to develop new ideas, approaches, and partnerships in support of artist and arts and culture inclusive urban planning, alternative financing, and community development. She extends the foundation’s reach by participating in various leadership positions including: co-chair, Operations Committee, ArtPlace America; board member, Amrita Performing Arts; and member, KIVA Leadership Council. Judilee’s career in arts and culture focuses on artists, communities, and the systems that support them. Her work spans over two decades and includes roles at local, regional and national scales in governmental and private organizations. Judilee has traveled throughout the United States and internationally. She holds a B.A. in art history and a B.F.A. in painting from the University of New Hampshire, and alumna status at Harvard Business School.

MARK TRAVIS RIVERA is an award-winning activist, choreographer, dancer, speaker, and writer based in New York City who shares stories about being Latino, gay, disabled, and femme. He is the artistic director and founder of marked dance project, an integrated contemporary dance company for dancers with and without disabilities. His writings have been published in The Huffington Post, Fox News Latino, and North Jersey Media Group. As an activist, Mark has spoken to audiences at Harvard University, New York University, San Francisco State University, and other schools around the nation. He is currently the Social Media Marketing Manager for Student Affairs at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. You can learn more about Mark by visiting | @MarkTravRivera

SUSAN KOBLIN SCHEAR founded ARTISIN, LLC in 1995 to offer comprehensive, process-oriented and holistically-based planning and business development, management and implementation services to the arts and design sector. She also founded a2a® / Artist-to-Artist™ to help artists, arts-related/creative-sector businesses, and artists in hybrid careers, develop the business side of their creative practices. Susan draws on her many years of prior corporate experience when working with her clients (arts/cultural organizations and artists). Her visionary strengths and grassroots approach allow her to be particularly resourceful to her clients as she has the unique ability to help them develop strong relationships, and “translate” business / entrepreneurial skills and practices in order to understand and feel comfortable with business ownership and responsibilities. She excels at keeping her “finger on the pulse” of the external environment, “connecting the dots” that are often not obvious; and, “seeing” missed opportunities. She is able to quickly develop trust to assist her clients in moving forward by understanding their needs and then helping them to set and realize their goals, particularly during difficult times. Ms. Schear is an established speaker, moderator, facilitator and trainer and provides workshops and seminars as part of her practice. She formerly served as the National Professional-Development Workshop Consultant for the College Art Association. She is a visiting assistant professor at Pratt Institute’s Graduate Arts and Cultural Management (ACM) Program, since 2002, and has also been a thesis advisor to ACM students. Ms. Schear is a board trustee and also serves on several advisory committees.Ms. Schear has received several awards and honors.

JANICE SHAPIRO is currently Interim Executive Director for Moving For Life, Dance Exercise for Health founded by Dr. Martha Eddy. Prior to this appointment, she served as Director of Development for the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, Managing Director of the Brooklyn Arts Council, Director of Development and Strategy for the Foundation for Jewish Culture, Managing Officer for Grants and Services at the New York Foundation for the Arts, Program Associate in the Arts at The Pew Charitable Trusts, and Special Assistant to the Director of Philanthropy at the Rockefeller Family Office. As a planning and fundraising consultant, she has worked with clients such as La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club, the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Tami Stronach Dance, Heidi Latsky and Larry Goldhuber, Philadelphia Dance Projects, Luis Lara Malvacias, Jeremy Nelson, Bridgman/Packer Dance and Creative Capital. Janice danced and taught with the Erick Hawkins Dance Company and studied with Muriel Cohan, Patrick Suzeau, Cynthia Babbit, Katiti King, Charles Wright, Lynn Simonson, and Diane McCarthy, among others. She was Phylicia Rashad’s assistant on The Cosby Show prior to becoming an arts administrator.

DAVID SHEINGOLD is an independent consultant providing project development, strategic planning, evaluation, facilitation, and fundraising services. Client list includes: 651 ARTS, A.R.T./New York, ArtsPool, Brooklyn College, Holcombe Waller, Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography, Miami Light Project, NYC Performing Arts Spaces, ODC Theater, Pat Graney Company, Pew Charitable Trust, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The MAP Fund, and Vermont Performance Lab, among others. Sheingold has served as guest lecturer, moderator, and panelist for the Ailey/Fordham BFA Program, Columbia University, Cornell University, Creative Capital, Dance NYC, European Dream Festival, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, New York University, and The New School University, among others. Sheingold was Dance Theater Workshop’s Senior Producer (2004-2007), Director of Community Programs (2002-2004), and Manager of Institutional Giving (1999-2002). Sheingold serves on the Board of Directors of Movement Research, holds a BA in Urban Studies from Vassar College, and an MBA in Management and Organizational Behavior from Baruch College.

NEL SHELBY, one of the most renowned videographers in the world of dance, has filmed a range of clients from American Ballet Theatre II to Keigwin + Company to The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.

LINDA SHELTON is the Executive Director, a position she has held since 1993, and a Trustee of The Joyce Theater Foundation. Prior to this, she served as General Manager of The Joffrey Ballet.   Before The Joffrey, she managed tours for the Bolshoi Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet Academy, Moscow Virtuosi, Sankai Juku, and worked with Philip Glass productions.  From 1982 – 1988, she held various management positions at The Twyla Tharp Dance Foundation.  Ms. Shelton began her work in the dance field as an intern at the New York State Council on the Arts, Dance Program. She holds a B.A. degree in Dance from New York University and has completed work towards her M.A. in Arts Administration, also at New York University. Ms. Shelton is an adjunct professor in the graduate program of Arts Administration at New York University and has also taught at Marymount Manhattan College.  She has served on panels for the National Endowment for the Arts, the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, American Masters: Dance, Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Toyota Choreography Award in Tokyo, and the Benois de le danse in Moscow. In 1999, Ms. Shelton was appointed Chevalier of France’s Order of Arts and Letters for her contribution to furthering the arts.  In 2004, she was recipient of The Documents of Dance Award given by The Dance Library of Israel. With her leadership, The Joyce Theater received the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Liberty Award in 2011.  In 2015, Linda received the Dance/USA Ernie Award for empowering artists and supporting their creativity in the dance community. Ms. Shelton currently sits on two prominent dance boards, Dance/USA and Dance/NYC. She was a trustee for Dance/USA from 1996 to 2006, served as chair from 2000-2002, and also chaired its National Roundtable.  In 2013, Ms. Shelton became a Tony Award nominator for The Broadway League.

ALICE SHEPPARD (Pre-Symposium Participant) took her first dance class in order to make good on a dare; she loved moving so much that she resigned her academic professorship in order to begin a career in dance.  She studied ballet and modern with Kitty Lunn and made her debut with Infinity Dance Theater.  After a brief apprenticeship, Alice joined AXIS Dance Company where she toured nationally and taught in the company’s education and outreach programs. Since becoming an independent artist, Alice has danced in projects with Ballet Cymru, GDance, and Marc Brew in the United Kingdom.  In the United States, she has worked with Marjani Forté, MBDance, Infinity Dance Theater, and Steve Paxton.  As a guest artist, she has danced with AXIS Dance Company, Full Radius Dance Company, and MOMENTA.  Alice has also performed as a solo artist and academic speaker throughout the United States. As an emerging choreographer, Alice is driven to create movement that challenges conventional understandings of disabled and dancing bodies.  She attends to the complex intersections of disability, gender, and race, exploring the societal and cultural significance of difference.  Her work has been commissioned by MOMENTA Dance Company and CRIPSIE; her solo choreography has been presented across the United States.  Alice’s most recent project is a collaboration with lighting and video designer Michael Maag. Her online home is

SAMI SHUMAYS, a multi-faceted arts administrator, artist, and educator, has served as Deputy Director at Flushing Town Hall for three years. In this capacity, he does a little of everything, but particularly focuses on Government Relations, Human Resources, Board relations, and Institutional partnerships. A Harvard Graduate and Fulbright Fellow, he previously served as Director of the Queens Community Arts fund, re-granting monies from the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and corporate donors, to hundreds of artists and arts organizations in the borough of Queens. He has performed fundraising and development work for Alwan, an Arab Arts organization based in Manhattan, and served as a Volunteer Coordinator for Make Music New York. As an educator and scholar, his mission has been to raise awareness about the importance of traditional cultural knowledge, and he has given workshops and classes on Arabic music at Alwan, The New School, the City University of New York, Wesleyan University, The College of William and Mary, as well as at world music retreats and events across the country. He has developed innovative online pedagogy in Arabic Music at Sami is also a talented violinist and vocalist in the Arab Classical tradition, and his Ensemble, Zikrayat (, is the foremost representative of Egyptian music and dance in New York, specializing in repertory from the “Golden Age” of Egyptian movie musicals (the 1930’s-60’s). Zikrayat has performed at Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, GlobalFEST, the American Folk Festival, Joe’s Pub, and numerous other festivals and venues since its founding in 2006.

HOLLY SIDFORD is the President of Helicon Collaborative, a consulting firm working with nonprofits and philanthropic organizations, and a strategic thinker with three decades of experience in the field. Prior to launching Helicon in 2007, Holly was the founding president of Leveraging Investments in Creativity (LINC), a ten-year initiative to expand support for creative artists. Prior to that, Holly was program director for arts, parks and adult literacy at the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund; interim director of arts and culture at the Ford Foundation and The Howard Gilman Foundation; executive director of the New England Foundation for the Arts; and associate director of the Massachusetts Council on the Arts and Humanities. She holds a BA in American history and literature from Mount Holyoke College and a management certificate from Columbia University.

SYDNEY SKYBETTER is a technologist, choreographer, and writer. His dances are regularly performed around the country, most recently at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Boston Center for the Arts, Jacob’s Pillow and the Joyce Theater. As a Founding Partner with the Edwards & Skybetter | Change Agency, he has consulted on issues of change management and technology for The National Ballet of Canada, Barnes & Noble, New York University and The University of Southern California among others. He lectures on everything from dance history to cultural futurism, and is a frequent speaker at Juilliard, Dance/USA, and Opera America. He is a regular contributor to The Clyde Fitch Report, serves on the faculty of The Boston Conservatory, and is a Public Humanities Fellow at Brown University. He produces shows at Joe’s Pub and OBERON with DanceNOW[NYC], recently received a RISCA Fellowship in Choreography from the State of Rhode Island, was the first to get the word “Frack” in print at Dance Magazine.

ELINOR SLOMBA combines twenty years of arts fundraising and management experience (including Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Bates Dance Festival, Dance/USA and the Dance Heritage Coalition) with certification in Agile Coaching.  Today, she works with creative companies to become more artful and adaptive in their approaches.  Her company, Arts Interstices, connects the arts and startup worlds and is an approved service provider to Connecticut’s innovation ecosystem.  From her home base at The Grove, a coworking space in New Haven, Connecticut, she manages the award-winning program known as Project Storefronts, designed to incubate small businesses and seed walkable commercial districts in urban neighborhoods. She is an organizer and mentor for StartUp Weekend, during which teams storm, form and norm to create viable business plans and marketable products within 52-hours. She has developed and sold her own trademarked training programs include The Agile Gym and Open Your Curatorial Eye. Elinor is also a professional art curator and regularly produces exhibitions and public art projects, most recently for one project in partnership with Yale School of Architecture and another featuring paintings by New York / New Haven choreographer and dance company director Annie Sailer in a show called Serendipity: Marks of Abstraction.

STEPHANIE SPINDELL is a consultant and founder of Spindell Consulting, as well as a finance professional with lifelong pursuits in dance and other performing arts and education. She has extensive experience in evaluating organizations for financial sustainability and effectiveness. She began her professional experience in for-profit organizational and financial analysis and transitioned to nonprofit to make a more tangible contribution to the arts and education sectors by helping organizations and artists develop sustainable and healthy businesses. Her combined 30+ years of experience in the corporate and nonprofit sectors as well as her artistic and educational passions were integral to establishing Spindell Consulting. Organizations which Stephanie has assisted include: New York Foundation for the Arts, Books for Kids, Dance New Amsterdam, NYC Dance Week and White Wave Young Soon Kim Dance Company. Services that these youth serving and arts organizations benefited from include: financial literacy training (NYFA Boot Camp for Performing Arts), development of budgets, program evaluation, funding strategies, financial feasibility studies and grant writing. Stephanie has consulted for National Executive Services Corporation, an organization providing management and consulting services to the nonprofit and public sectors.  Before consulting, Stephanie served many years as a NYC dance and math educator in the public and private education sectors. Prior to her nonprofit experience, Stephanie served 20 years as Vice President/Credit Officer at leading financial institutions including Deutsche Bank, Merrill Lynch & Company and Standard & Poor’s Corporation. She holds a Certificate in Nonprofit Financial Management and Reporting from Baruch College and an MBA (Finance) from New York University-Leonard N. Stern School of Business. She received a BA in Mathematics from Connecticut College (with 32 dance credits).

SUSAN STEDMAN provides performing and visual artists, as well as staff and board members of nonprofit organizations, with key services and solutions to strengthen their creative practices and carry out their goals: developing good business and professional skills; raising and managing financial resources; designing communications and marketing plans, and implementing strategies for sustainability. Working with organizational leaders as well as start-up organizations she conducts strategic planning, facilitates board development and governance, designs and manages earned revenue and charitable fundraising campaigns and helps to build collaborative partnerships, as needed. As executive director/administrator she led several arts and grant making (NYS Council on the Arts, Massachusetts Arts and Humanities, Wheeler Foundation, etc.) organizations. And, Stedman has also served more than 60 arts, education and social justice clients such as the Smithsonian Institution; National Park Service; Norwalk Maritime Center; La Napoule Art Foundation (FR, US); British Museum International Trust; Museum Education Consortium (Museum of Modern Art, NY); NAACP Legal Defense Fund; Joffrey Ballet; American Indian College Fund; Bronx Museum; Asian Americans for Equality; Paper Bag Players; CUE Art Foundation; Julliard School, L. Henderson Scholarship Fund; Bearden Foundation; Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art. 

KATIE STEGER is a senior program associate in the Arts and Cultural Heritage program at The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.  Before joining the Foundation in 2007, Ms. Steger was a theater performer and filmmaker.  While much of her work at Mellon is dedicated to the field of theater, she works across disciplines on programs related to Capitalization and Organizational Health; Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; Systems of Support for Individual Artists; and Needs Assessment, Evaluation, and Field Research.  She has participated in the development and implementation of several major initiatives, including a Comprehensive Financial Health program, the National Playwright Residency Program, and an assessment of the needs of individual artists related to their health and well-being. She also serves on the advisory committee for the Americans for the Arts New Community Visions initiative, which aims to engage communities and community-based organizations in dialogue about local arts in America.  She received a BA from Emerson College where she studied film production, theater, and photography, and holds a Master of Public Administration degree in nonprofit management and public policy from New York University's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. 

HARRIET TAUB is the Executive Director of Materials for the Arts, a unit of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the oldest creative reuse center in NYC. She also co-founded and helms MFTA’s affiliated nonprofit, Friends of Materials for the Arts, which underwrites all educational programming and public events. A national figure in the reuse field, Taub is often called upon to speak about her experience running a public/private partnership. Taub graduated from NYU’s Steinhardt School of Education and spent her early career in the film business. Taub and her husband Harry Kafka produced a documentary film called Sosúa about a community of Jewish refugees who found refuge from Hitler in the Dominican Republic. She went on to start a children’s clothing company, Bumblewear. Taub is a founding member of the Reuse Alliance and in 2014, she was a featured speaker on Creative Reuse for TEDx Gramercy.  Taub has been profiled on NY1 as a New Yorker of the Week and in May 2015 was awarded the Long Island City (LIC) Arts Open “Kanellos Award” for her unstinting support for the LIC arts community.

KATE TAYLOR provides creative development and fundraising services for nonprofit organizations in the arts and culture sector. She founded Kate Taylor Consulting in 2005 to help nonprofits generate increased funds from institutional and individual sources and has raised millions of dollars to support arts & cultural organizations over the past ten years. With a record of securing new funding in a notably difficult climate, Kate Taylor Consulting provides expertise, a tactical approach, and the development of compelling program materials that reflect the voice and vision of each nonprofit. Previous positions in development include overseeing all fundraising activities at Merce Cunningham Dance Company and Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts as well as institutional grant writing at New York Foundation for the Arts. She has led workshops on fundraising at DTW (NYLA), the Queens Council for the Arts, and NYFA. Ms. Taylor performed for many years with the Nancy Meehan Dance Company.  Clients: Shen Wei Dance Arts, Parsons Dance, HB Studio, Pentacle, Ballet Next, La Mama, Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, J Mandle Performance, and RIOULT, among others.

CHRISTIAN A. TEMPLEMAN is a financial advisor with Morgan Stanley in Greenwich, CT. He focuses on 
helping non-profit organizations manage and attract capital. Prior to joining Morgan Stanley, Mr. Templeman worked for 14-years in the non-profit sector, most recently as executive director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of New Rochelle. As executive director, he had many accomplishments including tripling annual revenue, opening two new locations, launching a strategic plan centered on a “culture of excellence” and restructuring the Board of Directors. Mr. Templeman is a member of the Board of Trustees of Larchmont Avenue Church, member of Board 
of Directors of STEM Alliance of Larchmont-Mamaroneck, and member of the Community Advisory 
Board of the Junior League of Westchester of the Sound.  He is an avid runner having completed seven 
New York City marathons and one Boston Marathon for charity. Mr. Templeman attained his Series 7, 66 and health and life insurance certifications as well as his Financial Planning Associate designation from Smith Barney. He completed the Chartered Retirement Planning CounselorSM and the Chartered Retirement Plans SpecialistSM Professional Designation  Programs from The College for Financial Planning®. He is a graduate of St. Lawrence University with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Philosophy. Christian is married to Sarah Templeman.They live in Larchmont, NY with their son Matthew.

DENISE SAUNDERS THOMPSON has extensive experience in non-profit and for-profit, established or start-up organizations. She has advised organizations on administrative, programmatic and fundraising issues including strategic plans, policy and procedures, communications programs, budgeting and contracts. Currently, Denise is the Chairperson/Executive Director for the International Association of Blacks in Dance, a non-profit service organization, President & CEO of D.d.Saunders & Associates, Inc., a comprehensive fine arts advisory firm offering artist management/ representation, arts producing, consulting, and production services, and a Professorial Lecturer for the Graduate Arts Management Degree Program at American University. Denise recently concluded 17 years of service at Howard University in the capacities of Professor, Theatre Manager/Producing Artistic Director for the Department of Theatre Arts and Manager of Cramton Auditorium. She is Co-Founder of PlayRight Performing Arts Center, Inc., a non-profit arts organization in Atlanta, Georgia, and former Business Manager for The Malone Group, Inc. a non-profit arts organization in Washington, D.C. that co-produced Black Nativity at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for six years. Denise currently serves on the Board of Trustees for Dance/USA, is a member of Actors Equity Association (AEA), and Women of Color in the Arts (WOCA).

EDWIN TORRES serves as Deputy Commissioner of Cultural Affairs for the City of New York. The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs is the largest local cultural funding agency in the United States. Mr. Torres began his career serving as Director of Longwood Art Project, the visual art facility of the Bronx Council on the Arts in the South Bronx where he was born and raised. From there he moved on to serve on the Arts and Culture team at The Ford Foundation. Subsequently, Mr. Torres served as Director of External Partnerships for Parsons the New School for Design.  He then joined The Rockefeller Foundation, serving as a program officer. Torres’ grantees helped make New York a nationally-recognized leader in wage-theft prevention; helped prevent the evictions of hundreds of public housing residents; helped place hundreds of low-income residents in jobs; and advanced paradigmatic change such as the collective impact approach for homelessness-prevention and crime-reduction. During Torres’ term at The Rockefeller Foundation, their cultural grantees helped supply over $800,000 in goods and services to art-making through on-line barter; increase artists' earned income by 150%; triple the rate of participation in New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) residential energy-efficiency programs in Brooklyn; influence NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development to partner with applicants and residents as well as NYC's design community to develop new communication tools and services; and advance paradigmatic change such as that of naturally-occurring cultural districts. Mr. Torres holds a Master of Arts in Art History from Hunter College and a Master of Science in Management from The New School.

ANI UDOVICKI is a graduate of The Belgrade Ballet School of Yugoslavia, and the Juilliard School of New York City. She also holds an M.A. from Teachers College, Columbia University. Ms. Udovicki has performed with the Belgrade National Theater, The Royal Flemish Ballet, Antwerp, Ballet Hispanico and several modern dance companies, including Ohad Naharin and Dancers and Neta Pulvermacher Dance Company (as a founding member.) She has been with The New York Baroque Dance Company since 1991. Currently, she teaches at The Frank Sinatra School of the Arts. She is the happy mother of Lazar.

RICARRDO VALENTINE + ORLANDO ZANE HUNTER, JR Brother(hood) Dance! Collective is an interdisciplinary duo that seeks to inform its audiences on the socio-political and environmental injustices from a global perspective, bringing clarity to the same-gender-loving African-American experience in the 21st century. By understanding the process of freedom, Brother(hood) Dance! uses an African diasporic aesthetic to create a multidimensional experience that includes text, movement, and audience engagement to translate our stories into history. Through the use of individual and collective personal experiences, we look at the cross-cultural intersections of how our bodies as queer African-American and Caribbean-American men relate in spaces that are confined and restricting to one's self. Brother(hood) Dance! is a collective formed in April 2014 as a duo that research, create and perform dances of freedom by Orlando Zane Hunter, Jr. and Ricarrdo Valentine. As a collective, we debuted in a non-traditional space of a Brooklyn Brownstone living room. The collective has performed at FiveMyles, Center for Performance Research, JACK, Dixon Place, Open Season at the Urban Justice League, VCU-The Grace Street Theater, Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance (B.A.A.D) and other venues.

CHRISTIAN VON TIPPELSKIRCH (Pre-Symposium Participant) has worked on documentaries, feature and television films domestically and internationally for over 25 years with many major studios and networks among other Warner Bros, Silver Pictures, Sony, Showtime, and Studio Hamburg.  Christian is a member of the Director’s Guild of America and Producer’s Guild of America. He grew up in Germany and has been living and working in the US since the mid 80s. Christian’s company is CVT Productions.

DARREN WALKER, President, Ford Foundation, has been connected to the Ford Foundation nearly all his life. Ford-sponsored programs made his education possible, from the inaugural class of Head Start in 1965 to Pell Grants that helped him earn undergraduate and law degrees at the University of Texas. After a decade on Wall Street, he went to Harlem to serve as COO of the Abyssinian Development Corporation, a Ford grantee. Following eight years in urban development, he was recruited to the Rockefeller Foundation, where he rose to vice president for U.S. and international programs. He joined the Ford Foundation as vice president in 2010, and was named president in 2013. Today he guides a global social justice institution with $12 billion in assets and $500 million in annual grants. He serves on numerous boards and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

EDISA WEEKS, choreographer, formed DELIRIOUS Dances to empower people through the immediacy of dance. Weeks creates intimate environments that merge theater with dance, to deliriously explore our deepest desires, darkest fears and dearest dreams. Described by the New York Times as having, “a gift for simple but striking visual effects,” her work has been performed in a variety of venues including the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, chashama arts, The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, Emory University, Inside/Out at Jacob's Pillow, Works & Process at the Guggenheim Museum, Harlem Stage, The Kennedy Center, The Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts, Materials for the Arts, The Mermaid Parade, The National Black Arts Festival, Summerstages Dance Festival, as well as swimming pools, storefront windows, senior centers, sidewalks and living rooms, including living rooms in Berlin, Germany, as part of Haus der Kulturen der Welts 50th anniversary celebration. Weeks grew up in Uganda, Papua New Guinea and Brooklyn, NY. She has a BA from Brown University, and received a full fellowship to attend New York University’s TISCH School of the Arts where she obtained an MFA in choreography.  She has taught and created works for the Alvin Ailey School, Ailey II, Bard College, Brigham Young University, Brooklyn Friends School, MIT, Milwaukee University, Princeton University, Saint Ann’s High School and Texas Christian University. In addition Weeks is on the Bessie Committee, which recognizes outstanding dance and performance work in New York City, and teaches technique, improvisation and choreography at Queens College.

JOHANNA WHITTON Johanna Whitton has a dual degree in Dance and Dance Education from the Steinhardt School of Education at New York University. Since 2008, she has been the Managing Director of the Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John College, where she has had the opportunity to work closely with producers and artists of all genres, from all over the world. Using her background in performance, production management, and now as an administrator, Johanna looks to create meaningful connections at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater between artists and communities, especially those that are underfunded and underserved. Believing in the transcendent power of live performance, Johanna is interested in bolstering relationships with artists that use performance as a way to shed light on issues related to social justice. Johanna lives in Rhinebeck, NY with her husband and three sons.

RISE WILSON is the inaugural Director of Philanthropy for the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. As a member of the foundation's senior leadership team, she is leading the organization through a new phase of charitable giving-- one that builds on the legacy of its founder while remaining relevant to contemporary concerns. To that end, the foundation supports initiatives at the intersection of arts and political issues, particularly those that embody the fearlessness, innovation, and multidisciplinary approach that Rauschenberg exemplified in both his art and philanthropic endeavors. The foundation is particularly interested in the role of creative problem solving in achieving social change. Among her affiliations, Ms. Wilson serves on the Racial Justice Advisory Council of the Brooklyn Community Foundation, and is a founding contributor to the New York City Cultural Agenda Fund, a funder collaborative committed to strengthening equity in and advocacy for NYC's arts and culture community. Before entering the field of cultural philanthropy, Ms. Wilson founded The Laundromat Project, an award-winning organization that mounts public art projects and other art programs in local laundromats as a way of amplifying the creative power available in neighborhoods like Bed-Stuy, Harlem, and the South Bronx. Her seventeen-year tenure in arts and culture includes roles at the Ford Foundation, LINC, Parsons: the New School for Design, MoMA, and the International Center for Photography. She holds a BA from Columbia University where she was a Kluge Scholar, and an MA from NYU, where she was a Maccracken Fellow.

LAKAI WORRELL A New York native from the borough of Brooklyn, Lakai began his dance career as a hip-hop artist, straight from the streets of East New York.  His distinct style of dance is a reflection of his innate aptitude for movement and a continued exploration in Modern, Jazz, African, Hip hop and Ballet disciplines.  Because of this versatility in movement and over twenty years of experience via the Performing Arts, Mr. Worrell has had the opportunity to work with a wide variety of artist, ranging from dance and film to music, and theatre.   (Savion Glover, Abdel Salaam, Phyllicia Rashaad, Max Roach, Crystal Waters, Lauryn Hill, Olatunje Babatunje, Cassandra Wilson, Avery Brooks, Michael K. Williams, Ornette Coleman, Ossie Davis, Justin Emeka, The Classical Theater of Harlem, The Shakespeare Theater, Yale Repertory)    
Mr. Worrell’s choreography credits include: “MSND” and “Romeo and Juliet”: Classical Theater of Harlem, “Maafa”: A healing Journey, “KING LEAR”: Yale Repertory Theater, “DANCE AFRICA”, and more. Presently, He is Co-Executive Artistic Director of Purelements: An Evolution in Dance, sits on the Advisory Committee for DanceNYC, is featured in the film PS DANCE by Film maker Nel Shelby and is a 2015 recipient of the Torch Bearers for Black Theater award.  

ANDRE ZACHERY is a Brooklyn-based inter-disciplinary artist. He creates performances, interactive media installations, film, and sound art. He is currently a Jerome Foundation supported 2015 Movement Research Artist-in-Residence. He earned a BFA from the Ailey/Fordham program in 2005, and MFA in Performance & Interactive Media Arts (PIMA) from Brooklyn College in 2014. He is a recipient of the Caroline H. Newhouse Scholarship Fund and Sono Osato Scholarship Award for Graduate Studies through Career Transitions for Dancers, and PIMA Outstanding Student Award in 2013. He is also a founding member of the civic-minded performance collective - Wildcat! RPG has been awarded several residencies including: the Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Choreo-Quest Residency (2013), the CUNY Dance Initiative at Brooklyn College (2014), and the Performance Project Residency @ University Settlement (2015) in a collaboration with visual artist LaMont Hamilton for the project Five on the Black Hand Side/Dapline! which received critical acclaim from the New York Times. RPG has received support from the Brooklyn Arts Council CAF & LAS grants in both 2013 (Arteries of a Nation) and 2015 (The AFROFUTURISM Series), and the Harlem Stage Fund for New Works in 2008 (Empurrar) and 2015 (Fire on the Mountain). Wildcat! was was commissioned to perform as part of the Forward Ferguson series at JACK in Brooklyn in June 2015. Wildcat! is currenty part of the Devised Theatre Working Group at The Public Theater and performed in the 2016 Under The Radar Festival. Zachery was a resident media-artist at Schmiede 2014 in Hallein, Austria and received a 2015 Educational Award to art and media center Harvestworks (NYC). Zachery has designed multimedia installations and performance visuals for Bella’s Dream (Going to Tahiti Productions - 2013), My Technology (Deena Levy Studio Theatre - 2015), Gloss: MAO/Marc Jacobs Book Launch (Tunnel Club - 2015), Consider Water (Dava Fearon @ BAAD! - 2015), and The First Noel: A Christmas Musical (The Apollo Theater 2015).

ROBIN ZANDER is an author, educator and strategist. With a diverse background ranging from management consulting to circus performance, he has spent his career studying the learning process and teaching clients to improve performance. Robin is the director of Stanford University's Design for Dance conference, where he facilitates exploration at the intersection of dance and behavior design. Through his podcast the Robin Zander Show he interviews exceptional performers from industries as diverse as the arts, technology, and healthcare to understand how individuals and organizations can accelerate performance. Learn more at

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