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Jacob's Pillow Dance Announces New Board of Trustees Members
01:44PM / Friday, February 17, 2017
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BECKET, Mass. — Jacob's Pillow Dance has appointed four new members to its Board of Trustees: MacArthur Genius Fellow and Jacob's Pillow Dance Award recipient Kyle Abraham; former New York City Ballet principal dancer Wendy Whelan; lawyer, teacher and active member of the Massachusetts community Diane Patrick; and Berkshires-based gallerist Sienna Patti.

Jacob’s Pillow, located in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts, is a National Historic Landmark, National Medal of Arts recipient, and home to America's longest running dance festival.

"Bringing these esteemed individuals onto the Pillow's board shows the intent of our future as an organization," said Jacob's Pillow Director Pamela Tatge. "These new trustees hold rich Pillow histories in their own right, and reflect our commitment to superb artistry, integrity and community."

"We are all thrilled to welcome such an accomplished and engaged new class of trustees in advance of our 85th anniversary," Jacob’s Pillow Board Chair Mark Leavitt said.

As members of the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Board of Trustees, Abraham, Patrick, Patti and Whelan will utilize their unique abilities, interests, and experiences to guide, sustain, and promote the Pillow. The board is responsible for successfully defining and carrying out the organization’s mission in coordination with Director Pamela Tatge, Managing Director Andrea Sholler, and the executive team.

Trustees serve a term of three years; the four new members began their service in December 2016 and will complete their term in December 2019.

Abraham is a 2012 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award recipient, a 2016 Doris Duke Artist Award Recipient, 2015 City Center Choreographer in Residence, and a 2013 MacArthur Fellow. Abraham holds a BFA from SUNY Purchase, an MFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts, and an honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from Washington Jefferson College.

Abraham made his Jacob’s Pillow debut with Cherylyn Lavagnino Dance in 2008, and his choreographic debut with his company Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion in 2009 on the Inside/Out stage. His company went onto perform in the Doris Duke Theatre in 2011. He is a former faculty member of the Contemporary Program at The School at Jacob’s Pillow, and 2012 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award recipient. His newest work Dearest Home will be presented during Festival 2017.

After graduating with honors from Queens College of the City University of New York, Patrick spent five years teaching elementary school in New York City before attending Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. Her exemplary academic performance and public service won her the school’s Outstanding Graduate Award, among others. She received her Juris Doctor in 1980, and practiced law in Los Angeles, New York, Washington, D.C., and Boston.

Currently, she serves on the boards of Massachusetts General Hospital, the Posse Foundation, the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, and Epiphany School. She has served on the boards of Jane Doe, Inc., Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Cambridge College. Patrick has also been an outspoken advocate in the Commonwealth’s ongoing effort to end domestic violence, and has been actively engaged with families, agencies, and law enforcement to support victims and to identify and address the root causes of domestic abuse.

Diane Patrick and her husband, former Gov. Deval Patrick, have been frequent patrons and ambassadors of Jacob's Pillow since 2012.

Based in nearby Lenox, Patti attended New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a double major in film and art history. Patti established her eponymous Lenox gallery in 1998. The gallery represents artists that investigate the relationship between the body and objects in the form of avant-garde jewelry, photography, and sculpture. An expert in mid-century and contemporary studio jewelry, she has lectured at universities and museums around the world including, most recently, Rhode Island School of Design, Cranbrook Academy of Art, and the Museum of Fine Art in Boston.

An active Jacob’s Pillow patron and supporter for nearly a decade, Patti was most recently the co-chair of the Pillow's Season Opening Gala Committee for Festival 2016, among other projects.

Whelan joined New York City Ballet as an apprentice in 1984 and became a principal dancer in 1991. She danced the full spectrum of Balanchine and Robbins repertory and became renowned for her work with visiting choreographers. She was given the Dance Magazine Award in 2007, and was nominated for London's Olivier Award and Critics Circle Award in 2008. She received a New York Dance and Performance (“Bessie”) Award for Sustained Achievement in Dance in 2011. In 2009, she was given an Honorary Doctorate in the Arts from Bellarmine University. Whelan retired from NYCB in October of 2014 after 30 years dancing with the company.

Whelan made her Jacob’s Pillow debut with New York City Ballet in 1986, and has been a frequent Festival artist for many years. Her most recent appearances include the world premiere of Pillow-commissioned Restless Creature in 2013 and Some of a Thousand Words in 2016. In 2008, Whelan’s husband David Michalek’s work was featured at the Pillow in Slow Dancing.


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