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Denise Saunders Thompson Adjunct Professorial Lecturer Department of Performing Arts

MFA, University of California, Los Angeles, Arts Producing and Management
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Completed Ph.D. coursework, Howard University, Washington, D.C., Organizational Communications
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BFA, Howard University, Washington, D.C., Theatre Arts Administration

Favorite Spot on Campus
Top Floor of Katzen, where the sun shines in...
Denise Saunders Thompson is the President and CEO of The International Association of Blacks in Dance, a non-profit dance service organization. She is also the Founder of D.d.Saunders & Associates, Inc., a comprehensive fine arts advisory firm offering artist management/ representation, arts producing, consulting, and production services. Her arts career spans over 20 years of executive and programmatic leadership experience. She has advised organizations on administrative, programming and fundraising issues including strategic plans, policy and procedures, communications, budgeting and contracts. Denise has pioneered top-ranked courses on the collegiate level (graduate and undergraduate) in artistic development, entrepreneurship, fundraising, grant writing, leadership, management, and production. In 2015, she concluded 17 years of service at Howard University in the capacities of Professor and Theatre Manager/ Producing Artistic Director.

Denise currently serves on the Board of Trustees for Dance/USA, Board of Directors for the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, Friends of Theatre and Dance at Howard University, and is a member of Actors Equity Association (AEA), Women of Color in the Arts (WOCA), and Theatre Communications Group (TCG). She is a grant recipient of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Smithsonian Institution National Museum of African Art, DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and the St. Paul Companies.
See Also
The International Association of Blacks in Dance
D.d.Saunders & Associates, Inc.
For the Media
To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Selected Publications

Inside IABD's New Ballet Audition for Men of Color - Dance Magazine

Denver dance company one of 5 in nation to get $100K grant

Createquity Podcast Series 4: Approaching Cultural Equity | Createquity


The International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD) has awarded each of its five (5) founding member companies -- Cleo Parker Robinson Dance; Dallas Black Dance Theatre; Dayton Contemporary Dance Company; Lula Washington Dance Theatre; and The Philadelphia Dance Company (PHILADANCO!) -- $100,000 each in unrestricted grants, totaling a half million dollars, to be applied to general operating expenses. IABD awarded its IMPACT 100 grants during its inaugural financial and organizational health program, MOVE: Managing Organizational Vitality and Endurance, which was generously funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

$100K to Dallas Black Dance Theatre

A Chance to Dance for Minority Ballerinas - The New York Times

IABD: Grant Puts Action Behind the Narrative | Gregory King