BOSTON BALLET ANNOUNCES NEW DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION AND COMMUNITY INITIATIVES ZAKIYA K. THOMAS
BOSTON, MA – July 20, 2011 – Boston Ballet Executive Director Barry Hughson announced today the appointment of new Director of Education and Community Initiatives, Zakiya K. Thomas. Thomas will lead Boston Ballet’s nationally-acclaimed education programs Citydance, Taking Steps, and Adaptive Dance, in addition to developing new programs and initiatives to engage the community with the work of Boston Ballet. The Director of Education and Community Initiatives is a new position, reporting to the Executive Director, signaling Boston Ballet’s commitment to providing education and access to the art form of dance to the broadest possible audience at home in Boston and as a leader in the world of dance.
“I am thrilled to welcome Zakiya to Boston Ballet,” said Hughson. “She has an impressive background and brings a range of leadership experience shaping and implementing community engagement initiatives. Through her work in Boston’s non-profit field, she brings a unique depth of perspective to the organization. We are excited to have her lead Boston Ballet’s unparalleled educational programs and take the organization’s work in the community to the next level.”
Thomas joins Boston Ballet from the Museum of Fine Arts, where she worked for over five years as Manager of Community Relations, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, where she worked in the organization’s Education Research and Development department. Thomas is currently a Board Member on the Massachusetts Cultural Council.
“I am delighted to join the Boston Ballet team,” said Thomas. “I am honored to contribute to an organization that has demonstrated a strong commitment to artistic excellence, programmatic innovation and community involvement.”
In the 2011-2012 season, beyond Boston Ballet’s work on stage, the organization will continue its extensive work in the studios and in the community. Citydance, one of Boston Ballet’s signature education programs, celebrates its 20th anniversary in fall 2011. Citydance, the largest provider of free dance education to Boston Public Schools, reaches nearly 3,000 students each year and has touched the lives of more than 60,000 children in its 20 year history. Through its education and outreach initiatives, Boston Ballet continues to reach thousands of lives each year and encourage access to the art form of dance for students of all backgrounds and experience levels.
Boston Ballet Taking Steps
Thomas will also oversee Taking Steps, a program teaching movement as a path to healthy self-expression for young adolescents, and Adaptive Dance, a program in collaboration with Children’s Hospital Boston designed to foster creative expression in children with special needs.