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National Dance Presenters’ Forum

We regret to announce that the 2020 National Dance Presenters’ Forum will not occur due to the profound global impact of the coronavirus crisis. Please read the Director’s statement regarding Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival 2020. We look forward to welcoming participants in 2021.


National Dance Presenters’ Forum

Jacob’s Pillow, in partnership with the Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP) and The New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA), invites early career dance presenters to apply for an immersive professional development experience to:

  • Strengthen curatorial practice in dance
  • Discuss critical issues facing the dance field
  • Learn about and share audience engagement strategies
  • Explore collaborative strategies to support choreographic development
  • Strengthen professional networks

The Forum experience takes the shape of a learning cohort, wherein participants, facilitators, presenters, and virtual panelists interrogate and contribute perspectives on the evolving state of 21st-century dance presenting.

Immersed within Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, participants have access to all Festival programming, unparalleled Archives that chronicle over 87 years of history, and an international community of students, dancers, choreographers, scholars, arts professionals, and audience members. Home to America’s longest-running dance festival, Jacob’s Pillow has been a leader in presenting dance across genres for decades and is widely considered one of the most active sites for dance research, development, and performance in the United States.

The cohort uses the lessons learned and the challenges and opportunities identified through recent initiatives and reports as launching points for discussion and reflection. These include Moving Dance Forward: NEFA’s National Dance Project at 20 & Critical Field Trends report; The Black Report by the International Association of Blacks in Dance; The Future of Physically Integrated Dance in the U.S. by AXIS Dance; South Arts Dance Touring Initiative; and Dance/USA Engaging Dance Audiences.

“We need a platform where presenters can learn how to advocate for artists and build networks and partnerships to support their career trajectory.”

The Forum was first established at Jacob’s Pillow in August 1996 and was held annually through 2006, and widely recognized for its lasting impact on the professional development of performing arts presenters and the national growth and interest in the presentation and touring of dance. The Forum returned in 2018 in response to field-wide demand and in support of the Pillow’s commitment to facilitate and host discourses in dance development as outlined in its five-year strategic plan, Vision ‘22. Read more about the Forum in this Press Release.

2019 Forum Participants

Chavi Bansal, Arts Coordinator, Pao Arts Center; Boston, MA
Ellen Chenoweth, Director of the Dance Presenting Series at the Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago; Chicago, IL
Malakhi RL Eason II, Programming Manager for Omaha Performing Arts; Omaha, NE
Gillian Jones, Director of Programming, Edmonds Center for the Arts; Shoreline, WA
Napoleon Wesley Gladney, Audience Development Coordinator at Musco Center for the Arts at Chapman University;
Orange, CA
Liliana Gomez, Dance Director at Phoenix Center of the Arts; Phoenix, AZ
Liza Wade Green, Associate Director of NC State LIVE; Raleigh, NC
Sarah Greenbaum, Associate Curator at Dance Place; Washington, DC
Kelsey Halliday Johnson, Executive Director of SPACE; Portland, ME
Erin Johnson, Interim Artistic Director of Velocity Dance Center; Seattle, WA
Yonca Karakilic, Director of the Arts Transcending Borders program at College of the Holy Cross; Worcester, MA
Brett Wellman Messenger, Curatorial Director of Live Arts at the Morris Museum; Morristown, NJ
Sruthi Mohan, Creative Director, Tat Tvam Asi; Austin, TX
Theresa Remick, Managing Director of the Page Theatre; Winona, MN
Paul Wilborn, Executive Director of the Palladium Theater at St. Petersburg College; St. Petersburg, FL

2018 Forum Participants

Aisha Ahmad-Post
Julie Akerly
Krista Bradley
Jennifer Calienes
Adam Castaneda
Rosemary Gill
Jacqueline Hall Handy
Kai Hazelwood
Christopher Heacox
Micah Ariel James
Erin Lesure
Linda (Lulu) Lucero
Jack McLarnan
Christopher Morgan
Cheri Oppenheimer
Francis Weiss Rabkin
Malik Robinson
Kristin Stake
yon Tande (né Whitney V. Hunter)
Lexie Thrash
Tara Aisha Willis
Brent Woods