Charles L. Reinhart, Founding Director
Charles L. Reinhart has worked as a producer, manager, festival director, consultant, and administrator in the arts since 1955.
Over the course of his lifetime as an advocate for the arts, Charles has noticed that many other countries place their departments of arts and culture within the highest levels of government. This is in contrast to the United States, even though the great American arts explosion of the last sixty years has impacted every corner of the earth. With this realization, Charles began to envision an organization that would elevate the arts to a position of respect and influence across the country.
Director of the American Dance Festival (ADF) since 1968, he was Co-Director with the late Stephanie Reinhart from 1993 to 2002 and Director through 2011. Mr. Reinhart was a member of the Board of Directors of the Theatre Development Fund (TDF) for 41 years and is presently a member of the Board of Directors of ADF, Paul Taylor Dance Foundation, and Shen Wei Dance Arts.
Mr. Reinhart has been the recipient of numerous awards including Dance/USA's Honors for lifetime achievement in dance (1994), the Capezio Dance Award (1996), the Diaghilev Award (1997), the Dance Magazine Award (2003), which he received along with the late Stephanie Reinhart, and the Arts Presenters’ Award of Merit for Achievement in the Performing Arts (2011). Mr. Reinhart and Stephanie Reinhart were awarded an Emmy as Executive Producers of the 2001 PBS Series, Free to Dance: The African American Presence in Modern Dance. In 1986, the French government awarded Mr. Reinhart with the title of Officier dans l'ordre des Arts et des Lettres for his efforts in introducing French modern dance to the United States. In 2002, he was honored again by the French Government, receiving the title of Commandeur dans l'ordre des Artes et des Lettres. Duke University conferred the honorary degree of Doctor of Fine Arts upon Mr. Reinhart in 2003.
He has produced many dance events in New York City including the dance seasons at the Anta Theater and the City Center for Music and Drama (1968-73) and the Dance Repertory Season at the Billy Rose Theatre (1969).
Mr. Reinhart served as Co-Artistic Director for Dance at the Kennedy Center with Stephanie Reinhart from 1996 to 2002 and as Artistic Director from 2002 to 2004. From 1967 to 1978, Mr. Reinhart developed and was the National Coordinator of the National Endowment for the Arts Dance Touring Program. He also developed the dance component of the NEA's Artists-in-Schools Program and served as its National Coordinator from 1970 to 1981. In addition to serving on dance panels for the NEA and the Guggenheim Foundation, he was the U.S. representative of the International Theatre Institute's dance committee. He has also served on the Board of the Town School and was Vice President of the World Dance Alliance. Mr. Reinhart helped implement the 1966 Cultural Presentation Program of the U.S. Department of State. He worked with the Asia Society Performing Arts Program in the early 1960s, and in the early 1970s was a member of its Advisory Committee. In 1974, in addition to directing ADF, he also directed the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival.
In the 1960s Mr. Reinhart managed internationally renowned dance companies including the Paul Taylor Dance Company, Meredith Monk/The House, the Glen Tetley Dance Company, the Don Redlich Dance Company, the Lucas Hoving Dance Company, and the Donald McKayle Dance Company, among others. His mentors were Richard Pleasant, founder of American Ballet Theatre, and Isadora Bennett, manager and publicist in theater and dance and founder of Asia Society's Performing Arts Program.
Mr. Reinhart has written articles for The New York Times, Dance Magazine, and the North Carolina Medical Journal. He served as a military historian in Korea in 1953–54. Mr. Reinhart graduated from Newark Rutgers in 1952 and studied at the graduate school of the University of Copenhagen, Denmark in 1956–57.
Heather Alexa Woodfield, Director of Strategic Partnerships
Heather Alexa Woodfield is a cultural strategist and transdisciplinary artist committed to fostering collaborations across the varied artistic and cultural fields.
Heather served as the Executive Director of One Percent for Culture, a cultural advocacy organization, from 2011 to 2017 where she spearheaded efforts to unify the cultural community and built a diverse coalition that includes organizations of all sizes and disciplines, businesses, and prominent NYC cultural advocates from a variety of sectors.
Heather’s art work fuses genres and merges artistic disciplines including film, performance, interactive art, and wearable art. She is a Founding Artist of the art collective, Calling All Parties, and has been developing and performing interactive projects with the art collective since 2010. Interactive work she has co-created and performed in has been featured at FIGMENT festivals in NYC, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., and Toronto, the New Museum's Ideas City, the High Line, Chashama, and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Heather always been passionate about arts and culture as well as civic engagement and public policy. In 2003, she joined HowardDean’s presidential campaign as a volunteer. She organized 30 Dean for America “Meetups” throughout the five boroughs and personally hosted the largest Meetup in the country. After the campaign, she co-founded Democracy for NYC (DFNYC), a citywide grassroots political action committee. She was the Director of the organization from its inception in through 2011 and focused on building intergroup and community relationships. She also co-founded My Vote Will Count, a student absentee ballot initiative for the presidential election in 2004.
She holds a BFA in Film and Television from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, an MPA from Columbia University's School of International and Public Administration, an MA in Transdisiplinary Arts, Culture and Practice from New York University's Gallatin School of Individualized Study, and is working toward a Millinery Certificate at the Fashion Institute of Technology.
Sharon M. Connelly, Director of Planning and Operations
Sharon M. Connelly is an arts administrator, fundraiser, board member, and attorney.
Sharon started her career in art administration in the press office of the American Dance Festival in 1991. She worked with ADF through 1999 primarily in the areas of development and publications. She has also held fundraising positions with New York Foundation for the Arts, The Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival, and The Builders Association.
Sharon served as a member of Manhattan Community Board Five from 2007-2016, was a dance panelist for Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Fund for Creative Communities (2001, 2002), and served on the Board of Directors of North Carolina Dance Alliance and as editor of NCDA’s Dance Voice(1995-1999). She currently serves as President of Fly-By-Night Dance Theater and The Builders Association and has served as a director of both organizations for over ten years. Sharon has performed and studied aerial dance with Fly-By-Night.
Sharon has also worked as an attorney focusing in the areas of nonprofit, real estate, zoning and land use, and construction law. Her legal work has included advising and counseling arts and other nonprofit organizations on formation and governance documents; conflicts of interest; board composition, communications, approval processes and responsibilities; organizational restructuring; government and charitable funding contracts; municipal development projects; development rights transfers; and City and State agency approvals including the New York State Attorney General.
She has written and presented on the New York Non-Profit Revitalization Act and other recent changes to the New York Not-for-Profit Corporation Law, as well as on the Martha Graham copyright case and New York City Landmarks Law. She held legal internships with Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Charities Bureau of the New York Attorney General’s Office, the New York City Council, and This is That (an independent film production company). Sharon was a recipient of the 2010 Lisa Beth Deutsch Pro Bono Award.
Sharon holds a Bachelor of Arts in Performing Arts and English from Mary Washington College and a Juris Doctor from Fordham University School of Law.
Board of Directors
Ariane Malia Reinhart