New Director of Dance/NYC to Strengthen Industry
Washington, DC – Dance/USA, the national service organization for the professional dance field, announces the appointment of Lane Harwell as director of Dance/NYC (www.dancenyc.org
Harwell is a native New Yorker who brings a substantive and dynamic background in dance advocacy, management, practice and scholarship. Most recently, he was the director of development at New York’s arts-wide advocacy group, the Alliance for the Arts. Harwell’s lifelong history in the arts also includes training at the School of American Ballet, a performance career with American Ballet Theatre Studio Company, and experience working in diverse theater and service contexts—from the mobile arts education laboratory Mister Artsee to local dance groups dre.dance and Neta Dance Company. Harwell attended the Professional Children’s School while performing with ABT. He holds a BA in Philosophy from Princeton University and an MA in Performance Studies from the University of California at Berkeley. Harwell is currently pursuing an MBA at Columbia Business School, focusing on the application of for-profit management approaches to the nonprofit sector.
“Dance/NYC is the city’s leading dance advocacy organization—the voice, guide and infrastructure architect for all local dance artists, audiences and managers within the creative economy,” says Harwell. “I am thrilled to continue helping dance to lift and inspire our evolving city. Representing the largest local dance community in the country, Dance/NYC also has the unique capacity to participate in the national conversation about dance.”
Andrea Snyder, president and executive director of Dance/USA, led the search process. “With the able assistance of a search committee composed of members of the Dance/NYC Advisory Committee, I am thrilled to welcome Lane to the Dance/USA family. His vision, energy, knowledge and passion will make a great contribution towards advancing Dance/NYC’s mission and services to address the significant needs of the local dance community.”
Harwell’s appointment was warmly greeted by a number of influential leaders in New York:
“This is an excellent appointment,” said Randall Bourscheidt, president of the Alliance for the Arts. “Lane has a great knowledge of the field of dance and its importance to the cultural life of New York. He knows dance as a dancer and a company member, and he has broadened his understanding of New York's cultural community. He will bring his skills as a manager and fundraiser, his compassion for dancers, and his love of the city to this important organization.”
“Dance/NYC—and by extension, the artists it serves—has found a smart, dedicated and vibrant young leader to shape its future,” says Christopher Pennington, executive director of Jerome Robbins Foundation and the Robbins Rights Trust.
“I am delighted that Lane Harwell has been appointed director of Dance/NYC,” said Meyer Feldberg, dean emeritus of Columbia Business School. “He will bring leadership and energy to the role as well as the technical and managerial skills that he is studying at Columbia Business School.”
Harwell will begin serving as director of Dance/NYC on Monday, September 27, 2010. He succeeds Michelle Burkhart, who effectively served the dance community in this role from 2008.
Founded in 2002, Dance/NYC is Dance/USA’s first and largest branch office, providing assistance to 5,000+ dance artists and 500+ dance organizations in New York. Dance/NYC’s mission is to strengthen professional dance in the five boroughs and serve as a spokesperson on behalf of the field to the media, to the non-profit sector, to local and state government and to the field itself. This is accomplished through three focus areas—advocacy, communications and professional development services to the field. Dance/NYC prides itself on supporting and nurturing the future of dance.
Essential programs include: advocacy research, Web-based audience engagement and professional development resources at www.dancenyc.org
, the Youth Advisory Council (YAC),the discount ticketing program DancePass, the space information resource Dance Space Line, diverse convenings (roundtable workshops, town hall meetings, the Mid-Season Symposium and the upcoming Dancing through College and Beyond symposium (October 3rd, the Julliard School)) and the New York Dance and Performance Awards or Bessie Awards (Symphony Space, October 18). The organization’s programs respond to the immediate and ongoing needs of all who dance and support dance in New York.
Dance/USA is the national service organization for the professional dance field. We believe that dance is essential to a healthy society, demonstrating the infinite possibilities for human expression and potential, and facilitating communication within and across cultures. Dance/USA sustains and advances professional dance by addressing the needs, concerns and interests of artists, administrators and organizations. By providing services and national leadership, Dance/USA enhances the infrastructure for dance creation, education and dissemination.
Established in 1982, Dance/USA is a membership organization serving a broad cross-section of professional dance (currently over 500 ballet, modern, ethnic, jazz and tap companies, dance service and presenting organizations, individuals, and related organizations). With an informed understanding of local dance communities and an eagle-eye view of dance nationally, we occupy a unique position in the field. By working primarily in the interests of our membership, Dance/USA strengthens the dance field as a whole and the performing arts field in general. Dance/USA’s priorities include advocating for dance, providing information & research on the field, convening & networking, and building leadership among dance professionals. Learn more about Dance/USA and our branch offices by visiting our website, www.danceusa.org