Joyce Theater Foundation, Inc. Partners with Former Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Executive Director

The Joyce Theater Foundation, Inc. (Linda Shelton, Executive Director) announced today that Sharon Gersten Luckman, former Executive Director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, will partner with The Joyce Theater to provide practical and customized consulting services for New York City-based dance companies who perform at The Joyce. Through this initiative, made possible by a grant from The Mertz Gilmore Foundation, The Joyce Theater Foundation, Inc., with the expertise of Ms. Luckman, will provide guidance and coaching in the following areas: board development, fundraising, organizational structure and staffing, budgeting, negotiation strategies, and the dynamics of the artistic director/executive director relationship.

"I am thrilled with this opportunity to share what I've learned from my experience at Alvin Ailey with New York City dance companies," Sharon Luckman said, "And I'm also delighted to be formally associated once again with Linda Shelton, who has been a cherished colleague since we worked together at the beginning of our careers.

Executive Director of The Joyce Theater Linda Shelton added, "Thanks to the generosity of The Mertz Gilmore Foundation, The Joyce will continue to support the dance community by offering Sharon Luckman's expertise to valued companies. I know they will benefit from her professional insight."

The Customized Consulting Services for New York City-based Dance Companies initiatives will address challenges confronting dance artists by strengthening the administration of small and mid-sized dance companies. In each of two years, Ms. Luckman and Ms. Shelton will invite 20 of the New York City-based dance companies who perform at The Joyce Theater to apply, with four companies selected to participate each year. By the end of the 6 month consultancy, a plan of action will be prescribed to improve and advance a company's unique circumstances and goals and a grant will be awarded to each company to be used towards the implementation of new strategies.

Sharon Gersten Luckman served as the Executive Director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater from 1995 - 2012, achieving an impressive record of program development, marketing, promotion and branding, fundraising, financial stability and overall excellence in the field of arts management. Ms. Luckman began her career as a dance teacher and went on to direct New York's 92nd Street YM/WHA Dance Center for eight years. She later became Development Director and then Executive Director of Twyla Tharp Dance Foundation and for three years was Executive Director of Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts. Throughout her career, she has received several awards including the Arts & Business Council's Encore Award for Arts Management Excellence, the Dance USA Trustees Award and The Alumni Achievement Award from the University of Wisconsin, the highest honor bestowed by the School of Education. Since retiring from Alvin Ailey, Ms. Luckman has worked as a consultant for several arts organizations including Israel's Batsheva Dance Company, Ballet Hispanico and Dance Theatre of Harlem.

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