David R. White, legendary producer and champion of American contemporary dance, is announcing his retirement after a decade of revitalizing The Yard, the renowned performing arts center in Chilmark, MA on Martha’s Vineyard. His retirement culminates a five-decade career as a leading and lauded mastermind in the field of contemporary dance and performance in the United States.
White came to prominence as Artistic Director and Executive Producer of Dance Theater Workshop (now New York Live Arts) from 1975-2003 where he discovered, launched and sustained the careers of scores of renowned artists in dance, theater and performance. White had been asked by the founders of DTW, Jeff Duncan, Arthur Bauman and Jack Moore, to take the helm of DTW when it moved from its original location in Duncan’s loft to 219 West 19th Street. White created The National Performance Network, a national touring circuit, The Suitcase Fund which supports international touring by small dance companies, and “Making It,” a model educational initiative for students from preschool through high school which embeds movement in academic practice. He also established the New York Dance and Performance (“Bessie”) Awards in 1984 and was a principal editor of The Poor Dancer’s Almanac, an essential resource guide for dancers. All have endured. His artistic programming merged aesthetics and ethics through a self-avowed “liberal, multi-cultural lens,” which has long been distinguished by its diversity and inclusivity. His work, as he saw it, was to “set about to organize our wilderness of independent research and experimentation” so that choreographers would have a life beyond the centers that brought them up. Over the last 50 years he’s fulfilled that promise.
Last month, The Yard's Board of Directors appointed Chloe Jones as the new Executive Director. Jones has been with the organization since 2015, through a critical period of growth. She has worked in both development and programs, serving as Director of Development & Associate Producer from 2017-2020. She was most recently in the role of Interim Executive Director, working alongside White on programming and administration, and successfully led The Yard through the early months of COVID-19. Jones brings a lifelong dedication to dance to her work at The Yard.
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