Cassie Meador

Executive Artistic Director

Photo by Greg Powers

I want to connect people back the vital role of making art as a way to navigate our surroundings, to cultivate our senses, and to discover a kind of rare wildness in this world. Each moment of making offers us an acute sensitivity to our surroundings, altering the way we see and care for the places where we live. How and where we live should affect the ways in which we come together to make art. In equal measure, art has the power to speak directly back to the action we take in our daily lives.

Cassie Meador

Cassie Meador is a choreographer, educator, and writer and is the Executive Artistic Director of Dance Exchange. Her creative work builds ways for communities to be together in shared dialogue and critical reflection, and cultivates opportunities to work together across generations. Her performance projects explore questions central to our lives and time, and expand where dance comes to meet our shared world. In 2013 Cassie created the performance How To Lose a Mountain along a 500-mile walk, taking her from Washington, DC, to a mountaintop removal mining site in West Virginia to trace the impacts of the energy that fuel her home; Bricks and Bones, a performance series co-created with Paloma McGregor in 2015, responds to the erasure of Black lives and communities in Dallas, TX; in New Hampshire Avenue: This Is a Place To… , Cassie led a multi-year creative placemaking effort for Dance Exchange’s home community, in partnership with the City of Takoma Park; and currently through her Off-site/Insight: Stories from the Great Smoky Mountains, she is working with the National Park Service, leaders from the Cherokee community, and regional artists to build capacities to contend with the complexities that shape our relationship to the park land.

Cassie has taught and created dances in communities throughout the U.S. and internationally in Japan, Canada, England, Ireland, and Guyana. She has worked extensively with the Girl Scouts, National Park Service, and USDA Forest Service to develop and enhance environmental curricula with the arts and encourage environmental stewardship through embodied learning. Her work with educational institutions, such as Wesleyan University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Michigan State University among others, has influenced educators and students to embrace a cross-disciplinary approach to artmaking, education, and social change. She was selected as an artist representative of Initiatives of Change to attend the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Durban, South Africa. Cassie is a 2017 graduate of Leadership Montgomery.

Cassie believes that in an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world, we need to actively participate in understanding the broader systems and shared places we are part of. As Executive Artistic Director of Dance Exchange, she lives out this belief by supporting artists to build the capacities and relationships central to visioning and growing our shared world. In 2016 Cassie launched Organizing Artists for Change (OAC) — an initiative to support, connect, and grow the network of socially engaged artists, and to extend Dance Exchange’s leadership in socially engaged practice. Cassie has helped the organization to facilitate countless convenings and institutes at Dance Exchange’s homebase in Takoma Park, a cultural hub in the DC region, as well as nationwide. Born in Charleston, SC, and raised in Augusta, GA, Cassie found her way to Dance Exchange by way of a childhood filled with passionate storytelling, a family of scientists continually seeding inquiry, and an environment that always encouraged the respect and discipline of the arts. Cassie graduated with honors from The Ohio State University and joined Dance Exchange in 2002. She became Artistic Director in 2011 and assumed the role of Executive Artistic Director in 2016.

Contact Cassie here.