Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival announces today that esteemed arts leader Pamela Tatge will join the organization as Executive Director in April of 2016. Following a record-breaking 2015 season, Jacob’s Pillow, a National Historic Landmark, National Medal of Arts recipient, and home to America's longest running dance festival, launched a national search for its next leader. For the past 16 years, Tatge has served as the Director of the Center for the Arts at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, overseeing robust programming and acclaimed artistic initiatives for dance, music, theatre, and the visual arts. At Jacob’s Pillow, Tatge will set the artistic vision and strategic goals for all aspects of the organization, including Festival programming, education, preservation, audience engagement, residency programming and artist support, long-term planning, collaborative programming, fundraising, marketing, and more.
Mark Leavitt, Jacob’s Pillow Board Chair, comments, “The Jacob's Pillow Board of Directors is thrilled to announce that Pamela Tatge will lead the Pillow into its next chapter of success and innovation. Pamela is a proven leader who has worked with a wide range of dance artists for decades. She has created innovative and collaborative dance programs that bring audiences and artists together and she has deep experience in development, arts administration, and leadership. Our Board Members are deeply impressed by her professional background, passion for dance, authenticity, and vision, in addition to her experience in combining education and the performing arts, which has great potential for our outstanding School. The Pillow is stronger than ever, and I know that Pamela will build on that success and take Jacob’s Pillow in exciting new directions while honoring our mission to present and support the very best in the world of dance.”
Pamela Tatge comments, “It will be an honor and a thrill for me to have the opportunity to lead Jacob’s Pillow’s next stage of development. The Pillow’s leading role as a dance presenter, its support of artistic development and new work, and its deep audience engagement programming is of vital importance nationally and internationally; its educational and archival resources are unmatched. The passion and dedication of the Pillow’s Board and staff is palpable and inspiring. I look forward to working with them and to partnering with regional, national, and international dance artists and colleagues to continue the work of this truly extraordinary organization.”
Since 1999, Tatge has led programming and initiatives for the Center for the Arts (CFA) at Wesleyan University, focused on re-imagining the role of artists in curricular and co- curricular life. She oversees all music, dance, theatre, and visual arts programming presented in an eleven-building complex, in other venues across the campus, and in the Middletown community. During her tenure, the CFA has become known for its contemporary dance programming, including the Breaking Ground Dance Series, which annually presents companies from the U.S. and abroad selected for their innovation and artistic rigor; and the DanceMasters Weekend at Wesleyan, a weekend immersion program for dance students and instructors in the state. While at the CFA, Tatge has worked with and presented dance artists including Eiko Otake, Liz Lerman, Dorrance Dance, Alarmél Valli, Ronald K. Brown, Compagnie Marie Chouinard, Faye Driscoll, Camille A. Brown, Brian Brooks, Nora Chipaumire, David Dorfman, and many others.
Tatge spearheaded the development of the university’s Creative Campus Initiative, supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, which includes an annual Creative Campus Fellow in Dance as well as Feet to the Fire, a campus-wide exploration of environmental issues through artistic lenses. She also led the development of Wesleyan University’s Green Street Arts Center (now the Green Street Teaching and Learning Center), a community arts center established in 2005 to serve as an anchor to revitalization efforts in Middletown’s North End.
In 2010 she co-founded, along with former Jacob’s Pillow Director Samuel A. Miller, Wesleyan University’s Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance (ICPP), a center for the academic study of the presentation and contextualization of contemporary performance; the first post-graduate program of its kind. Today ICPP offers both a Certificate and an MA in Performance Curation.
Tatge is the recipient of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters’ 2010 William Dawson Award for Programmatic Excellence and Sustained Achievement in Programming. She has served as both a Hub Site and an Advisor to the National Dance Project, and is a Board member of the New England Foundation for the Arts. Prior to her work at Wesleyan University, she spent a decade as the Director of Development at Long Wharf Theater in New Haven, CT. She holds a B.A. in History and an M.A.L.S. from Wesleyan University.
Festival 2016 marks the Pillow’s 84th season; the Festival schedule was announced in December and can be accessed online at jacobspillow.org.
Pamela Tatge directly succeeds Ella Baff, who served as the leader of Jacob’s Pillow from 1998 to 2015.
Jacob’s Pillow, celebrating its 84th Festival in 2016, is a National Historic Landmark, recipient of the National Medal of Arts, and home to America's longest-running international dance festival. Each Festival includes more than 50 national and international dance companies and 350 free and ticketed performances, talks, tours, classes, exhibits, and events. The School at Jacob’s Pillow, one of the most prestigious professional dance training centers in the U.S., encompasses the diverse disciplines of Ballet,
Cultural Traditions, Contemporary, and Musical Theatre Dance, as well as an Intern Program in various disciplines of arts administration, design, video, and production. The Pillow’s extensive Archives, open year-round to the public, chronicle more than a century of dance in photographs, programs, books, costumes, audiotapes, and videos. Year-round Community Programs enrich the lives of children and adults through public classes, residencies in area schools, and an extensive schedule of free public events. Through Jacob’s Pillow Curriculum in Motion®, a nationally-recognized program, Artist Educators work with Berkshire County teachers and students grades K-12, transforming curricula such as biology, literature, and history into kinesthetic and creative learning experiences. Creative Development Residencies, in which dance companies are invited to live and work at the Pillow and enjoy unlimited studio time; choreography commissions; and the annual $25,000 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award all support visionary dance artists and choreographers. Jacob’s Pillow Dance Interactive is a curated online video collection of dance highlights from 1933 to today. On March 2, 2011, President Obama honored Jacob’s Pillow with a National Medal of Arts, the highest arts award given by the United States Government, making the Pillow the first dance presenting organization to receive this prestigious award. For more information, visit www.jacobspillow.org.