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PRESS RELEASE

ARTS ORGANIZATION, COLLAGE DANCE, ANNOUNCES NEW BOARD MEMBER APPOINTMENT

Dacquiri Baptiste Joins Collage Dance Board of Directors

 

February 7, 2024 (Memphis, TN)Collage Dance – recently named one of the 50 largest ballet companies in the nation by Dance Data Project – is pleased to announce the appointment of Dacquiri Baptiste to its Board of Directors. Baptiste is Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for the Orpheum Theatre in Memphis, TN, and previously worked at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater for 19 years in various positions within the company, assuming the role of Director of Production in 2014.

 

Derwin Sisnett, Chair of the Board of Directors, shares, “I am excited to have Dacquiri Baptiste join the Collage Dance board. She brings to us a wealth of experience from her dedicated background in the arts and nonprofits, especially dance. We are lucky to gain her perspective as someone who cares as deeply as our organization about cultivating an invested performing arts community in Memphis. I’m looking forward to collaborating with Dacquiri as we work towards Collage Dance’s future as a leading organization in our home city and across the nation.”

 

Dacquiri Baptiste shares, “Dance was the vehicle that opened the world to me and solidified my love for the arts. Through my career – which started when I was a student at the Ailey School – I’ve learned how much I enjoy sharing my experiences with young artists who don’t yet realize that tapping into their creativity is their passport to being a global artist and citizen. I’m honored to join Collage Dance’s Board of Directors and help support this leading institution as it moves forward in its mission to evolve and elevate the inclusivity of dance through vision-forward planning and thoughtful programming.”

 

Collage Dance’s fourteenth season is made possible through generous support from the Mellon Foundation, The Hyde Family Foundation, SouthArts, ArtsMemphis, Tennessee Arts Commission, Shubert Foundation, and the International Association of Blacks in Dance.

 

About Collage Dance 

Collage Dance, recently named a “Southern Cultural Treasure” by South Arts and the Ford Foundation, and listed among the 50 largest ballet companies in the nation by Dance Data Project, is one of the largest Black-led performing arts organizations in the South and one of just a few professional ballet companies in the world with a roster of BIPOC dancers.

Working to inspire the growth and diversity of ballet, Collage Dance Collective showcases a repertoire of relevant choreography and world-class dancers representative of the communities we serve. The professional company has presented thirteen full-length seasons in Memphis, plus national and international touring presenting a diverse range of classical and contemporary choreography from George Balanchine, Nacho Duato, Ulysses Dove, Joshua Manculich, Amy Hall Garner, Kevin Iega Jeff, and more.

The work of Collage Dance Collective has been featured in media outlets including Huffington Post, Allure, Yahoo!, The Commercial Appeal, Afropunk, Dance Magazine and Pointe Magazine.

Its institutional arm, the Collage Dance Conservatory, trains more kids of color in a classical art form than any other non-profit in the region. More than 1,000 students each week study dance through Collage’s in-school dance education programs and on-site at its new 22,500 square foot state-of-the-art facility, Collage Dance Center, opened in December 2020. The Conservatory’s unified curriculum coupled with a rigorous culture of excellence, hard work, and high standards provides students with a first-rate experience. Students are challenged, nurtured, and prepared for the rigors of a professional career on or off the stage.

Collage Dance also runs the Collage Dance Continuum, which seeks to dramatically increase access to dance and movement classes for Memphians, regardless of age, ability, disability, or body type. The Continuum is a collection of community engagement initiatives, collaborative partnerships, adult classes, and courses for adults with no previous dance training. The Continuum offers affordable classes in a non-competitive, affirming environment with master teachers at the top of their craft.

Learn more at https://collagedance.org/performances/

 

About Dacquiri Baptiste

Dacquiri Baptiste is Vice President & COO for the Orpheum Theatre in Memphis, TN, a role she assumed in June 2019. She is passionate about using the arts to create access to the world because that is what it did for her. She is responsible for managing all operational aspects of the theater and aligning them with growth and expansion. This includes developing and implementing strategies for theater operations, ensuring the safety and well-being of performers, staff, and volunteers, and negotiating contracts with partners to make sure financial goals are met.

Prior to joining the Orpheum, Baptiste worked at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater for 19 years and in various roles with the company, starting as Merchandise Manager in 2000, becoming Company Manager for 10 years, and then assuming the role of Director of Production in 2014. Baptiste began her career at Ailey as a student in 1997 when she moved from Los Angeles, CA, to follow the path of becoming a professional dancer. As her professional dance training was coming to a close in 2000, she was offered an opportunity to work with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater; though it wasn’t a performance opportunity, she took the job, sensing it was the best way to develop more extensive knowledge in the performing arts. She had no idea that making that decision would change her life forever.

Dacquiri is an Associate Member of the Broadway League and is a former Fellow of the LACNA BIPOC Executive Leadership program. She serves on the Board of the Downtown Memphis Commission as well as the National Center for Choreography at the University of Akron.

Baptiste has a wonderful supportive partner, Daven, who is constantly pushing her to reach higher. They share two beautiful children, Denver, age 7, and Duke, age 4. She credits her mother for never making her feel limited and for always encouraging her to put 100% into whatever she feels passionate about. Dance was the vehicle that allowed her to see the world and expand her mind. She wants to take all she has learned and share her experiences with younger artists who don’t realize that tapping into creativity in the mind is their passport to the world. Baptiste challenges herself to learn something new every day and always strives to be encouraging.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Mallory McFarland | Morahan Arts and Media

mallory@morahanartsandmedia.com | (646) 241-0899