Meet the creative team of New Hampshire Ave: This is a Place To …
Core Facilitation Team
Cassie Meador (Project Director, Lead Curator, Facilitator, Choreographer) is a choreographer, performer, educator, writer and has been Artistic Director of the Dance Exchange since 2011. Her works have tackled numerous social and environmental issues such as How To Lose a Mountain, which reflects on a 500-mile walk Meador took from Washington, DC to a mountaintop removal mining site in West Virginia to trace the impacts of the energy that fuel her home. Meador’s Moving Field Guides, an interactive experience led by artists, naturalists and regional experts in ecology, is being implemented nationwide in partnership with the USDA Forest Service. Meador has taught and created dances in communities throughout the U.S. and internationally. Read more about Cassie here.
Amanda Newman (Project Manager, Facilitator, Choreographer, Performer) is a dancer, creator, and collaborator from Salt Lake City, Utah. She completed her BFA in Modern Dance at the University of Utah. She performed in work by Juan Carlos Claudio, I-Fen Lin, Pamela Geber Handman, Ellen Bromberg, Stephen Koester, and Carl Flink as well as staging her own work both in and out of the theater. Amanda assisted in the creation and production of community-engaged projects and site-specific choreographic works by Pamela Geber-Handman, Ellen Bromberg, and Sofia Gorder of inFluxdance. These experiences catalyzed Amanda’s own interests in community-engaged arts practices which broaden our circles of inclusion, hold our individual and collective histories, and allow space for complex, critical conversations. Read more about Amanda here.
Matthew Cumbie (Facilitator, Choreographer, Performer) is a dance maker, educator, and collaborator based in Washington, DC, and has been working with Dance Exchange since 2011. With Dance Exchange he holds both artistic and administrative leadership roles: from the creation and performance of new work to training artists to directing and visioning the organization’s in-house programming to the management of a number of company projects. Matthew’s work explores his interests in activism and improvisation, bringing a poetic lens to a specifically queer experience. As an emerging leader in arts education, Matthew has been commissioned to share his work and research at New York University, Sonoma State University, Texas State University, and Dance Complex, and he has been on faculty at Colby College, Queensborough Community College, and Texas Woman’s University. Read more about Matthew here.
Meghan Abadoo (Facilitator, Choreographer, Performer) is a dancer and teacher based in the arts district neighborhood of Mount Rainier, MD, currently performing as company member with Taurus Broadhurst Dance and select projects with Gesel Mason Projects. Her performance credits also include David Dorfman Dance and Urban Bush Women. She is a teacher within Montgomery County Public Schools, the Levine School of Music and a student with the Mountains and Rivers Order of Zen Buddhism. Meghan has a BFA from the University of the Arts in Modern Dance/Ghanaian Traditional Dances and a minor in Strategic Advertising, and is currently in the MFA in Dance program at the University of Maryland-College Park.
Shula Stassfeld (Facilitator and Performer) began dancing “too late” and has been dancing ever since. After training in NY with members of the Jose Limon Company and Collete Barry and Susan Klein, Shula lived in the US, Israel and Canada. She has danced with choreographers Susan Rose, Joy Kellman, Flora Cushman, Mirali Sharon, Jan Van Dyke and Sandra Neels. Shula has an MA in Dance Education from Columbia University and has taught at Trinity College (Hartford CT), Rubin Academy of the Hebrew University, York University and at the professional schools of Canadian Ballet Theatre, Ballet Creole and the Kibbutz Dance Company. She joined Dance Exchange in 2007 as Resident Artist/Healthy Living Coordinator until 2014.
Nicole Salimbene (Visual Art Director, Installation Design & Curation) is a visual artist who lives in Takoma Park, MD and works from her studio in Washington, D.C. Focusing on the poetics of materiality in her paintings, sculptures, and installations, she explores themes of contemplation and sustainability. Her work has been exhibited in juried shows and galleries nationally and internationally, as well as reproduced for publications and purchased for private collections. Nicole was awarded the Tom Rooney Prize from the Washington Sculptors Group and an Individual Artists and Scholars Grant from the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County. She leads workshops in art as a contemplative practice and has developed a unique method for using the artistic process to gain clarity and mindfulness. She has brought this approach to workshops in affiliation with American University, Clark University, The Lama Foundation, The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, Ghost Ranch, and Crossings A Center for Healing Traditions.
David Schulman (Lead Musician) A student of the jazz, salsa, and disco violinist Eddie Drennon, David loves to improvise and generate new work with modern dance companies. He has served as musician-in-residence at Dance Exchange since 2011, creating original music for “Andy Warhol’s Silver Clouds” and “New Hampshire Ave: This Is a Place To… ” and frequently playing for classes. David has also composed original scores for choreographers Christopher K. Morgan, Andrea Olsen, Daniel Burkholder, Stephanie Miracle, Graham Brown, Margot Greenlee, and Uprooted Dance, and has toured and performed at the Kennedy Center with PEARSONWIDRIG DANCETHEATER. He is featured along with Jesse Manno and Peter Jones on Tigger Benford’s 2014 release, “Vessel of Gratitude.” To hear David’s album “Quiet Life Motel” and more of his music, visit: quietlifemotel.com
Mark H Rooney (Musician, Taiko Drums) has been studying, performing and teaching the dynamic art of taiko (Japanese drumming) for the past 16 years in Japan, Europe and the U.S. Since moving to the DC area in 2011, he has performed at the National Cherry Blossom Festival, the Japanese Ambassador’s Residence and Nationals Stadium, among many other venues. His collaboration with UpRooted Dance (titled “Go”) debuted at Dance Place last year and was performed on the Millennium Stage at The Kennedy Center in February. Mark’s artistic style blends traditional taiko and contemporary rhythms with an emphasis on connection and reaction/interaction.
Nguyên Khôi Nguyễn (Illustrator) is a multidisciplinary artist. He is the author of the multimedia graphic novel “The Gulf,” which includes original drawings, music & animation. Nguyên is the vocalist, pianist, composer and bandleader of the jazz trio: “Superior Cling,” which performs widely in the DC metro area. As a filmmaker, he produces a dynamic range of content including art films, documentaries and promotional videos. Nguyên is currently the Video & Multimedia Editor at Science magazine. He is the recipient of a 2015 American Web Design Award. Nguyên was a 2014 Strathmore Fine Artist in Residence and was awarded a DC Commission for the Arts Artist Fellowship Grant in 2013. Nguyên was born in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, raised in Cape Coral, Fl. and currently resides in Washington D.C. He studied visual art at the Cooper Union, music and integrated arts at Bard College and completed a master’s degree in jazz piano at the University of Maryland.
Ben Carver (Photographer) is a creative professional based in Washington DC. He is skilled in every aspect of video/film production, an accomplished photographer, a writer, and a visual artist. His clients include The World Bank, Yale University, Tulane University, The University of Afganistan, The Studio Theatre, Macy’s, and many more. His work has been featured in numerous print and online publications. www.benjamincarver.com
Contributing Performing Artists
M. Amai Clarice Munchus
Liz Lerman, DX Founder, Choreographer Emerita, & Institute Faculty
Julianne Franz, Production Manager
The City of Takoma Park, Maryland