Dance/NYC Announces Transition Of Executive Director Lane Harwell

Executive Director Lane Harwell will transition from Dance/NYC this summer to join the Ford Foundation as Program Officer, Creativity and Free Expression, where he will support the foundation's explorations of how the arts can contribute to fairer and more just societies.

"Dance/NYC has flourished during Lane Harwell's tenure. We look forward to continuing our upward trajectory of growth and impact," says Dance/NYC Board Chair Elissa D. Hecker. "The Board of Directors thanks Lane for his tremendous years of service and the legacy that he leaves. We congratulate him on his significant new role."

Harwell led Dance/NYC's transition from a program of Dance/USA, the national service organization, to an independent nonprofit and has served as founding Executive Director since 2013. Under his leadership, Dance/NYC established its core capabilities of advocacy, research, leadership training, technology, and grantmaking to strengthen dance makers and educators and shape field policy, resource delivery, and management practices. Committed to social justice, the organization launched major ongoing initiatives focused on racial justice, disability equity, and immigrant rights.

Harwell's tenure has been defined by rapid growth. From 2013 to 2017, Dance/NYC more than doubled its annual budget to $1.3 million and secured nearly one year of additional working capital and reserves. It grew its staff from two to nine, built an 18-member Board of Directors and a 30-member Advisory Committee, and established wide ranging partnerships.

Harwell offers: "Dance is my first love. It has been my great honor and joy to work with my colleagues at Dance/NYC to advance a constituency of more than 1,200 dance artists and companies-moving the art form and the people of this great city forward."

Harwell's final day at Dance/NYC is July 30, 2018. Alejandra Duque Cifuentes, Director of Programming and Justice Initiatives, and Milena Luna, Manager of Operations and Grantmaking, will serve as Acting Co-Executive Directors while the Board of Directors undertakes a search for new leadership. Dance/NYC has established a transition committee of Board members and will make search details public on its website Dance.NYC.

Harwell is an appointee to New York State's Blue Ribbon Commission on the Arts and New York City's Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission and the Department of Education's Arts Education Committee. He chairs the New York Dance and Performance Awards (the Bessies) and is a member of the Board of New Yorkers for Culture & Arts and leadership committees for the Trust for Governors Island, Hunter College, and the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. Prior to Dance/NYC, he held the senior development role at the arts-wide advocacy organization Alliance for the Arts. A lifelong New Yorker and a product of its creative and social justice sectors, Harwell's history in the arts also includes training at the School of American Ballet and a performance career with American Ballet Theatre Studio Company. He holds a MBA from Columbia Business School, a MA in Performance Studies from the University of California at Berkeley, and a BA in Philosophy from Princeton University. Harwell is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Dance/NYC's mission is to promote the knowledge, appreciation, practice, and performance of dance in the metropolitan New York City area. It embeds values of equity and inclusion into all aspects of the organization. It works in alliance with Dance/USA, the national service organization for professional dance.

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