Cultural Competency and Equity Coalition

About MoBBallet Vision and Values

 

MoBBallet is an essential resource dedicated to telling the often undocumented stories of Black ballet artists in America and around the world. Founded in 2015, MoBBallet preserves, presents, and promotes the contributions and stories of Black artists in the field of Ballet, illustrating that they are an integral part of dance history at large.

 

 

The organization’s mission is to illuminate the lesser known history and legacies of international professional Black ballet artists that have been muted, or oftentimes eradicated from the larger canon of dance history, by being the digital platform that compiles it in one location online. A core value of MoBBallet is, “we are only as strong as our stories;” therefore, by preserving, celebrating, and presenting those stories, not only do we shift the narrative, but we increase the visibility of Blacks in Ballet. In this way the mythology be dispelled, and that historical and sociological truth (racial, cultural, economical) be acknowledged.

 

About MoBBallet Founder:

 

Theresa Ruth Howard is the founder and curator of Memoirs of Blacks in Ballet (MoBBallet.org) a digital platform that preserves, presents, and promotes the Memoirs of Blacks in Ballet. She is a respected advocate and leader in the conversations surrounding diversity and culture in Ballet and the arts as an internationally sought after diversity strategist, speaker, consultant and coach to artistic, executive, and school directors and Board members of Ballet and Opera. Her background as a dancer (Dance Theater of Harlem and Armitage Gone! Dance) and dance educator makes her uniquely qualified to target, address and facilitate much needed cultural shifts in ballet leadership.

 

In 2018 she was a member of the Design and Facilitation Team of The Equity Project: Increasing the presence of Blacks in Ballet, a three-year initiative funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which assembled a cohort of 21 North American Ballet companies.

 

As a curator, Howard has presented at both in-person and virtual Symposiums. In October 2019 they held their first MoBBallet Symposium (MBBS), a multi-generational personal development and educational intensive, which convened an elite and diverse faculty of black ballet professionals and pre-professional ballet students. In August 2020 during the BLM uprisings MoBBallet hosted a 3 weekend virtual symposium that centered blackness and promoted education, communication and restoration and in March 2021, the Ballet IS Woman symposium celebrated female artistic and executive directors in ballet.

 

Howard has been member of the design team for the Dutch National Ballet’s (DNB) biannual conference, Positioning Ballet, a convening of over 40 European and international companies, and curated their 2019 Black Achieve ment Month photo exhibition paying homage to all of the Black Ballet artists who have danced with the company since 1961. In 2019 Ms. Howard curated The Royal Opera House’s inaugural Young Talent Festival 2019 Symposium “Exposure, Access and Opportunity: Exploring the Cultural Barriers to Ballet Training.” Most recently she has been tapped to curate a week of Ballet for the Kennedy Center’s 2022 summer season. In addition, Ms. Howard is a dance journalist, having contributed to The Source, Pointe, Expressions (Italy), Tanz (Germany), and Opera America magazines. Currently she is a contributing writer for Dance Magazine. Alastair Macaulay cites her as “One of the most valuable writers on dance today...Theresa Ruth Howard has writ ten some of the most provocative pieces on ballet today”

 

Ms. Howard has been a mentor for many of the young men and women that she has taught over the years.

Her life motto is: "The only way to make the world a better place, is to be better people in it!”

 

About MoBBallet Vision and Values

 

MoBBallet is an essential resource dedicated to telling the often undocumented stories of Black ballet artists in America and around the world. Founded in 2015, MoBBallet preserves, presents, and promotes the contributions and stories of Black artists in the field of Ballet, illustrating that they are an integral part of dance history at large.

 

 

The organization’s mission is to illuminate the lesser known history and legacies of international professional Black ballet artists that have been muted, or oftentimes eradicated from the larger canon of dance history, by being the digital platform that compiles it in one location online. A core value of MoBBallet is, “we are only as strong as our stories;” therefore, by preserving, celebrating, and presenting those stories, not only do we shift the narrative, but we increase the visibility of Blacks in Ballet. In this way the mythology be dispelled, and that historical and sociological truth (racial, cultural, economical) be acknowledged.

 

About MoBBallet Founder:

 

Theresa Ruth Howard is the founder and curator of Memoirs of Blacks in Ballet (MoBBallet.org) a digital platform that preserves, presents, and promotes the Memoirs of Blacks in Ballet. She is a respected advocate and leader in the conversations surrounding diversity and culture in Ballet and the arts as an internationally sought after diversity strategist, speaker, consultant and coach to artistic, executive, and school directors and Board members of Ballet and Opera. Her background as a dancer (Dance Theater of Harlem and Armitage Gone! Dance) and dance educator makes her uniquely qualified to target, address and facilitate much needed cultural shifts in ballet leadership.

 

In 2018 she was a member of the Design and Facilitation Team of The Equity Project: Increasing the presence of Blacks in Ballet, a three-year initiative funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which assembled a cohort of 21 North American Ballet companies.

 

As a curator, Howard has presented at both in-person and virtual Symposiums. In October 2019 they held their first MoBBallet Symposium (MBBS), a multi-generational personal development and educational intensive, which convened an elite and diverse faculty of black ballet professionals and pre-professional ballet students. In August 2020 during the BLM uprisings MoBBallet hosted a 3 weekend virtual symposium that centered blackness and promoted education, communication and restoration and in March 2021, the Ballet IS Woman symposium celebrated female artistic and executive directors in ballet.

 

Howard has been member of the design team for the Dutch National Ballet’s (DNB) biannual conference, Positioning Ballet, a convening of over 40 European and international companies, and curated their 2019 Black Achieve ment Month photo exhibition paying homage to all of the Black Ballet artists who have danced with the company since 1961. In 2019 Ms. Howard curated The Royal Opera House’s inaugural Young Talent Festival 2019 Symposium “Exposure, Access and Opportunity: Exploring the Cultural Barriers to Ballet Training.” Most recently she has been tapped to curate a week of Ballet for the Kennedy Center’s 2022 summer season. In addition, Ms. Howard is a dance journalist, having contributed to The Source, Pointe, Expressions (Italy), Tanz (Germany), and Opera America magazines. Currently she is a contributing writer for Dance Magazine. Alastair Macaulay cites her as “One of the most valuable writers on dance today...Theresa Ruth Howard has writ ten some of the most provocative pieces on ballet today”

 

Ms. Howard has been a mentor for many of the young men and women that she has taught over the years.

Her life motto is: "The only way to make the world a better place, is to be better people in it!”

 

Cultural Competency

and Equity Coalition