Re-PLACE-ing Team Members

Laurel A. Raczka, Project Director - Having taken on the position of Executive Director/CEO June 1, 1999, Laurel provides both artistic vision and managerial leadership for the Bride. Formerly the Program Director of the Bride, she has worked at the Bride since 1992.  Trained as a visual artist, Laurel received her MFA from Rutgers University. As the Re-PLACE-ing Philadelphia Project Director, Laurel provides oversight on all aspects of the project, working collaboratively with Donna Faye Burchfield and Lisa Nelson-Haynes. 

Donna Faye Burchfield, Artistic Advisor - has been a professor and director for the School of Dance at the University of the Arts since 2010. Before arriving at UArts, she worked with the American Dance Festival (ADF) for 28 years, serving as dean for over a decade. In 2011, upon her departure from the festival, she was awarded the Balasaraswati/Joy Ann Dewey Beinecke Endowed Chair for Distinguished Teaching. As professor of dance at Hollins University (HU) from 1993 to 2010, she developed and directed the HU/ADF MFA program, the Post-Baccalaureate and combined BA/BFA programs in collaboration with the ADF. In 2006, she received the North Carolina School for the Arts Outstanding Teacher in Performance award for contributions to the dance program at NCSA as well as the state of North Carolina. Teaching and research residencies have include Tunisia, Italy, China, Hong Kong, England, France, Germany, Belgium, Austria and Cuba. Recent obsessions include introducing and discussing critical theory and creative practice to freshmen dance students at UArts and looking for dance in all the wrong places.  Working throughout this entire project, she will produce and edit a Handbook that will provide a framework for further discussions and reflection.  

Lisa Nelson Haynes, Project Manager - Lisa came to the Painted Bride Art Center after completing her coursework for a Master of Fine Arts in Film from Temple University in 2001.  Prior to graduate school, Lisa was a marketing executive with Beach Advertising for seven years. Her client roster at Beach included PECO Energy, SEPTA and McDonalds.  Lisa was initially hired at the Painted Bride as a publicist, but was promoted to Marketing Director.  In June of 2003, Lisa was again promoted.  In her new role of Associate Director, Lisa works closely with the artists, and is responsible for developing community partnerships and educational activities.

Talvin Wilks, Dramaturgical Documentation - Talvin has been engaged in a series of archival performative events that seek to find a way to use the act of looking back as a forward thinking generative process. His work includes A History with the Bebe Miller Company, The Aunt Ester Cycle for the August Wilson Center in Pittsburgh and the recent Blink Your Eyes: Sekou Sundiata Revisited retrospective, he has served as a curatorial and collaborative dramaturg, fitting into a series of modalities as documenter, evaluator, writer and curator. He will focus mainly on documenting and evaluation to provide an understanding of the impact of Re-PLACE-ing Philadelphia, and to collect, along the way, helpful perspectives from stakeholders, participants, artists and observers.

Celeste DiNucci, Project Coordinator - Celeste, Ph.D., is a scholar, practitioner, and supporter of performance. In a previous life, she managed people, projects, and small businesses. With a broad-ranging background across the liberal arts, she has done graduate work in English at Northwestern University, where she received her Masters degree, and at the University of Pennsylvania, where she earned her doctorate, specializing at both institutions in performance theory and Renaissance drama. With her experience in performing and directing, in both theater and music, and her background in arts administration, she launched a new organization in 2012, the Philadelphia Performing Arts Kitchen, providing a platform for artists from across disciplines to research and produce ensemble-created original performance pieces. PPAK successfully supported the research and launch of a piece by Applied Mechanics, entitled Vainglorious, which was later selected for inclusion in the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts. As Managing Director of the 215 Festival, she oversaw more than 20 events, which took place in bookstores, bars, and performance venues all over the city. Her support of Pig Iron Theater Company (PITC) led her to become the Executive Producer of their contribution to Suzan-Lori Parks’ 365 Days, 365 Plays. She also co-produced, with the composer, a CD of James Sugg’s original “song cycle for five rock musicians,” The Sea. Celeste’s background in development for cultural organizations is also extensive: she has procured millions in government, foundation, and corporate dollars for Settlement Music School, Point Breeze Performing Arts Center, and the American Philosophical Society, among others, and she served for many years on PITC’s Development Committee and is an anchor donor to their Creativity Fund. Her claim to the widest fame, however, is as a Jeopardy! champion: she is the winner of the 2007 Tournament of Champions, and she was invited back in 2014 to compete in their Battle of the Decades.

Jen Cleary, Production Manager - is a production manager, visual artist, and designer based in Kensington, Philadelphia. Having worked in established theaters and non-traditional spaces all over the world, her credits include shows at REDCAT (Los Angeles), Asian Arts Initiative (Philadelphia), Sandglass (Putney), Highways Performance Space (Santa Monica), OutNorth (Anchorage), David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center (New York City), Westergasfabriek (Amsterdam), Contact Theatre (Manchester, UK), and The Bethnal Green Men’s Working Club (London). Jen is an Emmy Award winning broadcast engineer and a Lucie award winning photographer. Additionally, her images can be seen in the California Heritage Museum's permanent collection. Drawing on her years of experience, Jen coordinates Re-PLACE-ing’s events with our Communities in Residence and at the Painted Bride.

Lauren Bakst, Interlocutor - Lauren Bakst is an artist whose work takes the forms of choreography, performance, video, and writing. Her work has been presented throughout New York at Danspace Project, Pioneer Works, The Drawing Center, and Abrons Arts Center, among other venues. She was a 2014-16 Open Sessions Artist at The Drawing Center, the 2014 Research & Development Fellow at the New Museum, and a 2014 danceWEB Scholarship Recipient. Lauren is the Managing Editor of the Movement Research Performance Journal and a Contributing Editor to BOMB Magazine. She is a 2016 Visiting Artist at The Cooper Union and teaches at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA where she also curates Knowing Dance More, an artist-driven lecture series. Lauren’s experience at “BOMB Magazine” speaks to her lively and steadfast ability as a young editor/writer, and her capability to prompt and guide conversations among the Lead Artists, the Free Radicals, and our Communities-In-Residence (CIRs). 

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