Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Junebug Productions Welcomes Stephanie McKee as New Artistic Director

From our friends at Junebug Productions:
The Board of Directors of Junebug Productions, Inc. is pleased to announce the appointment of Stephanie V. McKee to the position of Artistic Director, effective July 1, 2012.  Junebug Productions, founded by John O'Neal in 1980, is the organizational successor to the Free Southern Theatre (FST) which was formed in 1963 to be the cultural arm of the Civil Rights Movement.  FST was a major influence in the Black Arts Movement and was often referred to as "a theatre for those who have no theatre."   Ms. McKee is a performer, choreographer, educator, facilitator and cultural organizer born in Picayune, MS and raised in New Orleans. She is the founder of Moving Stories Dance Project, an organization committed to dance education that provides opportunities for dancers and choreographers to showcase their talents. In 2007, she was awarded The Academy of Educational Development/New Voices Fellowship, an award for emerging leaders.  For the past 20 years Ms. McKee has been involved with Junebug Productions as an artist and educator.  Most recently she served as Associate Artistic Director of the first annual Homecoming Project 2011, a place-based performance project that addresses the Right of Return and what home means to communities in post-Katrina New Orleans.  In 2006, Ms. McKee was one of ten artists who collaborated to create the original production, "UPROOTED: The Katrina Project," co-produced by Junebug Productions.  As an artist and cultural organizer, Ms. McKee is deeply committed to creating work that supports social justice and aligns with the FST and Junebug legacy.

Don Marshall, President of Junebug Productions' Board of Directors says, "Junebug Productions is fortunate that an artist and administrator of Stephanie's caliber will be taking the leadership role of the organization. Throughout her career, she has demonstrated her ability to unite members of the community in building a greater world through the arts. We all look forward to new and exciting projects and programs that carry on the rich traditions of both the Free Southern Theater and Junebug Productions."

John O'Neal, founding Artistic Director, says, "Stephanie is one of those rare people who is constant, true and deeply committed to making her community and the world a better place, for her presence in it.  She's one of the best choreographers-dancers-actors-teachers-arts administrators-community organizers-public spirited citizens that the present generation of New Orleans has produced.  With Stephanie at the helm, I am confident that Junebug Productions will continue to grow and develop under her caring, committed and capable leadership."

John O'Neal, a member of Junebug Productions Board of Directors and Artistic Director, Emeritus, will focus his efforts on playwriting and essay writing on his experience of 50 years in theatre, social justice, and cultural development.

Stephanie McKee is also a member of Alternate ROOTS, Kumbuka African Dance and Drum Collective, NO Dance Collective, Peoples Touring Project, and is Co-Director of the Urban Bush Women Summer Leadership Institute in New Orleans.

For information, contact

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