Malik Robinson, Past Chair

Malik Robinson is the executive director of Cleo Parker Robinson Dance (CPRD), a not-for-profit cultural arts institution based in Denver, CO.  As an internationally recognized arts organization, CPRD has served as a leader in preserving the rich heritage of legendary American modern dance choreographers. The organization is also distinguished for its arts-in-education and arts advocacy work. In his role, Robinson directs a small administrative staff with an operational budget of $1.3M. 

During his tenure with CPRD, Robinson led organizational efforts to host the Annual International Association of Blacks in Dance Conference in 1999, 2009, and 2016.  He was responsible for securing award-winning international tours to Israel, Italy, and Egypt for the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble (CPRDE).  As the booking manager for CPRDE, Robinson successfully secured funding from national foundations for new work creation and tour support.  He also booked and managed national tours to an average of 15 cities annually. 

Through his dedication to education and the arts, Robinson created the after-school program Aye (Yoruba for “Life”), serving high-risk youth in northeast Denver.  Through partnerships with diversionary programs and probation departments, the project served an average of 125 teens per year.  In 2015, Robinson initiated efforts to forge the Bachelor in Dance program in partnership with Metropolitan State University of Denver. The dance major is the first offered by any institution of higher learning in Denver.

As the primary fund developer for CPRD, Robinson recently led the organization in a successful $1M capacity building campaign in addition to a $250K renovation project in the historic CPRD headquarters.  He was also the CPRD lead in forming the partnership with the Denver Housing Authority in the acquisition of $20M award from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.  The grant supported the redevelopment of dilapidated housing that formerly surrounded the organization.  Under his direction, CPRD has evolved into an anchor cultural institution and destination for dance in Denver with more than 25,000 visitors annually.

Robinson serves on several boards and committees including the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District Inclusivity Fund Committee, charged with developing the criteria for a $9M fund designed to increase cultural equity among Denver’s marginalized communities.  He serves on the Board of Directors for the International Association of Blacks in Dance, Colorado Business Committee for the Arts, Denver School for the Arts Friends Foundation, and is a Dance/USA Trustee. Robinson is an Association of Performing Arts Professional Fellow, Livingston Fellow and Leadership Denver graduate.  Robinson earned his B.A. in African Studies from Regis University. 

Robinson is the son of Tom and Cleo Robinson, and he is married to Olga Gonzalez with one son, Nez, and two daughters Ximalma and Xareni.

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