Matthew Cumbie

Associate Artistic Director

Matthew Cumbie with Thomas Dwyer in Dance Exchange’s ‘New Hampshire Ave: This Is a Place To…” Photo by Ben Carver.

Matthew Cumbie is a dancemaker, educator, and collaborator based in Washington, DC, and is an Associate Artistic Director of Dance Exchange. His artistic research cultivates processes and experiences that are participatory and intergenerational, moving through known and unknown, and bring a poetic lens to a specifically queer experience.

As a dancemaker, a central aspect of Matthew’s research is the opening of process to reflect on the role of our body in navigating the world and its responsibility for catalyzing creative action. In 2016 he began Growing Our Own Gardens, a multiyear project to contend with a growing need for intergenerational LGBTQ+ dialogue. With Dance Exchange, Gardens blossomed into an iterative process that partners with LGBTQ+ organizations in multiple cities to use performance and engagement as a platform to surface stories, struggles, and possibilities of queer communities.

He has been commissioned to create and share performances at places like Dance Place, Bates Dance Festival, the Kennedy Center, Texas State University, and Harvard University, as well as the New York City Roundtable Arts in Education conference and the LGBT Health and Art Making conference, among many others. Matthew’s research has been supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, the DC Commission for the Arts and Humanities, the Arcus Foundation, and the Somerville Arts Council, and has led to engagements with a range of institutions across the country.

His interest in collaborative processes has led him to work with a wide range of artists, whose influences have left a mark and inform his current practice – Liz Lerman, Cassie Meador, Keith Thompson, Sarah Gamblin, jhon stronks, Bebe Miller, Chris Aiken and Angie Hauser, Betsy Miller, and Annie Kloppenberg, among others. Matthew began working with Dance Exchange in 2011, shortly after receiving an MFA in dance from Texas Woman’s University.