Caitlyn Schrader (’22 MFA Dance) is moving into a role that seems choreographed just for her — Director of Community Engagement for UNCG’s College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA). In that position, she will also serve as Director of Greensboro Project Space (GPS), CVPA’s contemporary art gallery in downtown Greensboro.
Schrader is a dance artist, educator, curator, choreographer, and filmmaker who recognizes the value of community engagement and the potential for art to impact the lives of citizens:
“Art helps cultivate critical thinkers, curious minds, agents of change, and leads to productive lives of consequence. I bring my joy for the arts, my belief in their power to affect change, and an open mind to this role. I pledge to work toward making GPS and CVPA initiatives vessels of research, inquiry, and innovation. I care for the UNCG community and take great pride in being a member – I look forward to contributing to its continued progress.”
Schrader’s work has been centered on creating events that either bring art into a community or offer a platform for artists who may lack access to presenting their work. She also looks for ways to present art that is responsive to the needs of a community, and to connect with audiences beyond traditional contexts.
“What I respect about CVPA’s community engagement initiatives is the steadfast commitment to interdisciplinarity, collaboration, experimentation, and connection. I’m excited to continue this mission and strong foundation and I look forward to building upon the groundwork through continued initiation and support of programming that forges connections across UNCG and within the Greensboro community.”
Prior to coming to UNCG, Schrader founded the Barn Dance Project in Sauquoit, New York near her hometown of Utica, with the purpose of presenting professional, accessible dance to Central New York in unconventional spaces and to aid in the art revitalization for the local community through collaboration. She also co-produced Dance Shorts, a platform for emerging female artists in Boston. In Greensboro, she has held an administrative role with the Greensboro Dance Film Festival and worked with other area organizations to develop arts education programs, student film festivals, and community traveling dance “happenings” in downtown Greensboro.
Schrader has also had works performed at UNCG’s Greensboro Project Space, the downtown art gallery she will now be running, which means she’s already familiar with GPS’s role as a bridge between campus and community. UNCG School of Art Director Chris Cassidy looks forward to working with Schrader on strengthening that connection:
“With a background combining community-facing arts programming and extensive experience in education, Caitlyn brings an exciting new vision to Greensboro Project Space. Seeing her tremendous energy and can-do spirit, we look forward to working with her to continue our mission of actively connecting UNCG students with the cultural life of the greater Greensboro community.”
Lee Walton, School of Art Professor of Interdisciplinary and Social Practice, agrees:
“As a dancer and choreographer, Caitlyn brings a unique perspective and vision to this leadership position. She knows first-hand the transformative power of art to enhance people’s lives and bring communities together. Caitlyn has an open mind, radiates positivity, and brings out the best in the people around her. We are excited and fortunate to have Caitlyn as our new Director!”
Schrader received the MFA in Choreography from the School of Dance in May, 2022. She holds a BA from Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and an MS in Education from the University of Rochester. She has trained internationally and was awarded the Franco-American Teachers-in-Training Fulbright to teach in France in 2011. She has been a member of professional dance companies in New York and Massachusetts and performed for several other independent choreographers. Her choreographic works, both filmic and live, have been presented widely across the Northeast and the South, and abroad in Ireland.