Damian Woetzel has taken on multiple roles in arts leadership since retiring in 2008 from a 20-year career as Principal Dancer with New York City Ballet. He is the director of the Aspen Institute Arts Program, the artistic director of the Vail International Dance Festival, and the founding director of the Jerome Robbins Foundation’s New Essential Works (NEW) Program. Mr. Woetzel also works with Yo-Yo Ma and his Silk Road Connect Program in New York City Public Schools, and he has served on the Harvard Task Force on the Arts and the Artists Committee of the Kennedy Center Honors.
Mr. Woetzel was a member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities under the Obama Administration, and he has been a Turnaround Artist since the program’s pilot phase. He frequently works with fellow Turnaround Artists Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, conducting workshops, visiting students and participating in events at a number of schools, including Lame Deer Jr. High School in Lame Deer, MT, and Orchard Gardens K-8 Pilot School in Boston, MA, among others. Together with Mr. Ma, Mr. Woetzel has adopted more schools since Turnaround Arts’ expansion, including Noyes Elementary School in Washington, DC.
“I’m so happy to be continuing as a Turnaround Artist with Yo-Yo Ma. Our past work has shown me how important the arts can be in a well-rounded education, making learning memorable and exciting, and sparking children’s creative power. I’m looking forward to continuing that work in our nation’s capital and to adding more artists to our amazing team of Turnaround Artists.”