RIOULT Dance NY is pleased to announce the appointment of Jane R. Penn as the company’s Executive Director. Her appointment coincides with the opening of the RIOULT Dance Center in Astoria, Queens an 11,000 square foot facility housing the professional dance company and serving the broader arts community.
“On behalf of the Board, it is with great pleasure that we announce Jane Penn as the Executive Director for RIOULT Dance NY,” said Hope Greenfield, chair of the Board of Directors of RIOULT. “As a former dancer and a longtime member of the dance community, she brings a vast amount of understanding to her role. We are so delighted to have her driving the development of our new dance center and partnering with us to shape the future of RIOULT.”
“I am so thrilled to welcome Jane into the RIOULT organization at a pivotal moment in our history,” said artistic director Pascal Rioult. “It is an ambitious undertaking in this day and age, and I am glad to have found an ambitious and accomplished partner with whom to build the future.”
Jane Penn began her early years training as a dancer at The School of American Ballet and later at the Joffrey Ballet School. After an injury sidelined her career on stage, she transferred her passion into arts management. Penn has worked in the not-for-profit sector for more than 25 years. It all began when she interned at the Limón Dance Company. During her time at Limón, she helped develop the company’s first-ever, arts-in-education program L.I.N.K.s, in partnership with The Surdna Foundation. Later in collaboration with the Limón Institute helped to develop and brand Limón4Kids. In 2003, she was enlisted by The Foundation Center to provide consulting services in its First Steps/Next Steps program for ‘under-resourced’ organizations and parlayed that into a successful consulting practice. Ms. Penn also held an eight-year tenure at The Studio Museum in Harlem working under the leadership of Director and Chief Curator Thelma Golden. While at Studio Museum, she spearheaded a seven-year partnership with Target thanks to the launch of Target Free Sundays, which helped drive attendance and build bridges to multiple communities in Upper Manhattan. Continuing her work strengthening arts organizations through community building, she helped design two initiatives, JoycePass and PayWhatYouDecide, while serving as Director of Development at The Joyce Theater. A champion for artists and New York City’s arts communities, Ms. Penn has spent a career promoting best practices and alternative ways of addressing the field’s most pressing issues, including access, affordability and equity.
“The newly-built Dance Center is at the heart of what I love as an arts professional, providing working artists with the resources they need to create and building a space for bold voices, new ideas and a strong sense of community,” said Ms. Penn. “We are so fortunate to call Astoria home. There is a vibrancy and authenticity in the neighborhood that begs for a creative enterprise such as ours.”
Founded in 1994, RIOULT Dance NY is a New York City-based dance company dedicated to fostering a new generation of modern dance enthusiast through the creation and presentation of dance works by choreographer Pascal Rioult. The company has performed in theaters and festivals throughout North America including New York City Center Fall for Dance (New York, NY), Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors (New York, NY), American Dance Festival (Raleigh NC), the Annenberg Center (Philadelphia, PA), the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts (West Palm Beach, FL), and Zellerbach Hall (Berkeley, CA), among others. Widespread international touring has brought the company to the Cannes International Festival, Danse à Aix, Festival du Val du Marne, Temps le Danse Festival, Paris Opera Bastille, and La Maison de la Danse, as well as to the Bermuda Festival of the Performing Arts (Bermuda), the Tamaulipas International Festival (Mexico), Le Grand Théâtre De Québec (Canada), and the stages of Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, and others worldwide.
On the eve of its 25th anniversary, RIOULT Dance NY was given the keys to its first-ever home in Astoria, Queens, in the Kaufman Arts District, which currently includes more than 30 arts and culture spaces, restaurants, and shops. RIOULT Dance NY is the first established dance company to take residence within the Kaufman Arts District.
The RIOULT Dance Center is dedicated to community-based arts programming: providing a permanent home base for the dance company; an educational resource for the local community of western Queens; and a creative hub for the larger New York City dance community.
For more information, visit www.rioult.org.