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Deonté Griffin-Quick, Manager of Programs and Services at New Jersey Theatre Alliance, to Receive National Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award

The award recognize the policies, practices and programs of state arts agencies that embrace and advance diversity, equity and inclusion.

The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) has named Deonté Griffin-Quick a recipient of its inaugural Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Individual Award. This award recognizes individuals who demonstrate outstanding leadership and tireless efforts in addressing and raising awareness about issues of diversity, equity and inclusion in their state or region. The award was presented on October 22 during NASAA's virtual Business Bash, attended by arts leaders from across the country.

Griffin-Quick, an actor and arts administrator from Linden, New Jersey, is committed to advancing professional American theatre while advocating for diversity and equity in the arts. Griffin-Quick serves as the manager of programs and services at New Jersey Theatre Alliance, where he oversees the annual Stages Festival, peer networking and professional development programs, and a variety of projects designed to support and uplift theatre artists in the state. He also works with Unlock Creative, a social enterprise that nurtures, grows and sustains Black creative leadership in the arts and culture nonprofit and entertainment industry. In 2019, to connect, empower and cultivate other arts and cultural leaders of color, Griffin-Quick developed and spearheaded the New Jersey Arts and Culture Administrators of Color Network, a partnership between New Jersey Theatre Alliance, Artpride NJ, and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. He is also a member of the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee of ArtPride NJ.

As the 2018-2019 state coordinator of New Jersey Poetry Out Loud, a program of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Griffin-Quick helped recruit more than 2,000 new students, making it the second largest Poetry Out Loud program in the country. In 2019, he was honored by the Union County Urban League of Young Professionals with the Outstanding Achievement in the Arts Award. An active arts leader throughout the Garden State, Griffin-Quick has also worked with Alternate ROOTS, a nationally recognized organization in Atlanta, Georgia, where he served as a grant panelist and facilitated workshops focused on equity, diversity and anti-oppression.

Griffin-Quick holds a B.A. in theatre and communication from Kean University and is currently pursuing a master's degree in arts administration at Drexel University.

"We are so proud of Deonté and thank him for his amazing leadership and creativity, and all he does to build awareness and education around EDI for the Alliance and the state's entire cultural community," said John McEwen, Executive Director of New Jersey Theatre Alliance. "I know the future of our field is in good hands when we have emerging leaders like Deonté. He is such an asset to our field and we are grateful to have him on the New Jersey Theatre Alliance team."

"NASAA applauds Deonté Griffin-Quick as a recipient of the inaugural Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award, our field's highest honor for individuals who help their states or regions be more diverse, equitable and inclusive," said NASAA President and CEO Pam Breaux. "Deonté's accomplishments are truly impressive-he's shown courage, commitment and service, and he's made a lot happen in a short period of time. He is a wonderful role model and we can't wait to see what he does next! NASAA is thrilled to recognize Deonté with this award, both his achievements and his potential."

NASAA established the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Awards to recognize the policies, practices and programs of state arts agencies that embrace and advance diversity, equity and inclusion in their states. NASAA celebrates the diversity that enriches and strengthens our nation, and through this award aims to support and elevate state arts agencies in their efforts to lead in this area. The award for individuals includes $1,000 to be used in support of the recipient's diversity, equity and inclusion work.

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