lets dance!



The CUNY Dance Initiative (CDI) is an unprecedented model for collaboration between the City University of New York (CUNY) — the nation’s largest public urban university system — and the NYC dance field. A residency program that opens the doors of CUNY campuses to professional choreographers and dance companies, CDI supports local artists, enhances the cultural life and education of college students, and builds new dance audiences at CUNY performing arts centers.

The CUNY Dance Initiative receives major support from The Mertz Gilmore Foundation, the Howard Gilman Foundation, and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Jerome Robbins Foundation, and the Harkness Foundation for Dance. CDI is spearheaded and administered by The Kupferberg Center for the Arts at Queens College.   



Friday May 17 @7pm


CDI: Matthew Westerby Company




Matthew Westerby Company (founded 2009) is a non-profit dance company dedicated to building community through the arts. The Company has been presented at venues around NYC and further afield in Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Jersey. The Company is currently in residence at York College through the CUNY Dance Initiative (2017-18, 2018-19), and is working collaboratively with composers Bryan Senti & Rick Smith on MWC’s 5th evening length piece, premiering in November 2019. The Company recently completed Romanzas de Zarzuela, an evening length operatic piece for Hudson Guild Theatre Company. 

The Company has received funding from Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Creative Engagement grant each year since 2016, as well as the UMEZ Arts Engagement Grant (‘18, ‘19) for The Harlem Project – a community dance project that brings together participants of all ages from Harlem, Brooklyn and the Bronx, culminating in performances in Marcus Garvey Park (Harlem). 

The Company also delivers year-round dance education for the Far Brook School (Short Hills, NJ) for grades PK-8. Artistic Director Matthew Westerby also creates work on a freelance basis, is on faculty at Sacred Heart University (Connecticut) and works extensively in dance education around the tri-state area.



Mari Meade Dance Collective



MMDC: Mari Meade Dance Collective

About MMDC

Formed in 2009, MMDC creates intricate, fully-formed worlds with epic, abstract narratives. Highly physical, quirky movement forms tight-knit communities of exaggerated characters who are bound to complex narrative arcs. The company is driven by Mari Meade’s choreographic inspiration but is shaped by interactions with and contributions from other visual art forms.

About Mari Meade

Mari Meade is an educator, choreographer, and the Artistic Director of Mari Meade Dance Collective / MMDC . Meade has received the New York Choreographic Institute (an affiliate of New York City Ballet), UNCSA Development Residency, the Kenan Fellowship at Lincoln Center Education and was an Artist in Residence at Chez Bushwick, Triskelion Arts, CUNY Dance Initiative, and Lake Studios Berlin. She has shown work at Clark Theatre at Lincoln Center; Danspace; Judson Memorial Church; Joe’s Pub; Battery Dance Festival; Triskelion Arts; ChopShop: Bodies of Work (WA); New Orleans Fringe Festival; Asheville Fringe Festival; Baltimore Dance Invitational; Lake Studios Berlin; Katlehong Arts Center (South Africa). She has been awarded a Brooklyn Arts Council regrant, and a “New Work” and Su Casa grant from Queens Arts Council. Her contemporary dance company, Mari Meade Dance Collective/ MMDC, is approaching their tenth year, and has performed nationally and internationally. MMDC's "dialogue" (excerpt) won Spoke the Hub’s Winter Follies (NYC), and was a top ten national finalist at McCallum Theatre’s Choreography Festival (CA). The evening length run of “dialogue” premiered to sold out audiences in June 2018. Mari Meade is also a board member of the Kenan Institute for the Arts and the Associate Director of the UNCSA’s Choreographic Institute. She has been commissioned by Amalgamate Dance Company, One Day Dance and CounterPointe. She is a teaching artist for New York City Ballet and Dancing Classrooms. She is a graduate of UNC School of the Arts.