Incorporated in 1985, MZD has been a mainstay in the Edmonton arts community for the past 30 years, playing an active and valuable role in collaborations and audience development that have spanned a multitude of demographics and artistic media. As a charitable arts organization, MZD has become a voice for generations of choreographers, artists, and audience members alike who are interested in merging dance with different art forms through exploratory collaborations. It is through its unique and diverse mix of programming that MZD continues to contribute significantly to the artistic and cultural landscape of the city and region. MZD consistently produces a full and varied independent season, including mainstage performances, a salon series, workshops, and school residencies. Recently, MZD’s in-studio Artist-In-Residency program has seen more than 17 young dance professionals use the opportunity to further their careers, including the creation of new companies, successful tours overseas, and prestigious nominations and awards in the performing arts. Since 2006 MZD has run a community-based studio, which has serves as a rehearsal, office, community rental, and performance space. This hub of activity is highly affordable for dancers and other artists to rehearse in, host workshops, or to hold meetings. The MZD school residency program continues to have a successful record of accomplishment having reached and engaged with thousands of children/youth in Edmonton and its surrounding communities. In 2013, MZD also created an Endowment Fund which is held and administered by the Edmonton Community Foundation. This endowment fund is the first step in sustaining the longevity of the company as a whole and ensuring its vibrancy in the artistic community remains strong and progressive. MZD consists of a volunteer Board of Directors; David Garfinkle (President), Brad Fischer (Treasurer), Shelly Armitage (Secretary), Cristian Badiu (Director), and Marie Cloutier (Director). Full and part-time staff positions are held by Artistic Director (Gerry Morita), Administrative Manager (Krista Posyniak), Education Coordinator (Jodie Vandekerkhove), Communications Director (Ester Malzahn), Accounts Manager (Marguerite Bennett), Grant Writer (Erin Ottosen), and Visual Art Outreach Director (Patrick Arès-Pilon). MZD has been committed to the cultivation of original contemporary performance for 30 years. Founded by Andrea Rabinovitch and Debra Shantz in 1985, it originally was connected with Grant MacEwan College, and has since grown and changed with the needs of the community at the forefront. through her choreography and curation, current Artistic Director Gerry Morita has infused the company with a distinct voice and aesthetic that encompasses dance, interdisciplinary work, and performance art. She was awarded the 2006 Syncrude Award for Innovation in Artistic Direction at the PACE Mayor’s Awards, and has presented her choreography for MZD in Toronto, St John’s, Calgary, Ottawa, New York, Banff, Turkey, Poland, Estonia, and Tokyo.
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