A New Season for Arts Horizons
Arts Horizons, the Englewood-based arts-in-education organization serving New Jersey and New York, announces a transition of leadership as of October 1, 2020. The Arts Horizons Board of Directors has appointed Mrs. Dena Isles as Interim Executive Director following the retirement of Allison J. Davis. Board Chair Tammy Bormann reflects, “We welcomed Allison Davis as Executive Director of this iconic organization in 2014. Under Allison’s leadership, Arts Horizons has deepened its commitment to creating equitable access to the arts for all people; expanded our voice in arts advocacy at the local, regional and state levels; and adapted our program delivery to ensure that people of all ages and abilities continue to experience the joy and freedom of art-making in a virtual context.”
Mrs. Dena Isles will lead Arts Horizons into its 42nd year during this critical time when the arts are essential to education, health, and community recovery and well-being. Dena has been with the organization for over 12 years as Program Director of NYC Residencies and Special Populations. She is a dancer, educator, therapeutic recreation specialist as well as a seasoned and multi-faceted non-profit administrator with over 25 years of working in the field of disabilities services. Most recently, Dena completed her Executive Leadership Certificate in Arts and Culture Strategy with University of Pennsylvania and National Arts Strategies. Prior to Arts Horizons, Dena served as the Director of Day Habilitation Programs for adults with disabilities with a focus in curriculum development and crisis intervention and prevention. In her years with Arts Horizons, Dena has developed partnerships and strategy for over 100 annual artist-in-residence, professional development, family and community programs that served thousands of people in school, hospital and community-based settings.
Bormann notes, “We are delighted that Dena has accepted the role of Interim Executive Director. Over the last 12 years, she has been instrumental in expanding Arts Horizons programming for people of all ages and abilities; supporting and resourcing our extraordinary team of teaching artists; and ensuring that our programs and practices are aligned with our core values. She is the ideal person to lead us through this complex and uncertain time.”
Mr. Kiran Rajagopalan will assume the role of Program Director of New York after serving as Program Coordinator of NYC Residencies and Special Populations for nearly four years. Kiran brings to this newly expanded role his extensive background in Bharatanatyam (Indian Classical Dance); prior work as a teaching artist in NYC; and experience as an award-winning performer, choreographer, writer, and educator. In addition to his work with Arts Horizons, Kiran is also an adjunct faculty member in Marymount Manhattan College Department of Dance. He is the co-founder and artistic director of Daya Arts, which aims to bridge diasporic communities through original, high-quality artistic productions rooted in West African and South Asian visual and performing arts. Kiran will collaborate with our exceptional roster of teaching artists and our New York-based partners to facilitate our transition to largely virtual programming this academic year.
These transitions in leadership come at an unprecedented time as we reckon with major health, economic and racial crises that will inevitably lead to new norms for arts education, especially in New York and New Jersey. Arts Education is essential, and Arts Horizons is a committed team of essential creatives working tirelessly to use the arts to help unite, cope, and heal our deeply affected communities.
For over four decades, Arts Horizons has been committed to our mission of transforming lives by creating equitable opportunities to engage in the arts. We strive to make art and artistic expression accessible to and inclusive of people from all ages, backgrounds, and abilities. We will forge ahead into our 42nd year pursuing our vision to enhance and transform lives through art!
For more information please contact Dena Isles