Community Panel: Resources & Best Practices for Arts Entrepreneurs

August 10, 2019, 4:45pm Huntington Avenue Theatre 

What challenges and successes have you faced in your practice? What questions do you have about making the next jump, as a dance maker and advocate, to build your career? Join us for a panel discussion and open conversation designed for dancers, choreographers, directors, and arts administrators who wish to learn from leading experts in development, marketing, and entrepreneurship as we share best practices and resources in hopes to further your work and impact as an artist.


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Callie Chapman, founder/director of Studio@550, director of Zoe Dance Company, and former member of Prometheus Dance.  Callie is also a freelance video/projection artist who joins the choreographic space with the digital one in her own work.  As the director of Studio@550, she has worked to provide a multidisciplinary platform for artists of all disciplines to work side by side, in, and out of each others work to find the edges where things overlap.  Studio@550 was created to provide space to work as artists where anything could be possible. As a dancer, Callie has worked for over 20 years as a dancer with Prometheus Dance and has danced locally and internationally with the company.  As a choreographer she has lead Zoe Dance and has presented her work, locally, regionally, and internationally being presented in venues such as the ICA, Corporacion Cultural de Las Condes (Santiago de Chile), Illuminus Festival, Boston Center for the Arts, Multicultural Arts Center, among others.  She has received awards such as The Boston Center for the Arts Choreography Residency (2016), Somerville Arts Council's Fellowship, Cambridge Arts Council's Project Grant, The Boston Foundation's Next Steps grant, New England Foundation for the Arts Dance Fund grant, among others. She has also produced multiple festivals and self-produced concerts including Teranga Children's Festival and Somerville Dance Fest.  Among the programming at Studio@550, she's created the Creative Residency, Rooftop Performance Series, SKILLSET Series, Lab Series, and more. As an administrator Callie worked for the Boston Dance Alliance as the marketing and design associate for over 11 years (2004-2015). Callie is also a freelance designer for both web and print.,,

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Andy Chau is an active producer, performer, and educator in the Greater Boston area and is currently the Associate Director of Career Services at Berklee College of Music/Boston Conservatory at Berklee. Andy developed a comprehensive career services model for the Conservatory and implemented and produced the first annual Senior Dance Showcase in New York City as Executive Producer. Prior to working in higher education, he was a full-time music educator and has recently taught in the Boston Public Schools and the Rivers School Conservatory. He currently performs with the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus and has toured internationally to South Africa and the Middle East, performing in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, Israel, and Istanbul, Turkey. He is a doctoral (Ed.D) candidate at Northeastern University and holds a Master of Music Education from The Boston Conservatory and a Bachelor of Music in music education and performance from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell.

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Marissa Molinar is a professional dancer, arts administrative activist, and founder/curator of Midday Movement Series, a grassroots initiative designed to train Boston’s future contemporary dance teachers while offering a consistent schedule of rigorous classes for advanced and professional dancers. Marissa is the Outreach Coordinator at Deborah Mason Performing Arts Center, she is the newly appointed NAAC (Network of Arts Administrators of Color) Coordinator at ArtsBoston, and she is a freelance consultant in social media marketing, grant writing, and administration. In addition to freelance performance, Marissa is honored to dance with nathantrice/RITUALS Dance Theater in New York and she is a proud member of Ruckus Dance in Boston.


Dawn M. Simmons is co-founder and Artistic Director of The Front Porch Arts Collective a new black theatre company committed to advancing racial equity in Boston through theater. Ms. Simmons is also a director, playwright and an arts administrator.  Her work has been shared with: Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center, Central Square Theater, Hibernian Hall, Actors’ Shakespeare Project, WAM Theatre, SpeakEasy Stage Company, Greater Boston Stage Company, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, Lyric Stage Company, New Exhibition Room, Suffolk University, Fresh Ink Theatre, and many others. Ms. Simmons is Co-Artistic Director of New Exhibition Room and Executive Director of StageSource. 

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Vincent E. Thomas, dancer, choreographer and teacher, received his MFA in Dance from Florida State University and a BME in Music from the University of South Carolina. He has danced with Dance Repertory Theatre (FSU), Randy James Dance Works (NY/NJ), EDGEWORKS Dance Theater (DC), and Liz Lerman Dance Exchange (MD). His choreography has been presented at various national and international venues including DUMBO Festival (NY), Velocity Festival (DC), Modern Moves Festival (DC), Philly Fringe (PA), Edinburgh Fringe Festival (UK-Scotland), Barcelona and Madrid, Spain, Avignon, France, Athens, Greece, Bari, Italy, Copenhagen, Denmark, and Taipei. He received rave reviews for his performance of “Come Change” (2012) and “iWitness” (2014) in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. Vincent was the Movement Coach/Choreographer for  Everyman Theater’s Brother’s Size by Tarell Alvin McCraney in Baltimore, MD (2012) and Mosaic Theatre’s Unexplored Interior by Jay Sander in Washington, DC (2015). He is the Artistic Director/Choreographer of the national touring What’s Going On project. Vincent was awarded the 2011-2012 Towson University Student Government Association Faculty Member of the Year, a 2014-2015 NextLook Artist for the University of Maryland College Park and Joe’s Movement Emporium, a 2012-13 American Dance Institute Incubator Artist (MD), a 2016 Baker Artist Award finalist, the 2017 Pola Nirenska Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance (DC), and the 2019 USM Regents Faculty Award for Excellence in Research, Scholarship & Creative Activity. He is an Urban Bush Women BOLD Facilitator, faculty member for the UBW Summer Institutes (NY), and Professor of Dance at Towson University (MD). His multi-dimensional company VTDance builds on the use of contemporary dance, improvisation, text/ movement, a variety of sound sources, and collaborations with other artists, including dancers, musicians, poets, visual artists, and others [to be discovered]. These ideas coupled with witty, poignant, athletic and gestural movement are the rich palette for VTDance.

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Graham Wright is an arts management consultant, classical singer, and founder of Opus Affair—an organization focused on building community around arts and culture events. Opus Affair, called a “social behemoth” by the Boston Globe, has partnered with 100+ arts and culture organizations in the Greater Boston area and provides digital marketing support to organizations across the country. Graham has served as interim Executive Director for the GRAMMY-nominated chamber orchestra A Far Cry and is the vice president of the Boston Arts Marketing Alliance. He has received BostInno’s 50 on Fire award for “inventors, disrupters, luminaries, and newsmakers across all industries” and was a Boston Dance Alliance 2014 gala honoree for “supporting and promoting dance in the Boston area.” He has been a guest presenter or panelist on arts marketing and entrepreneurship at Harvard University, Boston University, Northeastern University, Emerson College, Chamber Music America, Council of American Jewish Museums National Conference, the Patron Manager National Community Meeting, and as a regular contributor on the air on WBUR. He is an alumnus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Furman University.


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Stacy Handler is a passionate arts administrator and arts advocate currently serving as the Managing Director of Urbanity Dance in Boston, MA. Prior to joining Urbanity, she held senior leadership roles with several NYC-based institutions, including Gibney Dance, Lumberyard Center for Film and Performance (previously American Dance Institute), and The New York Pops. Stacy specializes in fundraising strategy and has extensive experience in expanding donor networks, securing institutional support, and implementing special events. Originally from Miami, FL, Stacy received her M.A. in Performing Arts Administration from New York University and her B.A. in Psychology from Emory University in Atlanta, GA. She is a classically trained mezzo-soprano and a graduate of the Ballet Etudes Company of South Florida.