Saturday, March 21, 2020
9:30 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Zoom x Facebook Live
ENJOY NOW ON OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL
Sessions were free and open to the public.
All sessions include ASL interpretation.
Videos with closed captioning will be available soon.
Click speaker names to access their bios:
Ali Rosa-Salas, Director of Programming, Abrons Arts Center/Henry Street Settlement
Ali Rosa-Salas is the Director of Programming at Abrons Arts Center/Henry Street Settlement. She develops the Center’s live programming, exhibitions, and residencies. As an independent curator, she has produced visual art exhibitions, performances, and public programs with AFROPUNK, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Danspace Project, DISCWOMAN, Knockdown Center, MoCADA, Weeksville Heritage Center, and more. She has also organized discursive events as an Alumnae Fellow at the Barnard Center for Research on Women and as the Associate Curator of the 2017 American Realness Festival. She graduated from Barnard with a B.A. in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, with interdisciplinary concentrations in Dance and Race/Ethnic Studies and has an M.A. from the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance at Wesleyan University.
Chrybaby Cozie, Faculty, Exile Professional Gym (EXPG) and Broadway Dance Center
Chrybaby Cozie: From Harlem, NY, Chrybaby Cozie is one of the founding fathers of the Hip Hop freestyle genre called Lite Feet. Being raised in Harlem in the late 80’s was a source of great influence for Chrybaby, as it was his foundation for dance, music and the source of inspiration to uplift the youth and communities around him today. Chrybaby has been teaching Lite Feet and Hip Hop, for more than 10 years and is currently teaching at the Exile Professional Gym (EXPG) and Broadway Dance Center in NYC. Chrybaby has been cultivating and keeping the Lite Feet culture alive for ten years with the NYC youth. And through the culture, he has created a Hip Hop dance organization called ‘The Bwreckfast Club’ E.A.T (Earning All Together) in 2005. ‘The Bwreckfast Club’ is a platform for youth, to build upon their passion, talent and be given an opportunity to promote themselves in a positive light. After the creation of ‘The Bwreckfast Club’ Chrybaby created ‘The Lite Feet Nation’; a community connected by individuals who were there from the conception of the dance genre, to the youth who keep it alive today.
Clarissa Soto-Josephs, Executive Director
Clarissa Soto Josephs began working at Pentacle in 2011 after earning dual degrees in Dance Performance and Entrepreneurship with a concentration in Legal Studies from Hofstra University. In 2016 she earned an MBA degree from Quinnipiac University, and was named one of the New York Hispanic Coalition’s “40 Under 40 Rising Stars” in the same year. A staff member of Pentacle for over ten years, Clarissa has worked in the Fiscal and Education & Outreach Departments providing direct services to over one hundred artists, training hundreds of interns and fellows in arts administration, and developing innovative ways to effectively serve young artists through Pentacle’s services and programs. In July 2021, Clarissa was appointed Executive Director of Pentacle, the first BIPOC woman and the first non-founder to hold this top leadership role at the organization.
Clarissa specializes in financial education, strategy, leadership, and overall infrastructure support. She has led professional development workshops at the Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP) conference, Dance/NYC’s annual Symposium, Actor’s Equity, and Gibney Dance’s Learning & Leadership Studio Workshop, to name a few, and served on grant panels of major foundations. Today she is proud of her work restructuring Pentacle’s Internship Program, growing Pentacle’s Fiscal Services, and is excited to take on her new role as Executive Director to help more artists in the performing arts community.
Photo courtesy Pentacle
Courtney Harge, Producing Artistic Director, Colloquy Collective; Associate Director, Inbound Marketing, Fractu
Courtney Harge is an arts administrator, director, and writer originally from Saginaw, MI who has been working in the service of artists for the last fifteen years. She is the founder and Producing Artistic Director of Colloquy Collective, an emerging theater company in Brooklyn, NY and the Associate Director, Inbound Marketing for Fractured Atlas. Courtney is also a proud member of Women of Color in the Arts, and a 2016 alum of both APAP’s Emerging Leaders Institute and artEquity’s Facilitator Training.
Dustin Gibson, Founding Member, Harriet Tubman Collective
Dustin Gibson is guided by the aspiration, legacies, and pursuit of liberation. He develops he(art)work that embodies a practice of disability justice that can live, build, support and be implemented by marginalized communities to address the nexus between race, class, and disability. Dustin brings lived experience, scholarship, histories, art and resources into classrooms, neighborhoods, and carceral institutions to support people in collectively imagining and building a world free from institutionalization and incarceration. He has taught various disability-related courses at middle-schools, high-schools, kid jails, prisons and law schools. He also has worked with three Centers for Independent Living (CIL) in Pittsburgh, PA and both of the national CIL networks. He co-founded Disability Advocates for Rights and Transition, an organization led by disabled people that works in the tradition of deinstitutionalization to provide support to live freely in communities with the dignity of risk. He is a Peer Support Trainer with Disability Link, the Disability, Access and Language Justice Coordinator at PeoplesHub, a founding member of the Harriet Tubman Collective, and builds with grassroots organizations and artists to expand experiences of access.
Eduardo Vilaro is the Artistic Director & CEO of Ballet Hispánico (BH). He was named BH's Artistic Director in 2009, becoming only the second person to head the company since its founding in 1970, and in 2015 was also named Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Vilaro has infused Ballet Hispánico’s legacy with a bold brand of contemporary dance that reflects America’s changing cultural landscape.
Mr. Vilaro’s philosophy of dance stems from a basic belief in the power of the arts to change lives, reflect and impact culture, and strengthen community. He considers dance to be a liberating, non-verbal language through which students, dancers and audiences of all walks of life and diverse backgrounds, can initiate ongoing conversations about the arts, expression, identity and the meaning of community.
Born in Cuba and raised in New York from the age of six, Mr. Vilaro’s own choreography is devoted to capturing the Latin American experience in its totality and diversity, and through its intersectionality with other diasporas. His works are catalysts for new dialogues about what it means to be an American. He has created more than 40 ballets with commissions that include the Ravinia Festival, the Chicago Sinfonietta, the Grant Park Festival, the Lexington Ballet and the Chicago Symphony.
A Ballet Hispánico dancer and educator from 1988 to 1996, he left New York, earned a master’s in interdisciplinary arts at Columbia College Chicago and then embarked on his own act of advocacy with a ten-year record of achievement as Founder and Artistic Director of Luna Negra Dance Theater in Chicago.
Elizabeth E. Schlissel, Associate, Tannenbaum Helpern’s Employment Law
Elizabeth Schlissel is an associate in Tannenbaum Helpern’s Employment Law practice representing clients in employment litigation, investigation, regulation, and other aspects of employment law. Elizabeth represents companies in all types of employment litigation in state and federal court including wage and hour matters, discrimination, workplace harassment, retaliation, hostile work environment, breach of employment contracts and restrictive covenants, and failure to accommodate disabilities. Elizabeth counsels employers, management teams, and HR executives regarding compliance with federal, state, and local employment laws and regulations. Counseling includes advising clients on a daily basis regarding personnel issues, wage and hour compliance, and preventing, investigating and responding to discrimination and sexual harassment complaints. In addition, Elizabeth regularly works with employers to draft, review, and update employee handbooks and policies.
Emily Johnson, Choreographer, Director, Guggenheim Fellow
Emily Johnson is an artist who makes body-based work. A Bessie Award-winning choreographer, Guggenheim Fellow, and recipient of the 2014 Doris Duke Artist Award she is based on the Lower East Side of Mannahatta in Lenapehoking. Originally from Alaska, she is of Yup’ik descent and since 1998 has created work that considers the experience of sensing and seeing performance. Her large-scale project, Then a Cunning Voice and A Night We Spend Gazing at Stars, is an all-night outdoor performance gathering that takes place among 84 community-hand-made quilts. Her new work in development, Being Future Being, considers future creation stories and present joy. She hosts monthly fires on the Lower East Side in Mannahatta in partnership with Abrons Art Center and Lenape Center and is part of a US based advisory group—including Reuben Roqueni, Ed Bourgeois, Lori Pourier and Vallejo Gantner, who, with international colleagues, are working to develop a Global First Nations Performance Network.
Jackson Polys, Multidisciplinary Artist; Principal Contributor, NRO
Jackson Polys is a multi-disciplinary artist belonging to Tlingit territory, living and working between what are currently called Alaska and New York, whose work examines negotiations toward the limits and viability of desires for Indigenous growth. He holds an MFA in Visual Arts from Columbia University (2015) and was the recipient of a 2017 NACF Mentor Artist Fellowship. He was advisor and co-organizer for Indigenous New York, the collaborative program initiative co-founded by Mohawk artist Alan Michelson and the Vera List Center for Art and Politics. He is a principal contributor to the New Red Order (NRO). His individual and collaborative works have appeared at the Alaska State Museum, Anchorage Museum, Artists Space, Burke Museum, Images Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Union Docs, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Jamie Benson, Artist, Comedian, Dancer, Marketing Consultant
Jamie Benson: Recovering fine artist, comedy impresario, and marketing consultant Jamie Benson defies performance traditions and dares a mass audience to interact with dance. Heralded as "Chaplin-like” by Backstage, “insightful and irreverent” by LA Weekly, Benson's high meets low work has been presented throughout the U.S., across the international film festival circuit, featured in the Phaidon book Wild Art, and funded by Brooklyn Arts Council.
Benson is also a bonafide marketing nerd who graduated magna cum laude from Baruch College with a BA in digital communications. He revolutionizes how creative industries advocate for worthy causes through social media, press solicitation, email marketing, advertising, and search engine optimization. Wielding a bold, irreverent voice, Benson overrides the assumption that marketing is not a creative, humanistic pastime.
Through unorthodox strategy and shear strength of will, Benson has won features in the New York and LA Times, NY1, PIX11, Brooklyn12 News, InStyle, NPR, Good Magazine, Dance Spirit Magazine, Pointe Magazine, LA Weekly, Steve Harvey Show, and Dance Magazine. He’s worked with Sony Pictures, Houston Symphony, Pilobolus Dance Theater, CUNY Dance Initiative, LMCC, Joyce Theater, Karole Armitage, and NYU Tisch. Former Pilobolus Co-Director, Lily Binns, says that “for all of the conferences, books, newsletters, and blogs we follow, Jamie's approach is hands-down the best.”
Julian Schubach, VP, ODI Financial
Julian serves a broad range of creative clients including artists, entertainers, and digital influencers, providing comprehensive financial education, planning, and wealth management. Julian’s clients include multi-platinum selling musicians and producers, award winning actors, directors and choreographers as well as trailblazers in the NFT and crypto landscape. In addition to his private client work, Julian provides financial education and literacy seminars to arts grant recipients and clients of arts non-profit organizations.
Julian has been named a ‘Top-100 Financial Advisor’ by Investopedia, honored as one of the top financial advisors under 40 by American Bankers Association, and was a contributing writer for New York Foundation for the Arts book, ‘The Profitable Artist,’ penning three chapters focusing on personal finance for creatives. Julian has been featured in Business Insider, Barron's, US News & World Report, Investopedia and many other publications.
Photo credit: Ellen Wolff Photography
Katy Pyle, Owner & Founder, Ballez
Katy Pyle re-imagines ballet culture through the lens of their own values. Pyle's company, Ballez (est. 2011), creates large scale story-ballets, open classes, and public engagement. Major works: “The Firebird, a Ballez," Danspace Project (2013), “Variations on Virtuosity” American Realness (2015), “Sleeping Beauty & the Beast,” La Mama (2016), "Slavic Goddesses," the Kitchen, Visual Direction Paulina Olowska (January 2017), and "Ballez Class Everywhere" YouTube worldwide (2019). Pyle has brought Ballez to Yale, Princeton, Sarah Lawrence, NYU, Whitman College, Bowdoin College, Beloit College, Slippery Rock University, MDT in Stockholm, and the New School, where Pyle is a current faculty member. Pyle also teaches weekly Professional Ballez class at Gibney 890 Broadway. Ballez has been featured in the NY Times, Dance Magazine, them, Cosmopolitan and Teen Vogue, among other publications.
Laurel Lawson, Choreographer, Artist-Engineer, Rose Tree Productions
Choreographer, designer, and artist-engineer: Laurel is a transdisciplinary artist making work which imagines new kinds of experience, reinterprets traditional stories, and questions cultural assumptions. Her performing arts career began in music before serendipity brought her to dance, where she found a discipline combining her lifelong loves of athleticism and art. Featuring synthesistic mythology and partnering, her work includes both traditional choreography and novel ways of extending and creating art through technology and design; in the creation of worlds and products experienced, installed, embodied, or virtual. Whether beginning in the studio or with code, her art is grounded in and enriched by liminality, the in-between, and arises from her experience as a queer and genderqueer disabled woman and understanding of disability and access as aesthetic forces.
Laurel began her dance career with Full Radius Dance in 2004 and is part of the disabled artists’ collective Kinetic Light, where in addition to choreographic collaboration and performance in such award-winning works as DESCENT she contributes production design and leads both access and technical research and innovation, including projects such as Audimance and Access ALLways, a holistic approach to equitable accessibility in the arts informed by user experience and hospitality. Co-founder and CTO of CyCore Systems, she brings two decades of expertise in UI/X and product architecture to both technological and artistic work to create impactful experiences, and is also the founder and director of Rose Tree Productions, an Atlanta-based nonprofit.
Photo credit: Robert Kim
Nigel Campbell, Director, Gibney Company
Nigel Campbell was born and raised in The Bronx, New York. He began his training at Creative Outlet Dance Theater, and is a graduate of LaGuardia Arts High School and The Juilliard School, under the direction of Lawrence Rhodes. Campbell received additional training from The Miami City Ballet School, The School at Jacob’s Pillow, The Alvin Ailey School and Springboard Danse Montreal. While still at Juilliard, Campbell joined the Metropolitan Opera Ballet as a soloist. Since graduation, he has danced for the Saarlandisches Staatstheater under the direction of Marguerite Donlon, Luna Negra Dance Theater under the direction of Gustavo Ramirez Sansano, the GöteborgsOperans Danskompani under the direction of Adolphe Binder, and in 2017 was named a Director of Gibney Company after spending two years as a dancer and Artistic Associate. In 2019, Nigel joined the faculty of The Juilliard School as an adjunct professor and joined the faculty at S.U.N.Y. Purchase Conservatory of Dance as an adjunct professor. A sought after master teacher and répétiteur, Campbell has set dances and given workshops throughout the US and abroad, at The Juilliard School, Princeton University, Ballet Hispanico, SUNY Purchase Dance Conservatory, Springboard Danse Montreal, NYU, Yale University, The Ballet Akademien Göteborg, No)one. Art House, MUDA Africa, & LaGuardia Arts H.S., among many others. He was the recipient of a 2019 Martha Hill Mid-Career Award, a 2011 Princess Grace Award, a National YoungArts Level 1 Award and a NAACP ACT-SO Gold Medal. Campbell is a 2004 Presidential Scholar in the Arts and at 17, was featured on the National PBS documentary “American Talent.” In 2015, Nigel co-founded MOVE|NYC| with his partner Chanel DaSilva with the mission of cultivating greater diversity and equity in the dance field and beyond. Campbell resides in New York City. [email protected]
Paloma McGregor, Co-Founder and Artistic Director
Paloma McGregor (Founder, Angela’s Pulse) is a Caribbean-born, New York-based choreographer who makes Black work with Black folks for Black space. A former newspaper reporter, she combines a choreographer’s craft, journalist’s urgency and anti-racist organizer’s framework to activate creative communities and shepherd collaborative visioning.
McGregor is currently developing A’we deh ya, a multi-year, interdisciplinary performance project that activates a choreographic call-and-response between the US mainland and her homeland, St. Croix, a current US colony at the frontlines of climate emergency. A'we is the latest iteration of her project Building a Better Fishtrap, rooted in her father’s vanishing fishing tradition and three animating questions: What do you take with you? Leave behind? Return to reclaim?
Working at the growing edge of her field, McGregor received a 2020 Soros Arts Fellowship and was an inaugural recipient of several major awards: Mosaic Network & Fund (2020); Dance/USA’s Fellowship to Artists (2019); UBW’s CCI Fellowship (2018); Surdna Foundation’s Artists Engaging in Social Change (2015). In 2017, she won a “Bessie” Award for performance with skeleton architecture.
In addition to her art-making, McGregor has spent more than a decade investing in the leadership of other Black dance artists through Dancing While Black (DWB), which she founded in 2012 as a platform for community-building, intergenerational exchange and visibility among Black dance artists.
Photo credit: Melisa Cardona
Talila A. Lewis, Community Lawyer, Consultant
Talila A. Lewis is a community lawyer and consultant at the cutting edge of critically intersectional thought, education, organizing, advocacy and litigation that highlights and addresses the nexus between race, class, disability, other marginalized identities, and structural inequity for over a decade. A 2015 White House Champion of Change and one of Pacific Standard Magazine's Top 30 Thinkers Under 30, she engineers & leads innovative and intersectional social justice efforts that illuminate & address grave injustices within education, medical, and legal systems that have gone unaddressed for generations. As one of the only people in the world working on deaf wrongful conviction cases, she regularly testifies before legislative & regulatory bodies and presents and trains on this & related topics. The creator of the only national deaf prisoner database, she advocates with and for hundreds of deaf & disabled defendants and incarcerated & returned individuals. Talila co-founded & serves as volunteer director of Helping Educate to Advance the Rights of Deaf communities (HEARD), is a founding member of the Harriet Tubman Collective, and the co-creator of Disability Solidarity praxis. She has traveled the country to exchange knowledge with multiply-marginalized communities; visit incarcerated deaf/disabled people; and bake for "love, life & liberation" under the moniker Sweet Solidarity. Talila was the Givelber Public Interest Lecturer at Northeastern University School of Law and Visiting Professor at Rochester Institute of Technology/National Technical Institute for the Deaf. A graduate of American University Washington College of Law, Talila has received awards from the ABA, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, American Association for People with Disabilities, the Nation Institute, National Black Deaf Advocates, and EBONY Magazine. She was a 2018 Roddenberry Fellow & 2018 Atlantic Fellow for Racial Equity.