Boston Ballet Executive Director Barry Hughson announced today the appointment of new Director of Education and Community Initiatives, Zakiya K. Thomas. Thomas will lead Boston Ballet’s nationally-acclaimed education programs Citydance, Taking Steps, and Adaptive Dance, in addition to developing new programs and initiatives to engage the community with the work of Boston Ballet. The Director of Education and Community Initiatives is a new position, reporting to the Executive Director, signaling Boston Ballet’s commitment to providing education and access to the art form of dance to the broadest possible audience at home in Boston and as a leader in the world of dance.
“I am thrilled to welcome Zakiya to Boston Ballet,” said Hughson. “She has an impressive background and brings a range of leadership experience shaping and implementing community engagement initiatives. Through her work in Boston’s non-profit field, she brings a unique depth of perspective to the organization. We are excited to have her lead Boston Ballet’s unparalleled educational programs and take the organization’s work in the community to the next level.”
Thomas joins Boston Ballet from the Museum of Fine Arts, where she worked for over five years as Manager of Community Relations, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, where she worked in the organization’s Education Research and Development department. Thomas is currently a Board Member on the Massachusetts Cultural Council.
“I am delighted to join the Boston Ballet team,” said Thomas. “I am honored to contribute to an organization that has demonstrated a strong commitment to artistic excellence, programmatic innovation and community involvement.”
In the 2011-2012 season, beyond Boston Ballet’s work on stage, the organization will continue its extensive work in the studios and in the community. Citydance, one of Boston Ballet’s signature education programs, celebrates its 20th anniversary in fall 2011. Citydance, the largest provider of free dance education to Boston Public Schools, reaches nearly 3,000 students each year and has touched the lives of more than 60,000 children in its 20 year history. Through its education and outreach initiatives, Boston Ballet continues to reach thousands of lives each year and encourage access to the art form of dance for students of all backgrounds and experience levels.
Thomas will also oversee Taking Steps, a program teaching movement as a path to healthy self-expression for young adolescents, and Adaptive Dance, a program in collaboration with Children’s Hospital Boston designed to foster creative expression in children with special needs.
2011-2012 Season Tickets
Subscriptions, Group Sales tickets, and individual tickets for The Nutcracker are on sale now. Individual tickets for all other ballets go on sale on Monday, August 29. Subscriptions and individual tickets are available online 24 hours a day at www.bostonballet.org, by phone at 617.695.6955, and in person at the box office at 19 Clarendon Street, Boston, Mon–Fri, 9:30am-5pm. Tickets start at $25 for season ballets and $35 for Night of Stars and The Nutcracker. Group Sales tickets for parties of 10 or more are available through the box office at
About Boston Ballet
Since 1963, Boston Ballet has been one of the leading dance companies in the world on stage, in the studio and in the community. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen and Executive Director Barry Hughson, the Company maintains an internationally acclaimed repertoire and the largest ballet school in North America, Boston Ballet School.
Boston Ballet maintains a repertoire of classical, neo-classical and contemporary works, ranging from full-length story ballets to new works by some of today's finest choreographers. Boston Ballet's second company, Boston Ballet II, is comprised of dancers who gain experience by performing with the Company and independently, presenting special programs to audiences throughout the Northeast.
Boston Ballet School, the official school of Boston Ballet, has a long-standing dedication to excellence and access and reaches more than 10,000 students ages 2-adult each year through Boston Ballet School classes, Summer Dance Workshop, Summer Dance Program, Citydance, Taking Steps, and Adaptive Dance. The wide array of dance programs are held at three studio locations in Boston, Newton, and Marblehead with additional programs throughout New England, as well as community centers and in Boston Public Schools.
Boston Ballet gratefully acknowledges the following institutional partners:
State Street Corporation, 2011 Presenting Sponsor, The Nutcracker
The Boston Foundation
Massachusetts Cultural Council
National Endowment for the Arts