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See Chicago Dance Appoints Julia Mayer as New Executive Director

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See Chicago Dance Appoints Julia Mayer as New Executive Director

See Chicago Dance, Chicago's leading service organization for professional dance, is pleased to announce the appointment of Julia Mayer as the organization's new Executive Director, effective Monday, August 3. Mayer joins SCD after previously serving as Manager of Development for 3Arts, a local non-profit that advocates for Chicago's women artists, artists of color, and artists with disabilities who work in the performing, teaching, and visual arts.

"We have proactively searched the country to find the right person to usher See Chicago Dance into its next chapter, and we are thrilled to have found Julia," said See Chicago Dance Board President Brian Smith. "She brings more than two decades of experience as an artist and arts administrator to a position that relies on creativity and personal relationships to move dance forward. What's more exciting is that she is Chicago through and through, the best of everything we were hoping to find. The Board looks forward to working with her to make SCD thrive."

"Over the years, I have watched See Chicago Dance grow from a web-based marketing initiative into an incredible multi-layered organization that adds tremendous value to working artists, dancers, and companies large and small; all while continuing to build new, engaged audiences," added Mayer. "Chicago's dance community is vibrant and diverse, one of the great treasures of our city. I am so excited to lead SCD into a new era and take our advocacy to new heights, even as we face unique, uncertain challenges."

As Executive Director, Mayer is responsible for advancing the mission and financial objectives of See Chicago Dance, while serving as the organization's primary spokesperson. Mayer oversees fundraising and the financial and operational health of SCD in all areas, working closely with the Board of Directors to ensure the organization's sustainability and stature within the field of dance.

Mayer is also dedicated to working with the city's dance artists and companies in creating a robust and bold SCD strategy that focuses on making the dance field more equitable, diverse, and inclusive.

"Since my years at Museums In the Park, I have worked to create equity in the opportunities Chicagoans have to be a part of our city's cultural life and to amplify voices in the arts that are not always heard," continues Mayer. "See Chicago Dance is committed to becoming a more equitable and diverse organization. I look forward to leading and learning with my colleagues and the community as we embrace change in the expansive and embodied way that only dancers can."

Prior to joining See Chicago Dance and 3Arts, Mayer served as Senior Program Officer at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, spearheading grantmaking for Chicago-based arts and culture organizations, including many small-to-midsize dance companies. She served as Assistant Director of Programming & Performance for the Chicago Humanities Festival, which became the largest urban cultural festival in the country during her tenure. Mayer's previous positions include Program Director at Morrison-Shearer Foundation and Park Voyages Program Director for Museums In the Park, where she directed large-scale, community-based education programs for over 6,000 people at 75 parks throughout Chicago. Mayer co-chaired the programming committee at Links Hall for 5 years and continues to be active in the dance and performance community. She received a Bachelor's degree in Linguistics from the University of Chicago and a Master of Fine Arts degree in dance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Surinder Martignetti, See Chicago Dance's longtime Program Consultant, has served as the organization's Interim Executive Director since May 2019.

"On behalf of the Board of Directors, I'd like to thank Surinder for her hard work and dedication these past 14 months," added Smith.

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