Dance

Dickerman Park

Bringing People to Play in Urban Green Spaces

In 2013, Springboard for the Arts launched the Artist Organizers (AOs) pilot program as part of Irrigate’s artist-led community development. Supported by the Surdna Foundation, the pilot planted…


Jen Garlando

Verb Ballets is a dance company for the community

Verb Ballets is a contemporary ballet company based out of Shaker Heights – just north of Akron – and performing all over Northeastern Ohio. A repertory-based company without a…


Chelsea Radgens

ARTLAB J moves with Detroit

Detroit might not be the first city you think about as having a significant dance presence, but you should really think again. Between major performance theaters like the Detroit…


Theresa Madaus, Tara King, and Monica Thomas

Mad King Thomas are the most earnest postmodern dance group probably ever

There is a pretty hard line between the high brow and lowbrow in art and culture. Postmodernists like to toy with that line. Mad King Thomas likes to play jump rope with it.  …


Alexandra Wright

YEPAW encourages youth to pursue lifestyles of excellence through the arts

Youth Excellence Performing Arts Workshop (YEPAW) got its first start when founder and artistic director Leslie Barnes had a conversation with a friend who claimed that the youth…


Devon Akmon

Arab American National Museum is the first and only museum of its kind

The metro Detroit area is an area rich with cultural institutions that celebrate the heritage, history, legacy, and continued contributions of artistic, cultural, and intellectual…


janera solomon

The Kelly Strayhorn Theater welcomes the community into their home

The Kelly Strayhorn Theater is a performing arts and cultural center in Pittsburgh's East Liberty neighborhood. Named for two of Pittsburgh’s most celebrated talents in the last…


Sheila Womble

Arts for Learning teaches valuable life skills through paid arts internships

Miami's Arts for Learning (A4L), a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing teaching and learning through the arts, launched nearly 15 years ago with a vision of connecting…


Morgan WIllis

Allied Media Conference incorporates all varieties of media to incite social change

This is the first in a series of artist profiles featuring the work of artists around social justice, policing, and activism. Look for more profiles in the coming weeks.  The Allied Media…


Haleem Rasul

Haleem Rasul is teaching the world to Jit

Haleem "Stringz" Rasul is a dancer, designer, and filmmaker born and raised in Detroit. The dancers in his family were on his father's side, and Rasul was inspired by his late cousin who, he says,…


Hattie Mae Williams

Hattie Mae Williams brings guerrilla dance performances to public places with Tattooed Ballerinas

Hattie Mae Williams grew up in Miami and attended the New World School of Arts magnet high school where, she says, she learned a lot about how to use art as a way to promote social change. She then…


Open-air Social Dance Series

"How come there is no public dancing in Chicago?" That was the question in 1997 that prompted the creation of the first SummerDance, an outdoor, public, free dance series in parks in Chicago. Since…


Toni Pierce-Sands and Uri Sands

TU Dance makes modern dance accessible to a diverse community in St. Paul

TU Dance, a professional dance company and dance education center located in St. Paul, was founded by Uri Sands and Toni Pierce-Sands in 2004. Initially called Space TU Embrace, the organization…


Gayle Isa

Asian Arts Initiative shepherds community engagement and integration in Philly's Chinatown North

Gayle Isa started working at the Painted Bride Art Center in Philadelphia in 1993. This was in the aftermath of the infamous Rodney King verdict and the riots in Los Angeles that followed. Racial…


Laura Zabel

Welcome to Creative Exchange (again)

"I believe in the magic of storytelling, not only for teller but also the listener," says agrarian artist Nikiko Masumoto, who lives and works in California's Central Valley. "The possibility of…


Cleo Parker Robinson: Denver's modern dance pioneer

Cleo Parker Robinson grew up in Five Points, where her company resides today, and has been immersed in the mystique of the arts since birth -- her mother played with the San Diego Symphony and she…


Thomas Armour Youth Ballet students

It takes a ballet company: Thomas Armour Youth Ballet teaches life skills along with dance

The Thomas Armour Youth Ballet (TAYB) was established over 60 years ago in 1951 by renowned classical ballet dancer, Thomas Armour. Originally called the Miami Ballet, the for-profit school and…


Jun-Li Wang leads an Observation Tour

Artists as community leaders

What a journey! Three years ago, Springboard for the Arts launched Irrigate, a creative placemaking project in partnership with the City of Saint Paul and the Twin Cities Local Initiatives Support…


Beth Rutkowski

GroundWorks builds movement from the ground up

GroundWorks Dance Theatre is a contemporary dance company founded in 1998 by Artistic Director David Shimotakahara. The company primarily splits its performance time between Akron and Cleveland with…


Andrew Simonet

Artists U teaches artists how to make a life

The hardest thing about making a life as an artist is actually making a life as an artist. That's where Artists U comes in. Andrew Simonet is a choreographer and a writer who directed the Headlong…


Sidewalk Festival of Performing Arts

Ryan Myers-Johnson founded Sidewalk Festival of Performing Arts to showcase alternative arts

When Ryan Myers-Johnson left Detroit after graduating from the Detroit School of Arts in 1999, she was already planning her return.   At first she didn't go far -- just down the…


Liza Bielby and Richard Newman

Experimental performance group The Hinterlands explores the outer limits of identity

In contemporary usage, "hinterland" is defined as "an area beyond what is visible or known." And this is why Richard Newman and Liza Bielby named their experimental performance group, headquartered…


Bobby Wesner

From show pigs to Prokofiev: Bobby Wesner gets inventive to support Neos Dance Theatre

One of the biggest challenges most artists face is funding. A person might be one of the most talented people in their field but without the right funding opportunities, that potential will never be…


Nichole Canuso

All the world's a stage: Nichole Canuso Dance Company creates "experiential" dance performances

You are one of six people in a room inside the Power Plant Productions basement, where a labyrinthine art installation has been constructed. You are each given a set of headphones to wear, and then…