The National Center for Choreography-Akron welcomes new board members

The National Center for Choreography-Akron welcomes new board members

The National Center for Choreography – Akron (NCCAkron) has voted in new members to its board of directors: Dacquiri Baptiste (Memphis, TN), Meg Booth (Houston, TX), and DeMarcus Akeem Suggs (Minneapolis, MN). 

Founded in 2015, the National Center for Choreography -Akron supports the research and development of new work in dance by exploring the full potential of the creative process. In addition to offering studio and technical residencies to make new work, activities focus on catalyzing dialogue and experimentation; creating proximity among artists and dance thinkers; and aggregating resources around dance making. In addition to governance, the NCCAkron board of directors mimics the organization’s work as a think tank for dance and the future of the field.

NCCAkron Executive/Artistic Director Christy Bolingbroke (Akron, OH) was also confirmed as a voting member of the board, having previously served in an ex officio role. The new members will join board chair and JMS & Co Founder/Principal John Michael Schert (Boise, ID), Ballet Hispánico Artistic Director & CEO Eduardo Vilaro (New York, NY), The University of Akron Associate Dean Dr. Ann Usher (Medina, OH), Manchester Partners Managing Director Mark Williams (Solon, OH), and Bober Markey Federovich Partner John Jenkins (Cuyahoga Falls, OH). 

“With the addition of these four stellar board members, the National Center for Choreography – Akron progresses in its vision of serving the national cohort of choreographers and dance-makers,” commented John Michael Schert. “These new members bring a breadth of experience, insight, and wisdom that will enable the NCCAkron board to work as a ‘think tank’ for the field, addressing systemic issues that have hindered the artists we serve.”

Dacquiri Baptiste has worked in non profit arts for over 21 years. She worked at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater for 19 years. She worked in various roles within the company, starting as Merchandise Manager in 2000, transitioning to Company Manager for 10 years, and finally assuming the role of Director of Production in 2014. June 2019, Dacquiri became the Vice President and Chief Operations Officer for the Orpheum Theatre Group in Memphis, TN. Dacquiri is responsible for managing all operational aspects of the theater and aligning them with growth and expansion. Dacquiri is currently a Fellow for both the LACNA BIPOC Executive Leadership program and the Broadway League.

As the Founding Executive/Artistic Director for the National Center for Choreography at The University of Akron (NCCAkron), Christy Bolingbrokeis responsible for setting the curatorial vision and sustainable business model to foster research and development in dance. Previously, she served as the Deputy Director for Advancement at ODC in San Francisco, overseeing curation and performance programming as well as marketing and development organization-wide. A key aspect of her position included managing a unique three-year artist-in-residence program for dance artists, guiding and advising them in all aspects of creative development and administration. Prior to ODC, she was the Director of Marketing at the Mark Morris Dance Group in Brooklyn, NY. She currently serves on the Akron Civic Commons Core Team; as a consulting advisor for the Bloomberg Philanthropies Arts Innovation Management initiative; and on the New England Foundation for the Arts National Dance Project Advisory Panel.

Meg Boothis President and CEO for Performing Arts Houston, in Houston, Texas, leading strategic initiatives, program curation, and overall stewardship and management of the multi-disciplinary presenting and arts education organization. Since being named to the role in December 2018, Meg has led the completion of a strategic planning process, launched New/Now: The Houston Artist Commissioning Project, led a rebranding and renaming of the organization, and continues to build on the organization’s 56-year history of bringing internationally acclaimed, diverse, and relevant artists to Houston. Prior to joining Performing Arts Houston, Meg directed and curated the John F. Kennedy Center’s ballet and contemporary dance series in Washington D.C. and served as Director of The Suzanne Farrell Ballet.  

Fueled by a passion to cultivate and sustain a vibrant, equitable, accessible, and people-centric arts ecosystem, DeMarcus Akeem Suggs is an arts advocate and cultural worker with over a decade of professional experience in the sector. DeMarcus currently serves as the Director of Development for Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA), the nation’s first regional arts organization serving the heartland states of Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas. Before joining M-AAA, DeMarcus served as Development Director at Alternate ROOTS, Director of Education & Outreach at Neos Dance Theatre, Education & Engagement Coordinator for Victoria Theatre Association (Dayton Live), as well as Graduate Assistant for The National Center for Choreography at the University of Akron (NCCAkron).

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