Dance/NYC 2018 Symposium

Sunday, February 25, 2018
Gibney Dance: Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center, 280 Broadway, New York, NY 10007

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(Panel speakers organized in alphabetical order, for Legal and SmART Bar consultants please scroll to the bottom)

ALEJANDRA DUQUE CIFUENTES is an entrepreneur, program developer, activist, artist, and educator. With 10 years of production and stage management experience, she has toured nationally and internationally, having worked in productions alongside Austin Pendleton, Kristin Linklater, Melanie Joseph, Joanna Haigood, Lear DeBessonet, Ken Rus Schmoll, Bandaloop, Zachoo Dance Theater, Dancing in the Streets, and Columbia University School of the Arts. As the founder and director of Theatre That Transcends, an educational and community theatre teaching within local underserved communities and addressing community issues through the art of theater, Alejandra has been teaching children and adults of all ages for over ten years how to express themselves through community theater practice. She currently serves as the Programs Manager at Dance/NYC, a service and advocacy organization for the dance community, where she plays an integral part in advancing a more equitable dance ecology by working on measures to increase access and equity within dance for disabled artists, immigrant artists, and artists of color in the five boroughs of New York City. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Drama and Theatre Arts from Columbia University School of General Studies.

ALEX GOLEMAN started his career in Pentacle's Cultivating Leadership in Dance internship program. From there, he joined Pentacle as a full-time employee in the Fiscal Department and eventually was escalated to Director of Fiscal Services. Alex received his BBA in International Business from Hofstra University. Specialties: Quickbooks, Fiscal Sponsorship, Bookkeeping, Audit Prep, Budgeting

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.

ALICE SHEPPARD Kinetic Light’s founder and artist lead, Alice Sheppard saw Homer Avila, a disabled dancer, perform in 2004. Avila dared her to take a dance class; she did, and she loved moving so much that she resigned her academic professorship at Pennsylvania State University in order to begin a career in dance. She studied ballet and modern dance with Kitty Lunn and made her debut with Infinity Dance Theater. After an apprenticeship, Sheppard joined AXIS Dance Company, an Oakland-based company where she toured nationally and taught in the company’s education and outreach programs. Since becoming an independent artist, Sheppard has danced in projects with Ballet Cymru, GDance, and Marc Brew Company in the United Kingdom and Full Radius Dance, Marjani Forté, MBDance, Infinity Dance Theater, and Steve Paxton in the United States. As an emerging, award-winning choreographer, Sheppard creates movement that challenges conventional understandings of disabled and dancing bodies. Engaging with disability arts, culture, and history, she attends to the complex intersections of disability, gender, and race by exploring the societal and cultural significance of difference. In addition to performance and choreography, Sheppard is a sought-after speaker and has lectured on topics related to disability arts, race, and dance. For more information visit

AMY ZELCER is an associate in the Tax Department of Proskauer Rose LLP. Amy works on U.S. federal corporate, partnership, and international tax matters, including domestic and cross-border financings, capital markets transactions, mergers and acquisitions, investments and restructurings. Amy also maintains an active pro bono practice, representing not-for-profit/tax-exempt clients on a variety of matters, such as applying for and maintaining exemption from federal income tax and minimizing unrelated business taxable income.

ANDRÉ M. ZACHERY (b.1981, Chicago, United States) is a Brooklyn, NY based interdisciplinary artist. He holds a BFA from the Ailey/Fordham University program and an 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, commissioned, and screened in several leading institutions in New York City. Zachery was a Jerome Foundation supported Movement Research A-I-R and 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 and is currently a guest faculty artist for 2017-2018 at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. 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.

ANDREW JANNETTI, MA is based in New York City and has had a distinguished career as a choreographer, dancer, educator, fitness instructor, and producer. Throughout his career he has presented work at DTW, St. Marks’s Danspace, 92nd Street Y, Alvin Ailey Center, The Duke, DIA, BAX, Cunningham, DUMBO Dance Festival, CoolNY Festival, ADG Festival, NY International Dance Festival, as well as venues throughout the U.S. and Europe. He’s been awarded grants from NYSCA, NJSCA, MCAF, Meet The Composers, the Field, and Harkness Center as well as a BAXten award, aPASEtter award, and the Dani Nikas Excellence in Teaching Award for his work with NYC youth. He has been an adjunct professor at Montclair State University and NYU Gallatin and is currently employed full time as a Dance Educator by the NYC Department of Education and at the Brooklyn Arts Exchange as the Director of their school breaks programs. He is a facilitator for the new NYC DOE borough-wide Arts Mondays for Queens North and is on the DELTA team of dance presenters for the citywide professional development for dance educators. He is an Adjunct Professor at St. Francis College in Brooklyn and is the current President of the New York State Dance Education Association (NYSDEA). Website:

ASHLEY R.T. YERGENS is a byproduct of growing up on tater tots and WWE SmackDown. He's a 2016 boo-koo artist-in-residence at Gibney Dance, and a 2016-17 Fresh Tracks Artist at New York Live Arts. Please text your favorite emoji combination to him at (507) 412-1381.

AYODELE CASEL The 2017 recipient of the “Hoofer Award”, Ayodele is a native New Yorker and began her professional training at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and is also a graduate of The William Esper Studio in NYC, having studied directly with the masterful William Esper. Ayodele Casel recently premiered her one-woman show "While I Have The Floor" at the Spoleto Arts Festival to rave reviews. She also served as choreographer for Carole King and Maurice Sendak's musical "Really Rosie" for New York City Center's Encores! Off Center this summer under the direction of Leigh Silverman. Hailed by the legendary Gregory Hines as “one of the top young tap dancers in the world,” Casel has been creating and presenting her work since 1999 and added Spoleto Festival USA to her list of eager recipients this season in her World Premiere. Ayodele, also a Capezio Athlete, was featured alongside Sutton Foster and Jonathan Groff in Off-Center Encores! Jamboree! at New York City Center and performed her work "While I Have The Floor" at City Center's Fall for Dance 2016 season. Recent performances include "Broadway For Hillary" Fundraiser at the St. James Theater in NYC for with Michael Mayer as director. She is on the faculty at A BroaderWay, LA Dance Magic, and Marymount Manhattan College. She is the co-director of Original Tap House and Operation: Tap.

AYOKA WILES-ABEL has over two decades of background experience in the arts, dance, culture, and education. Ayoka has had a long-standing dance career and she has traveled, studied, and danced with numerous companies and artists throughout the United States and in Africa. She danced with Maimouna Keita School of African Dance for 19 years and served as Assistant Artistic Director. She was an African dance teacher/ coach for an award-winning youth ensemble which received the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award recognized by First Lady Michelle Obama. She served as the first Associate Director of Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy and then returned to serve as the Associate Executive Director/Interim Director of Finance for 5 years. Ayoka has led a consulting firm supporting nonprofit organizations build capacity; a Business Manager for the Village of Arts and Humanities as well as the Director of a Nonprofit Incubator at Resources of Human Development. She currently works as the Grants Director at the Brooklyn Arts Council. Ayoka received a B.A. in Economics from Mount Holyoke College and a Master's of Science in Nonprofit Management from The Robert J. Milano Graduate School of Management, New School as well as a Nonprofit Management certificate from Columbia Business School, Institute of Nonprofit Management and completed fieldwork in Buenos Aires, Argentina studying the Management of Socially Responsible Organizations in Latin America.

BELINDA A. SÁENZ is a triple-threat performer, instructional specialist, and choreographer who collaborates as a teaching artist with Lincoln Center Education and Disney Theatrical Group. Belinda performs with Bessie-Award-Winning Joya Powell’s Movement of the People Dance Company and Callaloo Kids, a children’s media brand that promotes cultural and social awareness through books, animation, live performance, and more. Her most recent choreographic work, The US in USA, was presented at the Frederick Loewe Theatre last April. Belinda has served as adjunct faculty at NYU Steinhardt's Dance Education program for three years. She has appeared at Jacobs Pillow, Lincoln Center, Radio City Music Hall, Aaron Davis Hall, United Palace Theatre, Queens Theatre, etc. and has performed works by Martie Barylick, Jennifer Conley, Sean Curran, Deborah Damast, Diane Duggan, Rocker Verastique, among many others. Ms. Sáenz is native of the Juárez-El Paso border area where she performed intensively and taught in various settings for over 15 years. Belinda holds an MA in Dance Education (Institute Honors/Western Scholarship) from NYU, a MEd as Instructional Specialist in Bilingual Education & BFA in Music Theatre/Dance (Magna Cum Laude) from The University of Texas at El Paso. Besides the USA, she has studied, taught, and/or performed in Mexico, England, and Eastern-Central Europe.

BILL T. JONES (Artistic Director/Co-Founder/Choreographer), a multi-talented artist, choreographer, dancer, theater director, and writer, has received major honors ranging from the Human Rights Campaign’s 2016 Visibility Award, 2013 National Medal of Arts to a 1994 MacArthur “Genius” Award and Kennedy Center Honors in 2010. Mr. Jones was honored with the 2014 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, recognized as Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government in 2010, inducted into the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2009 and named “An Irreplaceable Dance Treasure” by the Dance Heritage Coalition in 2000. His ventures into Broadway theater resulted in a 2010 Tony Award for Best Choreography in the critically acclaimed FELA!, the new musical co-conceived, co-written, directed and choreographed by Mr. Jones. He also earned a 2007 Tony Award for Best Choreography in Spring Awakening as well as an Obie Award for the show’s 2006 off-Broadway run. His choreography for the off-Broadway production of The Seven earned him a 2006 Lucille Lortel Award. Mr. Jones began his dance training at the State University of New York at Binghamton (SUNY), where he studied classical ballet and modern dance. After living in Amsterdam, Mr. Jones returned to SUNY, where he became co-founder of the American Dance Asylum in 1973. In 1982 he formed the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company (then called Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane & Company) with his late partner, Arnie Zane. Mr. Jones is currently Artistic Director of New York Live Arts, an organization that strives to create a robust framework in support of the nation’s dance and movement-based artists through new approaches to producing, presenting and educating. For more information visit His work in dance has been recognized with the 2010 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award; the 2005 Wexner Prize; the 2005 Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award for Lifetime Achievement; the 2003 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize; and the 1993 Dance Magazine Award. His additional awards include the Harlem Renaissance Award in 2005; the Dorothy B. Chandler Performing Arts Award in 1991; multiple New York Dance and Performance Bessie Awards for his works The Table Project (2001), The Breathing Show (2001), D-Man in the Waters (1989) and the Company’s groundbreaking season at the Joyce Theater (1986). In 1980, 1981 and 1982, Mr. Jones was the recipient of Choreographic Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, and in 1979 he was granted the Creative Artists Public Service Award in Choreography. Mr. Jones was profiled on NBC Nightly News and The Today Show in 2010 and was a guest on the Colbert Report in 2009. Also in 2010, he was featured in HBO’s documentary series MASTERCLASS, which follows notable artists as they mentor aspiring young artists. In 2009, Mr. Jones appeared on one of the final episodes of Bill Moyers Journal, discussing his Lincoln suite of works. He was also one of 22 prominent black Americans featured in the HBO documentary The Black List in 2008. In 2004, ARTE France and Bel Air Media produced Bill T. Jones–Solos, highlighting three of his iconic solos from a cinematic point of view. The making of Still/Here was the subject of a documentary by Bill Moyers and David Grubin entitled Bill T. Jones: Still/Here with Bill Moyers in 1997. Additional television credits include telecasts of his works Last Supper at Uncle Tom’s Cabin/The Promised Land (1992) and Fever Swamp (1985) on PBS’s “Great Performances” Series. In 2001, D-Man in the Waters was broadcast on the Emmy-winning documentary Free to Dance. Bill T. Jones’s interest in new media and digital technology has resulted in collaborations with the team of Paul Kaiser, Shelley Eshkar, and Marc Downie, now known as OpenEnded Group. The collaborations include After Ghostcatching – the 10th Anniversary re-imagining of Ghostcatching (2010, SITE Sante Fe Eighth International Biennial); 22 (2004, Arizona State University’s Institute for Studies In The Arts and Technology, Tempe, AZ); and Ghostcatching – A Virtual Dance Installation (1999, Cooper Union, New York, NY). He has received honorary doctorates from Yale University, Art Institute of Chicago, Bard College, Columbia College, Skidmore College, the Juilliard School, Swarthmore College and the State University of New York at Binghamton Distinguished Alumni Award, where he began his dance training with studies in classical ballet and modern dance. Mr. Jones’s memoir, Last Night on Earth, was published by Pantheon Books in 1995. An in-depth look at the work of Bill T. Jones and Arnie Zane can be found in Body Against Body: The Dance and Other Collaborations of Bill T. Jones and Arnie Zane, published by Station Hill Press in 1989. Hyperion Books published Dance, a children’s book written by Bill T. Jones and photographer Susan Kuklin in 1998. Mr. Jones contributed to Continuous Replay: The Photography of Arnie Zane, published by MIT Press in 1999. Jones’s most recent book, Story/Time: The Life of an Idea, was published in 2014 by Princeton University Press. In addition to his Company and Broadway work, Mr. Jones also choreographed Sir Michael Tippet’s New Year (1990) for Houston Grand Opera and Glyndebourne Festival Opera. His Mother of Three Sons was performed at the Munich Biennale, New York City Opera, and the Houston Grand Opera. Mr. Jones also directed Lost in the Stars for the Boston Lyric Opera. Additional theater projects include co-directing Perfect Courage with Rhodessa Jones for Festival 2000 in 1990. In 1994, he directed Derek Walcott’s Dream on Monkey Mountain for The Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, MN.

BRIAN POLITE Educated at Pratt Institute’s School of Art and Design, Brian Polite has graced stages as a poet, MC, vocalist, beatboxer, and dancer. As a poet/musical performer, he has appeared at venues such as SOB’s, The Knitting Factory, BAM Cafe, Joe’s Pub, Irving Plaza, Symphony Space, Tishman Auditorium and Aaron Davis Hall.
In 2004 he was plucked from NYC’s underground club scene and put on stage by Adia Tamar Whitaker. Since then his talents have led him to collaborations with various companies and choreographers, like Camille A. Brown and Nita Liem. He has facilitated dance workshops at Pratt Institute (Brooklyn, NY), at Sara Lawrence College, and at Oberlin College (Oberlin, OH) as a guest of the I Love Vinyl DJ Collective in 2013; presented lecture demonstrations on House Dance at Jawole Willa Jo Zollar’s Black Jam at Danspace Project (2012) and Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute presents Roots and Stars: Charting the Trajectory of Black Spiritualties at the Dwyer Cultural Center (2012); and participated as a panelist at the 2013 EMP Pop Conference at NYU, discussing the relationship between the DJ and dancer. Brian is currently a member of Ase Dance Theatre Collective, co-founder of Afro Mosaic Soul Dance Collective, and one-third of the vernacular jazz-meets-hip hop-and-house dance trio The Rhythm Conclave.

BRITTANY WILIAMS My passion to end anti-black oppression and state-sanctioned violence is deeply rooted in my commitment to equitably advancing systems of resistance. The goal of these systems is to reduce harm, dismantle, and create maroon sustainable practices that benefit people of color around the nation. As a dancer and community organizing, I use my assets and community assets to strategically facilitate, resist and educate through creative process, and civil disobediences, and direct actions to influence policy and legislation. I am currently working as a regional organizer with Indivisible Project, overseeing close to 1,000 Indivisible groups located in the Northeast region of the United States. Indivisible was founded after Trump was elected and they are working against Trump’s violent and racist policies. I also worked with JustleadershipUSA working on the CLOSErikers campaign, where we pressured the mayor to uplift the closure of Rikers. This 2017 hurricane season, thirty-six hours before Hurricane Irma was scheduled to hit South Florida, Government Officials decided to close all shelters in African American, African Immigrant, and Migrant communities. Within twenty-hours, I was able to contact national partners like BAJI, Million Hoodies, Safety Pin Box, and Coalition to Support Racial Justice to organize 13 shelters in our communities and direct giving funds to black women and children. Dancing for Justice we were able to organize dance-related events in 7 cities.

CANDACE THOMPSON from Trinidad and Tobago, is a dancer, choreographer, certified fitness professional and cultural producer. She is the beauty and brains behind CanDanceFit, Artistic Director of ContempoCaribe, a choreography and performance project that embodies the plurality of experiences within the Caribbean Diaspora, and the Founding Executive Director of Dance Caribbean COLLECTIVE. Dance Caribbean COLLECTIVE is a collaborative and organizing body, creating platforms for artists developing work from a Caribbean perspective, to show their work within the local diaspora community in NYC. DCC produces a season of Caribbean cultural events leading up to the annual New Traditions Festival. She is a graduate of Adelphi University's BFA in Dance with the Ruth St. Denis Award for excellence from the dance department. Currently, Candace does in-home training for clients in Manhattan and Brooklyn and teaches Soca Dance at Mark Morris Dance Center. Other special awards and professional accreditations include being a part of the inaugural Dancing While Black Fellowship Cohort 2015/2016, Adelphi University's 2016/2017 10 Under 10 program for young alumni, Dixon Place Artist-in-Residence program for fall 2017 and the 2018 Executive Program in Arts & Culture Strategy through National Arts Strategies and the University of Pennsylvania.

CARRIE BLAKE is a management consultant, researcher, and administrator dedicated to the cultural sector. Since 2006, she has been a senior member of the consulting team at Webb Management Services, a management consulting practice focused on planning for arts facilities, communities, and organizations around North America. In that role, she has led or contributed to more than 250 studies and plans. Her recent research with Dance/NYC focused on New York City’s fiscally sponsored arts landscape and informed the City’s first-ever cultural plan. Carrie has also worked as a producer, fundraiser, and marketing manager for independent nonprofit arts organizations as well as government and university-embedded arts programs. She is a proud alumna of the Bolz Center for Arts Administration at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business.

CATHERINE DRURY is a licensed clinical social worker in the state of New York who specializes in supporting dancers through injury, stress, burnout, and career change. As the Social Worker for The Dancers’ Resource at The Actors Fund, Catherine provides individual and group counseling, referrals, and advocacy services to dancers of all disciplines, building seminars and programs designed to meet dancers’ unique needs. She also acts as the counselor for the American Ballet Theatre JKO School, fostering resilience and emotional intelligence among its dance students through individual sessions and regular workshops. Since 2005, Catherine has treated adolescents and young adults with eating disorders, anxiety, and histories of trauma, most recently at the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center, Mount Sinai Hospital, and the Jewish Child Care Association. She is passionate about empowering dancers and dance communities to better care for themselves, navigate change, and obtain the guidance and resources they need at all stages of their dance careers. Catherine has presented at the National Association of Social Workers New York City Conference and contributed to articles in Dance Magazine and Dance Informa Magazine. She has a Master of Science in Social Work from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Barnard College of Columbia University.

CECILIA LYNN - JACOBS is a Brooklyn-based performer, artist, and educator. She currently performs with Andrew Schneider and is a company member with The People Movers. Cecilia has won multiple awards for Best Supporting Actress in an Ensemble for her voiceover work on Webby-nominated podcast Wolf 359, where she has worked as an actor and story developer since 2014. She recently returned from premiering transmission, a multimedia science, design and dance theater collaboration, at the Edinburgh fringe festival, and formerly developed the audience outreach program for Crawl and The People Movers. As a freelance performer, Cecilia has worked with Jess Chayes, Jamie Poskin, Liz Thaler, Zoe Beloff, and Vanessa Walters. She enjoys taking on freelance visual art commissions, writing, and design projects in addition to her performance work. She holds a BA in Theater Studies from Wesleyan University.

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.

CHRISTOPHER ROGICKI was born in NJ, and during college, he was first exposed to Cuban-style Salsa, Son, Rueda de Casino, and Timba. He has studied with prominent Casino schools and teachers throughout the US and abroad, from Havana and Santiago de Cuba to Miami, Washington D.C., California, México, Spain, Germany, and Switzerland. Chris is the former director of MEZCLA, the Latino Performing Arts group at Brown University, where he taught and performed at various expos and televised events throughout New England. Upon returning to NYC, Chris designed and implemented an extensively progressive Casino and Rueda curriculum and founded Fuákata - Cuban Salsa NY Dance Company.

CLAIRE TUNKEL Originally from Virginia, Claire has been living in New York for the past 18 years as a dancer, artist, and educator. She is currently the Director of Curriculum and Training at Urban Arts Partnership and is responsible for ensuring that UAP’s programs are rigorously aligned with instructional content and practices that elevate the impact of Arts Education in NYC public schools. Before becoming the Director of Curriculum and Training she managed UAP’s Story Studio program and developed common core aligned curriculum that uses Visual Arts and Storytelling to help English Language Learners’ with language acquisition. Her commitment to Arts Education started in the classroom. For over 10 years she was a teaching artist for organizations that include Ballet Tech, Manhattan New Music Project, and Alvin Ailey Arts In Education and Community Programs. Dance was what brought her to New York originally. Performing with the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company, Nathan Trice Rituals, and the Ellis Wood dance company to name a few, she was given the opportunity to travel and see the world through dance. The arts have always inspired and given her life purpose which is why she has devoted her time to creating opportunities for others to experience the power of Arts Education. Expertise: Dance education, Visual Art, Storytelling, Curriculum Development, Professional Development and Training in the above areas

CLARISSA SOTO JOSEPHS currently works as the Director of Programming at Pentacle. After earning a B.A. in Dance Performance and a B.A. in Entrepreneurship with a concentration in Legal Studies, both from Hofstra University, she knew that she wanted to help dance artists navigate their craft within the nonprofit field. In her 6+ years at Pentacle, she has worked with over one hundred artists, trained more than 150 interns in arts administration, and has developed innovative ways to effectively serve young artists through Pentacle’s fiscal services. Clarissa is currently steering Pentacle’s first ever research study, Administrative Resource Team (ART), directing organizational partnerships with Dance/NYC, Groove With Me, and the Greenwich Village Chelsea Chamber of Commerce, and is working directly with Pentacle’s Director to implement its new branding campaign and CRM system. In addition to her position at Pentacle, Ms. Soto is also a freelance bookkeeper for Robin Becker Dance, where she has worked since 2010. She has led professional development workshops at the Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP) conference, Dance/NYC’s annual Symposium, and Gibney Dance’s Learning & Leadership Studio Workshop, to name a few. In 2016, she was named to the New York Hispanic Coalition’s 40 Under 40 Rising Latino Stars, earned her MBA degree from Quinnipiac University, and became the treasurer for Groove With Me’s Young Professionals Committee.
Specialties: Fiscal, Budgeting, Management, Leadership, Programming, Strategic Planning, Human Resources

CLAUDE-ANDRÉE LOUISSAINT has an MA from NYU in Performing Arts Administration, and has worked at Danspace Project, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and American Symphony Orchestra. She has been working with Heidi and her company since 2001.

DAVALOIS FEARON is a Bessie Award-winning, critically acclaimed dancer, teacher and choreographer born in Jamaica and raised in The Bronx, N.Y. She is the Founder/Artistic Director of Davalois Fearon Dance. Her choreography has been presented throughout New York City, including by the Joyce Theater & the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Fearon has received awards for the creation of new work from the Bronx Council on the Arts (BCA), Groundworks Hudson Valley, and was commissioned by Harlem Stage. She is a two-time recipient of the Advanced Opportunity Fellowship from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee (UWM), the BCA Bronx Recognizes Its Own (BRIO) Fellowship, and the Arts Fund Grant; and has received the Dance Award from the MuKha Arts & Science Foundation in Stockholm among other awards. In 2017, she was awarded arts administration and professional development support from Pentacle & earned her MFA from UWM. She received a BFA from Purchase College Conservatory of Dance in 2005; the same year she joined the Stephen Petronio Company. Fearon has performed and taught around the world and at times staged the company repertory until 2017. Fearon created and implemented the Petronio education program, and has taught as an adjunct professor in the Long Island University Brooklyn Dance Program and as a guest professor at Princeton University, Purchase College Conservatory of Dance, and Hillsborough Community College and teaches occasionally at Gibney Dance.

DANIEL ARNOW recently joined The Actors Fund as Director of Affordable Housing Initiatives where he works with clients seeking housing, as well as government agencies, developers, and other organizations involved in providing or advocating for affordable housing opportunities. With over 15 years of experience in the NYC arts and culture sector and an M.Sc. in Urban Planning from Pratt Institute with a focus on arts policy and cultural development, Daniel is committed to building sustainable communities in the arts. He has worked with organizations including JazzReach, The House Foundation for the Arts, Queens Council on the Arts and is currently a Contributing Associate at Createquity.

DEANA HAGGAG is the President & CEO of United States Artists, a national arts funding organization based in Chicago, IL. Before joining USA in February 2017, she was the Executive Director of The Contemporary, a nomadic and non-collecting art museum in Baltimore, MD, for four years. In addition to her leadership roles, Deana lectures extensively consults on various art initiatives, contributes to cultural publications, and has taught at institutions such as Towson University and Johns Hopkins University. She is on the Advisory Board of Recess and Council of Common Field and has served as a member of the Affiliates Board for the Museums and Society Program at Johns Hopkins University and StageOne/FANS council at the Baltimore School for the Arts. She received her MFA in Curatorial Practice from the Maryland Institute College of Art and a BA from Rutgers University in Art History and Philosophy.

DIANE JACOBOWITZ, (BFA, Ohio State University; MFA, Connecticut College) has a distinguished career in performing, choreography and arts administration. She has taught dance to youth and adults of all ages and backgrounds for 26 years at numerous institutions. She has directed and taught at several programs including the Dance Department at Westchester Music and Arts Camp and Hunter College Dance Department. She was instrumental in establishing the Dance Major at Long Island University, where she was a professor for 9 years teaching ballet, modern, choreography, aerobics and speech. She taught and directed the middle school dance program and afterschool dance elective at the Berkeley Carroll School in Park Slope for 6 years. Diane choreographed and directed her own company, the Diane Jacobowitz Dance Theater for 15 years, during which time, the company toured, performed and engaged in residencies throughout the Northeast. Her company, DJDT performed at BAM in 1992. Diane has also performed with several prominent choreographers including Kenneth King, Marta Renzi, Grethe Holby, Kathy Duncan and Annabelle Gamson. She founded Dancewave in 1995 with the mission of bringing dance to a broad spectrum of the city youth population, particularly to those talented dancers who lacked the means to afford pre-professional training. Her main focus has been working with young people as artists in the making and connecting them early to the rigor of high-level performance and exposure to world-renowned dance artists. As Executive/Artistic Director of Dancewave for the past 20 years, she has developed innovative programming to capture the talents and imagination of young dancers. Some of the programs she has developed, in addition to the Dancewave Company model, including Dancing Through College and Beyond, the Dance Career Symposium and the Kids Cafe Festival. Under her leadership, Dancewave currently reaches over 3,000 young people citywide through programs both at the Dancewave School and in partnership with over ten New York City public schools. She is currently leading the campaign for Dancewave's capital project - the opening/launch of a brand new dance center in downtown Brooklyn in 2019.

DONNA WALKER-KUHNE is the founder of Walker International Communications Group, a boutique marketing, press and audience development consulting agency. Her team specializes in multicultural marketing, group sales, multicultural press and promotional events. They have over 45 years of executing successful marketing and audience development campaigns for Broadway productions and cultural arts organizations with sales over $22MM. Donna is Acknowledged as the nation’s foremost expert in Audience Development by the Arts & Business Council and has devoted her professional career to increasing access to the arts. Her company has developed a brand reputation among performing arts patrons of exposing them to high-quality productions and unique experiences in a way that exceeds audience members and clients’ expectations alike. Donna Walker-Kuhne is the recipient of over 30 awards acknowledging her distinguished service in the field of audience development and serves on several Boards of Directors. She is a facilitator for the National Youth Arts and Humanities Program. She is an adunct professor of over 20 years at New York University and also teaches at Bank Street College. Her first book, Invitation to the Party: Building Bridges to Arts, Culture and Community, was published in 2005. Ms. Walker-Kuhne is a volunteer with the SGI-USA, a world wide peace organization serving as Vice Director for New York.

DOUGLAS SCOTT is the leading creative voice of Full Radius Dance. He discovered dance upon entering Western Kentucky University to earn a B.F.A. in Performing Arts. After graduation, he moved to Atlanta and spent several seasons with the Ruth Mitchell Dance Company, where he performed in works by Ruth Mitchell, Ron Cunningham, Monica Levy and Sal Aiello. In 1991, Douglas founded Dance Force, Inc. He began his exploration of physically integrated (dancers with and without disabilities) dance technique in 1993, and this interest led to the creation, with co-founder Ardath Prendergast, of E=motion in 1995. In 1998, Dance Force and E=motion merged to create Full Radius Dance. In 2014, he was honored by Governor and Mrs. Nathan Deal with The Governor’s Awards for the Arts and Humanities. Douglas was cited as “a respected leader in modern dance” and for expanding “the definition and reach of modern dance by creating opportunities for dancers with and without disabilities . . . not only in the local Atlanta community, but throughout the State of Georgia, the United States and internationally.” Douglas has extensive experience in teaching classes and workshops in modern and modern-based physically integrated dance for numerous schools and organizations. Internationally, he has taught workshops in technique for diverse bodies in Italy, Ireland, Germany, and Spain.

EBONY NOELLE GOLDEN Houston, TX native, Ebony Noelle Golden is a multi-disciplinary artist, scholar, and culture strategist. Rooted in a praxis she describes as cultural arts direct action, Golden collaborates with community members, cultural institutions, and creatives to activate arts and culture in support of radical expressiveness and sustained transformation with community. Ebony, a Pushcart Poetry Prize nominee and artist-in-residence at Hemispheric Institute for Performance and Politics, co-creates, and stages site-specific rituals and live art installations that profoundly explore the complexities of freedom in the time of now. Ebony lectures on black feminist theatre and experimental performance at New School. In addition to her artistic work, Ebony designs cultural initiatives, public programs, arts-driven campaigns as principal culture strategist and CEO at Betty’s Daughter Arts Collaborative, LLC, a culture strategy consultancy and arts accelerator based in New York City.

EDWIN TORRES joined Grantmakers in the Arts (GIA) in October 2017. He most recently served as deputy commissioner of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and on the GIA board of directors from 2011 through 2016. Prior to joining the NYC Cultural Affairs office, he was an associate director with The Rockefeller Foundation. He has also served on the arts and culture team at The Ford Foundation as well as on the staff of the Bronx Council on the Arts. He holds a Master of Arts in Art History from Hunter College and a Master of Science in Management from The New School.

ELLEN WEINSTEIN began teaching and choreographing for National Dance Institute in 1985 and was named Artistic Director in 1995. Through NDI, her work has been performed at venues as varied as Carnegie Hall, the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, Brooklyn Academy of Music, and with the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center. Her choreography, “Wade in the Water,” was featured at the White House at a state dinner hosted by President and Mrs. Clinton. As an artistic consultant to NDI’s national outreach programs, Ms. Weinstein has set works and directed residencies in major cities across the country. She traveled to Moscow as a consultant for NDI’s artistic exchange with the Soviet Union and also worked with children in Madras, India. Prior to joining NDI, she danced professionally with the Savannah Ballet, the Garden State Ballet, and several contemporary dance companies. Ms. Weinstein served as adjunct professor in process pedagogy at the State University of New York at New Paltz. She received a BFA in Dance from SUNY Purchase.

EVA YAA ASANTEWAA (2017 Bessie Award winner for Outstanding Service to the Field of Dance) is a writer, curator and community educator. Since 1976, she has contributed to Dance Magazine, The Village Voice, SoHo Weekly News, Gay City News, The Dance Enthusiast, Time Out New York and other publications and interviewed dance artists and advocates as host of two podcasts, Body and Soul and Serious Moonlight. She blogs on the arts, with dance as a specialty, for InfiniteBody. Ms. Yaa Asantewaa joined the curatorial team for Danspace Project’s Platform 2016: Lost and Found and created the skeleton architecture, or the future of our worlds, featuring 21 Black women and gender-nonconforming performers for an evening of group improvisation. Her cast was awarded a 2017 Bessie for Outstanding Performer. As EYA Projects, she has begun a partnership with organizations such as Gibney Dance Center, Abrons Arts Center, Dance/NYC and Dancing While Black to curate and facilitate Long Table conversations on topics of concern in the dance/performance community. She was a member of the inaugural faculty of Montclair State University’s MFA in Dance program. She has also served on the faculty for New England Foundation for the Arts' Regional Dance Development Initiative Dance Lab 2016 for emerging Chicago-area dance artists. In May 2017, she served on the faculty for the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography's inaugural Moving Forward Dialogues Dance Lab for Emerging Choreographers. A native New Yorker of Black Caribbean heritage, Eva makes her home in the East Village with her wife, Deborah, and cat, Crystal.

GEORGE EMILIO SANCHEZ is a writer and performance artist. For the past 10 years, he has served as the Performance Director for Emergenyc. He is a Professor and Chairperson for the Performing and Creative Arts Department at the College of Staten Island, part of the City University of New York. He just completed a 24-hour performance filibuster on gun violence titled Bang Bang Gun Amok at Abrons Arts Center.

HANNAH JOO is an artist and advocate dedicated to advancing the arts’ capability to build, shape, and resist cultural systems. Hannah is an alumna of the Arts as Cultural Diplomacy Young Leaders Forum with the Institute of Cultural Diplomacy, and the Diversity in Arts Leadership program with the Arts and Business Council of New York. As a performing artist, she has collaborated with the Southern California Dance Theater, Courtyard Dancers, and Agora Dance.

HEIDI LATSKY founded Heidi Latsky Dance in 2001 and, in 2006, began integrating works with people with disabilities after visual artist and bilateral amputee Lisa Bufano commissioned a solo from her. GIMP (2008) toured internationally, garnering praise for its provocative investigation of inclusion: Dance Magazine called the piece a milestone in contemporary dance and a news feature on the work was nominated for an Emmy. IF (2010) and TRIPTYCH (2015) followed as inclusive in concert pieces. In 2014, Latsky was named the first participant in "Dance for Film On Location at Montclair State University" produced by Peak Performances at Montclair State University and underwritten by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Soliloquy premiered within TRIPTYCH and has screened at American Dance Festival, Festival de Marseille, ReelAbilities Film Festival, Dance on Camera at Lincoln Center, Miami Screendance, ICA Boston and The Whitney. Currently, Latsky is cultivating ON DISPLAY, a portfolio of works for public spaces, begun in 2015 at the request of The Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities in honor of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. ON DISPLAY GLOBAL is its annual worldwide initiative in honor of International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3rd and has performed at the UN, NYU/Tisch, and in cities like Athens, LA, Palencia, Brighton, Austin, Toronto, Boston, Milwaukee, Zagreb, Monteroni, San Fransisco, Madison, Rochester, and London.

IMMA ASHER received a professional dance training at Montgomery Ballet; Ailey School; and Nutmeg Conservatory, and afterward, she danced for three seasons with Atlanta Ballet. She graduated from Parsons/The New School for Design with a bachelor of fine arts degree, and she continued her education at Central Saint Martins, where she received her master of fine arts degree. She lives in New York City and tours internationally as a dancer and performer. I’m unsure of where my area of expertise lie. To be completely transparent, I haven’t been in the mode of making. I think I’m allowing myself to listen more in hopes of igniting my interest to manifest tangible thoughts.

J. SOTO is a queer brown transgender interdisciplinary artist, writer, and arts organizer. His collaborative writing project, "Ya Presente Ayer" can be found in Support Networks, Chicago Social Practice History Series (University of Chicago Press). His organizing projects include the Latinx Artists Retreat (LXAR) and the Latinx Artist Visibility Award (LAVA) for Ox-Bow School of Art in partnership with The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is also a fellow of the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures Advocacy Leadership Institute (ALI). His recent writing can be found in Original Plumbing and Apogee Journal: Queer History, Queer Now Folio. He currently works with Movement Research as Programs Coordinator for Equity & Inclusion initiatives.

JAMIE BENSON As an institution-less, rebel-clown choreographer, Jamie Benson defies performance 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 around the United States, across the international film festival circuit, within the Phaidon book Wild Art, & funded by the Brooklyn Arts Council. In addition to being a fringe artist, Benson is also a bonafide marketing nerd who graduated magna cum laude from Baruch College with a BA in digital communications. Now he concocts daring & unconventional promotional methods that revolutionize how creative industries advocate for worthy causes. In his actioned-oriented labs, Benson’s tough love approach is mitigated by a relentless sense of humor, with the aim to abolish self-destructive habits & inspire a fun-first “big picture” outlook about creative ventures. Jamie Benson has worked with & presented for Paul Taylor Dance, The Joyce Theater, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Dance/NYC, CUNY Dance Initiative, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Noel Pointer Foundation, Trent & Company, NJCU Arts Center, CreativesMX, Kupferberg Center for Art, Pilobolus Dance, & famed film composer David Newman.

JENNIFER FERTILE I am a 54 year old woman who serves as a liaison between parents and staff at an elementary school. I have always loved any form of the Arts and I have raised my daughter to appreciate all forms as well. I attend theater productions on a regular basis. I have built a relationship with Ballet Tech and I allow the children to experience their beginner classes as well as have encouraged children to accept their scholarships. I am the voice of ALL of my constituents and I think the Arts are as important as all curriculum in our schools.

JEREMY MCQUEEN (Artistic Director & Choreographer of The Black Iris Project), is an award-winning emerging choreographer, dedicated to story-telling rooted in experience and social engagement. Born and raised in San Diego, California, McQueen is a graduate of The Ailey School/Fordham University, B.F.A. in the dance program. At a young age, McQueen saw a production of The Phantom of the Opera and was immediately drawn to the arts. That same year he began studying music and theater. At the age of 11, he started his training in dance at the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts. McQueen has also trained as a scholarship recipient in the schools of American Ballet Theatre, San Francisco Ballet, and Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet. McQueen was a 2013 recipient of the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago’s Choreographers of Color Award and two-time finalist of the Capezio Award for Choreographic Excellence. As a performer, McQueen appeared in the Broadway national tours of Wicked and The Color Purple in addition to the Radio City Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall and Metropolitan Opera’s productions of Die Fledermaus, Aida, Les Contes d’Hoffmann, and Don Giovanni. Jeremy McQueen’s Black Iris Project is a ballet collaborative and education vehicle which creates new, relevant classical ballet works that celebrate diversity and Black history. Based in New York City, the project hosts a team of predominantly minority artists capable of delivering cross-discipline and wholly original works. Last spring the BIP performed "MADIBA", a new ballet tracing the journey of Nelson Mandela, at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

JERRON HERMAN joined HLD in the summer of 2011 never having danced before. At first a writer, Jerron now tells story through his body. He is the Company Associate to broaden exposure to disability & dance, is a member of the Bessie's Selection Committee for excellence in dance, and was just named a Trustee of DanceUSA. He was diagnosed with Hemiplegia Cerebral Palsy at three months old. Extending his talents to education, Jerron is the resident dance teaching artist with HLD. A Bay Area native, Jerron holds a B.A from The King's College and has written and produced a full-length musical and a one-man show. He was the subject of three specials, ON THE SCENE with John Bathke, Open Studio with Jared Bowen on PBS, and most recently Great Big Story. He has been a panelist for Dance/NYC, La Mama ETC, and a Queensborough Community College Symposium. For his performance in the world premiere of TRIPTYCH, The New York Times called him, "the inexhaustible Mr. Herman..."

JESS CURTIS is an award-winning choreographer and performance artist who is committed to an art-making practice that is informed by experimentation, innovation, critical discourse, and social relevance at the intersections of fine art and popular culture. Curtis co-founded the radical performance collective CORE and created and performed multi-disciplinary dance theater throughout the U.S., Europe, and the former Soviet Union with Contraband in the 80’s and 90’s. In 2000, after 15 years of making dance in the Bay Area as an independent choreographer, Curtis founded his own company, Jess Curtis/Gravity. Known for his interdisciplinary and cross-genre work, Curtis has collaborated with some of the most innovative artists working today, including Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Jules Beckman, Keith Hennessy, Angela Schubot, Ingo Reulecke, Jochen Roller, Sommer Ulrickson, Maria Francesca Scaroni, Jörg MuI?ller, Claire Cunningham, and many others. He has been commissioned or co-commissioned to create works for Artblau, the LOFT Theater, Schloss Bröllin, Berlin Senat, and Fabrik Potsdam (Germany); ContactArt (Italy); Theatre de Cachan and Chien Cru (France); Blue Eyed Soul Dance Company and DaDa Fest (England); Croi Glan Integrated Dance (Ireland); Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the San Francisco Edge Festival, the Florida Dance Association/ Tigertail Productions, the National Performance Network, and ODC Theater (US.) The 2011 winner of the prestigious Alpert Award in the Arts for choreography, Curtis’s other honors include six Isadora Duncan Dance awards, a Fringe First Award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and two SF Weekly Black Box Awards. Curtis is active as an advocate and community organizer in the field of dance and disability and teaches Dance, Contact Improvisation, and Interdisciplinary Performance for individuals of all abilities throughout the US and Europe. He has been a visiting professor at UC Berkeley and the University of the Arts in Berlin. He holds an MFA in Choreography and Ph.D. in Performance Studies from UC Davis.

JILL SIGMAN is an interdisciplinary artist and agent of change whose work exists at the intersection of dance, visual art, and social practice. She choreographs with bodies and materials to bring focus to intersecting issues of environmental and social justice. Working with things we cast off such as “garbage” and “weeds”, Sigman helps us to re-see our environments and envision a future in which we re-connect with the natural world and each other in just and empathic ways. Sigman has built huts out of trash in places such as The Ringling Museum of Art, a former hospital in Greenpoint, and a fjord in the Arctic. She was the first Gibney Dance Community Action Artist in Residence; an Artist in Residence at Movement Research, Catwalk, Guapamacátaro Interdisciplinary Residency in Art and Ecology (Mexico) & The Rauschenberg Residency; a Choreographic Fellow at MANCC and the Tisch Initiative for Creative Research at NYU; and a Creative Campus Fellow at Wesleyan University. She grew up in Brooklyn.

JINA PAIK has been with Nonprofit Finance Fund since 2008 and is Director of Knowledge Management in Advisory Services. In this role, Jina shapes core advocacy messages and financial management practices on issues that affect the entire nonprofit sector, such as building financial strength, effective capitalization for mission impact, business model adaptation and full cost funding. Jina works one-on-one with nonprofit leaders, manages major initiatives that combine capital and financial capacity building, and present workshops for nonprofits, boards and philanthropies across the country. Prior to joining NFF, she worked with the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Helene Fuld Health Trust, and the TCC Group. She serves as board treasurer for DanceNYC, was a longtime selection committee member for the New York Nonprofit Excellence Awards, and was recently honored by the New York City Human Services Council as a Next Generation Leader. Jina holds a Master of Science from the Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy, and a Bachelor in Fine Arts from Carnegie Mellon University.

JODY SPERLING A dancer-choreographer from NYC, Jody Sperling is the Founder and Artistic Director of Time Lapse Dance (TLD). She has created more than 40 works including many furthering the legacy of modern dance pioneer Loie Fuller (1862-1928). Considered the preeminent Fuller stylist, Sperling has expanded the genre into the 21st century, deploying it in the context of contemporary and environmental performance forms for herself and her company of women. She was nominated for a World Choreography Award for work on the French feature film inspired by Fuller’s life, “The Dancer” (Dir. Stephanie Di Giusto, premiere 2016 Cannes Film Festival). Years of working in Fuller’s idiom, which involves kinesphere-expanding costumes, has influenced Sperling’s awareness of the body’s relationship with the larger environment. In 2014, she participated in a polar science mission to the Arctic as the first, and to date only, choreographer-in-residence aboard a US Coast Guard icebreaker. During the expedition, she danced on Arctic sea ice and made the short dance film “Ice Floe,” winner of a Creative Climate Award. Following that experience, Sperling developed the program Bringing the Arctic Home, a dance-theater work transporting the icescape to the stage and incorporating climate literacy outreach. Her current projects focus on using visual-kinetic narratives to connect choreography and climate science.

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, encourages professional theatre activities, provides a wide range of marketing and audience development initiatives, and helps member theatres in their growth and development. Under John’s leadership, the Alliance developed the nation’s first statewide online discount ticketing program for the performing arts, njArtsTix. Prior to the Alliance, John served as Vice President for Development of the New Jersey Network Foundation where he was responsible for providing the leadership for an annual fund goal of more than $7 million in support of NJN Public Television and Radio’s programs and services. Prior to joining NJN, John served as the Director of Development for Paper Mill Playhouse where he oversaw all fundraising activities, long-range planning, and board development. John provided the leadership for Paper Mill’s successful $10 million “Project Completion” capital campaign. 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 fundraising. Clients include Union County Arts Center, Electronic Information Services, Mile Square Theatre, New Jersey Ballet, Monmouth County Arts Council, Arts Boston, Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts, Algonquin Arts, and Opera Theatre of New Jersey. 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. John is a graduate of Leadership/New Jersey, a program of the state’s emerging leaders working together to make the state a better place to live and work. John is also a graduate of the Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders in the Arts, a partnership between Stanford University and National Arts Strategies.

JOYA POWELL A native Harlemite, Joya Powell is a choreographer and educator passionate about community, activism, and dances of the African Diaspora. Hailed by The New York Times as a “radiant performer,” throughout her career she has danced with choreographers such as Katiti King, Neta Pulvermacher, and Marsha Parrilla. Her company, Movement of the People, is dedicated to creating Socially Conscious Contemporary Dance Theater. Her work has appeared in venues such as BAM, Lincoln Center, SummerStage, The Bronx Museum of Arts, Symphony Space, and BAAD!. She has choreographed such Off-Broadway plays as Fit for a Queen by Betty Shamieh (The Classical Theatre of Harlem), The Brothers Size by Tarell Alvin McCraney (Luna Stage, NJ), 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. Awards and recognition include The 2016 Outstanding Emerging Choreographer Bessie Award, 2016-2017 Dancing While Black Fellow, 2017 SDC Observership Program. Currently, Joya is a Women in Motion Commissioned Artist, a collaborating member of Dance Caribbean Collective, a member of the Artistic Resource Group for The FLEA Theater, and is an Adjunct at Hunter College and SUNY Old Westbury.

JULIANA KOO is Vice President at TDC, a nonprofit consulting firm based in Boston. Her practice includes strategic business planning, program evaluation, and organizational development for nonprofit organizations. Julie also contributes to TDC’s body of research on arts organizations. Her publications include: How Boston and Other American Cities Support and Sustain the Arts (Boston Foundation, 2016), Capitalization, Scale, and Investment: Does Growth Equal Gain? (William Penn Foundation, 2014), and Getting Beyond Breakeven (Pew Charitable Trusts and William Penn Foundation, 2009). Prior to joining TDC, Julie worked in higher education and literary publishing, as Executive Director of the Program on Social Enterprise at the Yale School of Management and as Managing Editor at Kaya Press, a nonprofit publisher of Asian and Asian American literature. She holds a BA in English and American literature from Harvard University and an MBA with a concentration in nonprofit management from the Yale School of Management.

KATY DAMMERS is a member of the Dance NYC Junior Committee. She is also the Assistant Curator and Archive Manager at The Kitchen. She has co-curated numerous projects at The Kitchen including the exhibition “From Minimalism into Algorithm” and performances with Paulina Olowska, Katy Pyle, Douglas Crimp, Joan Jonas, Steve Paxton + Robert Ashley, Glenn Branca, and Emily Sundblad among others. She also oversees The Kitchen Archive, notably preparing The Kitchen's collection from 1971-1999 for acquisition by The Getty. Dammers also works as the General Manager for Rashaun Mitchell + Silas Riener, overseeing administrative and company business including touring, producing new works, marketing, development, and finance. She is also an active presence in rehearsal processes and regularly jumps in to assist with other aspects of the creative process and performance including musical accompaniment, video documentation, stage management, and costume preparation. Dammers is Writer in Residence at the National Center for Choreography in Akron, and her writing has appeared in Movement Research Performance Journal, The Brooklyn Rail, Critical Correspondence, Culturebot, and The Performance Club.

KAY TAKEDA has worked for over 20 years to advance artists and the arts sector in the areas of grantmaking, programming and capacity-building. She is currently the Vice President of Grants & Services at Lower Manhattan Cultural Council where she develops and oversees its grantmaking, career development programs, and community initiatives. She joined LMCC in 2005 to design and guide the implementation of a $5 million Downtown Cultural Grants Initiative supported by the September 11th Fund, and to oversee LMCC’s longstanding Manhattan Arts Grants which support local artists and organizations in the creative engagement of audiences and communities. Since that time, she has developed new regrant programs, community-based arts initiatives, service partnerships and professional development programs for artists and arts groups. Prior to joining the staff, she oversaw a roster of national-level grantmaking programs at Arts International, providing support for international exchanges and touring by US visual and performing artists. Previously, at the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art at Snug Harbor, she managed contemporary art exhibitions in a 15,000 sq ft historic space alongside international residencies, public programming and a studio program for visual artists. She has served on the boards of Goliath Visual Space and Tickle the Sleeping Giant, Inc./Trajal Harrell, has participated in numerous funding panels and lectures widely on professional issues affecting artists.

KERRY MCCARTHY is program director for arts and historic preservation at The New York Community Trust, a community foundation that serves New York City and surrounding counties. Before joining The Trust in 2009, Kerry ran a consulting company serving nonprofit arts organizations. She has more than 25 years’ experience in museum and performing arts administration with organizations as varied as the Queens Museum and Jim Henson Productions. She has curated exhibitions for the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center and Atlanta’s Center for Puppetry Arts. Kerry holds an M.A. in Folk Art Studies from New York University and B.A. from Sewanee: The University of the South. She is a graduate of Coro's Leadership New York Program, former co-chair of the City’s Dance Funders Group and of New York Grantmakers in the Arts. Currently, she is a board member of Grantmakers in the Arts, and a member of the City Department of Education's arts education committee to the Panel for Education Policy.

LANE HARWELL is a nonprofit executive, advocate, educator, and former artist working to advance mission-driven causes. He is an appointee to New York State's Blue Ribbon Commission on the Arts and New York City’s Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission and the Department of Education’s Arts Education Committee. Lane chairs the New York Dance and Performance Awards and is a member of leadership committees for Trust for Governors Island, Hunter College, New York Public Library, New York City Arts Coalition, and One Percent for Culture. Prior to Dance/NYC, he held the senior development role at the arts-wide advocacy organization Alliance for the Arts. A lifelong New Yorker and a product of its creative and social justice sectors, Lane's history in the arts also includes training at the School of American Ballet and a performance career with American Ballet Theatre. He holds a MBA from Columbia Business School, a MA in Performance Studies from the University of California at Berkeley, and a BA in Philosophy from Princeton University. Lane is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and writes on policy and management issues for the Huffington Post.

DR. LAYLA ZAMI is an academic and artist working with words, music, performance, and video. Born in Paris, France in 1985, Layla gains inspiration from a rich Jewish-Russian-German and Afro-Caribbean-Indian heritage. Her work orbits around matters of dance/performance; cultural memory/trauma; race/gender; diaspora/migration; and space-time. Layla recently obtained a Ph.D. in Transdisciplinary Gender Studies from Humboldt-University, Berlin, where she also received the Faculty's First Prize for Teaching Quality. She holds an M.A. from the Sciences Po Paris School of International Affairs and was a Visiting Research Scholar at Columbia University (IRWGS) and UCSD (Department of Theatre & Dance). Her projects received awards and grants from institutions such as the MLA, German Ministry of Education, French Ministry of Youth. Layla works with dancer Oxana Chi as a musician (saxophone, kalimba, sounds), poet, actress. She performed in theaters, universities, and festivals in the USA, France, Germany, India, Martinique, Turkey, Indonesia and Taiwan. With Oxana Chi, she co-realized the documentary Dancing Through Gardens, and co-curated events such as Black Herstory Night (Dixon Place) and Moving Memory International Symposium-Festival (Technical University Berlin). An NYFA Performing Arts Boot Camp Alumna, Layla is now Assistant Producer at IHRAF and serves as a member of the Dance/NYC Immigrant Artist Task Force.

LYNN NEUMAN works at the intersection of performing arts, ecological activism, and community engagement, creating cross-disciplinary experiences infused with action and advocacy. As director of Artichoke Dance Company, she has created over 50 performance works, 6 community engagement initiatives and 4 arts education programs. She is sought for workshops and lectures in environmentalism in the arts, creativity, and innovative community integration programs. Recent projects centered on New York’s Plastic Bag Fee bill, the Gowanus Canal Superfund remediation, and Biscayne Bay Coastal Wetlands Project. Lynn is a 2016/18 Association of Performing Arts Presenters Leadership Fellow and a 2015/16 Marion International Fellow for the Visual and Performing Arts. She’s honored to have been artist-in-residence at the Chautauqua Institution and Alberta College of Art in Design in 2015, and the Ucross Foundation in 2014 and 2016. From 2012-2015, she was on faculty at Florida Gulf Coast University. Prior to that, she was a Lincoln Center Institute teaching artist for 10 years, and taught at Peridance, Joffrey Ballet School and Ballet Arts. She currently serves as Partnership Committee Chair for 350Brooklyn and is on the Leadership Committee of #GetOrganizedBrooklyn. As a volunteer coastal clean up coordinator, Lynn has organized thousands of hands to collect tons of trash.

MADELEINE CUTRONA is a Program Officer of Fiscal Sponsorship at New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) where she consults with artists about project management, fundraising strategy, and grant proposals. Madeleine brings a decade of experience teaching visual art, helping artists connect with audiences, making art and fundraising for her own projects. She is interested in how artists garner resources, build support, and hone skills to execute their creative visions. Madeleine holds a BA in Anthropology and Studio Art from the University of Rochester, and an MFA from Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA).

MALINI SRINIVASAN is a third-generation Bharatanatyam dancer, choreographer and teacher, and the disciple of Guru Sri C.V. Chandrasekhar. A critically acclaimed soloist, she also founded Malini Srinivasan and Dancers, a dance company bridges the gap between traditional and modern worlds. Malini is dedicated to developing new dance works through commissioning music for dance from composers in world music traditions. Malini has presented her work at prestigious venues including The Smithsonian Folklife Festival (DC), The LaMama Moves! Dance Festival (NYC), The Music Academy (Chennai), the Wasserkiche (Zurich), and the New York International Fringe Festival. She was awarded the NYC Fringe Award for Excellence in Choreography (2012) and the QCA Individual Artist Grant (2010, 2012, 2014), and a New Music USA grant (2016). Based in New York City, Malini is committed to spreading a deep understanding of Indian classical traditions through teaching. She has been a visiting artist/lecturer at UNC Asheville, Princeton University, Wellesley College and Colgate University. She is an Adjunct Lecturer at the Asian & Asian-American Studies Department at SUNY Stony Brook, on the dance faculty of Chhandayan, and a Teaching Artist with City Lore. Visit

MARA GREENBERG received her MBA in Finance from New York University. She joined Pentacle as Director of Fiscal Operations in 1977 and became Director (with Ivan Sygoda) two years later. She has served as a financial consultant to the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, was a contributing editor to the Poor Dancer’s Almanac, second edition, was a guest speaker and panelist on performing arts fiscal organization for ART/NY FEDAPT, Dance Theater Workshop, the New School for Social Research, the Cultural Council Foundation and Marymount Manhattan College among others, and a guest on cable television “Eye on Dance” (“Second Careers for Professional Dancers”). She also performed professionally with Rachel Lampert & Dancers and the Nancy Meehan Dance Company. She has given her time to the Synagogue for the Arts as a financial consultant as well as organized summer programs for children on the East End. Areas of expertise: financial management

MARC BREW is an acclaimed International choreographer and AXIS Artistic Director Marc Brew trained as a professional dancer at the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School and The Australian Ballet School. He has been working in the UK and Internationally for the past 20 years as a director, choreographer, dancer, teacher and speaker; with the Australian Ballet Company, State Theatre Ballet Company of South Africa, Infinity Dance Theatre, CandoCo Dance Company and AXIS Dance Company. Marc was Associate Director with Scottish Dance Theatre, Associate Artistic Director with Ballet Cymru in Wales and was Associate Artist in 2015 at Tramway Theatre in Glasgow. Since 2008 Marc has been dedicating time to his own choreography with Marc Brew Company and his recent choreographic commissions include Scottish Ballet, Ballet Cymru, YDance, AXIS Dance Company (USA), Candoco Dance Company (UK), Touch Compass (NZ), Amy Seiwert’s Imagery (USA), GDance, Scottish Dance Theatre, Greewnwich & Docklands International Festival and City of London Festival (UK). Marc was featured by Time Out Magazine as the best of the new breed of London’s Rising Dance Talent and was presented with a Centenary Medal for Outstanding Contribution as a dancer and choreographer. His work Remember When was nominated for an Isadora Duncan Dance Award for Best Performance (individual) and his recent solo work For Now, I am… was listed in the Guardians Top 10 Dance Shows for 2016.

MARIN ROSMAN I am a 13-year-old who was born with cerebral palsy. I am currently in 8th grade. From kindergarten through 7th grade I attended an accessible and inclusive public school called Manhattan School for Children (MSC). In 8th grade, I switched to a private school called Winston Prep for kids with learning needs. I am the only kid at the school with cerebral palsy or any other physical challenge as the school is not accessible. In my spare time, I play wheelchair basketball as part of the Rolling Fury’s and participate in drama. I was recently in the school musical of Scooby Doo. I love to be on stage and have a microphone so I am very grateful to be on this panel here today.

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

MARY VERDI-FLETCHER, President/Founding Artistic Director, has been a pioneering force in the development and success of physically integrated dance worldwide for nearly 4 decades. As one of the first and foremost professional wheelchair dancers, she has worked and studied with such esteemed artists as Donald McKayle, David Rousseve, Dianne McIntyre, Dennis Nahat, Keith Young, Ben Vereen, Christopher Reeve and many others. After the inception of the Dancing Wheels Company in 1980, Mary soon realized the dire need for training and career advancement for dancers of all ability levels, which ultimately lead to the creation of the multi-arts Dancing Wheels School in 1990. Attracting students from around the globe, the school rapidly became the most sought after site for training in the formal techniques of physically integrated dance. As an educator, Mary has conducted master classes, lectures and has consulted with notable arts institutions across several continents. Also a tireless arts administrator and advocate, Mary has contributed to the development of state and national programs for arts and disability service organizations. She has worked to help pass significant pieces of legislation including the Americans with Disabilities Act established in 1990, which has paved the way for others in their quest for full and equal access

MICHELE MANTIONE is a disabled artist from New York City, who works in the fields of dance, theatre, film, arts administration, and education. She holds a B.S. in Physically Integrated Dance from the CUNY Baccalaureate Program and is currently an M.A. Candidate in Dance Education at the Hunter College Arnhold Graduate Dance Education Program. Mantione’s dancer credits include Heidi Latsky Dance, Infinity Dance Theatre, Marked Dance Project, Steve Paxton, Susan Marshall, and ZCO/Dance Company. As an arts administrator and advocate, she has worked with Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts, DISLABELED Film Series, and Queer Commons.

MICHELLE RAMOS, JD, PhD, has committed her career to servicing our most marginalized communities, those adversely impacted by issues of race, gender, socio-economics, inequitable laws, and public policies. She was recently appointed Executive Director of Alternate Roots, an organization that sits at the intersection of arts and socials justice. Prior to that, she was the project director of the Vera Institute of Justice, New Orleans office. Ramos, 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 is the proud mother Broadway associate choreographer, Ellenore Scott, and since retiring from her own dance career Ramos has continued teach dance, has competed as an Ironman triathlete and now enjoys her southern New Orleans lifestyle

NIC KAY is from the Bronx. Currently occupying several liminal spaces. They are a person who makes performances and creates/organizes performative spaces.They are obsessed with the act and process of moving, the change of place, production of space, position, and the meaning gleaned from shifting of perspective. Their current trans disciplinary projects explore movement as a place of reclamation. NIC is a spring 2018 resident at Pioneer works in Red Hook, Brooklyn. NIC has performed and shown work Internationally and in The United States.

NORA CHIPAUMIRE, born in Mutare, Zimbabwe and based in NYC, uses her choreography to challenge and embrace stereotypes of Africa and the black performing body. chipaumire most recently received the 2016 Trisha Mckenzie Memorial Award for her impact on the dance community in Zimbabwe. She was also awarded a 2016 Foundation for Contemporary Arts grant and a 2015 Doris Duke Artist award. She was a Hodder Fellow at Princeton University in 2014-2015, 2012 Alpert Award in the Arts recipient and 2011 United States Artist Ford Fellow. chipaumire is a three-time New York Dance and Performance (aka “Bessie”) Awardee: in 2008 for her dance-theater work, Chimurenga, in 2007 for her body of work with Urban Bush Women, and in 2014 for the revival of her solo Dark Swan. She was also a MANCC Choreographic Fellow in 2007-2008, 2009, and 2015. Her evening-length work, portrait of myself as my father (2016) was commissioned by Peak Performances @ Montclair State University, co-commissioned by MDC Live Arts in partnership with Miami Light Project, Georgia Institute of Technology, 651 ARTS, Dance Center of Columbia College, and company nora chipaumire. Her work has been reviewed by The New York Times, Le Monde, Johannesburg Sunday Times. chipaumire made her debut as a film director in 2016 with the short film Afro Promo #1 King Lady commissioned by Dance for Film on Location at Montclair State University.

PAMELA PRITZKER-RIDLEY has her BFA in photography from The Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University and her Masters of Science for Teachers in Adolescent Education from Pace University. She has teaching certifications in special education and visual arts and is a nationally certified American Sign Language interpreter. Pam currently works for the Department of Education in the Office of Arts and Special Projects. She was the project manager and contributing writer for the Arts and Students with Disabilities Online Resource Compendium.

PATCH (PATRICIA) SCHWADRON, career counselor to performing artists at The Actors Fund for over 17 years, became Senior Career Counselor for Career Transition For Dancers when it returned to The Actors Fund in early 2016. Patch started her professional life performing with The Boston Ballet. Decades later, she pursued training in educational psychology and career counseling at California State University, Northridge with a focus on the career development and management needs of arts professionals.

PATRICIA DYE Dance is what I am. Since I was five in St.Croix, I knew I wanted to teach dance. After receiving a BFA from Adelphi University, I choreographed and performed in Europe and the USA and became the Artistic Director for the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Dance Theater, assisted Dr. Baba Chuck Davis of Dance Africa, and founded Passing Ancestral Knowledge Along Theatre Dance Company. For the past 22 plus years, I have led the dance department at Science Skill Center HS, founding the Jow-Ile-Bailar Dance Company and the New Wave Dancers. Presenting the anthropology of the African/Caribbean/American Diasporas, I stress the importance of community, collaboration, and respect for the elders. a?? a?? a?? a??Patricia Dye, MA: NYU (Dance Education and Performance), BFA: Adelphi University (Dance), has been teaching, advising and directing the Dance Department at Science Skills High School for Science, Technology & Creative Arts's Jow-Ile-Bailar Dance Company, Club and New Wave Dancers in Brooklyn for the past 22 years. Ms. Dye has presented workshops for the NYC Dept. of Education Region 8 and conferences including NDEO, SDHS, NDA and CORD. Brooklyn Academy of Music Teacher Advisory Council. Throughout her successful career Ms. Dye has taught master classes and workshops, choreographed and appeared in videos, industrial shows, Broadway shows, television commercials and movies throughout the USA and Europe. For seven years, she was the Artistic Director for the Restoration Dance Theater at the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation and she has served as assistant and Dance Captain for Dr. Chuck Davis since 1988 and in 1993 became Founder and Artistic Director of Passing Ancestral Knowledge Along Dance Company (PAKA). Ms. Dye also has several achievements including being the recipient of the UFT Mini-Grants and Capezio Ballet Makers Grant 2006-2014, the Phyllis Hyman Phat Friend Award 2008, Recipient of the Long Island University Future of Men Leadership Award 2010 and the first awardee of the Diana Domoracki-Kisto Award, in 2013, from the New York State Dance Educators Association (NYSDE) for Pre-K-12 Dance Educators, in honor of a former Board Member and inspirational dance educator. Ms. Dye has been an influential member of the New York City Department of Dance Education Assessment Team, Dance Blue Print Facilitator member DELTA 2005-2018, and the Region 8 Facilitator / New York City Department Dance Exit Examination Team / Arts Achieve Dance Adjudicator/ New York City Middle School Summer Dance Boot Camp Educator / TE Arts Dance Facilitator /New York City Mentor / UnIted Federation of Teachers Dance Educators Executive Committee member/NYCDOE Arts Curriculum Mapping Writer Dance Team/ Brooklyn Arts Festival Committee member/ Emmy nominated PS Dance documentary featured NYCDOE Master Dance Educators

PELENAKEKE (KEKE) BROWN is an immigrant multi-disciplinary artist with a background in dance. Born in Auckland, New Zealand, she received her BA in English Literature and Pacific Studies at the University of Auckland 2010 and completed the Studio Art Intensive at the National Academy School, New York (2016). She was a founding member of New Zealand’s first mixed-ability dance company Touch Compass. She has exhibited in New York and San Francisco and was a 2016/17 artist in the New York Foundation for the Arts Immigrant Artist Program. She has attended the Vermont Studio Center and her writing and art have been published in the James Franco Review, the Hawaii Review, and the Apogee Journal. Ms. Brown’s work is interested in social practice and the intersections within our identities by using the Samoan concept of the Va or between-space. The va is a relational concept and understanding of space, including context, history, memory and most importantly inter-personal relationships. As a afakasi Samoan, queer, disabled, immigrant woman she is interested in the many in-between spaces we occupy. Her mediums include drawing, storytelling, words, and movement, often using Hair as her primary subject matter to explore these intersections within ourselves.

PHAEDRA MANNING I currently attend John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Previously, I attended LaGuardia Community College where I earned my associate's degree in Criminal Justice. Science skills center High school is where I graduated and from While molding myself to be occupied with the help of college now, the National Honor Society, journalism, and Jow- Ile- Bailar dance company. With this, I was able to learn and build on to my leadership skills. Dancing has been apart of me since I was a little girl but I am more passionate about singing and acting. But being an archivist, treasurer, dance captain and the artistic director of JIB allowed me to balance life my recreational life and my school life on a whole. It helped me focus and showed me how to network and with and with Ms. Dye as an advisor/ instructor, anyone can dance but you have to learn to balance and take care of responsibility and especially yourself before you take care of others. With doing all that the most important thing you have to do is to “communicate, communicate, communicate!” That will help you along the way which will allow you to become successful in life. In my near future, I wish to become an actress/singer/songwriter.

PIA MONIQUE MURRAY is known as a jack of all trades in the dance industry, having been a choreographer, performer, teacher, arts administrator, stage, tour and company manager, and rehearsal assistant. She has worked with nora chipaumire, Urban Bush Women, Dianne McIntyre, Blondell Cummings, and Pedro Ruiz in various capacities, and performed with Vado Diomande’s Kotchegna Dance Company for ten years. Pia has been a teaching artist for Urban Arts Partnership, Dreamyard Project, Brooklyn Arts Council, Dancewave, and Mark DeGarmo & Dancers. As a Lincoln Center Scholar she obtained a master’s degree in dance education from Hunter College and graduated with high honors as a member of the National Honors Society for Dance. She currently teaches elementary school dance with the NYC Department of Education, leads New York Live Arts’ Thinkers & Movers interdisciplinary dance camp, and leads Pia Monique Murray Dance Collective (PMMDC). As an educator Pia’s pedagogy combines art education (expanding student experiences through various art media) and aesthetic education (engaging with works of art through various learning modalities). By creating, performing, responding to, and connecting to dance, students learn to apply tools, skills, and concepts in various situations in order to achieve a goal or express an idea. Pia’s classes don’t just develop strong and flexible dancers, but more importantly smart dancers that can apply their acquired skills to any endeavor they pursue in life.

PONTUS LIDBERG Choreographer, filmmaker and dancer, Pontus Lidberg has firmly established himself as a creative and visionary artist, bringing dance and film together. As a choreographer for the stage, Lidberg has created works for dance companies including New York City Ballet, Martha Graham Dance Company, Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, Semperoper Ballet Dresden, Royal Swedish Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, Le Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève, Balletboyz and Beijing Dance Theatre, as well as for his own concert group, Pontus Lidberg Dance. Pontus Lidberg Dance has been presented by New York City Center’s Fall For Dance Festival, the Havana International Ballet Festival, the Spoleto Festival, The Joyce Theater, the Guggenheim Museum Works & Process and the National Arts Center of Canada, Ottawa. His dance film, The Rain received numerous awards. The New York Times wrote “memorably, The Rain illustrates what filmed dance can say that staged dance cannot.” His film Labyrinth Within won Best Picture at the Dance on Camera Festival in 2012. He was nominated for a New York Dance and Performance Award (Bessie) in Outstanding Visual Design, for his dance and film evening WITHIN (Labyrinth Within)—created during his 2012 tenure as Resident Artistic Director of Morphoses. Raised in Stockholm, Sweden, Lidberg trained at the Royal Swedish Ballet School. He holds an MFA in Contemporary Performing Arts from the University of Gothenburg, Faculty of Fine, Applied and Performing Arts.

RACHEL MCCAULSKY, teaches Literacy Through Movement at P396K, a District 75 school servicing students with severe to profound disabilities. She incorporates movement into the school’s curriculum, creating units of study that fuse literacy with dance. From 2015-2017, three of her movement units were published in the NYC Department of Education Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in Dance through the Office of Arts and Special Projects.
In 2015, Mrs. McCaulsky completed a Master’s Degree in the Science of Teaching in Childhood and Childhood Special Education at Pace University. Prior to becoming a dance educator, she earned a Bachelor’s Degree of Fine Arts in Dance from the Alvin Ailey/Fordham University BFA Program. She had the opportunity to perform with Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Ballet Hispanico, Ailey II and Dallas Black Dance Theatre. She has been featured in Dance Magazine and the cover of the Los Angeles Times Arts and Entertainment section. In addition to teaching in the NYC Department of Education, Mrs. McCaulsky continues to dance as a freelancer and was the featured ballerina for the Grammy Award winning artist, Chrisette Michele in her music video Super Chris. In 2016, Mrs. McCaulsky traveled to universities in Melbourne, Australia to teach the Horton modern dance technique. She is currently a member of Thomas/Ortiz Dance and the founder of True Body, a company grounded in educating individuals about their body through Pilates classes and healthy recipes.

REBECCA SELKOWE, J.D., runs the Financial Wellness Program at The Actors Fund in New York. She focuses on developing and teaching financial education workshops and seminars that engage, educate and empower performing arts professionals about the role of money in their lives. Particular areas of expertise include budgeting with variable and multiple sources of income, managing and eliminating debt, and cultivating a financially healthy mindset. Rebecca is also a licensed attorney, founder of the NYC-based financial wellness and education company Rock Your Money, and author of Dominate Your Debt: A Work & Play Book. She earned her B.A., magna cum laude, from Middlebury College and her J.D. from Brooklyn Law School. She is a trained classical singer and flutist, and she LOVES (in all caps!) karaoke.

RENATA MARINARO, LMSW, is National Director of Health Services for The Actors Fund. She counsels professionals and small businesses in the entertainment industry nationwide on health care coverage options. In March 2017 she helped launch the Samuel J Friedman Health Center for the Performing Arts, in partnership with Mt. Sinai Doctors. Renata’s goal is to create educated and active health care consumers, and to that end she has written online tutorials and a guide on the Affordable Care Act, “Every Artist Insured”, as well as the monthly online series, “Health Insurance HQ.” Renata is also a licensed social worker and has worked in health care settings in the New York metro area.

ROBERT L. LYNCH is president and CEO of Americans for the Arts and the Americans for the Arts Action Fund. With more than 42 years of experience in the arts industry, he is motivated by his personal mission to empower communities and leaders to advance the arts in society, and in the lives of our citizens. In 1996, Mr. Lynch managed the successful merger of the National Assembly of Local Arts Agencies, where he had spent 12 years as executive director, with the American Council for the Arts to form Americans for the Arts. Under his 32 years of leadership, the services and membership of Americans for the Arts have grown to more than 50 times their original size. Bringing a national perspective to local arts issues, Mr. Lynch currently serves on the board of the Independent Sector, as well as a member of their public policy committee. He served two terms on the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, a position appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, as well as on the board of the Arts Extension Institute, and the University of Massachusetts-Amherst College of Humanities and Fine Arts Board. In February 2017, he was the inaugural recipient of the JFK Commonwealth Award from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. Mr. Lynch earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and enjoys playing the piano, mandolin, and guitar. He lives in Washington, DC.

ROXANE D'ORLEANS JUSTE is a native of Montreal and of Haitian origins. She graduated from Toronto’s National Ballet School teacher training program. Sponsored by the Canada Council for the Arts, she studied the training methods for classical ballet dancers at the Paris Opera, The Royal Danish Ballet, The John Cranko school and the Hamburg Ballet. Ms. Juste performed and toured with the Eleo Pomare Dance Company, Annabelle Gamson Dance Solos and joined the José Limón Dance Company in 1983. She was named Artistic Associate in 2001 and Associate Artistic Director in 2007 under Carla Maxwell Artistic Directorship. Ms. Juste founded “en Solo” in 1999, a platform for her own choreography and rarely seen signature works of internationally renowned choreographers. She initiated the Limon Choreographers Dance Series in 2001 and the Choreographers Collective in 2011. For the José Limón Dance Foundation, Ms. Juste reconstructs and stages Jose Limon’s repertory worldwide and directs the Limon Teachers Program across Europe, in the U.S., and in Canada. She instituted LINKS and Limón4Kids for performing Art High Schools in New York City and the New York City public schools for students ranging from grade 1 to Grade 12. Ms. Juste directs the Limon4Kids Program in Mexico in association with the Minister of Education and Saludarte offering teacher training to dance instructors serving over 120 elementary schools in underserved communities. Ms. Juste teaches for the TanzWuppertal /Pina Bausch Dance Company and the Essen Hoch Folkwang Schule in Essen since 2015. She was named resident choreographer for the Company CoreoArte in Venezuela since 2009. She is the recipient of the “Jacqueline Lemieux Prize” and the “ Bessie Award” for Outstanding Sustained Achievement”

SEAN DORSEY is a San Francisco-based transgender and queer dancemaker, dancer, educator, and activist. He has been awarded 4 Isadora Duncan Dance Awards and has toured his work to 29 cities. Dorsey is the first trans dance artist to be awarded support from the NEA, National Dance Project, Dance/USA, and more than a dozen government and foundation funders. Dorsey has created and advocated for supportive space for trans and gender-nonconforming bodies, voices and leadership in Dance for 20 years. Dorsey is the founder and Artistic Director of Fresh Meat Productions -- the US’ first nonprofit to create, present and tour year-round multidisciplinary transgender arts programs. Fresh Meat’s programs include the popular annual FRESH MEAT FESTIVAL of trans and queer performance (June), Sean Dorsey Dance, national community residencies, and internships. Fresh Meat’s national program #TRANSformDance provides trans-led trainings, workshops, performances and advocacy responding to the exclusion of trans and gender-nonconforming bodies and leadership in Dance. This June, Dorsey will become the first US transgender artist presented at The Joyce Theater when THE MISSING GENERATION is presented as part of its 20-city US tour. THE MISSING GENERATION gives voice to trans and LGBTQ longtime survivors of the early AIDS epidemic; Dorsey created the work after recording 75 hours of oral history interviews with survivors. Dorsey’s new work BOYS IN TROUBLE launches a 20-city tour this May.

SHAWN RENÉ GRAHAM, Deputy Director, Programs and Services, The Field, is a freelance writer and dramaturg from San Jose, California who has worked with many writers including, Dennis Allen, France-Luce Benson, Nilo Cruz, Steve Harper, Walter Mosley, Lynn Nottage, Paul Rudnick, Susan Sontag, Dominic A. Taylor, Judy Tate, and Cori Thomas. She has been a guest dramaturg at the O'Neill Playwrights Conference, the Crossroads Theatre Company's Genesis Festival, the New Professional Theatre, and African American Women's New Play Festival and on many panels including, National Endowments for the Arts/Theatre Communications Group Theatre Residency Program for Playwrights, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Artist Grants Panel in Playwriting and the Mark Taper Forum's New Works Festival and is currently the resident dramaturg of The American Slavery Project's: Unheard Voices. She is the Literary Director for the Classical Theatre of Harlem’s Future Classics Series and Playwright’s Playground, and founder of All Creative Writes, an artistic assistance service designed to provide individual artists and performing arts organizations with administrative, fundraising and writing support. Ms. Graham holds degrees from the California State University, Los Angeles and the American Repertory Theatre Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard University. She joined The Field in 2012 and lives in Bronx, NY.

SHYBOI (Yulan Grant) is a Jamaican born, New York-based multidisciplinary artist. SHYBOI is the moniker she uses to cause sonic disruption. As a creative positioned between Caribbean and American culture, she uses sound to interrogate ideas of identity, notions of power, perceived histories and the entanglements that happen within these topics. She is also a member of the queer artist collective #KUNQ whose ethos is centered around the production of multidimensional work through sound, visual and performance art while expanding the discourse surrounding the subcultures and genres that have become diluted or obscured in the name of hybridity. SHYBOI has three Boiler Room sets under her ever-widening belt as well as two performances at MoMA PS1 and is a frequent collaborator of NYC underground staples ranging from Rizzla (Fade to Mind) to Venus X. Recent sounds have been featured in Fact Mag, Thump, Rinse FM, MixMag and the Fader.

SITA FREDERICK is a choreographer, performer, arts administrator and teacher based in New York City. After graduating from Swarthmore College, Frederick performed with Bessie-winning choreographers Jawole Willa Jo Zollar of Urban Bush Women and Merian Soto, co-founder of Pepatian. In 2003, Frederick and visual artist José Miguel Ortiz co-founded Areytos Performance Works, a multi-disciplinary performance company that presents innovative contemporary dance-theatre rooted in Caribbean traditions and the principles of social justice. From 2007-2010 Frederick produced a body of work reinterpreting Afro-Cuban, Salsa and modern in "Maletumba II," "What Do You Dance On?", "Sirenas" and "Bembé, Salon, y Calle". Frederick’s newest series explores the convergence of Gaga and Guloya, two African based Dominican traditions and the politics of black identity in the Dominican Diaspora, with site-specific "Comparsa G" and work-in-progress "Batey y Macorix: Senderos de Carbón/Carbon Pathways" presented by the Hostos Center for the Arts and Culture with funding from the Rockefeller Foundation’s NYC Cultural Innovation Fund. Frederick has received support from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance, Bronx Action Lab, Puffin Foundation, Aaron Davis Hall’s Fund for New Work, Harlem Dance Foundation, and Swarthmore College. Presenters of her work include Thelma Hill Performing Arts Center/Kumble Theater, Aaron Davis Hall/Harlem Stages, Pregones Theater, Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors, Pepatian@Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out, Congress on Research in Dance, the University of Texas in Austin, Cornell University, Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance, among others. In May of 2012, Frederick completed a Master of Fine Arts in New Media Art and Performance at Long Island University, Brooklyn. She is currently the Director of Community Engagement Programs at Lincoln Center Education.

STEFANIE BATTEN BLAND's interdisciplinary creative practice is embedded in human relationships. She researches the preconceived notions embedded within contemporary and historical culture. Beginning in New York City, followed by over ten years in Europe before returning to SoHo in 2011, Stefanie Batten Bland's career has taken a geographically circuitous path to her present status as a Jerome Robbins Award honoree. She founded her own company, Company SBB, in 2008 in France while head choreographer at the Paris Opera Comique under the direction of Jerome Savary. Her pieces are made in passionate response to global issues, commenting on what is and what could be with an optimistic belief in the common human community. Company SBB is in long-term residency at University Settlement on the Lower East Side and has performed throughout Europe and the United States in both live and cinematic settings. SBB's commissions include Tu Dance, Second Avenue Dance Company, Zenon Dance Company, Transitions of London, Singapore Danceland and Ailey ll. She currently performs for PunchDrunk, is a part-time lecturer at Rutgers University and is completing her MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts with a concentration in Performance Creation at Goddard College in Vermont. She has expertise in European/USA creating, Choreographic Installation, Dance Theatre, Wearable Art, Physical Theatre, Immersive Theatre, as well as institutional community alliance building.

SUSAN FEDER joined the Foundation in 2007 as program officer for Performing Arts and now serves in that capacity in the consolidated program for Arts and Cultural Heritage. Ms. Feder oversees grantmaking for performing arts and related organizations, helps develop new initiatives, and works closely with other programs on grants of overlapping areas of interest. Before joining the Foundation, as vice president of the music publishing firm G. Schirmer, Inc., she spent 20 years developing the careers of many leading composers in the United States, Europe, and the former Soviet Union. Earlier in her career, she was the editorial coordinator of The New Grove Dictionary of American Music, program editor at the San Francisco Symphony, and a freelance writer on music. A graduate of Princeton University, she serves on the university’s Music Department Advisory Council and the Alumni Schools Committee. Ms. Feder also received an MA in the history and literature of music from the University of California, Berkeley. Ms. Feder is vice president of the Amphion Foundation and serves on the boards of Grantmakers in the Arts, the Kurt Weill Foundation, and the Charles Ives Society. Her honors include the Concert Music Award from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP).

SYDNIE L. MOSLEY is an artist-activist and educator who produces experiential dance works with her all-women company SLMDances. Through her choreographic work, the company works in communities to organize for gender and racial justice. Her evening-length dances The Window Sex Project and BodyBusiness address sexual harassment in public spaces and the economics of NYC dance, respectively. In February 2017, Sydnie was recognized by NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray for using her talents in dance to fuel social change. Other recognitions include: LMCC Creative Engagement Grant, The Field Leadership Fund, CUNY Dance Initiative, Dancing While Black Artist Fellowship, and The Performance Project @ University Settlement, Create Change Fellowship with The Laundromat Project, the Gibney Dance Institute for Community Action Training, and the inaugural Barnard Center for Research on Women Alumnae Fellow. She earned her MFA in Dance Choreography from the University of Iowa and earned her BA in Dance and Africana Studies from Barnard College at Columbia University. Sydnie is a part of the 2017 Bessie Award-winning cast of the skeleton architecture, the future of our worlds, curated by Eva Yaa Asantewaa. Sydnie danced with Christal Brown's INSPIRIT (2010-2013) and continues to appear as a guest artist for Brooklyn Ballet. An advocate for the field, Sydnie sits on the Advisory Committee to Dance/NYC.

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).

TRELLIS STEPTER serves as a program officer for the Mertz Gilmore Foundation's Democratic Values and Climate Change Solutions programs. Trellis brings 15 years’ experience working on racial, social, and economic justice policy in the public and philanthropic sectors. Trellis served as the program officer for Money in Politics at the Piper Fund, a funder collaborative, and initiative of the Proteus Fund. In 2011, Trellis was selected to participate in a yearlong distinguished fellowship program at Proteus to empower more diverse leaders to enter the field of philanthropy. Previously, he worked in public service in both the executive and legislative branch. Trellis is a graduate of the Julliard School's Drama Division.

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.

ZAVÉ MARTOHARDJONO is a Brooklyn-based artist born in Montréal, Canada. An interdisciplinary artist and performer, Martohardjono is interested in geopolitics, social justice, queer glam, and embodied healing. Their group exhibitions include Perfect Union, Asian Arts Initiative, PA (2017); Sick Time, Sleepy Time, Crip Time, EFA Project Space, NY (2017); State of Emergency, Winslow Garage, LA (2015); MANIFEST!, Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Montréal, Canada (2014); and Me Love You Longtime, Aljira Center for Contemporary Art, NJ (2012). Martohardjono has held residencies at the Bronx Museum of the Arts (2017), Gibney Dance (2017), Shandaken: Storm King (2016), La MaMa (2016), and Chez Bushwick (2015). They hold a B.A. from Brown University and an M.F.A. in Media Arts Production from the City College of New York.


ALEX GOLEMAN started his career in Pentacle's Cultivating Leadership in Dance internship program. From there, he joined Pentacle as a full-time employee in the Fiscal Department and eventually was escalated to Director of Fiscal Services. Alex received his BBA in International Business from Hofstra University.
Specialties: Quickbooks, Fiscal Sponsorship, Bookkeeping, Audit Prep, Budgeting

CLARISSA SOTO JOSEPHS currently works as the Director of Programming at Pentacle. After earning a B.A. in Dance Performance and a B.A. in Entrepreneurship with a concentration in Legal Studies, both from Hofstra University, she knew that she wanted to help dance artists navigate their craft within the nonprofit field. In her 6+ years at Pentacle, she has worked with over one hundred artists, trained more than 150 interns in arts administration, and has developed innovative ways to effectively serve young artists through Pentacle’s fiscal services. Clarissa is currently steering Pentacle’s first ever research study, Administrative Resource Team (ART), directing organizational partnerships with Dance/NYC, Groove With Me, and the Greenwich Village Chelsea Chamber of Commerce, and is working directly with Pentacle’s Director to implement its new branding campaign and CRM system. In addition to her position at Pentacle, Ms. Soto is also a freelance bookkeeper for Robin Becker Dance, where she has worked since 2010. She has led professional development workshops at the Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP) conference, Dance/NYC’s annual Symposium, and Gibney Dance’s Learning & Leadership Studio Workshop, to name a few. In 2016, she was named to the New York Hispanic Coalition’s 40 Under 40 Rising Latino Stars, earned her MBA degree from Quinnipiac University, and became the treasurer for Groove With Me’s Young Professionals Committee.
Specialties: Fiscal, Budgeting, Management, Leadership, Programming, Strategic Planning, Human Resources

DOUG POST in 2000, after a career in I.T. in NJ, a computer consulting gig landed him in NYC on a daily basis, and he began attending numerous modern dance performances and developing friendships with performers, choreographers, and others in the industry. Prior to this, he served as President of Beyondance, Inc.’s Board of Directors and was a founding Board member of Freespace Dance. After participating in DTW’s Arts Administration Lab, he held various positions with NYC dance organizations including: the Advisory Boards of Reverb Dance, the Young Choreographer’s Festival and the Brooklyn Dance Festival. He performed administrative functions for Eva Dean Dance and Wendy Osserman Dance Company. In 2007 he joined Pentacle, an artist service organization and in 2009 he became Artist Representative for Pentacle’s Gallery, a cohort of emerging dance artists. He was Program Administrator for ARC, a strategic planning initiative of Pentacle, helped develop the current ART initiative, a research project studying the efficacy of providing comprehensive administrative services to dance organizations, and is working as an administrator for one of the participating companies. He curates Dixon Place’s Under Exposed and Moving Men series. He publishes a weekly newsletter of performances and other items of interest to the dance community. And in Fall 2017 he became a member of the Bessie Small Cap Selection Committee. Specialties: Jack of all trades - general business and arts admin

ELIZABETH JONES joined LG Capital for Culture as an Associate in 2015 with more than a decade of proven success as a multi-disciplinary arts administrator. She has helped manage development consulting work with LG Capital for Culture for the firm’s following clients: Camille A. Brown & Dancers, Dancewave, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, Works & Process at the Guggenheim, Origin Theatre Company, and Tarrytown Music Hall, among others. Previously, Elizabeth held development positions with American Ballet Theatre, Ballet Hispanico and Paul Taylor Dance Company. She also worked in Human Resources at Bridgewater Associates. Elizabeth has extensive experience in event planning and execution; membership and major giving campaigns; board development and cultivation; creation and implementation of development plans; prospect research; intern and volunteer programming; recruiting and candidate experience; creative marketing; and general management. She was the Inaugural Board Chair and Member of Dance/NYC’s Youth Advisory Committee (YAC), now known as Dance/NYC’s Junior Committee. Elizabeth holds a B.F.A degree in dance from Mason Gross School of Arts at Rutgers University. Following, she danced professionally for the Arena Football League’s New York Dragons dance team, The Firedancers, for 3 years. She resides in New York with her husband and 2 children. She enjoys spending time with her family at the beach.

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 flutist of the Brooklyn Wind Symphony.

ELIZABETH ZIMMER writes about dance, currently at the Village Voice, where she 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.

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

MATTHEW HEGGEM, a.k.a. "The Dancing CEO," specializes in leadership, entrepreneurship and technology. As the CEO of SUM Innovation, he works with a team of 25 consultants providing accounting, recruiting, and technology support to growing businesses. With a focus on cloud-based accounting technology, he has gained industry-wide recognition as a writer & speaker; and, he was recognized as one of CPA Practice Advisor’s "20 Under 40 Superstars" in 2017. As an incubator for innovation, SUM recently launched a platform for global entrepreneurs (Neuland Alliance) and an arts entrepreneurship program for creative professionals seeking #AnotherWay (ARTSLAB). When he’s not growing organizations and advising entrepreneurs, he’s writing about culture, talent, leadership and strategy and has published his work in SmartCEO,, The Observer, and several other industry-specific outlets. He loves building community and is an active member of Conscious Capitalism and served as the Board President of the Greenwich Village-Chelsea Chamber of Commerce. Previously, he was a Development, Communications and Marketing professional for nonprofits. Lastly, he is a practicing choreographer and the co-founder of a Left Side Labs.
Key areas of expertise include: Board Development and Donor Cultivation; Marketing, Branding, Social Media; Growth Strategy; Entrepreneurship; Operations; Networking, Partnerships & Collaboration, especially where #ArtsMeetsBiz.

ROSALBA MAZZOLA is a licensed Certified Public Accountant in New York and New Jersey. She has over 20 years of accounting & tax experience. She started her own practice, Mazzola Financial Services in 2007 offering accounting and income tax services to both individual and businesses. Her services include new business set up, income tax preparation, payroll and sales tax filings and IRS correspondence. Over the past decade she has been specializing in income tax preparation and consulting services for individuals working in all areas of the performing arts industry. Rosalba earned her Masters in Taxation from St John’s University and has been teaching courses in accounting, taxation, financial management and marketing to undergraduate students of St John’s University for the past seven years as an adjunct. She is loving wife and a proud mother of two children. In her free time she loves to write and dance. Rosalba also speaks fluent Italian and is conversational in Spanish.

SANDY GARCIA has been Director of Booking at Pentacle since summer 2016. Prior to joining Pentacle, Sandy served as Director of Administration, International Tour Coordinator and later Booking Representative at Rena Shagan Associates Inc. from 2006 -2016. She has extensive experience in event and company/tour management, contract negotiation and booking within the United States. She was a member of the PERFORMA 05 producing team, the first ever visual performance art biennial in NYC, where she helped cast and produce two original site-specific performance works by internationally renown artists Sislej Xhafa and Francis Alys. Sandy had also worked at the New York City Park and Recreation Department’s “Summer on the Hudson” annual art and culture series, Pomegranate Arts, MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA and Cal Performances in Berkeley, CA. Originally from Southern California, Sandy holds a BA in Theater from the University of California at Berkeley and an MA in Performance Studies from NYU.
Specialties: Booking, Touring and Contract negotiation for engagements

T.A. FIELDS is the Founder of Get Off My Couch! (GOMC). The organization is designed to help dancers, dance studios and dance companies with their housing needs in NYC. T.A. Fields has practiced real estate for 10 years as a licensed real estate salesperson and launched Get Off My Couch! to be of greater service to the dance community. T.A. participated in the work/study program at Alvin Ailey for two years and continues to take dance classes for fun. While studying at Ailey, she realized she could do more for the dance community through real estate than as a dancer. Her vision for Get Off My Couch! is to help solve the challenge that 99% of the dance companies, dance studios and dance college programs in NYC do not provide housing for their dancers.


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