Dance/NYC 2017 Symposium
Sunday, March 5, 2017
Gibney Dance, 280 Broadway
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(in alphabetical order)
ABBY HAMLIN is a New York City based real estate developer and civic thinker. A former modern dancer, Ms. Hamlin founded Hamlin Ventures to create select, design-driven development projects that engage urban issues. Ms. Hamlin is especially proud of her role as initiator of The Schermerhorn, a 217-unit residence that incorporates supportive housing, a black box theater and dance studio for the Brooklyn Ballet. Completed in 2010, in partnership with Common Ground Community and The Actors Fund, this project demonstrates the benefit of public/private /non-profit collaboration in support of arts and artists. Prior to forming Hamlin Ventures in 1997, Ms. Hamlin was President of Swig Weiler & Arnow Mgt. Co., Inc. a premiere commercial real estate company that developed, owned and managed major office properties, as well as the Fairmont Hotels. Ms. Hamlin serves on the boards of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, the Actors Fund Housing Development Corporation, the Forum For Urban Design, and Art Omi. Previously she chaired the board of the Van Alen Institute. She also served as a juror for the NEA’s ArtWorks program and as an advisor to the Mayor’s Institute of Design. From 2010-2016 Ms. Hamlin was an adjunct professor at Columbia University where she taught graduate courses in entrepreneurship and real estate development. Ms. Hamlin holds a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and a Masters of Urban Planning from Princeton University.
ADAM H WEINERT is a performance-based artist born and raised in New York City. He began his training at The School of American Ballet, and continued on to Vassar College, The Juilliard School, and New York University, where he recently earned a Master’s Degree under the tutelage of André Lepecki. Adam has danced with The Metropolitan Opera Ballet Company, The Mark Morris Dance Group, Shen Wei Dance Arts, and Christopher Williams, and for six years served as the Artistic Associate to Jonah Bokaer. In addition to his performance work, Adam has been published in The New York Times, the Juilliard Journal, and as a featured profile in Dance Magazine. He produced and choreographed an award-winning collection of dance film shorts screened nationally and abroad, and his performance works have toured to four continents including a number of non-traditional dance venues such as the Museum of Modern Art, The Tate Britain Museum, and The Tate Modern Museum. Weinert was awarded the Léo Bronstein Award for Artistic Scholarship from New York University in 2014, Presidential Distinction and Scholastic Distinction from the Juilliard School, and in 2008 received the Hector Zaraspe Prize for Outstanding Choreography. He is currently Visiting Artist in Residence Faculty at Bard College and Artist in Residence at Interactive Media Culture Laboratory and Gallery in New York City.
ADHAM HAFEZ is the Artistic Director of the Adham Hafez Company. Since its establishment in 2003, the Adham Hafez Company has produced and toured performances in the Arab World, Europe and the US. Awarded first prize for choreography by the Cairo Opera House for its first performance “High Voltage”, the company creates work that combines choreography, installation, live visuals, music and text. With a strong focus on research, the company created its outreach platform “HaRaKa” that documents, researches and investigates dance and performance history in the Arabic speaking world, with leading projects such as “TransDance Festival”, “Cairography” publication for performance theory and criticism, and the ARC.HIVE of Contemporary Arab Performing arts; a joint project between HaRaKa (Cairo), Lincoln Center’s Performing Arts Library (New York), and The German Dance Archives (Cologne).
AFA DWORKIN serves as President and Artistic Director of the Sphinx Organization. Named one of Crain’s 40 Under 40 and among Musical America’s 30 Key National Influencers, she has appeared as a speaker for the Kellogg Foundation, International Arts & Ideas Festival, Chamber Music America (opening address), the National Association for Schools of Music, the League of American Orchestras, ICSOM, Americans for the Arts, University of Michigan, Bowling Green University, Central Michigan University, Penn State, Western Michigan University, Lorraine College Signature Artist Series, NALAC’s Regional Conference, San Francisco Symphony’s National Orchestral Forum, and various media outlets. During her tenure, she has developed a comprehensive national roster of musicians of color, launched key partnerships with dozens of symphony orchestras and music schools around the country, as well as numerous national and international partnerships, in addition to leading the organization’s most successful short-term fundraising campaign. Ms. Dworkin is a Trustee for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and has adjudicated arts grants for Michigan, Florida, Nebraska, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Indiana and beyond. Ms. Dworkin recently became faculty for Roosevelt University’s Master’s Program in Performing Arts Administration.
ALIA LAHLOU, Facilitator, Trainer, and Consultant, engages individuals and groups to achieve more connection, honesty, and depth, in service to holistic social change. Her work has taken her around the world and has focused on conflict transformation; leadership development; collaborative workplaces; identity; processes of deep listening, visioning, and reflection; and community building. Alia is an Associate at the Interaction Institute for Social Change (IISC), a consulting and training organization focused on equity and collaboration. Outside of IISC, Alia is a core member of the facilitation team at YES!, an organization working at the meeting point of personal, interpersonal, and systemic change. At the root of all her work is a dedication to creating safe spaces for people to grow and to learn/ unlearn in community. Alia grew up in Morocco and has degrees in international relations from Brown University and Al Akhawayn University, though she learned everything she knows outside the classroom. She is deeply inspired by the life and work of James Baldwin, particularly his simultaneous and uncompromised commitment to both justice and to love. Alia strives to walk through the world with authentic attention to both. Things that make her happy include being on a plane, her color-coded home library, babies, and dance parties.
AMY FITTERER has served as executive director of Dance/USA since January 2011. Under her leadership, Dance/USA has established the Institute for Leadership Training, a national mentorship program for emerging dance leaders; developed the Staff Residency Program, integrating Dance/USA staff into local dance communities for ecosystem analysis research; and created the Dance Business Bootcamp Program for dance artists working within budgets below $200,000. In recent years, Dance/USA has re-designed its national re-granting program, Engaging Dance Audiences, to include support for a wider array of dance artists and organizations. In 2013, the Dance/USA Board of Trustees adopted core organization-wide values of equity, inclusion and diversity. Amy is personally committed to imbedding these core values throughout all aspects of the organization. Amy Fitterer currently serves on the Board of the Performing Arts Alliance and on the Advisory Board for the Dizzy Feet Foundation. Formerly trained in ballet and classical piano, Amy graduated from the Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts in Connecticut and received a B.S. in piano performance from Indiana University School of Music. Fitterer holds an M.A. in arts administration from Teachers College, Columbia University in New York City.
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 eleven 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 tools and strategies. Mrs. Fragoso was a faculty member of the Dance Education Laboratory (DEL) at the 92nd St Y from 2007 to 2014. She is currently the Dance Director for the NYCDOE Office of Arts and Special Projects.
ANDRÉ M. ZACHERY is a Brooklyn, NY based interdisciplinary artist. He holds a BFA from the Ailey/Fordham University program and a MFA in Performance & Interactive Media Arts from Brooklyn College. His artistic practice is grounded in devising choreographic, performative and multimedia projects exploring contemporary Black cultural aesthetics and practices. He is the artistic director of Renegade Performance Group and a founding member of the collective Wildcat! His works have received favorable reviews from many critics and publications including the New York Times and have been presented in several leading institutions in New York City. Zachery is a Jerome Foundation supported 2015-17 Movement Research A-I-R and is a recipient of the 2016 NYFA Fellowship (Gregory Millard Fellow) in Choreography. He also was a guest faculty artist-in-residence in Fall 2016 at the School of Dance at Florida State University. André has been a creative lead on collaborative teams ranging from music videos, theatre works, films and operas. His media work and film work has been featured in collaborations with independent artist and as part of design teams from 3LD Art & Technology Center in New York. Zachery has presented research and been a panelist during conferences at Duke University, Brooklyn College and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has curated performance platforms and artists’ panels at Danspace Project and the CUNY Graduate Center in New York.
ANDREA LOUIE is executive director of the Asian American Arts Alliance, leading arts advocacy and cultural equity for New York City’s diverse, pan-Asian, multidisciplinary cultural community. She is the author of a novel, Moon Cakes (Ballantine Books) and coeditor of an anthology, Topography of War: Asian American Essays (The Asian American Writers’ Workshop). Andrea is a recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship, the Hannah S. and Samuel A. Cohn Memorial Foundation Fellowship, a Ludwig Volgelstein Foundation grant and was short-listed for the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award. She has served as a review panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, EmcArts, and the Brooklyn Arts Council. She was a writer-in-residence for the National Book Foundation and has been awarded artist residencies at Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, Djerassi, Hedgebrook and the Fundacíon Valparáiso in Spain. She has been appointed by Gov. Cuomo to the NYS Commission on National and Community Service and serves on the board of the national Cultural Data Project, is a co-chair of the New York City Arts Coalition, an ad hoc steering committee member of the 15% and Growing Coalition, and on the diversity and inclusion advisory board for WNYC Radio.
ANDREA MILLER is the founder, artistic director, and choreographer of New York-based Gallim Dance. Through a plural body of work, Miller has developed an artistic language of insatiable curiosity, absolute physicality, and unprejudiced emotionality in work that pushes the boundaries of performance through collaborations in dance,installation, fashion, and film. In 2014 Miller was named a Guggenheim Fellow for exceptional creative ability in choreography. Other awards include Sadler’s Wells Jerwood Fellowships, Princess Grace Foundation Special Projects Awards, and Joyce Theater Artist in Residence, among others. Her work is performed in premier venues worldwide such as Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, The Metropolitan Museum, BAM, NY City Center, The Joyce Theater, Théâtre National de Chaillot (Paris), Madrid en Danza. Miller’s choreographic commissions include HERMES, feature film The Life and Death of John F. Donovan (director Xavier Dolan), Nederlands Dans Theater 2, Ballet Bern, Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, The Kimmel Center, Atlanta Ballet among others. Miller is devoted to dance education and has developed NEA-awarded programs for Gallim Dance’s home studio in Brooklyn, as well as commissions and reconstructions for over 40 academic institutions such as the Juilliard School and Harvard University. Miller is adjunct faculty at Barnard College.
ANNE COATES is a consultant to nonprofit arts and civic organizations on capacity building, strategic planning, program and resource development, research, advocacy, equity and inclusion, audience building, and organizational resilience and sustainability. Her experience ranges from multi-disciplinary, service and civic organizations to museums, performing arts, and historic preservation organizations. Through more than 28 years of practice, leadership and policy work in the arts and civic spaces, Anne has wide ranging expertise in operations, administration, fundraising and management excellence with hands-on experience at the intersection between art and communities, advocacy, nurturing arts participation and engagement, promoting artistic excellence, and supporting efforts around livability, urban planning and the arts, sustainability and resilience, and advancing equity and inclusion. Anne has deep experience in a variety of settings—including senior leadership at the Municipal Art Society and the Alliance for the Arts. She is passionate about supporting artists and arts groups, and connecting people to the arts in meaningful and durable ways—as an integral part of our shared experience, collective consciousness, and supporting the richness of diverse communities. She has a life lived in the arts, from early training as a vocalist and current practice as a visual artist, to substantial training and experience as a leader in the arts.
ANNE DUNNING has been a principal associate at ARTS Action Research (www.artsaction.com) since March, 2004. Her consulting work is focused on strategic thinking, organizational development and facilitation to support nonprofit arts organizations and improve their capacity to deliver on mission. Prior to joining AAR she was administrative director of the Danny Grossman Dance Company in Toronto. In Canada, she was founding chair of the Canadian Dance Assembly and served for twelve years on the George Cedric Metcalf Foundation’s Strategic Initiatives Advisory Committee. She has been a trustee and chair of the board of Dance/USA, a member of Dance/NYC’s advisory committee and chair of the board of freeDimensional, a nonprofit organization that supports culture in the service of free expression, justice and equality. She has taught for Humber College’s arts administration program and been a guest speaker at the University of Toronto and NYU. Before becoming involved in the arts, Anne studied biology at McGill University in Montreal, where she received a BSc in ecology, evolution and behavior. She lives in Boston and New York with her husband, Gary, president and executive director of Celebrity Series of Boston.
ASHLEY FERRO-MURRAY is associate curator of theater/dance and talks at the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, NY. Her work investigates the intersections between movement, digital culture, media, and technology. Previously, Ferro-Murray was the Andrew W. Mellon Creative Time Global Fellow at New York City’s public arts organization, Creative Time. She also received her PhD in Performance Studies with designated emphasis in New Media from the University of California, Berkeley. Ferro-Murray has published in Media-N Journal, The Drama Review and Dance Research Journal. She has also been a featured a contributor on -empyre- new media list serve and on HASTAC and In Media Res. Ferro-Murray has given talks and workshops at University of California, Irvine, The University of Pennsylvania, Bryn Mawr College, Bennington College, and Cornell University as well as at conferences including The Society for Dance History Scholars, Congress on Research and Dance, Performance Studies International, American Society for Theater Research, and Digital Media and Learning. Ferro-Murray’s introduction to the Transborder Immigrant Tool publication is forthcoming. Her co-authored chapter “Technologies of Performance” is also forthcoming in A Cultural History of Performance: The Modern Age from Bloomsbury Press.
BEN RODRIGUEZ-CUBEÑAS has been program director for the Rockefeller Brothers Fund's New York City grantmaking and the Culpepper Arts and Culture a program since 1995. His grantmaking expertise includes education organizing and policy, immigration affairs, community development, international development, sustainable development, urban planning, and arts and culture. He continues to play an important leadership role in the New York City’s civic and cultural life as vice chair of the Department of Cultural Affairs’ Cultural Advisory Board and chair of the Citizens Advisory Board for the Cultural Plan for New York City. In addition he serves as vice chair of the board of Casita Maria in the Bronx, New York, chair of Ballet Hispanico’s Leadership Council, the advisory board of New York Foundation for the Arts Leadership Council, and is a Founding Member of the 2015 Lincoln Center Global Exchange. In 1998, he co-founded the Cuban Artists Fund, (CAF) an organization dedicated to helping individual artists and to promoting mutual understanding and relationship building with Cuban artist and arts professionals. He currently serves as the chair of CAF.For the last two decades he has been a cultural ambassador to Cuba, promoting cultural exchanges, Cuban culture and artists, and interaction between Cuban and Americans. He has been recognized by Bronx Musuem, Ballet Hispanico, National Ballet of Cuba, Unanue Institute, Hispanics in Philanthropy and many other groups.
BETSY MACLEAN has been engaged in groundbreaking sustainable community development work for more than 15 years. As the Executive Director of Hester Street Collaborative, Betsy and her team work with community organizations, private firms and government agencies throughout New York City and nationwide to provide low-income communities with the tools they need to shape their built environment. Before Hester Street, Betsy worked in East New York as the Director of Community Development at Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation where she oversaw well over $100 million of affordable housing development and spearheaded the community-driven design and construction of Brooklyn’s first green public school, P.S. 89. Cypress Hills Verde, a community-wide sustainability initiative she developed, led to energy-efficient retrofits of hundreds of low-income homes, the construction of a community-operated urban farm, an innovative participatory planning process for the large-scale re-development of long vacant land, and expanded fresh food access. Betsy’s projects have earned The Alliance for a Greater New York’s (ALIGN) Movement Builders award, ioby’s Heroes in our Backyard award, and the Boston Society for Architects’ Excellence in Affordable Housing award. Prior to her time in East New York, Betsy created and directed an international community development program in Cuba and, before that, worked as a carpenter. Betsy holds master’s degrees in Urban Planning and International Development from Columbia University. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two young sons.
BRANDON GRYDE has served as Director of Government Affairs for Dance/USA and OPERA America since 2011, representing the membership in front of Congress, the White House, and federal agencies. He advocates on a range of issues that include support for the National Endowment for the Arts, Arts Education at U.S. Department of Education, and nonprofit tax policy. Brandon has served as director of communications at Youth Service America and director of publications at Jump Street in Harrisburg, PA, where he managed a re-granting program in partnership with the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and launched AND Magazine, a quarterly arts and healthy lifestyles publication for teens. Brandon has a B.A. in Ethnomusicology and American Literature and Culture from UCLA and an M.A. in American Studies from Penn State.
BRYAN DOERRIES is a Brooklyn-based writer, director, and translator. A self-described evangelist for classical literature and its relevance to our lives today, Doerriesuses age-old approaches to help individuals and communities heal from trauma and loss. He is the founder of Theater of War, a project that presents readings of ancient Greek plays to service members, veterans, caregivers, and families to help them initiate conversations about the visible and invisible wounds of war. He is also the co-founder and Artistic Director of Theater of War Productions, a social impact company that uses theater and a variety of other media to address pressing public health and social issues. His book, The Theater of War: What Ancient Greek Tragedies Can Teach Us Today, was published by Alfred A. Knopf in September of 2015, along with a volume of his translations of ancient Greek tragedies, entitled All That You’ve Seen Here is God. His graphic novel, The Odyssey of Sergeant Jack Brennan, an adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey as told by an infantry Marine to his squad, was published by Pantheon in April of 2016. Doerries lectures on his work at cultural venues throughout the world and, in recent years, has taught courses at Princeton University, the Stella Adler Studio of Acting, and the Bard Prison Initiative. He is a proud board member of the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers and Friends of the Young Writers Workshop.
CATHRYN WILLIAMS is responsible for the growth, development, and management of Ailey’s Arts in Education & Community Programs. She brings over 15 years of experience in program design, implementation, and staff development to Ailey. Prior to joining the Ailey organization in 2012, Ms. Williams created and managed joint ventures internationally and cross-culturally with educational and cultural institutions for Lincoln Center Institute. She also supervised the management and training of LCI’s 100 teaching artists. Ms. Williams has served as a consultant in arts and education and as Director of the 92Y Harkness Center for Dance. A magna cum laude graduate of the University of Utah, she has performed internationally with modern dance companies and on Broadway, and was on the faculties of prestigious dance institutions from Colorado to New York to Montpelier, France. Ms. Williams has conducted artist residencies for the New York State Council on the Arts, Young Audiences, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
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 award-winning features Flatbush Luck and 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 iCreep.
DABASH NEGASH is the Chief of Staff at NYC Service, a division of the Office of Mayor Bill de Blasio. NYC Service promotes volunteerism, engages New Yorkers in service, builds volunteer capacity, and mobilizes the power of volunteers and national service members to impact NYC's greatest needs. Prior to joining the Office of the Mayor, Dabash served as Deputy Director of the Fund for Public Advocacy - the nonprofit arm of the Office of the NYC Public Advocate – supported several political campaigns, and worked in the Obama Administration supporting operations in 2009 and 2011. Dabash earned bachelor's degrees in Sociology and English from the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
DAMIAN WOETZEL has taken on multiple roles in arts leadership since retiring from a 20-year career as Principal Dancer with New York City Ballet. Since June 2011, Woetzel has been the Director of the Aspen Institute Arts Program, where he creates programs aiming to further the value of the arts in society. Woetzel also currently serves as the Artistic Director of the Vail International Dance Festival, and Director of the DEMO series at the Kennedy Center which he launched in fall 2015. Outside these roles, Woetzel is active as an independent director and producer, recent projects have includeda??: the award winning show Lil Buck @ Le Poisson Rouge; tributes to ballerinas Natalia Makarova and Patricia McBride for the 2012 and 2014 Kennedy Center Honors; and numerous events and collaborations with cellist Yo-Yo Ma. In November of 2009, President Obama appointed Woetzel to the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, where he has focused on arts education, helping to create the national Turnaround Arts program. Woetzel holds a Master in Public Administration Degree from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and has taught as a Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School. In April of 2015, Woetzel was awarded the Harvard Arts Medal
DEBORAH FISHER is the founding Executive Director of A Blade of Grass, and a strategic and philanthropic advisor to Shelley and Donald Rubin. She also currently serves on the board of the Center for Artistic Activism. Fisher is a practicing artist and creative leader working to expand the roles art and artists play within communities. She has worked in many capacities at the intersection of art and civic life in New York City, including as studio manager at Socrates Sculpture Park, and as an educator and curriculum developer for the Brooklyn Center for the Urban Environment. She writes and lectures internationally about her own practice, arts funding, and socially engaged art, for Temporary Art Review, Americans for the Arts, Queens Museum, Hammer Museum, Otis College of Art and Design, Portland State University, and Center for Contemporary Art Tel Aviv. Fisher has also participated roundtables and planning sessions that seek to improve arts funding and understand the impact of and enrich discourse around socially engaged art, including the NYC Cultural Agenda; Arts and Impact Think Tank at UC Berkeley; Creative Change, an initiative of the Opportunity Agenda; and the Art and Social Justice Working Group initiative at the New School. Fisher’s art practice is focused on why and how value is created, and utilizes forms as varied as sculpture, group action, entrepreneurship, ritual, creative applications of self-help and the intuitive arts, and performance.
DENISE ROBERTS HURLIN'S career has taken her down several diverse paths after graduating in 1984 from the Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College. As a dancer, she was a founding member of Parsons Dance and performed with the Paul Taylor Dance Company in such Taylor classics as Aureole, Big Bertha, Sunset and Company B. In 1991, Denise and dancer Hernando Cortez co-founded Dancers Responding to AIDS, a program of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Denise remains in her role as founding director, leading the program's efforts producing such world renowned events as Fire Island Dance Festival and Hudson Valley Dance Festival. Broadway Cares and DRA support more than 450 AIDS and family service organizations in all 50 states as well as the essential programs of The Actors Fund like The Dancers’ Resource. Through these organizations and programs, DRA and Broadway Cares help to ensure that those in need have access to lifesaving medication, health care, counseling, nutritious meals and emergency financial assistance Denise is an inaugural member of the advisory council for The Dancers’ Resource, founded by Bebe Neuwirth. She is a recent contributor in the Danspace Project 2016 Lost & Found: Dance, New York, HIV/AIDS, Then and Now catalogue. Dancers Responding to AIDS received a Dance Magazine Award and New York Dance & Performance Bessie Award in recognition of their contributions to the American dance community.
DIYA VIJ, Special Projects, Commissioner’s Unit for the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA). In this role, she manages special initiatives including Public Artists in Residence (PAIR), the diversity initiative, and various artist projects as well as oversees all digital strategy for the agency. The newly launched artist residency program PAIR places artists-in-residence with other city agencies in order to address civic challenges through art practice. Prior to her position at DCLA, she served as Digital Communications Manager at the Queens Museum from 2010-2014. She has a BA from Bard College and an MA in Art History from Hunter College.
DONNA WALKER-KUHNE is President of Walker International Communications Group, a 30 year old boutique marketing and audience development consulting agency. She provides consulting services to numerous arts organizations throughout the world. She is also Senior Advisor, Community Engagement, New Jersey Performing Arts Center. A veteran of over 19 Broadway productions, which include Boston Children’s Chorus, Opera North, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, The Apollo Theater, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Alicia Keys Broadway Production of STICK FLY ,A Streetcar Named Desire and SecondStage Theater. She is co-founder of Impact Broadway a multicultural project that engages over 300 students as audience members for Broadway with the goal to empower this community to be economic drivers of new audiences for the Broadway Theater district. She is a lecturer and key note presenter for arts conferences in Moscow, Russia, Blomfontein, South Africa, University of Berlin, AMA Conference in Edinburgh and Australian Arts Conferences. She was previously Director of Marketing for The Public Theater and The Dance Theatre of Harlem.
EDUARDO VILARÓ was the first Artistic Director to assume the reins of Ballet Hispánico from its founding director and National Medal of Arts recipient Tina Ramirez. After seven years of igniting Ballet Hispánico's vision with a contemporary perspective in dance and culture, he assumed the additional role of CEO for the organization. Mr. Vilaró was born in Havana, Cuba and raised in the Bronx. He holds a BFA from Adelphi University and an MA from Columbia College in Chicago. Upon his graduation from Columbia College, Mr. Vilaró founded Luna Negra Dance Theater in Chicago, a company which served as a springboard for Latino dance throughout the Midwest for 15 years. Mr. Vilaro’s own choreography is devoted to capturing the spiritual, sensual and historical essence of the Latino cultures. He created over 25 ballets for Luna Negra and Ballet Hispánico and has received numerous commissions from dance festivals and arts organizations. In 2001 he was a recipient of a Ruth Page Award for choreography, and in 2003 he was honored for his choreographic work at Panama's II International Festival of Ballet. Mr. Vilaró was an associate professor at the Dance Center of Columbia College, has served on the board of directors of Dance/USA and is currently on the advisory board of Dance NYC. As an invited guest on panels and forums, he speaks to the growing need for cultural diversity and dance education. Mr. Vilaró is a proud 2016 inductee into the Bronx Walk of Fame.
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.
ELIZABETH SCOTT is an arts and entertainment leader with 20+ years of experience successfully leading organizational change and innovation across commercial and non-profit spheres. She is currently leading the launch of nRapt, an early-stage content aggregation and engagement platform for the performing arts. At Dunch, Elizabeth has counseled cultural organizations, technologists, and the national arts funding community on product and organizational innovation, strategic planning, fundraising, and audience engagement. She champions cross-industry content aggregation and builds data collaborations that accelerate digital advancement for the arts and cultural sector broadly. From 2011 to 2014, she was Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts’ first Chief Media & Digital Officer, where she oversaw all media production and architected digital priorities, strategy and solutions across the organization. She held executive oversight of Lincoln Center's flagship series, Live from Lincoln Center, for which she earned a 2015 EMMY award. Previously, she served Major League Baseball as a senior media executive, where she ran its award-winning original program production and distribution businesses, as well as the asset management and licensing of MLB’s vast game and footage archive. She was Executive Producer for MLB on Sony Pictures’ Oscar®-nominated major motion picture, Moneyball—a project that aptly augured her passion for mining actionable insights from undervalued digital data in the cultural sector today. Elizabeth is a noted thought leader on media and technology’s impact on the arts and culture sector, and is a featured speaker at universities and conferences globally. Before joining MLB, she practiced IP and entertainment law, after clerking on the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. Elizabeth enjoys freelancing as a conductor with opera companies, festivals and choruses across the Northeast. Follow her @_MediaMaestro
ELLA BAFF is Senior Program Officer for Arts and Cultural Heritage. Her areas of grantmaking responsibility include art museums, performing arts organizations, art and conservation centers, and arts programs within institutions of higher education and culture. She works with colleagues across the Foundation on programs and initiatives that aim to strengthen the ecosystem for the arts and cultural heritage. Before joining the Foundation in 2015, Ms. Baff was the executive and artistic director of Jacob's Pillow, the oldest dance festival in America. Under her leadership, Jacob's Pillow was designated a National Historic Landmark, and in 2011 received the National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama at the White House. During Ms. Baff's tenure, Jacob's Pillow expanded its artistic, education, and community programs as well as its archives and scholars, fellows, and preservation programs. She established a digital media division as well as the organization's first endowment, cash reserve and capital reserve, and expanded the campus to its current 225 acres. Ms. Baff has received several awards in the cultural field including a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters from the French Ministry of Culture, honorary doctorates from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and College of the Holy Cross, and the William Dawson Award for Programmatic Excellence from the Association of Performing Arts Presenters. Ms. Baff has twice co-chaired the International Society for the Performing Arts (ISPA) Congress in New York. She is currently the chair of The Gish Prize, and serves on the board of directors of MASS MoCA (Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art). She is the executive producer of Never Stand Still, an award-winning documentary aired on PBS Great Performances series and released worldwide. Ms. Baff was born and raised in New York City. She has studied classical music and dance, and is a graduate of UC Berkeley. Her work in the cultural field has included developing arts programs and teaching theater in juvenile prisons. She became a literacy instructor and taught children and adults to read. Some of her past positions have included program director at Cal Performances at the University of California, Berkeley, where she commissioned and presented music, dance, and theater from all over the world; and project director of national outreach for an arts series on WNET public television in New York. She has been a consultant for foundations, government, and not-for-profit organizations and has been invited by US and international government agencies and arts organizations to be a speaker and panelist.
EMILY BERRY is the Artistic Director of B3W Performance Group. In New York City, B3W has performed at Henry Street Settlement, Dixon Place, BAAD!, the 92nd Street Y, The Irondale Center as part of FlicFest, among others. B3W received the Mondo Cane Commission from Dixon Place where we premiered Confined in September 2010. Emily traveled from January 13th, 2015-August 20th, 2015 leading workshops in communities on Forgiveness. Collaborating with performing arts organizations, AIR spaces, museums, high schools, Universities, local Rotary Clubs, and the Peace & Justice Center, she led workshops China; India; Australia; Italy; Greece; Michigan; Brazil; Thailand; Grahamstown, South Africa; Johannesburgh, South Africa; Scotland; England; and Denmark. These workshops are leading to the creation of a trilogy of evening length devised intermedia performances created collectively by B3W members. Part I: Forgiving the Personal premiered at Tribeca Performing Arts Center May 20th, 21st, & 22nd, 2016. Part II: How Can Forgiveness Play a Role in Dismantling Systemic Racism will premiere in Fall 2017 or Spring 2018. Part III: Self-Forgiveness will premier in Spring 2019. Eva Yaa Asantewaa (InfiniteBody) describes Berry’s work as “Memorable, intelligent, strong”. “Violent but engaging” are the words attached to Berry’s work by Clare Croft in the Washington Post. Emily is currently a Field Leadership Fund Fellow (2015-2017).
EMILY MOCK is a cultural and community organizer, educator, and artist from San Francisco who is based in Brooklyn and has spent time living in Chengdu, China. She is the Program Associate at The Laundromat Project through a community organizing apprenticeship with the Center for Neighborhood Leadership and focuses on supporting community-led decision making and activism. She is also an educator at the Museum of Chinese in America, coordinates a cultural focus group project at the Brooklyn Museum, and collaborates with the BUFU Collective and Yellow Jackets Collective. Inspired by the youth and elder community leaders in Manhattan Chinatown where she volunteers with CAAAV and the Chinatown Tenants Union, Emily is working on a paper cut children’s book about an immigrant community of color’s fight against gentrification and displacement. She holds a BA from Smith College in Art History and Political Science.
HANNAH JOO, Equity and Inclusion Coordinator at Dance/NYC, hails from Los Angeles, where she began her studying under the syllabi of the Royal Academy of Dance and American Academy of Ballet. She is a proud alumna of Swarthmore College, where she graduated with a BA in dance and anthropology. Hannah served as the Artistic Director of Swarthmore's Rhythm 'N Motion, a student dance company committed to sharing and performing underrepresented dance forms. When not in the studio, she is involved with Dance for All Movement Therapy and Dance for Parkinson’s Disease with the Mark Morris Dance Group. Hannah worked in Philadelphia's dance community as a development assistant at Kun Yang-Lin/Dancers and wrote for the city's Dance Journal. Through the Diversity in Arts Leadership program with the Arts and Business Council of New York, Hannah was introduced to the thriving arts community and brings her passion for arts advocacy and access to New York City.
Hester Street Collaborative, along with a team of local experts, is working with the Department of Cultural Affairs to develop the city’s first comprehensive Cultural Plan. For the last fourteen years, Hester Street Collaborative (HSC) has worked as an advisor to communities throughout New York City to develop transformative plans and projects through inclusive, participatory processes. HSC’s team of planners, architects, artists and community organizers works with residents, community-based organizations, small businesses, city agencies, and elected officials to develop innovative community engagement tools that maximize resident input. That input is paired with research, data and analysis, ensuring meaningful civic engagement, optimal community benefit and implementable results. Most recently, HSC has collaborated with residents in Manhattan for the East Harlem Neighborhood Plan, completed in February 2016.
HILLARY KOOISTRA is the current Company Manager of Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion, where she began working in October of 2015. She has held previous administrative positions with the Trisha Brown Dance Company, Eva Dean Dance, University Musical Society, Dance Place, American Ballet Theatre, and most recently, as archivist for Lucinda Childs Dance. Trained as a dance and theatre performer, Hillary was a Suzanne H. Butch Scholarship recipient at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre and Dance, where she received her BFA and graduated with the Earl V. Moore Award for Achievement in Dance in 2015. As a dancer, Hillary has performed works by Richard Alston, Amy Chavasse, Shannon Gillen, Andrea Miller, Peter Sparling, and Robin Wilson; and has served as rehearsal assistant to members of the Richard Alston Dance Company, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, and Gallim Dance. Her multidisciplinary work and choreography has been presented in Southeast Michigan, Minneapolis, and New York City, and her photo collaborations can be seen in select issues o f D ark Beauty Magazine.
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 hoongyee.com. 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.
INDIRA GOODWINE, born and raised in Queens, NY, is an arts administrator committed to using art as a form of activism to educate, inspire and service diverse communities. Her professional career in arts administration began at Harlem Stage where she worked in both programming and general management. During that time, she also served as the Company Manager for Camille A. Brown & Dancers and as of August 2016 transitioned into the role of Managing Director. Indira is a 2016 NYCT Fellow and has participated in other notable programs such as the American Express Leadership Academy and Dance/USA’s DILT Program. She has also been a speaker for Next Generation National Arts Network and Dance/USA’s Annual Conference. As a performer, Indira has had the opportunity to perform works by Camille A. Brown, Earl Mosley, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Millicent Johnnie, Toni Renee Johnson, Shani Collins-Achille, Shouze Ma, Tamara LaDonna Williams, and Troy Powell, among others. Indira received her M.A. in Performing Arts Administration from New York University and a B.F.A. in Dance Performance from The Florida State University where she graduated Magna Cum Laude.
J. SOTO, Equity and Inclusion Coordinator at Dance/NYC, is an interdisciplinary artist, writer, and community arts organizer with a focus on project-specific collaborations in performance. He has curated and performed work for The National Queer Arts Festival (San Francisco) and Links Hall (Chicago), as well as Vox Populi (Philadelphia) among others nationally. His collaborative writing project, "Ya Presente Ayer" can be found in Support Networks, Chicago Social Practice History Series (University of Chicago Press). Most recently, Soto cofounded the Latinx Artist Visibility Award (LAVA) for Ox-Bow School of Art in partnership with The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. LAVA financially supports up to two Latinx artists to attend summer courses at Ox-Bow each year. Additionally, Soto is a founder of the forthcoming Latinx Artist Retreat (LXAR), which will create opportunities to connect and further access in the arts for Latinx artists nationwide via regional chapters. Soto has experience working in the nonprofit sector for Eyebeam, as Programs Associate, as well as The Dia Art Foundation. His writing has most recently appeared in Apogee Journal: Queer History, Queer Now Folio. He received an MFA in Performance from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
JAMIE BENNETT is the executive director of ArtPlace America, a partnership among 16 foundations, 8 federal agencies, and 6 financial institutions working to position art and culture as a core sector of community planning and development by investing in, researching, and supporting those who lead and execute creative placemaking projects. To date, ArtPlace has invested $85 million in 233 projects in communities of all sizes across the United States in which artists and arts organizations are working with their neighbors to help shape communities’ social, physical, and economic futures. Until December 2013, Jamie was Chief of Staff and Director of Public Affairs at the National Endowment for the Arts, where he oversaw the national rollouts of the "Our Town" grant program and partnerships with the US Departments of Agriculture, Defense, Health and Human Services, and Housing and Urban Development. Previously, Jamie was Chief of Staff at the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, where he oversaw the agency's partnerships with the NYC Departments for the Aging, of Education, and of Youth and Community Development. Jamie also provided strategic counsel at the Agnes Gund Foundation, served as chief of staff to the President of Columbia University, and worked in fundraising at The Museum of Modern Art, the New York Philharmonic, and Columbia College.
JAMIE JEPPE BENSON, rebel-clown choreographer, defies performances traditions & dares a mass audience to interact with dance. Heralded as "Chaplin-like” by Backstage West, “insightful & irreverent” by LA Weekly, Benson's highbrow-meets-lowbrow work has been presented through LA & New York, international film festivals, the Phaidon book Wild Art, & received funding by Brooklyn Arts Council. Benson has also led over 500 people in the international line-dance event Le Grand Continental & co-founded NYC’s Shakedown Dance Collective for people of all shapes, ages & creeds. Benson revolutionizes how art industries advocate for worthy causes as a marketing & development consultant to artists, organizations & public relations firms. Wielding a bold, irreverent voice, Benson overrides the assumption that marketing is not a noble & creative pastime. Through strategy & sheer strength of will, he has won features in the New York & LA Times, NY1 & Brooklyn 12 News, Good Magazine, Dance Enthusiast, Dance Spirit Magazine, Broadway World, DNAinfo, LA Weekly, LAist, Backstage West, Dance Magazine & more. Jamie Benson has been hired by Pilobolus Dance Theater, CUNY Dance Initiative, LMCC, Noel Pointer Foundation, Trent & Company, Kupferberg Arts Center, NYU Tisch & for famed film composer David Newman. Lily Binns, Co-Executive Director of Pilobolus, states that “for all of the conferences, books, newsletters, blogs, and feeds that all of us follow, Jamie Benson's approach is hands-down the best.”
JEFF ROSENSTOCK is currently Assistant Vice President for External and Governmental Relations at Queens College, part of the City University of New York (CUNY). He also acts as the Executive Director of the Kupferberg Center for the Arts, an umbrella organization for the college’s cultural entities. Prior to coming to Queens College, Jeff served for 22 years as the Founding/Executive Director of Queens Theatre in the Park. Jeff also served as Producing Director of Theatre by the Sea, a renowned regional theatre in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and as General Manager of the legendary summer stock, Theatre by the Sea in Rhode Island. Jeff has served as a panelist for the New York State Council on the Arts, the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs and as a Board member of the Alliance of Resident Theatres (Art/NY), the Queens Chamber of Commerce and the Astoria Performing Arts Center. He currently is a board member of the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation as well as the Louis Armstrong House Museum, and Houses on the Moon Theatre Company. Jeff oversees the CUNY Dance Initiative, a residency program that provides subsidized rehearsal and performance space to NYC-based dance artists on City University of New York campuses across the five boroughs.
JERRON HERMAN is a dancer with Cerebral Palsy based in NYC. His main responsibilities include performing with Heidi Latsky Dance, while additionally representing the company on panels, in conferences, and through education and print.
JOAN JEFFRI is the Founder and Director of the Research Center for Arts and Culture housed first at Columbia University and now at The Actors Fund. She is former Director of the Program in Arts Administration at Columbia University and past President of the Association of Arts Administration Educators and the International Arts Medicine Association. She is a Scholar-in-Residence in the Arts Management Program at American University and an honorary professor at Shanghai Conservatory of Music. Jeffri is the co-author with Yu Ding of Respect for Art: Visual Arts Management and Administration in China and the United States (2008); author of Arts Money: Raising It, Saving It, Earning It; (1989) and The Emerging Arts: Management, Survival and Growth (1980). She is also the editor of Artisthelp: The Artist’s Guide to Work-Related Human and Social Services (1990) and The Actor Speaks, The Painter Speaks, and The Craftsperson Speaks (1994, 1993, 1992). From 1981-1990, she served as an executive editor of The Journal of Arts Management and Law. She has conducted numerous studies including Changing the Beat: A Study of the Worklife of Jazz Musicians; Making Changes: Facilitating the Transition of Dancers to Post-Performance Careers with William Baumol and David Throsby; Information on Artists I, II and III and The Artists Training and Career Project. Early in her career, Jeffri was a poet and protégé of Louis Untermeyer. A former professional actress, she appeared in the national tour of The Homecoming and in the Boston Company of The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds. She also appeared with the Lincoln Center Repertory Company in New York City. Recent projects include the development of an interdisciplinary, intergenerational project to assist aging performing artists in documenting their work, the PERFORMING ARTS LEGACY PROJECT, and ART CART: SAVING THE LEGACY, both based on studies of aging performers in LA and NYC (STILL KICKING) and of professional visual artists in New York City (ABOVE GROUND).
JODY GOTTFRIED ARNHOLD, dance educator, advocate, and Founder of Dance Education Laboratory (DEL) at 92Y taught dance in NYC public schools for over 20 years. She is 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 National Dance Education Organization’s Visionary Award, Education Update’s Distinguished Leader in Education Award, Teachers College Distinguished Alumni Award, and was honored by the NYC Arts in Education Roundtable. She recently received the 2016 Floria V. Lasky Award, Dance Films Association’s Dance in Focus Award, New York State Dance Education Association Outstanding Leadership Award, and was honored by Lincoln Center Education for her contributions to dance education. She 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.
JOHN-MARIO SEVILLA, (MA, Teachers College, Columbia University, MFA, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) director of the 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Center, hails from PaukA?kalo, Maui. He teaches assessment of dance education at New York University Steinhardt. He formerly directed the 92Y Dance Education Laboratory (DEL) and the Education Department at New York City Ballet. John-Mario has danced in the companies of Rebecca Stenn, Pilobolus (dance captain), From the Horse’s Mouth, Daman Harun, Erin Dudley, Lisa Giobbi, Nikolais and Louis, Shapiro and Smith, Janis Brenner, Anna Sokolow and Bill Cratty. John-Mario has performed with juggler Michael Moschen, film animator Laura Margulies, drag artist Sherry Vine, poet John Unterecker and Navajo sandpainter-healer Walking Thunder. John-Mario’s choreography has appeared in New York City at LaMaMa, NYU Steinhardt, Movement Research at Judson Church, 92Y Harkness Dance Center and 92Y Tribeca, Dance Theatre Workshop, Columbia University, ABC No Rio, the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, The Asia Society, Bronx Academy of Art and Dance, as well as at universities throughout the country. John-Mario is student of Betty Jones. Fritz Ludin and Kumu Hula HA?kA?lani Holt, among others.
JOHN MCEWEN 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. Prior to joining NJN, John served as the Director of Development for Paper Mill Playhouse. John is the Founder and Chairman of the Cultural Access Network of New Jersey, Trustee of ArtPride, NJ Fund for the Blind, and the College of the Arts at Montclair State University. John has consulted many organizations on board development, long-range planning and fund raising. John received his Bachelor’s of Arts from Montclair State University and his Master of Arts from New York University, where he has served as an adjunct professor in their Arts Administration Program. John’s awards and achievements include the first Leadership in Arts Access Award from the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Governor Byrne and Kean Advocacy Award from Paper Mill Playhouse, a Citation of Excellence form the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and the Community Service Award from the New Jersey Department of Recreation.
JOYA POWELL, A native Harlemite, is a Choreographer and Educator passionate about community, activism, and dances of the African Diaspora. She is the 2016 recipient of The Outstanding Emerging Choreographer Bessie Award. Hailed by The New York Times as a “radiant performer,” throughout her career she has danced with choreographers such as Katiti King and Neta Pulvermacher. In 2005 Joya founded Movement of the People Dance Company, dedicated to creating Socially Conscious Contemporary Dance Theater. Her work has been performed in venues such as: BAM's Howard Gillman Opera House, Lincoln Center, SummerStage, FLICfest (AIR 2016), Casita Maria (AIR 2015), Symphony Space, The Bronx Museum of Arts, The Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance (BAAD!), among others. She has choreographed such plays as: The Brothers Size by Tarell Alvin McCraney (Luna Stage, NJ), Fit for a Queen by Betty Shamieh (The Classical Theatre of Harlem), JOB by Thomas Bradshaw (The FLEA Theater). Joya has been a Guest Artist at various colleges, conferences and festivals; she has taught and studied internationally in Brazil, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Israel. She is currently a Dancing While Black 2016-2017 Fellow, a participant in the SDC Observership Program, a member of the Artistic Resource Group for The FLEA Theater, and a collaborating member of Dance Caribbean Collective. She received her M.A. in Dance Education from NYU, and her B.A. in Latin American Studies and Creative Writing from Columbia University.
KAISHA S. JOHNSON is the Co-Founder and Founding Director of Women of Color in the Arts (WOCA), a national service organization dedicated to creating equity in the performing arts field. As a staunch advocate for diversity on and off the stage, Kaisha S. Johnson co-founded WOCA with the intent of cultivating a field as varied in voice and perspective as the communities its serves. Most prior to her position at WOCA, Ms. Johnson served as a director at the Center for Traditional Music and Dance, a non-profit dedicated to building cross-cultural awareness by nurturing and presenting the performing arts traditions of New York’s immigrant communities. With her work, she helped to affirm the value of cultural diversity as an essential component of our national identity. Having traveled and worked extensively throughout Latin America and Africa, Ms. Johnson has a passion for multi-cultural encounters and community building. Kaisha has two decades worth of experience as an arts administrator, working with non-profits large and small, on staff and as a consultant. As a 20-year resident of New York City, initially Kaisha got her start in the performing arts in her hometown of Houston as a classically-trained violinist. Ms. Johnson holds a Bachelor's degree in music from Hampton University, a Master’s in music business administration from NYU and has done post-graduate work in ethnomusicology at Hunter College at the City University of New York.
KENDRA J. ROSS is a dancer, teaching artist, and community worker from Detroit, MI who now calls Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, NY home. She was a dancer for Urban Bush Women and currently works for their B.O.L.D network where she co-teaches dance workshops, has been staff for their annual Summer Leadership Institute and co-facilitates community engagement workshops. As a performer, Kendra has traveled the world dancing for Urban Bush Women, DJ Kid Koala, MBDance, Ase Dance Theater Collective, and many more. (For more info please visit kendrajross.com). Kendra is also the Founder/Director of STooPS, an organization that uses the arts in public spaces as a tool for building and fortifying community. She also works as the Director of Programs and Administration for Cumbe: Center for African and Diaspora Dance who aims to celebrate and create a home for the dance, music, and cultures of Africa and everywhere it touched.
KOOSIL-JA is conceptual experimental choreographer who responds to Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari’s philosophical work. She views body as the potential energy rather than a fixed material and challenges the normatives of dance, while destabilizing the materiality of body in relation to the digital media. Received numerous commissions and grants, as well as performed, taught, and lectured in various cities around the world; her work created, in part, with grants from MAP, LMCC Fund, and NEA and presented at The Kitchen in 2015 and Sarah Lawrence College in 2016. Recipient of a New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” award, Guggenheim Fellowship, and LMCC President award, among others. Worked with artists in various fields, such as dance and music, and with The Wooster Group. Currently she teaches Dance and Media at Sarah Lawrence College.
LISA NIEDERMEYER was a professional dancer in NYC for a decade before choosing to pivot to technology. She currently works at the non-profit Fractured Atlas where she helps artists build out infrastructure to support their work. She is a mentor at NEW INC, the world’s first museum led incubator for arts and technology, and was Digital Projects Manager for Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and the launch of Dance Interactive. Niedermeyer grew up on the edge of the Snake River Canyon in Southern Idaho, with geek brothers who taught her to take stuff apart, and a mother who could make anything out of fabric, glass, wood, and song.
LISA YANCEY, recently coined a “strategic maverick” by a long-time colleague, is an Organizational Development consultant who specializes in strategic organizational planning, business planning, program evaluation and assessments, executive project management, revenue modeling, leadership coaching, and organizational structure assessments for nonprofit institutions. She is the President of Yancey Consulting, LLC, advising a spectrum of practitioners, nonprofit organizations, philanthropists, and philanthropic institutions committed to dismantling inequities, enriching marginalized communities, building leadership, and amplifying diverse perspectives. She has worked with, facilitated, and provided pro bono services to over 100 organization or grantmaking institutions in the past 15 years. Lisa matriculated from both Boston College Law School and Emory University and is a member of the New York State Bar Association.
MARJANI FORTÈ-SAUNDERS is a native of Los Angeles, CA, and co-founder with Nia Love, of LOVE|FORTÉ A COLLECTIVE. A recipient of the 2014 Princess Grace Choreography Fellowship, she toured with Urban Bush Women Dance Company, and is a recent awardee of the LMCC Extended Life Residency and Commission. In New York, her choreography has been presented at Dance Theatre Workshop, Danspace Project/St. Marks Church, Movement Research at Judson Church, Harlem Stage, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance, Hunter College, and more recently at Queensborough College as a recipient of the CUNY Dance Initiative Residency. In August 2016, she premiered new work with the urban Latin dance theatre CONTRA TIEMPO at the Ford Amphitheatre (Los Angeles). As an extension of her choreography, Fortè-Saunders curated a three-month exhibit at the MoCADA in Brooklyn, NY: being Here… in Memory presented the work of installation, visual, media, and sound design. She also created being Here…: a trilogy of dance works that examined the intersections of mental illness, addiction and systemic poverty. The final section of the trilogy,being Here…/this time, was chosen for a Director’s Choice Dance In Process Residency and premiered at Gibney Dance/Agnes Varis Performance Lab. She has served in academia at Hunter College CUNY, Guest Lecturer/Choreographer at Princeton University, Bard College, and recently joined the team of faculty at the Yale School of Acting. She is also a member of Urban Bush Women’s BOLD Teaching Network, offering UBWs unique approach to dance training and community engagement.
MATTHEW KWATINETZ is an EVP for NYC EDC, leading the double-bottom line management of 65M+ square feet of real estate. Prior to EDC, Mr. Kwatinetz worked for QBL Partners, a social venture advisory firm. Highlights include: the NEA-funded Cultural Asset Mapping Project for Austin, TX; adaptive reuse of an historic IM Pei building into a Cultural Incubator; a study of the impact of the recession on American Art Museum economics; and an analysis of the economics of energy efficiency retrofits for the US Department of Energy. From 2010, he worked for Kinzer Real Estate, supporting such clients as the University of Washington, Alaska Airlines, and Starbucks Corporation. For Starbucks, he led a team to negotiate the creation of a $150M manufacturing plant. Following that project, he was recruited by the Mayor of Augusta to create Augusta Regional Collaboration Project, which worked with the City and State to consolidate a new research university into the downtown. From 2002-08, he developed and then was the Artistic Director of Capitol Hill Arts Center, a 25,000 SF cultural incubator. Matthew co-founded and sat on the Seattle Cultural Overlay District Advisory Committee, and served on King County’s Cultural Real Estate Task Force. He is a strategic advisor to Black Rock City LLC. Matthew received his MBA at Wharton. He is a graduate of Deep Springs College and Harvard University. He was named a Seattle City Artist (Theatre) by Mayor Nickels in 2008.
MAURINE KNIGHTON joined the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation as its Program Director for the Arts in the spring of 2016. In this role, she is responsible for developing and overseeing grantmaking programs that support the performing arts disciplines of contemporary dance, theater, and jazz. She is a board member of Grantmakers in the Arts, a national network of private, public, and corporate arts funders, and the chair of its Racial Equity Committee. Knighton also serves on the board of the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corporation. Prior to DDCF, Knighton was the Senior Vice President for Grantmaking at the Nathan Cummings Foundation, where her participation in strategic planning contributed to NCF’s commitment to arts and culture as a means to achieve social and economic justice. She has also served as Senior Vice President for Program and Nonprofit Investment at the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone, where she oversaw arts and culture grantmaking.
MELANIE LOREK is a doctoral candidate in Sociology at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Before coming to the Graduate Center, she finished her M.A. in Social Sciences at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin in Germany. Her research centers on sociology of culture, and research methods. In her position as Cultural Policy Research Fellow, Melanie is currently completing a study analyzing arts education as facilitated and supplemented through various city agencies, such as the Department of Education (DoE), and the Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA). This study, for the first time, will provide a citywide analysis of DCLA-funded arts education programs and DOE-contracted school time arts activities.
MICHELLE T. BOONE is the Chief Program & Civic Engagement Officer at Navy Pier, Inc., an independent nonprofit organization, responsible for developing the strategy for all arts and cultural, community, special events and entertainment programs. Navy Pier, Chicago’s lakefront treasure, offers dynamic and eclectic experiences through partnerships and programs and attracts nearly 9 million visitors annually. Michelle previously served in the cabinet of Mayor Rahm Emanuel as the Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events (2011–2016) which presents free festivals, exhibitions, and performances annually in parks. During her tenure, Michelle led the process for a new Chicago Cultural Plan (the first in more than 25 years) and launched the city’s first Architecture Biennial, an international exhibition of contemporary architecture and design from around the world. Michelle was the Senior Program Officer for Culture at the Joyce Foundation in Chicago (2004–2011), and prior to that was the director of Gallery 37, an award-winning job-training in the arts program for Chicago youth. Her professional career began in entertainment working in television, film, and the recording industry; she has served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Chad, Africa. Michelle holds a bachelor’s degree in Telecommunications and a master’s degree in Public Affairs (nonprofit management major) from Indiana University, Bloomington.
MICHELLE RAMOS, JD, has committed her career to servicing our most marginalized communities, those adversely impacted by issues of by race, gender, socio-economics, inequitable laws, and public policies. As project director of the Vera Institute of Justice, New Orleans office, she works with government and community partners to improve the criminal justice system through strategy, research and policy work. Michelle is completing her dissertation towards a PhD is psychology with an emphasis in race and cultural studies. Prior to her legal career, Michelle, a retired professional ballet dancer, worked as an executive director for multiple non-profit arts organizations and served as a program officer for Women’s Foundation of California. She was Director of Dance/NYC from 2006-2010. She has served as a panelist for several organizations including the NEA, EDA, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. Michelle consults in communications strategy, diversity and equity training as well as leadership with non-profit organizations. She is the proud mother of a professional dancer/choreographer and since retiring from her own dance career Michelle has become a competitive Ironman triathlete and marathoner.
NIYA NICHOLSON, a Harlem, NY native, has been dedicated to gender-inclusive, racial and social justice work that serves as a conduit for transformative dialogic learning, cultural and creative capacity and sustainability within the arts. As a creative movement artist, creative consultant, academic, and arts administrator, her foci recognize, problematize, and re-envision the cultural and social value of the arts in underserved and under-resourced communities. Niya received her B.A. from Vassar College with concentrations in Psychology, Africana Studies, and Educational Studies, and is an alumna of Fiorello H. LaGuardia HS of Music & Art and Performing Arts. She is the recipient if the inaugural ALANA Exemplary Commitment to the Arts award and received capital support to work with and learn from communities in Chicago, Cuba and Australia. She has presented work at the Black Girl Project 2015 Sisterhood Summit: "When We Free: Black Women, Girls & Emotional Emancipation!" and at the "Cosmic Possibility in Black Speculation" at Vassar College. Niya currently serves as an arts administrator for Gibney Dance, MOVE(NYC), and Nimbus Dance Works and is a member of the Dance/NYC Junior Committee. Additionally, she serves as a freelance arts consultant; choreographer and performance artist with fellow choreographers, emerging curators, and music and visual artists. While in the gestational phase of developing transcontinental arts and education centers, Niya looks forward to continued arts policy advocacy, communal building, connections to ancestry and space, and being a self-care practitioner.
OKWUI OKPOKWASILI is a New York-based writer, performer and choreographer. Her work includes two Bessie Award winning productions: Pent-Up: a revenge dance and “Bronx Gothic”, as well as, the site-specific works: Bronx Gothic: the Oval and When I return, Who will receive me? She is currently the Randjelovic/Stryker New York Live Arts Resident Commissioned Artist for the work, Poor People’s TV Room. Okpokwasili frequently collaborates with director/designer Peter Born and award-winning director Ralph Lemon, appearing in Come Home, Charley Patton (for which she won a Bessie Award) HYCS and Scaffold Room. She has also worked with Nora Chipaumire, Julie Taymor, Young Jean Lee, Richard Foreman, and Richard Maxwell. Residencies and awards include The French American Cultural Exchange (2006–07); MANCC Choreographic Fellowship (2012, 2016); Baryshnikov Arts Center Artist-in-Residence (2013), NYLA Studio Series (2013); Under Construction at the Park Avenue Armory (2013); NYFA Fellowship in Choreography (2013); LMCC’s Extended Life Program (2014); The Foundation for Contemporary Arts’ Artist Grants in Dance (2014), Wesleyan ICPP Artist in Residency, Artist in Residency at the Harkness Dance Center at the 92Y, 2016 LMCC President’s Award for the Performing Arts. Her work has been supported by Creative Capital, the MAP Fund and NEFA.
PALOMA MCGREGOR is a New York-based, Caribbean-born choreographer whose work focuses on centering Black voices through collaborative, process-based art-making and organizing. She has worked with grandparents, children, environmental educators, academics and other artists to create a wide range of projects concerned with culture, environment and equity. Paloma does this as Director of Angela's Pulse, which creates and produces collaborative performance work dedicated to building community and illuminating bold, new stories. www.angelaspulse.org Paloma is currently developing the third major installment of Building A Better Fishtrap, an iterative performance project rooted in her 91-year-old father's vanishing fishing tradition. The work - which will premiere on the Bronx River in summer 2018 - examines what we take with us, leave behind and return to reclaim. She is also entering her fifth year shepherding Dancing While Black, a platform that supports dialogue, documentation, process and performance among Black dance artists. She is a collaborating member of The Skeleton Architecture and Black Women Artists for Black Lives Matter. Residencies include: 2016-18 NYLA Live Feed; 2014-16 BAX AIR; 2014 LMCC Process Space; 2013-14 NYU’s Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics AIR; 2013 Wave Hill Winter Workspace. Grants include: MAP Fund; Surdna Foundation Artist as Activist and Dance/USA Engaging Dance Audiences; Jerome Foundation Travel & Study Grant.
PAUL L. KING is the Executive Director of the Office of the Arts and Special Projects at the New York City Department of Education. Previously, Paul served four years as the DOE's Director of Theater. Prior to that, he was the Director of Education for New York City Opera; a position he had held for seven years. As a stage director, Mr. King has directed for New York City Opera, Houston Grand Opera and Los Angeles Opera. He was also the Festival Administrative Manager for the Central City Opera and Director of the Young Artist Training Program for Glimmerglass Opera. Mr. King has served as an artist educator for various opera companies and theaters with over twelve years experience in high school, middle schools and elementary school instruction. Additionally, Mr. King has been an adjunct professor for Brooklyn College Performing Arts Management Program and worked as a guest artist for singer training programs at Chautauqua Opera, The Glimmerglass Opera, the Manhattan School of Music and SUNY/Purchase. Paul was the recipient of the 2016 New York Music Educator’s Annual Honoree, The Magic Focus Box Focus Award in 2015, and the 2008 Broadway Theatre League’s Apple Educator Award. Paul was a member of the Mayor’s Task Force on Diversity in Film, Television, and Commercial Production in New York City. Mr. King holds a B.A in Theater from the Colorado College and a M.F.A. in Performing Arts Management from Brooklyn College.
PAZ TANJUAQUIO has been active in NYC since 1990 as a choreographer, dancer, performer, visual artist, curator, & marathoner. She is Co-Director of TOPAZ ARTS, Inc. - a nonprofit organization she founded in 2000 with Todd B. Richmond to provide a creative space for contemporary performance and visual arts. Awards for her choreography include National Endowment for the Arts, NYFA/BUILD Award, Mertz Gilmore Foundation, among others, and has been artist-in-residence at Kaatsbaan in Tivoli, NY, Akiyoshidai Int’l Art Village in Japan, Atlantic Center for the Arts in Florida, & Movement Research in NYC. She has created several evening-length works and has been presented in NYC by Harkness Dance Festival at 92Y, Danspace Project, PS 122, La MaMa; nationally, at Cornell University, Hudson NY Operation Unite, San Diego Trolley Dance, ADF Int’l Screen Dance; and internationally at residencies in Cambodia, Japan, Korea and her birthplace, the Philippines. As a curator, Paz has organized exhibitions; guest curator for Curate/NYC; and developed a dance residency program for Queens Museum from 2003-2010. An active member of the NYS DanceForce since 2009, Paz hosted the 2013 annual statewide conference in Queens. She has served on panels including LMCC, NYFA, DCA, and ACDFA. Paz received her MFA in Dance from NYU Tisch School of the Arts, and BA in Visual Arts from UC San Diego. www.topazarts.org
PEPPER FAJANS (born Seattle,1985) is the Founding Director of Brooklyn Studios for Dance (BkSD) and the Brooklyn Touring Outfit. He was the personal assistant to Merce Cunningham and continued to tour with the Cunningham Company as the production carpenter and assistant to David Vaughan through the final world tour. As director of BkSD he partnered with Cadman Congregational Church in 2015 to renovate their 1920's era gymnasium—through a volunteer effort—into a burgeoning dance studio offering classes, performances, and residencies and community events. Founding coordinators included Tatyana Tenenbaum who became the first BkSD Artist in Residence, developing and premiering her sound & movement work Thunder with support from the Brooklyn Arts Counsel. Other resident artists have included, Colin Gee, Patti Bradshaw, Daria Fain, Jennifer Monson, Dances for Solidarity, Current Harbor, Kensaku Shinohara, Yoshiko Chuma, and Kathy Westwater. The Brooklyn Touring Outfit debuted Co. Venture in the 2015 Montreal Fringe Festival, featuring Fajans alongside Cunningham Company archivist David Vaughan. The Outfit was invited to remount the work at Montreal’s Centaur Theatre before presenting the US premier at Baryshnikov Arts Center in November 2016. Fajans’ work has been presented in the Puppet Lab at St. Ann’s Warehouse and through Movement Research at Judson Church. He has been featured in the New York Times, The New Yorker, The Montreal Gazette, and Culturebot. Fajans is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and a 10-year member of the Seattle’s Royal Famile Ducaniveaux.
RACHEL S. PHILION is an associate in the Labor & Employment Law Department, co-head of the Wage and Hour Practice Group and member of the Employment Litigation & Arbitration Group. Rachel defends employers in state and federal court lawsuits and alternative dispute resolution forums against claims of discrimination, retaliation, harassment, wrongful termination and breach of contract, as well as wage-and-hour class and collective actions. Rachel has conducted large-scale workplace investigations in connection with defending clients against pending and potential claims involving misclassification, overtime and off-the-clock work. She regularly counsels clients on workplace policies, compliance and litigation prevention strategies. While in law school, Rachel served as an Arthur Littleton and H. Clayton Louderback Legal Writing Instructor and was a member of the Moot Court Board.
RAJA FEATHER KELLY is the first and only choreographer to dedicate the entirety of his company's work to Andy Warhol. He is the creator of Andy Warhol's Drella (I Love You Faye Driscoll), Andy Warhol's 15: Color Me, Warhol, and Andy Warhol's Tropico, all of which have been performed to critical acclaim. For over a decade, Kelly has worked throughout the United States and abroad in search of the connections between popular culture and humanity and their integration into experiential dance-theatre. Kelly currently choreographs, writes, and directs his own work as artistic director of the feath3r theory, a culture-driven dance-theater company. Off-Broadway credits: Funnyhouse of a Negro; Choreographer (Signature Theater) written by Adrienne Kennedy directed by Lila Neugebauer and The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World; Choreographer (Signature Theater) written by Suzan-Lori Parks directed by Lilieana Blain-Cruz. He the recipient of the 2016 Solange MacArthur Award for New Choreography and a 2016 NYFA Fellowship for Choreography. He has been the Guest Choreographer in Residence at Princeton University, University of Maryland College Park, University of Florida, Harkness Choreographer in Residence at Hunter College; and a Dance Web Scholar (Vienna). Raja Feather Kelly with the feather with present 'Another Fucking Warhol Production' in the summer of 2017. www.thefeath3rtheory.com
REBECA RAD is a multidisciplinary global Artivist from Brazil. Public Artist in Residence with NYC Department of Cultural Affairs & Children's Services bringing the Arts to LGBQTIA foster youth. She is a stage & screen performance artist with The Lost Collective, Broadway Advocacy Coalition, Co.Rite, Mad/Ecstatic, The Flea Theatre. NYC performance & directing credits with LaMaMa etc., Theatre 167, The Public Theater, Lincoln Center, Pace Gallery, Poetic Theatre, Signature Theatre, The Bushwick Starr, Target Margin Theatre, Theatre Plastique, Buran Theatre, The Brick, Rady & Bloom, The Amoralists, New York Theatre Workshop, Wild Project, National Black Theatre, Joe's Pub, 54 Below. On screen with FOX, Discovery Channel, PBS, MTV, MTV2, MTVDesi, Multishow, The Pioneers. @rebecarad
RISA SHOUP is the Executive Director of Fourth Arts Block (FAB) in New York City. Risa has worked as an administrator, curator and leader in the NYC arts community since 2005. In recent years, she has done extensive consulting work on the intrinsic and instrumental impact of the arts on community development. She helped foster early growth of the NYC Real Estate Investment Cooperative. In August she became a named consultant on a citywide cultural plan for New York City as part of her affiliation with Naturally Occurring Cultural Districts New York. As the ED of FAB, she is a proud member of the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development's United for Small Business campaign. She has a Masters in City & Regional Planning from Pratt Institute and is on the board of The Invisible Dog Art Center. She has lectured at various institutions including NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and Bard College.
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.
E. SAN SAN WONG leads Barr Foundation’s Arts & Creativity Program, with a goal of elevating the arts and enabling creative expression to engage and inspire a dynamic, thriving Massachusetts. Against a backdrop of rapidly changing demographics, technological advancements, and evolving art forms, Barr seeks to invest seed, risk and patient capital in bold ideas and leaders, and pursues its goal through three strategies: advancing the field’s capacity to adapt, take risks, and engage changing audiences in new ways; fostering opportunities to connect the arts to other disciplines and sectors; and activating public support for the arts. San San currently serves on the board of Grantmakers in the Arts, a national leadership and service organization that supports the growth of arts and culture, and recently on the Steering Committee for the City of Boston’s cultural planning process. Prior to joining Barr in 2012, San San served as director of grants at the San Francisco Arts Commission, executive director of the National Performance Network, director of development and special initiatives at Theatre Artaud, and as a performing arts producer and presenter. As an international arts consultant, her clients included the Ford Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, New England Foundation for the Arts, and Res Artis, among many others.
SARAH CARDILLO brings numerous facets of arts management to her role as development officer at Dancers Responding to AIDS. She graduated magna cum laude from Oklahoma City University with a BS in Dance Management. She has been a stage manager for the New York International Fringe Festival, Oklahoma City Civic Center, Tournament of Roses Parade and St. Bart’s Players, among others. Cardillo worked as event operations coordinator for Macy’s Parade and Entertainment Group, actively working on its annual events including the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Fireworks Spectacular and Santaland. She later joined Imagination Stage, a children’s theatre and education center in Bethesda, MD, working in institutional development. Since joining the DRA team in 2011, Cardillo has increased fundraising and deepened donor engagement for each of their major events, created new revenue sources and cultivated a diverse donor base, ensuring that DRA is able to fulfill its mission and continue supporting those in need in all 50 states.
SHIRLEY LEVY is the Chief of Staff for the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA), Shirley works closely with staff at DCLA and across other City agencies to implement and promote cultural programs and capital project that expand arts access for all New Yorkers. Most recently, she helped launch DCLA’s new Public Artists-in-Residence (PAIR) program that embeds artists within city agencies to apply creative practice to pressing civic issues; she serves on the task force guiding the Affordable Real Estate for Artists (AREA) initiative to build affordable workspace for artists; and she oversees various new collaborations with the Department of Education to expand arts access to public school students. After Hurricane Sandy, Shirley worked closely with the cultural sector to promote recovery and resiliency, and to that end helped launch CultureAID (Active in Disasters), a cultural communication network. She holds a Masters Degree in Arts Administration from Teachers College Columbia University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Art History from Brandeis University.
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), and DanceNYC [2015-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 the2015 Barnard College Medal of Distinction, an honorary Doctor of Arts from Middlebury College (2016) and was recently appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio to New York City’s Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission.
SIMON DOVE is 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.
SUSANA TORRUELLA LEVAL was Director of El Museo del Barrio, from 1994 –2002, after serving there as Chief Curator for four years. The Board of Trustees named her Director Emerita of El Museo del Barrio in May 2002. Raised in Puerto Rico, Ms. Torruella Leval, has worked as an art writer and curator of Puerto Rican, Latino and Latin American contemporary art in New York City since 1970. She is married to Judge Pierre N. Leval, U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit. They have a daughter, India, and two grandchildren, Ivy and Peter. In 2001-2, Ms. Torruella Leval served as Chair of the Cultural Institutions Group, and as Vice President and President Elect of the Association of Art Museum Directors. She served as Council Member of the New York State Council on the Arts, (2002-2006), and as member of the Panel for Educational Policy of the City of New York (2002-2004). She has served as a member of the Boards of: The Metropolitan Museum of Art (1988-93; 2002-2013); Dreamyard (2006-2013); and The Aperture Foundation (2006-2016). In 2008, she joined the Advisory Boards of CENTRO, the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College, and of the virtual Mirror of Race Project. In 2011, she was named to the board of the IMLS (Institute of Museum and Library Services) by President Obama, and joined the editorial board of the International Center for Art of the Americas (ICAA) at The Houston Museum of Fine Arts. In 2015, Mayor de Blasio named her Chair of the Mayor’s Cultural Advisory Committee.
SUZANNE CALLAHAN is founder of Callahan Consulting for the Arts. Since 1996, Callahan’s firm has helped artists, arts organizations, and funders realize their vision through planning, fundraising, evaluation, and philanthropic counsel. Her firm manages Dance/USA's Engaging Dance Audiences program, and before that, other funding programs for Creative Capital and Dance/USA. She served in the Dance and Inter-Arts Programs at the NEA and chaired the agency’s AIDS Working Group. An author and lecturer, her book Singing Our Praises: Case Studies in the Art of Evaluation, published by APAP, was awarded Outstanding Publication of the Year from the American Evaluation Association. She conceived of and produced Dance/USA's Dance from the Campus to the Real World (and Back Again): A Resource Guide for Artists, Faculty and Students. Both books are used as college texts. Her firm has conducted research studies for the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Chicago Community Trust.
SYDNEY SKYBETTER is a choreographer. His dances have been performed around the country at such venues as The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The Boston Center for the Arts, Jacob’s Pillow and The Joyce Theater. A sought-after speaker, he lectures on everything from dance history to cultural futurism, most recently at Harvard University, South by Southwest Interactive, TEDx, Saatchi and Saatchi, Dance/USA, NYU and MVR5. He is a Public Humanities Fellow and faculty member at Brown University, where he researches the problematics of human computer interfaces and mixed reality systems. He is the founder of the Conference for Research on Choreographic Interfaces (CRCI), which convenes ethnographers, anthropologists, speculative designers and performing artists to discuss the choreography of the Internet of Things. He produces shows at Joe’s Pub, SteelStacks and OBERON with DanceNOW[NYC], and is the winner of a RISCA Fellowship in Choreography from the State of Rhode Island.
TARA SHEENA is originally from Detroit, Michigan and graduated from the University of Michigan with a BFA in Dance and BA in English. She has collaborated on recent performance work with Kirsten Schnittker, Molly Poerstel, Isabel Lewis, and Nadia Tykulsker. Her current writings can be found on Hyperallergic and Culturebot. She is committed to advancing and expanding the work of forward-thinking and experimental artists through her new role as Development Associate at Movement Research. Tara lives in Brooklyn, NY.
TOM FINKELPEARL is the Commissioner of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. In this role he oversees city funding for nonprofit arts organizations across the five boroughs and directs the cultural policy for the City of New York. Prior to his appointment by Mayor Bill de Blasio, Commissioner Finkelpearl served as Executive Director of the Queens Museum for twelve years starting in 2002, overseeing an expansion that doubled the museum’s size and positioning the organization as a vibrant center for social engagement in nearby communities. He also held positions at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, working on the organization’s merger with the Museum of Modern Art, and served as Director of the Department of Cultural Affairs Percent for Art program. Based on his public art experience and additional research, he published a book, Dialogues in Public Art (MIT Press), in 2000. His second book, What We Made: Conversations on Art and Social Cooperation (Duke University Press, 2013) examines the activist, participatory, coauthored aesthetic experiences being created in contemporary art. He received a BA from Princeton University (1979) and an MFA from Hunter College (1983).
VERNETTA WALKER is chief governance officer and vice president of programs for BoardSource. She leads BoardSource’s sector-wide initiatives on topics such as diversity, equity and inclusion, nonprofit governance trends, and board advocacy. Vernetta is a frequent speaker on exceptional governance practices, board responsibilities and engagement, and strategies for transformative change. Her clients have included the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, YMCA of the USA, The National Aquarium, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Independent Sector, and National Council of La Raza. Prior to BoardSource, Vernetta served as associate general counsel for the Maryland Association of Nonprofit Organizations, was foundation advocacy counsel for the Alliance for Justice, and practiced law for several years in Orlando, Florida. She also served as director of the Administration of Justice Grants Program for the Florida Bar Foundation. Vernetta is an adjunct lecturer in the masters of nonprofit management program at Columbia University School of Professional Studies. She is also a faculty member of NeighborWorks America and received their Kenneth Jones/Tony Austin Excellence in Training Award. Vernetta is a contributing author to Nonprofit Management 101: A Complete and Practical Guide for Leaders and Professionals, a Jossey-Bass publication (2011), and Investing in Change: A Funder's Guide to Supporting Advocacy, an Alliance for Justice publication (2004). She received a juris doctor from the Washington University School of Law, St. Louis, Missouri, and a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland.
ZAZEL-CHAVAH O’GARRA is the Artistic Director of ZCO/DANCEPROJECT a physically integrated dance theatre company, using dance as a means self-empowerment. A graduate of the High School of Performing Arts, Zazel attended the University of Michigan and SUNY Empire State College, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in dance performance. A Presidential Arts Scholar, she performed with Mark Dendy Dance Company and Alvin Ailey II, choreographed fashion shows, and conducted master classes in Modern, Jazz, and African Dance in the United States, Europe, and her hometown of Montserrat, West Indies. Zazel also performed in numerous stage productions in regional theatre, off-broadway and in Europe,. Her modeling credits include the covers of two issues of Essence Magazine, as well as several catalogue and runway jobs. She also appeared in national and regional commercials, and supplied voice-overs for a number of ads. Zazel also served as a movement coach for the soap opera “As the World Turns.” Zazel has been performing Inside/Out Voices from the Disabilities Community directed by Ping Chong nationwide since 2008. She was awarded the 2010-2011 John F. Kennedy Center- VSA Teaching artist fellowship. Recent performances include Lincoln Center and the White House. Zazel was recently appointed to the Arts and Education Committee by Chancellor Farina of the Board of Education. Zazel holds a Masters degree in Social Work from Fordham University.
CLAUDIA ZELEVANSKY has over 15 years of experience as a director, producer, educator, and arts management consultant and holds a Bachelor of Science from Northwestern University in Performance Studies and a Master of Fine Arts in Directing from the Yale School of Drama. Claudia was the Associate Artistic Director of the Dallas Theater Center until 2004. She has taught acting and directing at Yale University, Sarah Lawrence College, Northwestern University, CUNY’s Queens College, Bard College, CalArts, and at Oberlin College, mentoring hundreds of students. Directing work includes more than 35 productions in NYC and across the country, including post at Manhattan Theatre Club, The Flea, The Public Theater, the Alliance Theatre (Atlanta), and Dallas Theater Center. Claudia made her directorial film debut with The Cold Snap, which had its premiere at the Los Angeles International Film Festival in 2010. After attending Columbia University’s Arts Administration program, Claudia became Senior Associate at Martin Vinik Planning for the Arts, a planning firm that specializes in capital projects, curriculum design, and strategic planning for the arts. At MVPA, Claudia works with a wide range of domestic and international museums, theatres, schools, and arts districts to improve planning, programming and overall solvency. As a coach, she works with everyone from artists to CEOs, developing their presentational and self-advocacy skills.
ELIZABETH LEWIS is a 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.
ELIZABETH ZIMMER writes about dance, currently at the Village Voice, whereshe served as dance editor from 1992-2006. Since 2011 she has taught writing in the MFA program at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia.She has written for many other publications, edited Body Against Body: The Dance and other Collaborations of Bill T. Jones and Arnie Zane (Station Hill Press, 1989) and Envisioning Dance for Film and Video (Routledge, 2002), and developed a dance history curriculum for teachers in urban schools. Her one-woman show, North Wing, played at two off-off-Broadway theaters, and she has appeared in the work of Christopher Williams, Aaron Landsman, and Kriota Willberg. She has taught dance writing workshops across the country and in Taiwan since 1993, and would like help dancers and choreographers be more savvy about promoting their work in the local press.
ELYSSA DOLE is an open innovation consultant at SecondMuse where she works with NASA to build creative communities around science and technology, and helps NYC build a startup incubator to encourage economic development and job creation. Her skills are in program design and community engagement, both online and in the real world. Elyssa was a professional dancer in NY for over a decade and holds an MBA from NYU Stern. She's motivated by the puzzle of trying to merge business, commerce and new tech with people, impulse and emotion. She loves meeting new people and problem-solving, and looks forward to thinking with you at Dance/NYC Symposium!
- Leading a risk workshop at The Support Center For Nonprofit Management in identifying and managing nonprofit financial risk
- Leading full and half day workshops in business planning and budget development at Scenarios USA, New York Foundation for the Arts (Boot Camp for the Performing Arts) and High Water Women Foundation
- Strategic Plan development through National Executive Services Corporation (NESC) for Books For Kids Foundation
- Other public sector involvement includes: Dance New Amsterdam, NYC Dance Week and Young Soon Kim Dance Company. Before consulting, Stephanie served as a dance and math educator. She began her professional experience in financial analysis, planning and risk management. Experience includes: VP at Deutsche Bank and Merrill Lynch & Company, Standard & Poor’s Corporation and Royal Insurance Company. She holds a Certificate in Nonprofit Financial Management and Reporting from Baruch College, an MBA (Finance) from NYU and a BA from Connecticut College (32 dance credits).
SUSAN STEDMAN For more than 30 years, through her consulting firm - Nonprofit and Philanthropic Management - She has enjoyed providing performing and visual artists, as well as organizations, with solutions that strengthen their creative practices and goals: successfully raise and manage financial resources; design communications and marketing plans; carry out strategies for sustainability. Working with artists, trustees and other cultural leaders she facilitates board development and governance; manages earned revenue and fundraising campaigns; and helps to deepen community participation and collaborative partnerships. As Executive Director/Administrator she led several arts and grant making organizations: Massachusetts Arts and Humanities Foundation; The Wheeler Foundation; Museum Program, NY State Council on the Arts; British Museum International Trust; Museum Education Consortium, Museum of Modern Art. She has also served more than 40 arts, education and social justice organizations including the Julliard School, L Henderson Scholarship Fund; American Indian College Fund; Joffrey Ballet; Paper Bag Players; Asian Americans for Equality; Bearden Foundation; Bronx Museum; NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund; and, Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art.
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