Amy Miller is a NYC-based dancer, choreographer, educator and advocate. A former dancer with the Ohio Ballet, she was also a founding member and artistic associate of Cleveland-based GroundWorks DanceTheater. Now the Senior Director and a performing member of Gibney Dance Company, Miller also focuses on Gibney’s Community Action initiatives through facilitating movement workshops with survivors of trauma, conducting both local and international trainings for artists interested in engaging in social action, developing healthy relationship workshops for young people and raising awareness about the role of the arts in violence prevention. Miller has conducted Gibney Dance Global Community Action Residencies at Mimar Sinan University and Koc University (Istanbul), University of Cape Town (South Africa), DOCH: School of Dance and Circus (Stockholm), MUDA Africa (Tanzania) and most recently in Gisenyi, Rwanda. In the spring of 2015, Miller was honored to receive an Arts & Artists in Progress “Pay it Forward” Award from Brooklyn Arts Exchange. Miller holds a BFA in Dance and is a recipient of an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award for her choreography.
AnaMaria Correa is Miami City Ballet’s (MCB) senior director of community engagement. In her role AnaMaria bridges, deepens and fosters relationships between MCB and the arts, culture, education and local communities ensuring that constituencies have access to and claim a place for themselves at MCB. In her role as a “bridge builder” she is also a “conscience raiser” leading efforts of equity and inclusion practices and competencies for the organization. In her previous role as the director of community engagement and inclusion at Avenues: The World School, she spearheaded the practice of community engagement ethics and program partnerships as well as being the founding DEI practitioner establishing cultural competency strategies for an inclusive school community. At Ballet Hispanico she held a dual role as the senior director of community engagement and the director for their accredited school of dance, specializing in dance training for youth pre-K to college in ballet, contemporary, folklore and flamenco for 700 youth and their families. As director of community arts programs she conceptualized and implemented community dance education programs in partnership with communities, classrooms and universities. She is the daughter of Dominican immigrants who made their life in Queens as she grew up and made a career in the streets of the 5 boroughs. She served New York City schools as an arts in education programs integrator for theater, dance, music, visual art, creative writing and architecture focusing always on the arts as a tool for transformation in pedagogy, social development and agency. Organizations that represent important touchstones in her career include Henry Street Settlement’s Abrons Arts Center, the Brooklyn Historical Society, The Point and Dancing Classrooms. AnaMaria was the founding artistic director of Washington State University’s “Las Memorias” Performance as Education program. AnaMaria is doctoral candidate in Urban Education at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She is interested in the experiences and stories of the minoritized “other” and their resistance and resiliency. Her scholarship is grounded in Critical Race Theory, Narratives and Performance pedagogies. She has a lifelong commitment to work with families, children and educators in education, arts, culture, community engagement and the power of arts for transformation. She holds a B.A. in secondary education and literature from Hunter College and an M.F.A in acting from Brooklyn College.
Ayisha McMillan Cravotta’s career with Charlotte Ballet traces the path of multiple roles, from company artist through Academy Director, culminating to develop a new generation of classically-trained, artistically versatile ballet dancers. Cravotta joined Houston Ballet as a company artist, under Director Ben Stevenson, in 1996. With Houston Ballet she toured and performed in London, Hong Kong, Toronto, and at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Cravotta danced five seasons with Charlotte Ballet directed by Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux and was the first African American woman to play a principal role in the company’s Nutcracker. After retiring from the stage in 2007, Cravotta joined Charlotte Ballet’s marketing department. In 2011, at the invitation of Bonnefoux, she became principal of Charlotte Ballet Academy. In 2015 she was named Academy Director, a role in which she guides programming and administration for over 1,000 dancers age three through adult, and a Pre-Professional Division of dancers. Cravotta was inducted into the prestigious HistoryMakers national archive in 2007 in recognition for her accomplishments as an African American in the Arts, and through the organization volunteers as a speaker at public schools. Cravotta studied at Rice University and at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Heidi Latsky (Artistic Director/Choreographer/ Performer) A native of Montreal, Latsky first received recognition as a principal dancer for the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company (1987-1993), after which she formed a duet company with Lawrence Goldhuber until 2000. During this time, she was the head of the Movement Department at the School for Film and Television. In 2001, she founded her own company, Heidi Latsky Dance (HLD). In 2006, she began incorporating people with disabilities into her work. Creative Capital Foundation supported GIMP (2009-2012) that garnered praise for its provocative investigation of inclusion: Dance Magazine called GIMP a milestone in contemporary dance and a news feature on the work was nominated for an Emmy. Latsky has performed at TEDxWomen and in 2014, was named the first participant in "Dance for Film On Location at Montclair State University" resulting in her first film Soliloquy that has screened internationally including Festival de Marseille, ReelAbilities Film Festival, Dance on Camera at Lincoln Center, Boston’s ICA, and Perez Art Museum Miami. HLD has received numerous awards, commissions and residencies, and tours internationally. Latsky has expanded her vision into art and design with ON DISPLAY, her current portfolio of work begun in 2015 when the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities invited her to participate in the celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. ON DISPLAY has been presented at venues like Whitney Museum; High Line; Lincoln Center; Stavros Niarchos in Greece; American Dance Festival; Superfine! Art Fair and at SY Partners for NYCxDesign Week. ON DISPLAY GLOBAL is an annual installation performed on International Day of Persons with Disabilities at the UN and NYU Tisch in NYC and at over 60 cities worldwide. Over 200 installations have been performed over the last three years, the largest at Wesleyan University with 650 participants. In residency at Hurleyville Arts Centre in 2017, underwritten by the Gerald and Janet Carrus Foundation, D.I.S.P.L.A.Y.E.D was created and premiered in NYC March 2018 at Baruch Performing Arts Center. The company is currently collaborating with Google’s Creative Lab on audio augmented reality for this show. Recent performances: National Portrait Gallery (DC), Cooper Hewitt Museum, Newhouse Center of Contemporary Art, Kean University, TCC Roper Performing Arts Center, Upcoming performances: City College, Dixon Place (where she will premiere Unfinishedcommissioned by Dixon Place) Latsky was awarded a grant from the Craig H. Nielson Foundation to lead a pilot program for people with spinal cord injuries in 2019. The company also receives support from the DOE, NYSCA, NEA and the Ford Foundation. heidilatskydance.org
Marlana Doyle, Artistic Director, of the Houston METdance Company and Center is originally from Massachusetts and graduated from Point Park University in 2001 with a BA in Dance. Marlana has been apart of METdance for the past sixteen years and was a major part of the company’s reorganization in 2003. Under her direction, Marlana’s artistic vision has taken the company to new levels of excellence and growth while holding tightly to the company’s long tradition of diversity and versatility in its dancers, choreographers, collaborators, and content. Through her commitment and drive, the company has performed at venues across the country including Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival Inside/Out (2012,2014,2017), Green Box Arts Festival, Ohio Dance Festival, Destiny Rising at the Joyce Theater in NYC, Dance Chicago, Boston Contemporary Dance Festival, Dance St. Louis, the 17th Annual Choreography Festival in Palm Springs, CA, in addition to local venues such as the Dallas Dance Festival and Austin Dance Festival. Her strength of vision has brought many sought-after choreographers to METdance and the Houston public including Robert Battle, Camille A. Brown, Kyle Abraham, Larry Keigwin, Rosie Herrera, and Katarzyna Skarpetowska. Marlana represents METdance as a member of Dance Source Houston, Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) and Dance USA, spending 2009-2012 as an emerging leader at both APAP and Dance USA. She was awarded the Dance USA Leadership Mentee Fellowship for the institute of training in 2012 and she just completed serving as a Dance USA Board of Trustee member and Artistic Director Council Chair for the three years in a row. Marlana has also served on many grant and organizational panels for the Houston Arts Alliance and Dance Source Houston. As a dancer, Marlana has performed works by many of the talented METdance choreographers and continues to delight audiences on stage with the company. Marlana is a regular faculty member at the METdance Center and directs the highly successful MET too and MET ensemble youth companies an intense program focused on preparing young dancers for dance programs at universities and a career in dance performance. Marlana is also a guest teacher and an award-winning choreographer for her students in Houston and throughout the United States. She has choreographed for the City of Houston, Levi's and Walmart, Mercury Ensemble, Apollo Chamber Players, Houston Chamber Choir, Houston Symphony and for TUTS. She lives in Sugar Land, TX with her husband Ben and her two adorable daughters Olivia and Evie.
METdance, founded in 1995, strives to educate, entertain, and inspire its audiences through a diverse curation of repertoire that spans a full range of emotion, content, and collaboration. Based in Houston, TX, METdance performs throughout the United States presenting works by established choreographers and emerging artists including the artistic visions of Robert Battle, Sidra Bell, Camille Brown, Peter Chu, Larry Keigwin, and Katarzyna Skarpetowska. METdance’s passionate performers and choreographers come from a range of cultural and ethnic backgrounds, and instill the company’s work with a complete spectrum of emotionality and physicality. From comedy and humor to poignant and dramatic, from fierce athleticism to detailed minimalism, METdance is committed to presenting works that speak to every audience member regardless of their background, age, sex, or experience with dance. In this way, METdance is proud to be a leader in diversity and vitality of content. “The METdance’s gorgeous dancers push the choreography to its fullest and most generous capacity, while sharing the joy and electric verve of their craft with the audience.” Adam Castaneda, Houston Press, June 4th, 2015.
Stanford Makishi was appointed to his current position of vice president for programming at City Center in 2015, after having been the associate producer of the Fall for Dance Festival since 2011. He danced with Trisha Brown from 1992 to 2006, was assistant director of her production of Winterreise, and has taught and restaged her work internationally. He also served as artistic advisor for the Ringling International Arts Festival in Sarasota, executive director of the Baryshnikov Arts Center, director of programs at the Asian Cultural Council, and director of creative services at Carnegie Hall. Makishi began his dance training in his native Honolulu and received early performance opportunities while a student at Harvard.
Since 1996, Tammy Bormann and the TLB Collective have researched, designed and facilitated dialogue-based organizational change processes that gather and analyze the insights and experiences of those who work in the organization; provide targeted learning experiences to disseminate knowledge about historic and contemporary systems of inequity and discrimination; build the capacity of leaders and staff at all levels to recognize and analyze how systems of inequity and exclusion show up in their own organizations; and enable organizational visioning and planning to replace inequitable and exclusive policies, practices, behaviors and norms with strategies that increase diversity, embody inclusion and dismantle inequity.
Over 33 years, Tammy has worked with a wide variety of clients nationally and internationally including private foundations, not-for-profit organizations, for-profit companies, arts institutions, museums, healthcare organizations, universities and colleges, faith-based organizations; state and federal agencies, and NGOs. Some of her clients include: New York City Ballet, Loretto Senior Healthcare, The State of New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, the Bosque Redondo Memorial, Goucher College, PointMade Films, the New Jersey Association of Independent Schools, The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, Houston Ballet, The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and the Museum of Mississippi History, among many others.
Tammy has chaired the Board of Directors of the dance company Urban Bush Women (UBW) since 2006. In this capacity, she has prepared UBW dancers to employ dialogue processes in their performance work and social justice community engagement programs, as they pursue the UBW vision to use “movement to build a movement.” She has twice served as a mentor with the Dance/USA Institute for Leadership Training and facilitated a National Voices panel on Race in Dance for the annual Dance/NYC symposium in 2015.
Tammy is one of four women on the Design and Facilitation Team for THE EQUITY PROJECT: Increasing the Presence of Blacks in Ballet, a three-year initiative sponsored by Dance Theatre of Harlem, The International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD), and Dance/USA and funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Launched in 2018, THE EQUITY PROJECT seeks to create a learning community that ignites field-wide change among artistic and executive leaders from 21 professional ballet organizations. We provide education, coaching and strategies for increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion, particularly for Black professionals, across the ballet industry.
Tammy works extensively in the museum field, having served as a member of the design team for the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati and, since 2008, as a dialogue consultant with the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, the only global network of historic sites, museums and memory initiatives that connect past struggles to today’s movements for human rights. With the Coalition, she has trained more than 50 national and international museums to design and lead meaningful public dialogue programs around human rights and social justice issues. In 2016-2017, she served as the dialogue consultant for the Coalition’s national initiative, Brown v. Board to Ferguson: Fostering Dialogue on Education, Incarceration and Civil Rights. In 2017, she designed and facilitated a Coalition conference in Entebbe, Uganda to prepare South Sudanese civil society leaders to facilitate communitybased dialogue for transitional justice across South Sudan.
Tammy earned her BA in French and Communication Studies from Muhlenberg College and an Ed.M. from Harvard University. She chairs the boards of Urban Bush Women and Arts Horizons, an arts-in-education organization, and serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of Muhlenberg College. She is a former chair of the Myhelan Cultural Art Center, a community center dedicated to using the visual and performing arts to build cross-cultural understanding nationally and internationally. Tammy is a member of the National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation and a recipient of the Woman of Distinction Award from the New Jersey Boy Scouts of America.
With over 20 years of experience in live production and non-profit management, Thomas Cavanagh’s career scales diverse terrains of production and performance. Working with vertical dance company BANDALOOP since 1998, Cavanagh is skilled in producing, artist management and logistics and brings to BANDALOOP operational, technical and fiscal skills combined with his deeply-rooted belief in and appreciation for the power of Public Art and what it can bring to the audience and communities it reaches. He is a believer in the empowering and affirming collaboration between nature, space, and the human body exemplified in the work of Amelia Rudolph, founder of BANDALOOP, and the art of perspective-changing vertical dance. Combining this love with his extensive experience in technical production, wilderness response, and rigging, Cavanagh nurtures a practical synergy of art and technique, of production and artistry, of expression and purpose.
In his two-decade collaboration with BANDALOOP, the company has scaled the walls of spaces both natural and man-made, urban and rural, commercial and historic, public and secluded. Past and current collaborators include: P!NK, Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic, American Express, The US Embassies in India, Mexico, Iceland, Tunisia and China, The European Capital of Culture Festival, Walt Disney Entertainment, Toyota, IBM, The Great Wall of Oakland, Il Suoni delle Dolomiti in Trento, Italy, the National Heritage Board of Singapore, CBS, The National Endowment of the Arts and The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.
A native of Chicago, Vershawn Sanders-Ward, holds an MFA in Dance from New York University and is the first recipient of BFA in Dance from Columbia College Chicago (Gates Millennium Scholar). She is the Founding Artistic Director and CEO of Red Clay Dance Company and is currently a candidate for Dunham Technique Certification. Sanders-Ward is a 2019 Chicago Dancemakers Forum Awardee, a 2019 Harvard Business School Club of Chicago Scholar, a 2017 Dance/USA Leadership Fellow, a 2013 3Arts awardee, and a 2009 Choreography Award from Harlem Stage NYC. In 2015 and 2018, NewCity Magazine selected Ward as one of the "Fifty People Who Really Perform for Chicago." Her work has been presented in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, The Yard at Martha's Vinyard, and internationally in Toronto, Dakar, and Kampala. Vershawin has served as an adjunct faculty member and received choreographic commissions from Columbia College Chicago, Northwestern University, Knox College, City Colleges of Chicago, AS220, and the National Theatre in Uganda. She is a board member of Enrich Chicago and the African American Arts Alliance and was selected to attend the inaugural Obama Foundation Summit for Emerging Global leaders. Sanders-Ward has had the pleasure of gracing the cover of DEMO, Columbia College Chicago's Alumni Magazine!