Regional Dance Development Initiative: New England Now's Intersections Summit

Deborah Goffe and John Michael Winward at the Regional Dance Development Initiative: New England Now's Professional Development Lab | photo by Jonathan Hsu, JHsu Media



Regional Dance Development Initiative (RDDI): New England Now’s Intersections Summit is designed for and with the New England community to amplify the leadership that dance plays regionally alongside industries New England is known for, such as education, the sciences, and political and social organizing. The second of three interconnected components, this curated convening is also an opportunity to foster a culture of abundance through intentional sharing, learning, and community building that reimagines New England dance thriving.

ASL and Live Captioning for the Intersections Summit provided by Interpreter-Now.

Program Overview

Wednesday, September 29, 2021Program Overview

  • 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM | Welcome, Opening Remarks, and Networking Opportunity

Thursday, September 30, 2021

  • 1:00 PM - 2:15 PM | Community & The Creative Process: Reciprocity, Relationships, and Responsibility
  • 3:00 PM - 4:15 PM | Dance & Academia
  • 5:00 PM - 6:15 PM | Dance & Technology

Friday, October 1, 2021

  • 1:00 PM - 2:15 PM | Building & Impacting Dance Audiences in Rural Communities
  • 3:00 PM - 4:15 PM | Touring Is…
  • 5:00 PM - 5:45 PM | “States” of Dance Leadership
  • 5:45 PM - 6:30 PM | State Breakout Conversations

Saturday, October 2, 2021

  • 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM | Dance & Mental Health
  • 1:00 PM - 2:15 PM | Pathways for Dance in New England
    • Working Session A: Systems, Structures, and the Entrepreneurial Spirit
    • Working Session B: Articulating Values
    • Working Session C: Equitable Partnerships
    • Working Session D: CreativeGround
  • 2:30 PM - 3:00 PM | Closing Remarks

Free and open to the public. ASL and Live Captioning provided by Interpreter-Now.

NEFA is proud to partner with Redfern Arts Center at Keene State College for the Regional Dance Development Initiative (RDDI): New England Now’s Intersections Summit.

Intersections Summit Community Agreements

NEFA values an equitable, diverse, and inclusive world, which we interpret as all people having fair access to the tools and resources they need to realize creative and community endeavors. We acknowledge structural inequities that have excluded individuals and communities from opportunity based on race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, class, age, language, culture, nation of origin and geography, and strive to counter those inequities in our work.  

We respect everyone’s ability to share and contribute to the important dialogues that will take place during this event. We also want to foster a space that centers care and does not perpetuate harm in any way. With that, we ask that all contributors and attendees of the Intersections Summit abide by the following community agreements: 

  • What’s said here stays here, what’s learned here leaves here
  • Recognize your own power, privilege, influence, and authority
  • Respect everyone’s gender identity and pronouns
  • Ask clarifying questions if something is not clear; replace assumptions with information
  • Permission to communicate in draft
  • Recognize variations in communication styles and agree to disagree
  • Stay engaged and remember to practice self-care
  • Find joy in the moment; have fun, be kind, be generous

Full Event Schedule:

We are excited to have over 40 Intersections Summit Contributors lead and engage in a series of discussions that center regional dance makers’ experiences and ideas to build a better landscape for New England dance to flourish.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Welcome and Opening Remarks | 6:30 PM 

Followed by networking opportunities. 

Welcome by Indira Goodwine, NEFA Program Director of Dance 

Indira Goodwine (She/Her/Hers)

Indira is a Black woman in a bright blue blouse. She poses in front of city buildings.
Indira Goodwine

Location: Lands of the Massachusett, Wampanoag, and Pokanoket (Quincy, MA)

Indira Goodwine joined NEFA in March 2019 as Program Director, Dance. She directs NEFA’s National Dance Project and major dance initiatives in New England, as well as collaborate with other NEFA programs supporting the dance field. With a dual background in dance and arts administration, Indira previously served as the Managing Director of Camille A. Brown & Dancers (CABD, Inc.) for the past two and a half years and as the Company Manager for several years prior. At CABD, Inc., she shepherded the organization through the attainment of 501(c)(3) nonprofit status, established of the organization’s founding Board of Directors, enhanced the institutional and individual fundraising efforts, increased the budget by at least 30% per year since 2012, and provided oversight of the development, implementation and continued growth of CABD’s dance engagement program, “EVERY BODY MOVE.” In addition, under her management and in partnership with PMG Arts Management, CABD has toured extensively throughout the United States with support from NEFA’s National Dance Project. Prior to her leadership role with CABD, Indira held positions at Harlem Stage, collaborating with operations, community partnerships, finance, and programming of the annual dance program, E-Moves. Originally from Queens, NY, she holds a BFA in Dance Performance from Florida State University and an MA in Performing Arts Administration from New York University. 

Opening Remarks by Christal Brown, RDDI Professional Development Lab Faculty 

Christal Brown (She/Her/Hers) 

Christal is a Black woman with forhead length curls and wears a brightly colored, printed blazer over a pink top.
Christal Brown

Location: Vermont

Christal Brown (Mother|Artist|Educator|Disciple|Coach) is the Founder of INSPIRIT, Project: BECOMING, the creator of the Liquid Strength training module for dance, an Associate Professor of Dance and Director of the Anti-Racist Task Force at Middlebury College, and the CVO of Steps and Stages, LLC. Brown is a native of Kinston, North Carolina, where she remembers accompanying her mother to NAACP meetings and performing at Black Caucus rallies.  This early exposure to social responsibility innately produced a strong desire in Brown to put her gifts to work for the greater good.  Brown earned her BFA in Dance and minor in Business from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and her MFA in New Media Art and technology from Long Island University. Brown’s evolution combines her creativity, educational gifts and love for people into a dynamic coaching, facilitation, and consulting practice designed to create vision and sustain change.


Thursday, September 30, 2021

Community & The Creative Process: Reciprocity, Relationships, and Responsibility | 1:00 PM

A conversation between five distinct New England dance makers, rooted in their respective communities, who actively collaborate to build intentional practices that center reciprocity, relationships, and responsibility alongside their creative pursuits. 

Facilitator: Mar Parrilla

Contributors: Jean Appolon, Sarah Duclos, Nicole Stanton, and John Michael Winward 

Mar Parrilla (She/Her/Hers/We/Mi) – RDDI Professional Development Lab Faculty 

A brown skinned woman with wavy long dark hair wearing a black top with a ballet neckline.
Mar Parrilla | hoto by Ernesto Galán

Location: Boston (Massachusett territory) 

Afrotaíno borikua and award-winning choreographer Mar Parrilla is the founding artistic director of Danza Orgánica. She is a proud mother, community organizer, and aspiring herbalist. After attaining a BA in Languages (Italian, French) from the Universidad de Puerto Rico, Mar crossed the ocean to Nueva York, where she completed a Master's degree in Dance Education at New York University. Now a Boston resident, Parrilla is a recipient of several awards from the New England Foundation for the Arts, and the Boston Foundation, among others. She is the recipient of the Brother Thomas Fellowship Award from the Boston Foundation, and the Outstanding Community Arts Collaboration Award in Dance from the Arts/Learning Organization.  
Mar is also the founder of the acclaimed program Dance for Social Justice™, as well as the founding producer of the Boston-based annual festival: We create! Parrilla is a luminary artist at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, where she has been commissioned to create artistic work- and has continued to partner with in several productions.  

Mar Parrilla/ Danza Orgánica received a Creative Development Residency at Jacob's Pillow, where they also performed at the Inside/Out Festival. Currently they are still in collaboration through D.O. 's Dance for Social Justice™ program.  In 2018, Mar was selected for the city of Boston Artist in Residence program, with a focus on environmental justice. Currently, she is collaborating with Puerto Rico-based artists on a residency-based cultural exchange towards the development of Melaza: a project that explores the colonial relationship between Puerto Rico and the United States of North America. She is also working in close collaboration with members of the Aquinnah Wampanoag tribe, through a partnership between Danza Orgánica, the Aquinnah Cultural Center, and The Yard.  

Mar has been a dance educator in Boston and NYC public schools, Boston University, New York State University at Stony Brook, Wesleyan University, and Roxbury Community College, to name a few. Currently, she is faculty at Emerson College. 

Mar's production history includes annual company concerts since 2007, as well as the annual festival: We Create! She is also the founder and curator of the Dance Research Online Forum- a site dedicated to free and progressive dance education.  

Jean Appolon (He/Him/His) – RDDI Intersections Summit Contributor  

Jean holds his chin. Jean is Black and has his hair pulled back.
Jean Appolon | photo by Olivia Moon Photography

Location: Land of the Pennacook Tribe (Malden, MA) 

The Director and Co-founder of Jean Appolon Expressions, Jean Appolon is also a successful choreographer and teacher based in Boston and Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He received his earliest training and performance opportunities in Port-au-Prince with the Viviane Gauthier Dance Company and the Folkloric Ballet of Haiti. Appolon continued his dance education in the U.S. with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the Joffrey American Ballet School, graduating with a BA in 2003 from a joint degree program at The New School. Appolon teaches regularly at Boston Ballet, The Dance Complex (Cambridge, MA), and the University of Massachusetts Boston, among other locations. Appolon was appointed a 2017 Brother Thomas Fellow, was inducted to the 1804 List of Haitian American Changemakers in the U.S, was a 2019/20 Luminary at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and is currently a resident in NCCAkron’s Dancing Lab: BLKmenMoves. 

Sarah Duclos (She/Her/Hers) – RDDI Artist Cohort  

Sarah sits on the ground, leaning over a suitcase.
Sarah Duclos | photo by Cora Paradiso

Location: Land of the Wabanaki Confederacy, Abenaki, and Pennacook Peoples (Gonic, NH) 

Sarah Duclos is a freelance choreographer and teaching artist based in New Hampshire, who holds a Bachelor of the Arts in Theatre and Dance from the University of New Hampshire and a graduate certificate in Arts and Culture Strategy from National Arts Strategies and the University of Pennsylvania. As a young dancer, Sarah worked directly with Liz Lerman Dance Exchange during their two-year residency leading up to The Shipyard Project - sparking a lifelong interest in site-specific, community-based dance work. While studying at UNH, Sarah founded Neoteric Dance Collaborative (NEO) a multi-disciplinary dance company with a mission to build community through the art of dance. NEO has particularly focused this community-building mission in rural and suburban areas of New Hampshire and southern Maine, developing audiences for dance where there were previously none. NEO has performed Sarah’s choreography on stages in New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont and at City Center in New York City. Duclos has worked as a freelance performer and choreographer, for both theatre and concert dance, and as an educator, notably working as a master teaching artist for Boston Ballet’s Education and Community Initiatives, a faculty member at Phillips Exeter Academy’s Department of Theater and Dance - where she served as Interim Director of Dance during the 2015-2016 academic year and internationally as a dance facilitator at the Abhainn Ri Festival of Participation and Inclusion in Callan, Co. Kilkenny, Ireland. She specializes in teaching classical ballet (Vaganova method), choreography and composition, dance history, inclusive dance for movers with disabilities and is one of the first dance educators in the world certified to teach all five levels of Giordano jazz technique. Sarah was appointed to the juried New Hampshire Arts in Education Roster in 2016 and she launched an online ballet curriculum for adults called Couch to Ballet in 2019. In 2020, Sarah was awarded a full scholarship from National Arts Strategies and the University of Pennsylvania to attend the Executive Program for Arts and Culture Strategy.  You can explore more of her work at

Nicole Stanton (She/Her/Hers) – RDDI Intersections Summit Contributor 

Nicole is a mixed race woman. She smiles and has shoulder length, wavy hair.
Nicole Stanton | photo by Olivia Drake

Location: Land of the Wangunk (Middletown, CT) 

Nicole Stanton is Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Wesleyan University. An artist and an educator, she is a Professor of Dance, African American Studies, and Environmental Studies.  Her choreographic work explores the intersections between personal, cultural, and physical experiences with an eye towards celebrating the complexities of black cultures and creating platforms that cultivate community. Her artistic practice emphasizes collaboration, including work with historians, scientists, anthropologists, musicians, and media artists. Her choreography weaves diverse vocabularies such as Contact Improvisation, Senegalese Sabar, Euro-American Release Technique and Cuban Orisha dancing; and is grounded in varied theoretical perspectives including critical race theory and eco feminism. Recent performance venues include Williams College, Wesleyan University’s Center for the Arts, the Center for Performance Research, the We Create Festival in Boston, Kenyon College, Alfred University, and Gowanus Gallery. 

John Michael Winward (He/Him/His) – RDDI Artist Cohort  

John looks to the side while he wears a beaded necklace and a v neck t-shirt.
John Michael Winward | photo by Olivia Moon Photography, courtesy of PDM

Location: Land of the Pawtucket and Massachusett Peoples (Boston, MA) 

J Michael Winward is an independent dance artist based in Boston. With influences in American-style ballroom, ballet, contemporary and somatic dance practices, his work places a strong focus on building connection: connection to one’s body, one’s self, one’s audience, connection between dance partners, connection within and across communities. His solo performances blend movement and memoir, and deal with a variety of topics, including: coming of age, institutional injustice, and the politics of being oneself. Through the Steps in Time® program, Michael brings social ballroom dance classes and parties to independent/assisted living and memory care communities throughout Greater Boston. Dancing with Peter DiMuro/Public Displays of Motion (PDM), Michael works to advance the PDM mission of cultivating dance/arts literacy, advocacy and engagement. Along with Maggie Cee, Michael produces Dancing Queerly, a festival of performances, workshops, discussions, and social dance gatherings by and for the LGBT+ community, friends, and allies. 

Dance & Academia | 3:00 PM

An illustrative conversation between dance makers who balance their choreographic endeavors with positions at higher education institutions around New England. The dialogue will provide insight to the dynamics of being a dance maker inside of academia and entry points for choreographers wanting to collaborate within colleges and universities across the region. 

Facilitators: Aretha Aoki and Deborah Goffe

Contributors: Heidi Henderson, Hari Krishnan, and Aysha Upchurch 

 Aretha Aoki (She/Her/Hers) – RDDI Artist Cohort  

Aretha has dark hair and wears red lipstick.
Aretha Aoki | photo by Maria Baranova Photography

Location: Land of the Wabanaki Confederacy, Abenaki, and Arosaguntacook Peoples (Topsham, ME)

Aretha Aoki is a choreographer, performer, educator and mother originally from unceded Coast Salish territory (Vancouver, B.C.) and currently residing on occupied land belonging to the Wabanaki Confederacy (Maine).  Aretha’s work has been performed at the Kansas City Art Institute (MO), the Kraine Theater (NYC), Judson Church (NYC), Portland Ballet Theater (ME), Franco Center (ME), School for Contemporary Dance and Thought (Northampton, MA), Brooklyn Studios for Dance, A.P.E Gallery Ltd. (MA), Danspace Project (NYC), the Academy of Music (MA), Movement Research Festival (NYC), Center for Performance Research (NYC), Catch (NYC), Exit Art Gallery (NYC, Culturebot’s “Ephemeral Evidence”), New York Live Arts (2011/12 Fresh Tracks artist), the Kitchen (NYC, Emily Roysdon’s A Gay Bar Called Everywhere), the Chen Dance Center (NYC, 2010 Newsteps artist-in-residence), the Firehall Arts Centre (Vancouver, BC), AUNTS (Brooklyn, NY), the 92nd St. Y (NYC), and Studio 303 (Montreal, QC, 2007 Vernissage-danse artist in residence). She was the Dance Consultant for the theater production, Babette’s Feast (2018), which premiered at Portland Stage (ME) and had an Off-Broadway run at the Theater at St. Clement’s.  

Aretha was an artist with the inaugural Seed Program (2015/2016), a residency exchange with Vermont Performance Lab and Studio 303. She has received funding through the New England Foundation for the Arts (2016/2017), Northampton Council for the Arts (2014) and the National Association of Japanese Canadians (2006).  

Aretha was a dancer and collaborating performer with Emily Johnson/Catalyst Dance for seven years (Terrible Things, New York performances of The Thank-you Bar, Niicugni, SHORE, and Then a cunning voice and a night spent gazing at stars). As a performer, she has worked with robbinschilds, Rebecca Serrell Cyr, devynn emory, Vanessa Anspaugh, Heather Kravas, Juliette Mapp, Daria Fain, Maura Donohue, Elizabeth Ward, Martin Lanz, Faye Driscoll, Lisa D’Amour & Katie Pearl, Kokoro Dance, Silesian Dance Theater, and others.  

Since 2016, Aretha has held the position of Assistant Professor of Dance at Bowdoin College. Aretha was Associate Editor at Contact Quarterly (CQ) from 2013-2016, and co-curator of the 2016 Movement Research Spring Festival, Hand Written Note(s) in NYC. Her lyric essay, “The Practice of Form: A Class by Ralph Lemon” appeared in CQ W/S 2016. Aretha holds a BFA from Simon Fraser University and a MFA from Smith College. 

Deborah Goffe (She/Her/Hers) – RDDI Artist Cohort  

Deborah crosses her arms and closes her eyes.
Deborah Goffe | photo by Jim Coleman

Location: Land of the Nipmuc and Pocumtuc (Holyoke, MA)

Deborah Goffe is a dance maker, performer, educator, and performance curator who cultivates environments and experiences through choreographic, design and social processes. Since its founding in 2002, Scapegoat Garden (a Connecticut-based creative engine) has functioned as a primary vehicle and creative community through which Deborah has employed these processes—forging relationships between artists and communities, helping people see, create and contribute to a greater vision of ourselves, each other, and the places we call home. She is driven by an enduring commitment to world making, support of vibrant local and regional dance ecologies, and the role of curatorial practice in those processes. Together these commitments inform her work and teaching at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts where she serves as Assistant Professor of Modern-Contemporary Dance.  

Deborah’s performance works have been selected for performance in regional, national, and international festivals and venues, including: New England’s Center for the Arts at Wesleyan University (Middletown, CT), Wadsworth Atheneum (Hartford, CT), Real Art Ways (Hartford, CT), the International Festival of Arts and Ideas (New Haven, CT), Provincetown Dance Festival (Provincetown, MA), Bates Dance Festival (Lewiston, ME), Boston Center for the Arts (Boston, MA); New York City’s Dance New Amsterdam, DUMBO Dance Festival, New York Live Arts, Artists of Tomorrow Theatre Festival, and the 92nd Street Y. Her choreographic work has also been performed internationally in Finland, Italy and Cape Verde. Deborah has been awarded Artist Fellowship grants by Massachusetts Cultural Council (2016), Connecticut Office of the Arts (2005, 2013), the Greater Hartford Arts Council (2007), and the Surdna Foundation (2008), and has been honored for Distinguished Achievement in Dance by the Connecticut Dance Alliance (2012). 

Heidi Henderson (She/Her/Hers) – RDDI Artist Cohort

In pink pants and a multicolor tank top, Heidi holds her arms down and lifts her left leg up.
Heidi Henderson | photo by Nikki Lee

Location: Land of the Narragansett People (Wakefield, RI) 

Heidi Henderson lives and makes work in RI, is a Professor at Connecticut College, and danced in NYC (in the companies of Bebe Miller, Nina Wiener, Peter Schmitz, Sondra Loring, Colleen Thomas, Paula Josa-Jones, etc.) Her pick up company, elephant JANE dance, performs mostly in New England. She has received, five times, the Fellowship in Choreography from the Rhode Island State Council for the Arts. She was a frequent contributing editor for Contact Quarterly. Her process is made slightly more clear in a gracious interview by Sara Smith for Kinebago, republished in Critical Correspondence by Movement Research: 

Hari Krishnan (He/Him/His) – RDDI Intersections Summit Contributor 

Hari has slicked back hair and an open button down.
Hari Krishnan | photo by Sally Cohn

Location: Land of the Mohegan, Mashantucket Pequot, Eastern Pequot, Schaghticoke, Golden Hill Paugussett, Nipmuc, and Lenape Peoples (Middletown, CT) 

Described by the New York Times as “a communicator who seizes the audience with his glances, complex meters, fully three-dimensional phrases — even with an isolated finger” and by the Toronto Star as a “maverick gadfly who is aggressively iconoclastic”, Hari Krishnan specializes in Bharatanatyam, global contemporary dance and queer dance. An artist based in Middletown, CT, he is also Chair of Wesleyan University’s Department of Dance. Recent awards/nominations include the Eldred Family Choreography Nomination (2021), a Mellon Foundation Grant (2021- co-recipient with SAEDA- South Asian Experimental Dance Artists), a special citation from the 2020 de la Torre Bueno© First Book Award Committee of the Dance Studies Association (for his 2019 monograph, Celluloid Classicism: Early Tamil Cinema and the Making of Modern Bharatanatyam), Eramus Mundus Residency Award (Europe, 2015); Bessie Nomination (2013) for Outstanding Performance- New York Dance and Performance Award and Bessie Schoenberg Choreographic Residency Award – The Yard (2013). 

Aysha Upchurch (She/Her/Hers) – RDDI Intersections Summit Contributor  

Aysha is a Black woman with long braids and a big beautiful smile.
Aysha Upchurch | photo by Ill-Digital Media

Location: Land of the Massachusett people (Boston, MA)

Aysha Upchurch, the Dancing Diplomat, is an artist and educator who creates, facilitates, and designs for radical change. She does this as a sought after performer, instructor, consultant, and facilitator whose work sits at the nexus of youth advocacy, social justice, and transformative education. She has shared her expertise about artfully designing equitable and culturally relevant classrooms, the importance of dance and movement in education, and embracing Hip Hop as a powerful literacy in schooling at national conferences and most recently at TedxUConn.  Aysha is currently a Lecturer on Education and Artist-in-Residence at the Harvard Graduate School of Education where she teaches courses on Hip Hop pedagogy and embodied learning, and directs  HipHopEX - an intergenerational lab that creates community programming to explore Hop Hop in education. Whether on the stage or in a classroom, Aysha is an ambassador on how to be D.O.P.E. - dismantling oppression and pushing education. 

Dance & Technology | 5:00 PM

Technology can amplify dance, making it more accessible, and also provides new opportunities for collaboration. Learn how each of these dance makers are using the intersection of dance and technology specifically to explore possibilities led by daily embodied practice, serving as a springboard to future dance applications across multiple interdisciplinary fields. 

Facilitator: Madeline Greenberg

Contributors: Ali Kenner Brodsky, Merritt Moore, and Monica Thomas 

Madeline Greenberg (She/Her/Hers) – RDDI Intersections Summit Contributor 

Madeline is a young, white woman with long brown hair. She wears a tweed jacket.
Madline Greenberg | photo by Joëlle Dong

Location: Land of the Narragansett and Wampanoag peoples (Providence, RI)

Madeline Greenberg is a producer and artist. She is the recipient of The Minnie Helen Hicks Prize in Art, and her piece, Face the Data, was funded by the Brown Arts Institute. Greenberg works in a variety of mission-driven, artistic contexts, and her portfolio includes better_The Conference for Research on Choreographic Interfaces, and the Choreorobotics Initiative. Greenberg completed her undergraduate studies in Performance Studies at Brown University. 

Ali Kenner Brodsky (She/Her/Hers) – RDDI Artist Cohort  

Outside, Ali has short dark hair but with long wavy side bangs.
Ali Kenner Brodsky | photo by Rich Ferri

Location: Land of the Wampanoag People (South Dartmouth, MA)

Ali Kenner Brodsky makes gesturally rich and emotionally driven dance-theater works that ask the viewer to indulge in a world of reflection, remembering, and connection. Her choreography is largely autobiographical and deals with life cycle, remembering, stages of grief, and the process of dying. Her dance company, ali kenner brodsky & co., produces, presents, and tours original works of choreography and dance films. Ali was a 2019 artist-in-residence at the Croft: Ground for Art, a 2018-19 Catalysts artist at the Dance Complex, 2016 Emerging Choreographer in Residence at Bates Dance Festival, and 2014 recipient of the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts Choreography Fellowship. In 2003–04, she was an artist-in-residence at Joyce SoHo in NYC. She has received support from NEFA’s New England States Touring and Dance Fund and from the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County. Kenner Brodsky’s work has been performed at Joyce SoHo, Puffin Room, DanceNow Festivals, Dance Space, WAX, Dixon Place, Judson Church, Dumbo Dance Festival, Bates Dance Festival, Wilbury Theater Group, Dance Complex, AS220, Jamestown Arts Center, Great Friends Festival, Provincetown Dance Festival, Massachusetts Dance Festival, Southern Vermont Dance Festival and Dance for Peace.   

Alongside David Henry, Lila Hurwitz and Andy Russ, Ali co-founded Motion State Arts which presents innovative dance-films and live performances from local, national and international artists. She is a new Board member for New England Presenters, a consortium providing leadership and support for the presentation and development of the performing arts in New England. She also works as a dance advisor, curator, and administrator to the Zeiterion Theater in New Bedford, MA. Ali has designed award-winning choreography for The Wilbury Theater Group (Providence), and worked as a rehearsal director and dancer with the national touring company Lostwax Multimedia Dance from 2012–15. She has also performed with Andy Russ, Betsy Miller Dance Projects, Jessica Howard, Rose Pasquarello-Beauchamp, Emma Hogarth and 83 paperbirds-moving lab. She has been on the adjunct dance faculty at Roger Williams University, Salve Regina University and Dean College, and has been a guest choreographer at Salve, Dean, Skidmore, and Providence Colleges. She graduated with honors in dance from Skidmore College. A Rhode Island native, Ali Kenner Brodsky makes home in Dartmouth, Massachusetts with her husband, two children and five chickens.

Merritt Moore (She/Her/Hers) – RDDI Intersections Summit Contributor 

Collage: Merrit has her arms on her hips and wears a blue jumpsuit and Merrit is in a ballerina skirt and point shoes, with one leg up in the air over her body.
Merritt Moore | photos by James Cheadle (left) and James Glader (right)

Location: US citizen living in Dubai and London

Dr. Merritt Moore graduated with Magna Cum Laude Honors in Physics from Harvard and graduated with a PhD in Atomic and Laser Physics from the University of Oxford. She also pursues a professional ballet career, previously with the Zurich Ballet, Boston Ballet, English National Ballet, and Norwegian National Ballet. She was recently awarded Forbes 30 under 30, and she was one of the 12 selected candidates to undergo rigorous astronaut selection on BBC Two "Astronauts: Do you have what it takes?"  

With her ballet, physics and astronaut background, Dr. Moore’s focus has led her to programming and dancing with robots. The motivation is to gain expertise in robotics and A.I, which will be the future in space and here on earth. Invited as artist-in-residence at Harvard ArtLab, Merritt began exploring movement between human dancer and industrial robotic arm right before the pandemic. During the pandemic, she created a number of dances with robots, which became featured in TIMEFinancial Times (FT)VogueBBC Click and more. She explores the future of A.I./ machine learning, specifically with dance, and welcomes all forms of collaboration fusing dance, physics and tech.  

Monica Thomas (She/Her/Hers) – RDDI Intersections Summit Contributor 

Monica has very long brown hair. She is a white lady. She stands in a field with yellow, red, and green leaved trees behind her.
Monica Thomas | photo by Terry Godlove

Location: Land of of the Massachusett Tribe and Wôpanâak/Wampanoag (Somerville, MA) and the ancestral homelands of the Mohican people (Sheffield, MA) who today their community thrives in Wisconsin and is known as the Stockbridge-Munsee Community 

Monica Thomas is a choreographer and dancer. The bulk of her work has been with Mad King Thomas, a collaboration with Tara King and Theresa Madaus that spanned over a decade. Together they created and performed small and large works nationally and internationally. Most recently Monica has been choreographing for Boston Dynamics, where she collaborates with their engineers to create movement for robots. Monica was trained as dance/movement therapist and works as a licensed clinical mental health counselor. 


Friday, October 1, 2021

Building & Impacting Dance Audiences in Rural Communities | 1:00 PM

Dance makers in rural settings are creating inventive and inviting ways to build dance audiences, sometimes from scratch, and align goals to foster initiatives with neighboring communities and organizations. Learn directly from artists and administers doing this work! 

Facilitators: Scott McPheeters and Amanda Whitworth

Contributors: Kelsey Halliday Johnson, Toby MacNutt, and Theo Nii Martey

Scott McPheeters (He/Him/His) – RDDI Artist Cohort  

Scott holds his hand out to catch a flower. He has a blond bun.
Scott McPheeters | photo by Jorge Cousineau

Location:Land of the Wabanaki Confederacy, Abenaki, and Pequawket Peoples (Biddeford, ME)

Scott McPheeters is a Maine-based performer and educator whose creative practice is comprised of interdisciplinary, site-specific investigations as filtered through his lived experience as a queer-identifying, cis-gendered, white person. He researches the social and environmental dynamics of place and develops immersive proposals for collective action that value vulnerability and intimacy as imperative community building tools. McPheeters co-directs dance and site installation company, Subcircle, and is a co-founder/director of Subcircle Residency - an artist residency in Biddeford, ME. that prioritizes serving performance-based artists.   

While living in Philadelphia from 2004-2017, McPheeters had the privilege of working with companies and individuals including Subcircle, Nichole Canuso Dance Company, Kun-Yang Lin / Dancers, Headlong Dance Theater, Bearded Ladies Cabaret, Enchantment Theatre Company, Marianela Boan, Bronwen MacArthur, Eun-Jung Choi, Eleanor Goudie-Averill, Beau Hancock, and Gina Hoch-Stall. In 2015, he received a Barrymore Award (“Best Lead Actor in a Musical”) for his portrayal of Candy Darling in the Bearded Ladies Cabaret / Opera Philadelphia production, Andy: A Popera.   

In and around Philadelphia, his choreography has been presented at Fringe Arts, the SoLow Festival, the Evening of Duets Concert, and the ACDA Conference at West Chester University. Additionally, his work has been performed/exhibited in Hoboken, NJ., Washington D.C., Durham, NC., Baltimore, MD., San Francisco, CA., Berkeley, CA., and Incline Village, NV. From 2014-2017, he was the resident choreographer for Enchantment Theatre Company.  

McPheeters was as an adjunct faculty member at Temple University from 2015-2017, and has been a guest teaching artist at Drexel University, University of the Arts, Swarthmore College, Franklin & Marshall College, Rowan College, Stockton College, West Chester University, and Dickinson College.  

In January of 2020, McPheeters received an M.F.A in Interdisciplinary Arts from Sierra Nevada College. Since then, he has relocated to his hometown, Biddeford, ME, where he is currently exhibiting a new interdisciplinary project called Blaze at Engine. 

Amanda Whitworth (She/Her/Hers) – RDDI Artist Cohort  

In a studio with a gray backdrop, Amanda smiles.
Amanda Whitworth | photo by Maundy Mitchell

Location: Land of the Wabanaki Confederacy and Abenaki Peoples (Ashland, NH) 

Amanda Whitworth, MEd is a dance and interdisciplinary artist with an MEd in Integrated Arts Education, and leads and consults on interdisciplinary projects in technology, design, wellness, business, and public education. She is the current New Hampshire Artist Laureate as confirmed by the Governor's Executive Council. Originally from metro Detroit, she has lived in central New Hampshire since 2006. As the Director of Dance at Plymouth State University, Amanda is the recipient of the Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award and has integrated interdisciplinary thinking and collaborative performance into the curriculum and spearheaded networks of growth, service and advocacy across New England through innovative cross-sector partnerships.  Infusing dance in every project and partnership she has been one of NH Union Leader's “40 Under 40” and awarded a Vermiel Medal from the Academy of Arts, Sciences and Letters in Paris, France, for her choreographic practice. Amanda assumes the alias of Lead with Arts, working as a performer of dance and physical theatre nationally and internationally. She is also the co-founder of Articine, Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization bringing artists and doctors together to innovate within the healthcare system.   

Kelsey Halliday Johnson (She/They) – RDDI Intersections Summit Contributor 

Kelsey poses in a pink light. She has shoulder length hair, is a white lady, and wears glasses.
Kelsey Halliday | photo by Aurelia Wrenn

Land acknowledgement: SPACE is located on the homeland of the Wabanaki Confederacy. We extend our respect and gratitude to the many Indigenous people and their ancestors whose rich histories and vibrant communities include the Abenaki, Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot Nations and all of the Indigenous communities who have lived here for hundreds of generations, in what is known today as Maine, New England, and the Canadian Maritimes. 

Kelsey Halliday Johnson (b. 1986, Philadelphia, PA, she/they) is an eco-feminist, cultural strategist, and the Executive Director of SPACE, living in what is now known as Cape Elizabeth, ME. Prior to SPACE, Johnson worked as a museum curator at the Michener Art Museum, performance and live art coordinator at Vox Populi, archaeological ceramic collection specialist at the PennMuseum, longtime community radio DJ at WPRB 103.3FM, arts administrator, and instructor at the University of Pennsylvania and Interlochen Center for the Arts. A graduate of Princeton University, The University of Pennsylvania, and Wesleyan University's ICPP program, Johnson’s research has included the aesthetics and rhetoric of fascism, the intersection of art and technology, and the body as a political instrument in performance. At SPACE, she helps to steward their statewide grantmaking programs, special initiatives, and working towards equitable organizational advancement. She currently serves on the Executive Committee of Sierra Club Maine, the Collections Committee of the Portland Museum of Art, and the Cultural Steering Committee for the City of Portland/Creative Portland. 

Toby MacNutt (they/Them) – RDDI Intersections Summit Contributor

Toby uses crutches and wears a brace around their waist. They have short hair and wear a green shirt in a wooded area.
Toby MacNutt | photo by Owen Leavey

Location: Land of Abenaki people (Burlington, VT) 

Toby MacNutt is a queer, nonbinary trans, disabled artist, author, and teacher living in Burlington, VT. They make dance work for ground, aerial, and mobility apparatus, including their solo show in progress, A Singular They. Past works have included multidisciplinary installation work Enter the Void (2018) and evening-length ensemble dance work One, Two (2014). They have also danced for Murmurations Dance/Nicole Dagesse (When Women Were Birds; Bone Hooks), Tiffany Rhynard's Big APE, Lida Winfield, and Heidi Latsky, and have studied with AXIS Dance, Candoco, and the New England Center for Circus Arts. Toby teaches an array of movement and other topics, focusing on group awareness, sensory exploration, adaptive thinking, and relationships and consent. Find more about their work at or say hello on instagram @tobymacnutt.

Theo Nii Martey (He/Him/His) – RDDI Intersections Summit Contributor

Theo is a black man with shoulder length braids. He poses with a bongo over his shoulder.
Theo Martey

Location: Land of the Abenaki, Pennacook and Wabanaki Peoples (Manchester, NH)

Theo Nii Martey is a talented artist who was born and raised in Accra, Ghana, West Africa. Theo is a Songwriter, Recording Artist, Producer, Performer, Teaching Artist, Award recipient of the 2019 Governor’s Arts Award for Arts Education and he was featured on New Hampshire Magazine who’s it for 2019 It list. His vibrant artist residencies give students an opportunity to experience hands-on West African drumming and a variety of dance styles. He has been on the Arts Council’s juried Arts Education Roster since 2005. He enjoys working in a variety of settings, with children and adults, making music, teaching rhythms and songs, and telling the stories behind the songs and the Ga’s tribe. 

Theo is the founder and leader of the Akwaaba Ensemble, The Akwaaba Ensemble brings West African drumming and dance to vivid life, holding sway with the rich and subtle rhythmic patterns and styles specific to different tribal groups of West Africa.  The Akwaaba Ensemble’s energetic and engaging performances are a reflection of their name, which means ‘Welcome‘ in the Akan language of Ghana. 

Touring is… | 3:00 PM

This timely conversation takes a critical look at the history of touring structures tied to previous funding sources and how those systems rarely hold true today--due to finances, resources, and costs to the environment and our health. This session uplifts a myriad of new models for “successful touring" and strategies for sharing work as a local artist and/or visiting artist within New England. 

Facilitators: Chavi Bansal and Lida Winfield

Contributors: Mesma Belsaré, Aimée M. Petrin, Michael Sakamoto, and Sarah Wilbur 

Chavi Bansal (she/Her/Hers) – RDDI Artist Cohort

Chavi, who leans over books and red apples while laying in grass, looks up and smiles.
Chavi Bansal | photo by Neus Gil Cortes

Location: Land of the Pawtucket and Massachusett Peoples (Cambridge, MA)

Born and brought up in India, Chavi Bansal’s early dance training was in Bharatnatyam, Bollywood, Martial Arts, Kathak and Indian Contemporary dance. Craving a broader dance vocabulary, Chavi moved to the Netherlands, where she earned her B.A. in Dance with a specialization in Choreography from Fontys Hogescholen Voor de Kunsten. In 2010, Chavi founded her company, Vimoksha, or “Liberation” in Sanskrit with its aim is to connect, empower and share stories through a medium of dance. For which Vimoksha runs many outreach programs in local communities in Massachusetts including low-income housing, schools and libraries.   

Her Work has been presented by university of Stavanger (Norway), Danstalier’s (Rotterdam, NL), Mundial festival (Netherlands), Boston Center for the arts (Boston), Dance Complex (Cambridge), India Habitat Center (India), Omi International arts Center (NY). 

Lida Winfield (she/Her/Hers) – RDDI Artist Cohort

Lida makes eye contact and holds her arms and hands open wide.
Lida Winfield | photo by J. Hsu Media

Location: Land of the Wabanaki Confederacy, Abenaki, and Mohican Peoples (Middlebury, VT)

Lida Winfield is an innovative and accomplished dancer, choreographer, spoken word artist and educator, who has created original work merging storytelling, dance and visual art.  As an artist, educator and keynote presenter, she has performed and taught nationally and internationally in traditional and non-traditional environments from Bates Dance Festival to MindMingle in Malviya Nagar, New Delhi. Lida’s artistic practice is inextricably linked to her role as an educator and her pedagogy is rooted in inclusion, access, and the recognition that our brains and bodies work differently and this difference is a valuable asset. Lida cultivates opportunities and experiences that are deeply transformative. What transpires within the teaching and performing environment is integrated and transferred out into the world, allowing it to live beyond the confines of the classroom or stage.  

Lida studied at The School for New Dance Development in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and in 2011 earned a Masters of Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College, VT, with a focus on the transformative power of the expressive arts. In 2016, she was honored with the Rebecca Blunk Fund Award through New England Foundation for the Arts. Her work has received support from Vermont Arts Council, New England Foundation for the Arts and the National Performance Network and has been commissioned by The Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, Middlebury Performing Arts Series, The Yard, and Jacob’s Pillow. Lida is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Dance Program at Middlebury College. For more information    

Mesma Belsaré (She/Her/Hers) – RDDI Intersections Summit Contributor

Mesma is an Indian woman with red lips, a red ruby earring, and a bright red shirt.
Mesma Belsaré | photo by Paul Herb

Location: Land of Munsee Lenape (Guttenberg, NJ) and the Pawtucket and Massachusett Peoples (Boston, MA)

Mesma Belsaré's dance is described by The New York Times as “a tour de force…a true act of transcendence and religious immersion“ and by The Dance Current magazine as "as mesmerizing as staring into the heart of a fire". Her solo performance venues include The Lincoln Center (NYC), Asia Society (NYC), Alvin Ailey (NYC), The Lincoln Theater (Washington D.C.), Harbourfront Centre (Toronto, Canada), Siri Fort (New Delhi, India) and several art museums and universities. Recent projects include a dance film "In the Creator's gaze"( 2021), and stage productions "Plato's Allegory of the Cave" (2020), "In Each is Both" (2019), "Mohini" (2019), "Sāyankale" (2019), "Carmine Bees" (2018) and "The Vermin's Will" (2017). Belsaré is a recipient of the Cambridge Arts Council's 'Artist-Grant', NEFA’s Dance Fund, and the Government of Delhi Scholarship for advanced training in Bharatanātyam and Indian classical music. More information available at 

Aimée M. Petrin (She/Her/Hers) – RDDI Intersections Summit Contributor 

Aimee is a white woman with ear length, blonde hair. She smiles in a wooded area.
Aimée M. Petrin | photo by Sarah Prak

Location: Land of the Wabanaki people (Portland, ME)

Aimée M. Petrin is the Executive & Artistic Director of Portland Ovations, a 90-year-old multidisciplinary presenter in the beautiful state of Maine also known as Dawnland by the Wabanaki peoples. Petrin is energized by working deeply in community, supporting artists in the creation of new work, and initiating and supporting regional performing arts projects – and most of all spending time with her 7-year-old kiddo. She is grateful to regularly serve alongside inspiring peers on local, regional and national arts boards and grants panels. She is currently a member of the University of Southern Maine Board of Visitors and previously served on the board of APAP, the Bates Dance Festival Advisory Board, the Maine Arts Commission and as an advisor to National Dance Project. Petrin was previously at the Flynn Center in Burlington, VT.   

Michael Sakamoto (He/Him/His) – RDDI Intersections Summit Contributor 

Black and white image of Michael Sakamoto, a Japanese man with a bald head. He poses in a deep v-neck shirt and holds his fists up.
Michael Sakamoto | photo by Cedric Arnold

Location: Land of Nonotuck Peoples (Northampton, MA) 

Michael Sakamoto is an interdisciplinary artist, scholar, curator, and educator active in dance, theatre, performance, media, and photography. His works have been presented in 15 countries throughout Asia, Europe, and North America in such venues as Vancouver International Dance Festival, Dance Center of Columbia College-Chicago, REDCAT, TACTFest Osaka, AudioArt Festival Krakow, and others. Michael publishes regularly in journals and anthologies, and his book, "An Empty Room: Imagining Butoh and the Social Body in Crisis," will be released in April 2022 by Wesleyan University Press. He is former faculty at CalArts, Goddard College, Bangkok University, and University of Iowa, and currently serves as Performing Arts Curator and Director of Asian and Asian American Arts and Culture at the UMass Fine Arts Center. 

Sarah Wilbur (She/Her/Hers) – RDDI Intersections Summit Contributor

Sarah is a white woman with shoulder length reddish, brown hair. She smiles in front of a white backdrop.
Sarah Wilbur | photo by Troy Blendell

Location: the Land of the largest population of Native/Indigenous people east of the Mississippi, including members of the Shakori, Lumbee, Eno, Sappony, Sissiphaw, Occaneechi, Coharie, and Tuscarora tribal communities (Durham, NC)

Sarah Wilbur (she/hers) is an Assistant Professor of the Practice in Dance and the Director of Graduate Studies at Duke University on Shakori/Lumbee/Eno land (Durham, North Carolina). She is a choreographer and performance researcher who studies arts labor, economics, and institutional support principally in a US context. Her current book, Funding Bodies: Five Decades of Dance Making at the National Endowment for the Arts (2021,Wesleyan University Press) draws long-overdue historical attention to the body-level impacts of philanthropic recruitment and reward on generations of dance organizers. Rather than biographize funders or grantees, the text highlights the disciplinary effects of federal dance funding policies in order to hold wealth holders accountable for incentivizing specific “norms” of dance production and organization. “Touring” is one of the funder-motivated movements that her book interrogates. Prior to Duke, Sarah resided on Wampanoag/Narragansett territory (Providence, Rhode Island) as a Postdoctoral Fellow in Dance at Brown University.  

“States” of Dance Leadership | 5:00 PM 

This group conversation will illustrate how each state is tackling advocacy and organizing for local dance makers according to specific expertise and needs. The session will be immediately followed by state breakout conversations to uplift your interests and concerns, and take note of ways to foster a culture of abundance for dance makers across the region. 

State breakout conversations will be co-hosted by members of the RDDI Artist Cohort and the Contributors to the “States” of Dance Leadership session. 

Facilitator: Shey Rivera (RI)

Contributors: Debra Cash (MA), John R. Killacky (VT), Joy Madden (VT), Susan Murphy (CT), Carla Pugliese (ME), and Jacqui Young (NH)

Shey Rivera (They/Them) – RDDI Intersections Summit Contributor/RI Breakout Host

Shey sits on a porch and has long dark hair. They wear a dress and are seated next to plants.
Shey Rivera | photo by Cat Laine, Painted Foot Studio

Location: Land of the Narragansett people (Providence, RI)

Shey Rivera is an interdisciplinary artist, cultural strategist, and arts administrator. Their artistic creations span a myriad of topics, from home to capitalism to queerness and magic. Rivera has 10 years of experience in the nonprofit arts sector intersecting creative practice with urban planning and racial equity. Rivera was also former Artistic/Co-Director of AS220, a renowned arts organization and creative incubator in Providence, RI, and successor to AS220 founder Umberto Crenca. After 8 years at AS220, Rivera took on the role of Director of Inclusive Regional Development at MIT CoLab, in the Dept of Urban Studies and Planning of MIT, where they co-designed and implemented workshops on collective leadership and community innovation in Colombia. Today, Rivera is an independent artist and consultant specializing in arts management and the intersection of culture and urban planning. Rivera has a BA in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Puerto Rico (UPR-Rio Piedras), and graduate studies in Contemporary Media and Culture from the University of the Sacred Heart, San Juan, Puerto Rico. They serve on the City of Providence’s Design Review Committee of the Dept of Planning, appointed by the Mayor Jorge Elorza of Providence, as well as Mayor Elorza’s Latinx Taskforce in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Rivera is also on the Board of Directors of the Alliance of Artist Communities. Key artistic projects are the LUNA LOBA performance series and the FANTASY ISLAND transmedia project. 

Jacqui Young (She/Her/Hers) – RDDI Intersections Summit Contributor/NH Breakout Host

Jackie is a white lady with short, blonde, curly hair. She wears red in front of a black backdrop.
Jacqui Young | photo by Walter Jalbert

Location: Original home of the Penacook Tribe (Somersworth, NH)

Jacqui Young recently became the president of the New Hampshire Dance Alliance. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from John Jay College in New York City and dual Bachelor of Science degrees in Choreography and Creative Theory and Deviance and Victimization. Jacqui was the Artistic Director of the Push Factor Dance Company, an alternative jazz dance company based in New York City for ten years. She is a certified American Ballet Theatre Instructor and a certified teacher of the Nan Giordano technique made famous by her father, Gus Giordano, the founder of the Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Company.  

Jacqui received the prestigious 92nd Street Y Harkness Space Grant and was a Silo Residency recipient through DanceNow/NYC two years ago. Both of these awards allowed her to premiere works in the New York City area. Jacqui's choreography has been featured at the International Dance Festival, the Ailey Citigroup Theatre, the Dicapo Opera House, Dance Harlem, The Pearl Theatre, and the Duke on 42nd Street. Jacqui has taught and choreographed Internationally for the past ten years, primarily in Italy. She also believes dance can heal and teaches dance to male inmates at Sing Sing Correctional in New York. She has also lectured extensively on dance as a rehabilitation tool for marginalized populations. She has recently lectured at the University of Ottawa, Canada, and Cambridge University in England.

Joy Madden (She/Her/Hers) – VT Breakout Host 

Joy is a white woman with long blonde hair and she wears blue to match her eyes.
courtesty of Joy Madden

Location: Land of the Wabanaki Confederacy, Abenaki, and Mohican Peoples (Hinesburg, VT)

Joy Madden is a choreographer, performer, and arts advocate. She has performed throughout the US and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. In 2001 she co-founded The Moving Laboratory, an innovative performing arts incubator in Boston, MA. She served as the Managing Director of Boston Dance Alliance from 2000-2003. Since moving to Vermont in 2007, her work has been presented by The Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, Burlington Dances, The Burlington Fringe Festival, University of Vermont, and The Philly Fringe, among many others. In 2014 and 2015, she served as Community Mentor for Stephan Koplowitz’s online course, Creating Site Specific Dance and Performance Works, by California Institute of the Arts. Joy is currently the President of the Vermont Dance Alliance Board of Directors. 

Debra Cash (She/Her/Hers) – RDDI Intersections Summit Contributor/MA Breakout host

Debra has short light hair, wears a purple scarf and glasses, and speaks into a microphone.
Debra Cash | photo by Charline Lake

Location: Traditional Tribal Lands of the Pawtuxet (Belmont, MA)

Debra Cash is Executive Director of Boston Dance Alliance. She has reported, taught, and lectured on performing arts, design, and cultural policy for print, broadcast, and online. Her roles span administration, journalism, teaching, consulting, and advocacy for creative professionals. Under Debra's leadership, BDA was a statewide finalist for a 2017 Massachusetts Nonprofit Network small organization award and she was named Champion of the Arts by OrigiNation Cultural Arts Center. As Scholar in Residence at Jacob’s Pillow and the Bates Dance Festival, and lecturer for Global Arts Live, Wesleyan University, and other regional presenters and universities, she provides context and historical perspective on today’s dance. A longtime consultant to the NEA and NEFA, Debra has served on many panels and nominating committees. She was a dance critic for the Boston Globe for 17 years, followed by work at WBUR and The Arts Fuse, where she is now a Board member. 

John R. Killacky (he/Him/His) – RDDI Intersections Summit Contributor/VT Breakout Host

Todd is a bald, white man and he wears a white button down and gray jacket.
John R. Killacky | photo by Todd R. Lockwood

Location: South Burlington VT on Abenaki land, recognizing the indigenous culture and people that existed in N'dakinna (Homeland) long before Europeans arrived in North America.

John R. Killacky currently serves in the Vermont House of Representatives. Previously he was executive director of Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, program officer for arts and culture at San Francisco Foundation, executive director of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and curator of performing arts for Walker Art Center. Other past positions include program officer at Pew Charitable Trusts, general manager of PepsiCo SUMMERFARE, and managing director of the Trisha Brown and Laura Dean dance companies. He received the First Bank Award Sally Ordway Irvine Award in Artistic Vision, William Dawson Award for Programming Excellence from the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, Dance USA's Ernie Award as an unsung hero, Fan Taylor Distinguished Service Award for Exemplary Service to the Field of Professional Presenting, and Vermont Arts Council's Kannenstine Award for Arts Advocacy. His most recent book, because art, was just published by Onion River Press.

Susan Murphy (She/Her/Hers) – RDDI Intersections Summit Contributor/CT Breakout Host

Susan is a white woman with blonde hair. She wears blue, crosses her arms, and smirks.
courtesy of Susan Murphy

Location: Land of Wampanoag Native Americans

Susan Murphy, dancer and educator, is the Director of the Dance Department at The University of Saint Joseph and adjunct dance faculty at Eastern Connecticut State University and Connecticut State University. Susan is former Dean for Dance at The Hartford Conservatory. Susan is the artistic director and co-founder of the Connecticut 5x5 Dance Festival established in 2002. 

Susan served with the Connecticut State Department of Education Task Force Committees in establishing K-12 dance certification for Connecticut public school teachers in 2009. In 2015 Susan was selected to as an advisor to the Connecticut State Department of Education Arts Standards Review Committee. 

Susan is a member of The National Dance Educators Organization, Connecticut Dance Alliance, American College Dance Organization, The International Somatic Educators and Therapy Association. Susan is currently the board president of The Connecticut Dance Alliance.

Carla Pugliese (She/Her/Hers) – RDDI Intersections Summit Contributor/ME Breakout Host

Carla has long curly hair. She smiles and wears a denim shirt, in the woods.
Carla Pugliese | photo by Ashely Thatcher for Bold Woman Brands

Location: Land of the Wabanaki nations (Norway, ME)

Carla Pugliese is the Pilot Project Director for the Cultural Alliance of Maine (CAM), a nascent coalition working to build a collaborative, statewide alliance of cultural workers, businesses, artists, and organizations. In addition to her work with CAM, Carla works with individuals and organizations to build self-efficacy, develop social and emotional acuity, and create equitable communities of true belonging. Before moving to Maine, Carla was a teacher and school administrator in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her work is grounded in participant-centered pedagogy and integrates affective neuroscience, social-emotional learning theory, negotiation and mediation techniques, culturally-responsive mindfulness practice, and restorative justice protocols. In addition to geeking out on human interaction, Carla is an avid cook, novice homesteader, and enthusiastic participant in all forms of movement practice. 

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Dance & Mental Health | 11:00 AM

 A multifaceted conversation about how 1) DANCE in performance can provide opportunities to share intimate, multi-generational stories and build awareness for mental health concerns, and 2) DANCE can partner as an artistic medium alongside social services in order to promote mental health and healing.  

Facilitator: Jessica Roseman

Contributors: Sara Juli, Aaron Jungels, and Tomoyo Kawano

Jessica Roseman (She/Her/Hers) – RDDI Artist Cohort 

Jess Roseman makes eye contact in front of plants and a globe lamp, in a pink and multicolor patterned top. 
photo courtesy of Jessica Roseman

Location: Land of the Pawtucket and Massachusett Peoples (Lexington, MA)

Jessica Roseman (she/her/hers) is a dance artist who wonders: What makes you feel positive in your body? Can you think of a time when you felt comfort in your entire being? How do you know in your body that you are in a good place? How are you, as a viewer, connected to what you see? Without live performance, how can a dance concert be adapted to engage our collective imaginations, neurologically? How can we engage the feeling and communion of dance within our regular daily lives?  

Sensing and expressing the right action for the moment guides Jessica’s work. She incorporates somatic practices into her improvisational dances. When choreographing, she examines how emotions are stored within the body. As she believes physical expression is universal, her dances aim to instill equality, and to resource our inner well-being. She acknowledges the senses in her dances, incorporating props like a mountain of wiggly Jell-o, and offering the audience cupcakes or smelling canisters to encourage sensory awareness during performance. She plays with the cultural tension, ever present in New England (land of monosyllabic conversations and dramatic weather), between private stoicism and public expressiveness. She is excited and confounded by close contact, impossible tasks, and stately/homely dancing. Her choreography explores themes of body positivity, liberation, trauma, grieving, and love.  

Jessica studied Dance and African American Studies with Honors at Wesleyan University. She danced professionally in New York in the 90’s, co-founding Prowess, a downtown dance collective for women of color. She performed work and toured internationally with numerous choreographers. She took a break from dance to teach the Feldenkrais Method, and to have children. Four years ago, Jessica returned to her love of performance, collaborating and performing nationally with composer/musician Jorrit Dijkstra in Buzz: Improvisational Duets for Dance and Saxophone.  

As a solo artist, Jessica was honored to work alongside her mentor Deborah Hay in residency at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in 2019. Under the umbrella of her 2021 Nourish Project, Jessica was awarded a subsidized Subcircle Residency in Maine, and received residency sponsorship and a choreographic commission from Monkeyhouse. Buoyed by these supports, Jessica will be Artist in Residence at Lexington Community Farm, creatively exploring how food (in)security relates to family wellness. Additionally under Nourish, Jessica is partnering with Cambridge’s Center for Families (under the Cambridge Department of Human Service Programs) to help Black mothers choreograph personalized dances for self care and racial justice. A New England States Touring Artist, Jessica’s solo dances have been presented throughout the East coast over the years. She lives with her 10 year old twin son and daughter in West Suburban Boston. 

Sara Juli (She/Her/Hers) – RDDI Professional Development Lab Faculty

a white woman with shoulder length dark hair wearing a grey top.
photo by Brett Deutsch

Location: Falmouth, ME 

Sara Juli (she/her) has been creating and performing innovative comedic dance-theater for over two decades.  She has been fortunate to tour around the world including American Dance Festival, Performance Space New York, New York Live Arts, Bates Dance Festival, Edinburgh Fringe Festival and many more. Sara’s most recent solo, Burnt-Out Wife is a recipient of Maine Arts Commission support, New England Foundation for the Arts Expeditions Planning grant, a New England Dance Fund grant, a NEST touring grant and National Dance Project in 2019-2021. Sara was the 2017 Maine Fellow for the Performing Arts awarded by the Maine Arts Commission. Sara is the Founder/Director of Surala Consulting, a fundraising consultancy helping non-profits and artists build and execute fundraising strategies. She was awarded the Arts Management Award from Brooklyn Arts Exchange in 2013, and is a frequent administrative mentor and grant panelist for The Boston Foundation’s Next Steps and LAB Programs. She is the Chair of the Bates Dance Festival's Advisory Board, is on the Development Committee at SPACE Gallery, and is an Affiliated Artist of Bates College. She lives in Falmouth, Maine, on the traditional lands of the Wabanaki people, with her husband and two children. 

Aaron Jungels (he/Him/His) – RDDI Intersections Summit Contributor 

Aaron takes a selfie on a rocky mountainside.
photo courtesy of the artist

Location: the original caretakers of the land on which Everett resides are the Narragansett and Wampanoag people (Providence, RI) 

Aaron Jungels is co-founder and co-artistic director of Everett, a dance company formed in 1986.  Everett quickly began performing at Dance Theater Workshop in NYC and touring on the National Performance Network. Aaron brings a variety of skills in performance, design, and media creation to his work with the company. He has co-directed, performed in and toured, with over ten evening length Everett pieces . He is currently working on a new piece with the company exploring bliss. Aaron graduated from Rhode Island School of Design with a degree in film and video and studied acting and directing at Trinity Repertory Conservatory. He designs and constructs the innovative props, set pieces, and video projection elements used in Everetts work. Between 1990-1994 Aaron renovated a carriage house in Providence, RI to become Everett’s Stage and School. 

Tomoyo Kawano (She/Her/Hers) – RDDI Intersections Summit Contributor 

Tomoyo is an Asian woman with long black hair. She poses in low light against a beige backdrop.
photo courtesy of Tomoyo Kawano

Location: Land of Ndakinna, the unceded homelands of the Abenaki, Pennacook and Wabanaki Confederacy Peoples (Keene, NH) 

Tomoyo Kawano, PhD, BC-DMT, NCC is an Associate Professor, Director of the Master’s in Dance/Movement Therapy Program, faculty advisor for the Justice Leadership Council, and serves on the Anti-Racism task force at Antioch University New England. Growing up in multiple cultures in Japan, Peru, Venezuela, Italy, and the US, she learned to attune to nonverbal communication and eventually found belonging in dance. As a dance/movement therapist, she worked primarily with adults and adolescents with acute and chronic mental illness in inpatient and outpatient settings. She is on the American Dance Therapy Association’s board of Directors, serves as the Education Committee Chair, co-leads the Asian/Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Affinity Group, and is a member of the Multicultural and Diversity Committee. Her scholarship reflects her interest in dance epistemology and its explication with research methodology, pedagogy, and ritual and ceremony. She serves on the editorial board of the Arts in Psychotherapy journal.

Pathways for Dance in New England | 1:00 PM

A series of working sessions that support artist-centered and value-driven ethics in the business of dance.  

Working Session A: Systems, Structures, and the Entrepreneurial Spirit 

Learn from dance makers and arts administrators who are leading with intention and designing creative structures that support the world they imagine from the inside out through dance. This session provides an opportunity to also uplift pros and cons for existing business models and structures, as well as offer forward thinking towards growth and sustainability. A Q&A will take place as part of this dialogue. 

Facilitator: Ian Berg

Contributors: Lila Hurwitz and Marissa Molinar

Ian Berg (he/Him/His) – RDDI Artist Cohort

Ian has red hair and a red beard. He smiles.
Ian Berg | photo by Cynthia Clayton

Location: Land of the Pawtucket and Massachusett Peoples (Boston, MA)

Ian Berg is a Boston-based tap dancer originally from Chicago, Illinois. Ian has been dancing since an early age and has training and performance experience in tap dance, ballet, modern dance, jazz, contact improvisation and a variety of other styles and approaches. In high school, Ian trained at the Joffrey Academy in Chicago while also dancing with the renowned Chicago based tap company MADD Rhythms, of which he is still a member. Ian is also a musician as well as a composer and arranger of music and an alumnus of The School at Jacob’s Pillow and the Boston Conservatory with a BFA in Contemporary Dance Performance. Ian is currently an adjunct professor at Endicott College, Emerson College and Boston University as well as a guest lecturer at Tufts University teaching tap dance practice and history. In 2018, Ian was named “Rising Dance Star” in the Improper Bostonian’s “Best of Boston” issue. He has received recognition as a choreographer from The Yard where he was named a 2019 Bessie Schonberg Fellow, The Boston Foundation where he was named a 2019 Next Steps Awardee and The Massachusetts Cultural Council who named him a 2020 Choreography Fellow. He is currently living in Boston, Massachusetts where he is the director of tap dance company Subject: Matter.

Lila Hurwitz (She/Her/Hers) – RDDI Professional Development Lab Faculty

A white woman wearing a hoody standing n arabesque on a beach on an overcast day.
Lila Hurwritz | photo courtesy of Lisa Hurwitz

Location: Land of Narragansett (Providence, RI)

Lila Hurwitz supports individuals and organizations in the arts and wellness fields with project/tour management, grant-writing, communications, strategy and more. Current clients include dance artists Meg Foley, Susan Marshall, Bebe Miller, Rosy Simas and Feldenkrais® Trainer Jeff Haller. She also is a co-founder of Motion State Arts, a new presenting organization supporting innovative dance in Providence, RI. Lila graduated from Hampshire College in 1987 with a BA in Dance Choreography & Criticism. She co-founded Dance Art Group, the non-profit organization that created and produced the Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation and related events for 18 years. She was the graphic designer for Contact Quarterly magazine for 11 years, and served as Communications & Associate Director at Seattle’s Artist Trust for 10 years. She is also a Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner who taught one of Seattle’s longest-running weekly Feldenkrais classes for 20+ years. Lila feels extremely fortunate to be able to spend her time supporting artists so that they can better focus on the art-making sides of their careers.

Marissa Molinar (She/Her/Hers) - RDDI Intersections Summit Contributor

A woman with long dark curly hair wears a blue blouse and dark trousers and sits on a wooden stool with a gray background.
Marissa Molinar | photo by Sarah Seymour/Sassa Studios

Location: Territory of the Wampanoag Nation (Somerville, MA) 

Marissa Molinar is a professional contemporary dancer and Director of Midday Movement Series, a grassroots initiative cultivating a new generation of dance leaders. She holds a Bachelors in Environmental Science from Brown University with a focus in Urban Conservation and Environmental Justice, and she holds a certificate in Contemporary Dance from the Professional Training Program at Gibney Dance in NYC. A late-comer to contemporary dance, Marissa’s work focuses on creating social change and sustainability by empowering artists in their fierce individuality while building fierce community. She is passionate about centering artists and administrators of color at all levels of the arts ecosystem. Currently, Marissa is a performer with Ruckus Dance and Nathan Trice / Rituals Dance Theater in Brooklyn NY. Photo by Sarah Seymour / Sassa Studios 

Working Session B: Articulating Values

An interactive session to identify and/or refresh your mission/vision/artistic statements with values that directly inform decision-making in future creative relationship and resource building. Please Note: While the information learned during this session can support future grant opportunities, this is not a grant writing workshop.

Facilitator: Heather Geoffrey

Heather Geoffrey (She/Her/Hers) – RDDI Intersections Summit Contributor

Heather is a white woman and has long brown hair. She wears red and smirks.
photo courtesy of Heather Geoffrey

Location: and of the Abenaki Peoples (Bellows Falls, VT)

Heather has been a practicing artist for over 30 years.  Her artistic works have been exhibited in both group and solo exhibitions, commissioned for public murals and private collections.  She completed a BA in Individualized Studies from Goddard College in 2009. She received her MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College in 2012. 

In conjunction with her artistic practice Heather has been an organizational administrator and an independent consultant offering guidance and support services to artistic and creative individuals, organizations and businesses. Heather works in a dynamic collaboration aimed at cultivating her client's connection to the source of their artistic practice while assisting them in navigating the obstacles creative individuals are faced with on a daily basis. Heather has 24 years of experience in organizational development and executive management with a variety of individuals, nonprofit organizations and creative institutions. 

Working Session C: Equitable Partnerships

An open and honest conversation illustrating the various examples of engagements that foreground respect and humanity in service of equitable partnership building. A Q&A will take place as part of this dialogue.

Facilitator: Lori N. Jones

Contributors: Peter DiMuro, Deidra Montgomery, and Jennifer Harrison Newman,    

Lori N. Jones (She/Her/Hers) – RDDI Professional Development Lab Faculty

A woman with long straight blonde hair wearing a black shirt; green trees and a blue sky are in the background.
Lori N. Jones | photo by Jennifer Prat

Location: Fairfield, CT

Lori Jones, (she/her/hers) Director of Programming and Audience Development of the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts at Fairfield University located in the traditional lands of the Wappinger, Paugussett, and Pequonnock people, Fairfield, CT. Lori joined the Quick team in 2013. Previously she worked with NC State Live as the Community Engagement Coordinator at North Carolina State University (NCSU) and as the Director of Performances & Community Development at the American Dance Festival (ADF). She received her B.A. in Arts Applications with a concentration in Music from North Carolina State University. Lori has served in voluntary leadership positions for the Fairfield Emerging Leaders Organization as part of the Fairfield Chamber of Commerce, the Arts Day Planning Committee for ARTS North Carolina, the North Carolina Dance Alliance Board of Directors, the NCSU Theatre Endowment Board, and the ADF’s Modern Scene committee. She currently serves as an at-large member for New England Presenters and is on the faculty for the Regional Dance Development Initiative, RDDI: New England Now 

Peter DiMuro (He/Him/His) – RDDI Intersections Summit Contributor

Peter holds his hand out with his fingers wide and out of focus.
Peter DiMuro | photo by Robert Torres/courtesy of Celebrity Series

Location: I live and work from and on lands of the Massachusett and Pawtucket tribes.

Peter DiMuro has journeyed a career as a dancer, actor, choreographer, director, teacher, facilitator of creative practice and as an arts engager. His current creative platform is Peter DiMuro/Public Displays of Motion (PDM). PDM develops and performs original artistic works in dance and dance/theatre on site, through screens as well as in more traditional settings. The company cultivates arts literacy, advocacy, and engagement through an intersectional lens, most often through the shared processes and creative products of PDM’s diverse core collaborators and its guest collaborating communities and artists. Peter’s early identity-based performance works were created at the height of the AIDS crisis, and served as bridging tools of understanding.  Following this, his 15-year years of collaboration, with 5 years as Artistic Director at Liz Lerman Dance Exchange helped him develop an awareness of community engagement in multiple settings worldwide and the positive impact on both the quality of life for everyday people and the art made within these collaborations. Peter is also the Executive Artistic Director of The Dance Complex in Cambridge, MA. The Complex continues to invest the region’s choreographers, teaching artists and community through presenting partnerships, professional development, space grants and other services.

Deidra Montgomery (She/They) – RDDI Intersections Summit Contributor 

Deidra looks to the right and wears a yellow top. Deidra is Black, has short hair, and wears glasses.
Deidra Montgomery | photo by Jeffrey Filiault

Location: Land of the Narragansett, Wampanoag, and Pokanoket peoples (Providence, RI)

Deidra Montgomery is a trombonist and consultant specializing in organizational learning, values alignment, and the arts. Deidra has a personal investment in intersectional racial justice and works to support individuals, groups, organizations, and projects that honor people, communities, and truth. Prior to becoming a consultant, Deidra work included roles in grantmaking, arts presenting, arts education, and event planning, curation, and organizing, with organizations including the New England Foundation for the Arts, the Somerville Arts Council, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Deidra holds a Master's degree in Arts Administration from Goucher College and a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Amherst College. 

Jennifer Harrison Newman (She/Her/Hers) – RDDI Intersections Summit Contributor

Jennifer is a Black woman with thick, curly, shoulder-length hair. She smiles and wears white.
Jennifer Harrison Newman | photo by Dennis J Photography

Location: logging in the land of the Mohican (Canaan, NY) and representing the land of the Wappinger and Paugussett (New Haven, CT)

Currently the Associate Artist Director at the Yale Schwarzman Center, Jennifer Harrison Newman is an artistic director, producer, educator, choreographer, and performance artist with over twenty-five years in the visual and performing arts. Working collaboratively across disciplines with emerging and established artists alike, Jennifer pushes the boundaries of music, dance, opera, and theater. From Broadway to Bushwick and from Boston to Beijing, Jennifer engages deeply with the process of making performance. Jennifer has been an artist in residence at The Juilliard School, Princeton University, Yale University, Central Connecticut State University, The Field, Mabou Mines, Baryshnikov Arts Center, 651 Arts, and Sisters Academy Inkost and has led workshops across the United States, and in Sweden, South Africa, and Mexico. She received her BA from UCLA and her MFA from Yale School of Drama. 

Working Session D: CreativeGround 

An interactive session to build and optimize your CreativeGround profile. CreativeGround is a real-time online community that reflects the rich range of creative people and places at work in the six New England states in order to promote and connect them with each other. Represent! 

Facilitators: Morganna Becker and Natalya Tausanovitch

Morganna Becker (She/Her/Hers) – Community Engagement Coordinator, Creative Economy

Woman outside smiles in front of autumnal trees
Morganna Becker

Location: Somerville, MA

Morganna Becker joined NEFA in January 2018 as the Program Associate for, NEFA’s free online directory of New England’s creative sector. In 2020, Morganna was promoted to Community Engagement Coordinator for Creative Economy to focus on the front-facing activity of the program. Prior to NEFA, Morganna held several roles that engaged the public in creative endeavors. Her extensive experience in the performing arts ranges from writing, directing, and producing to performance, stage management, and design. Morganna has worked with multiple dance and theater companies from Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Italy, and Massachusetts. She has served as the business coordinator for Green Street Studios in Cambridge. She also served as a manager at several cafes, where she coordinated staff and catering departments. For six years with Yaymaker, and then as a freelance artist, Morganna has been instructing large painting and other arts and crafts projects, encouraging self-described “non-artists” to explore their creativity. Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, Morganna holds a B.A. in Theater and Dance from Trinity College, and resides in Somerville, MA. 

Natalya Tausanovitch (She/Her/Hers) – Program Administrator, Creative Economy

a woman with long hair pulled back wearing a black and white striped shirt and black blazer against a beige background
Natalya Tausanovitch

Location: Melrose, MA 

Natalya joined the NEFA staff in 2021 as the Creative Economy Program Administrator. Prior to NEFA, Natalya served as the programs and database manager at community-based nonprofit English At Large, where she supported ESL programs for adult English language learners across Middlesex County, MA. Before moving to the nonprofit sector, Natalya worked in a client-facing role at a Boston retail tech startup working with major consumer brand clients. Natalya’s background in nonprofit and education also includes her service as a Teaching Fellow with national nonprofit Breakthrough Collaborative, and later volunteer work delivering 100+ hours of English language tutoring in the greater Boston area. Pursuing her intersecting interests in language and teaching, she earned her CELTA credential in teaching adult ESL in 2019. Natalya has a lifelong love for the arts and humanities and is passionate about the central role of the arts in creating thriving communities. She earned her B.A. in English Literature from the University of Rochester in Rochester, NY, where she completed a minor in music and performed as a flutist with the University of Rochester Symphony Orchestra for five years. Natalya grew up in New Hampshire, where she still loves to go hiking at any opportunity, and now lives in Melrose, MA. 

Closing Remarks by Indira Goodwine, NEFA Program Director of Dance | 2:30 PM

Indira Goodwine (She/Her/Hers)

Indira is a Black woman in a bright blue blouse. She poses in front of city buildings.
Indira Goodwine

Location: Lands of the Massachusett, Wampanoag, and Pokanoket (Quincy, MA)

Indira Goodwine joined NEFA in March 2019 as Program Director, Dance. She directs NEFA’s National Dance Project and major dance initiatives in New England, as well as collaborate with other NEFA programs supporting the dance field. With a dual background in dance and arts administration, Indira previously served as the Managing Director of Camille A. Brown & Dancers (CABD, Inc.) for the past two and a half years and as the Company Manager for several years prior. At CABD, Inc., she shepherded the organization through the attainment of 501(c)(3) nonprofit status, established of the organization’s founding Board of Directors, enhanced the institutional and individual fundraising efforts, increased the budget by at least 30% per year since 2012, and provided oversight of the development, implementation and continued growth of CABD’s dance engagement program, “EVERY BODY MOVE.” In addition, under her management and in partnership with PMG Arts Management, CABD has toured extensively throughout the United States with support from NEFA’s National Dance Project. Prior to her leadership role with CABD, Indira held positions at Harlem Stage, collaborating with operations, community partnerships, finance, and programming of the annual dance program, E-Moves. Originally from Queens, NY, she holds a BFA in Dance Performance from Florida State University and an MA in Performing Arts Administration from New York University. 

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