Meet the Staff
Dwayne V. Elliott MA Student Development | Director of Arts & Campus Events |
firstname.lastname@example.org | 615.322.2471
Dwayne has been working as an event planner in higher education for nearly thirteen years. His experience and devotion to higher education and working with young adults are exemplified in every project that he supervises. Dwayne has helped implement and facilitate a wide array of events and concerts hosting crowds ranging in size up to 14,000 patrons.
Prior to working at Vanderbilt University, Dwayne served as the Program Coordinator at Georgia Sate University, in Atlanta, GA, where he advised and planned several events, ranging from musical acts to educational programming.
Dwayne began his career at Vanderbilt in May of 2004, and served as the Associate Director for the Office of First Year Programs and then was promoted to Director of the office in 2006. Elliott boosted attendance to non mandatory first year programs and developed a comprehensive first year programs for 1,600 students and their families.
In 2007, Dwayne took the position of Director of Student Campus Events at Vanderbilt University. In this position, Elliott advises the Vanderbilt Programming Board and serves as the liaison for Vanderbilt Athletics for the Office of the Dean of Students. During his tenure, he has increased student involvement and ticket sales for both the homecoming Commodore Quake concert and the Rites of Spring Music Festival. He also produced the very first ever back to back sold out Commodore Quake shows in Vanderbilt history and sold out the very first Rites of Spring Music Festival in its 30 plus year history. In May of 2013, Dwayne took the position of Director for Arts & Campus Events which merged his previous department, Student Campus Events with the Arts & Creative Engagement Office.
Dwayne earned his Master’s degree in College Student Development with a concentration in College Counseling from Appalachian State University and his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Appalachian State University. Dwayne is originally from Morganton, NC. Dwayne loves spending time with his wife Shellian and daughter Amya and in his spare time he enjoys playing golf and attending concerts.
Kelvin Amburgey, MFA | Assistant Director of Dance | email@example.com | 615-322-7076
Kelvin was born in southeastern Kentucky and started toward a career in the arts at the age of 3 when dance became a part of his life. He explored the arts worlds of dance, theatre, music and painting but found himself forever pulled back to his passion for movement.
Kelvin has taught in the Vanderbilt Dance Program since 1994 and as Assistant Director of the program since 2009. He has his undergraduate degree in Theatre from Morehead State University and his Master of Fine Arts degree in Choreography and Dance from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Kelvin has worked professionally in Theatre, Film and Dance as a performer, choreographer, director, and costume designer since the age of 5 and enjoys all aspects of the Arts. He was a member of Tennessee Dance Theatre for several years and danced with Acme Moving Company and Searching For New Dances in the Middle Tennessee area as well as his own company Shards Dance Project. As an actor he has appeared on stage with the Pennsylvania Opera Theatre, Cherokee Historical Association, Circle Players, Chaffin’s Barn Dinner Theatre and TV shows “One Tree Hill” and CMT countdown. Kelvin has had over 100 choreographic works performed on stages throughout the United States.
He has taught Jazz, Modern, Ballet, Improvisation, Musical Theatre, Auditioning Techniques, Dance Appreciation, Musical Theatre History and many other courses at colleges, studios and universities throughout the southeast United States, including Vanderbilt University for 18 years and Middle Tennessee State University and Cumberland University as well as Aesthetic Education for Nashville Institute of the Arts, and Wolftrap Early Childhood Education through the arts.
“I love exploring the world through the arts be it movement, theatre, painting, designing or building, I learn more about myself and my space in the world.” “Creating is Life and Life is Creating.”
David Heustess | Assistant Director for Visual Arts | firstname.lastname@example.org | 615-343-0491
David says that he knew when he was eight years that he wanted to be an artist; he just didn’t know how to tell anyone. His actual journey in the arts began with musical theater in high school. While studying theater and dance at Appalachian State University, he began to realize that he was being cast more as a dancer. So he focused his training on modern dance and in 1982 began performing with a company in Charlotte, NC under the direction of choreographer Mary Ann Mee. For six years David danced as a soloist in original works choreographed by Mee and other nationally recognized choreographers, plus the repertory works by Doris Humphreys and Charles Weidman. A highlight in David’s dance career is being involved in the first restaging of Weidman’s Christmas Oratorio. He also attended two summers at the prestigious American Dance Festival at Duke University on scholarship. In 1988, David moved to Nashville to join the Tennessee Dance Theater. This opportunity not only allowed him to continue to perform and choreograph, but also was the catalyst for his training in visual arts.
After studying pottery in Nashville area art programs, David attended the Appalachian Center for Crafts and in 1995 completed his BFA degree with concentrations in clay and fiber arts. David began teaching clay classes at Sarratt Art Studios and became director of the program in the spring of 2004. David has a passion for arts education and brings an array of educational experiences to Sarratt Art Studios from his involvement in various nationally known arts programs from the Lincoln Center for the Arts and Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts.
David has exhibited his work locally in various fairs and events including the American Artisan Festival, and artclectic. David is working on a series of sculptural beaded vessels. An avid traveler, David has been site leader for two trips to Sri Lanka for Vanderbilt students. If he was not a visual artist, David is fairly confident he would be involved in culinary arts (who doesn’t love to eat?) and dreams of working in a small pastry shop in Paris, France.
Bridgette Kohnhorst| Assistant Director | email@example.com | 615-322-2471
Since 2002, Bridgette Kohnhorst has advised and curated Great Performances at Vanderbilt (University). In addition, she is advisor to Vanderbilt University Speakers Series including the historic political symposium, IMPACT and was the Director of the Sarratt Art Gallery for ten years. Before joining Vanderbilt, Bridgette was founding Arts Education Director at the Bologna Performing Arts Center in Mississippi where she was a departmental recipient for the Governor’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts for Cultural Leadership. Under her tutelage, the Center received a first recognition from the National Endowment for the Arts.
In 2007, Great Performances at Vanderbilt was named a National Dance Project Hub-Site whereby Kohnhorst served as a policy maker for dance, and development of U.S. production residencies for the New England Foundation for the Arts with lead support from Doris Duke Charitable, and Andrew W. Mellon Foundations. Bridgette has served as a guest presenter to numerous cultural consulates including Canada, The Netherlands, Israel, and Taiwan, and appointed to the U.S. Delegation for the International Tanzmesse in 2010 in Dusseldorf, Germany, funded by U.S. Counsel General Germany, Dance U.S.A., the National Endowment for the Arts, New England Foundation for the Arts, and San Francisco Foundation. She was one of five U.S. curator/producers hosted by Australia’s Performing Arts Market and New Zealand in 2013.
Most recently Bridgette was guest performance curator at the FRIST Center for the Visual Arts of Nashville (www.fristcenter.org) for the mid-career retrospective of Carrie Mae Weems, Three Decades of Photography and Video currently on tour to the Guggenheim, New York spring 2014. She is currently serving on the Professional Development (PD) Committee for Performing Arts Exchange (PAE), September 2013 in Nashville. She is a New York trained dancer and published poet. Educated at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, and New York University. She holds degrees in English and Dance Performance; Bridgette formerly worked at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York.
Cindy Young | Assistant Director, Special Art Initiatives | firstname.lastname@example.org | 615-322-7077
Cindy is a native of Teaneck, New Jersey. She graduated from Montclair State University with a degree in Elementary Education. She has a keen ability and strength to understand the needs and desires of young adults. As a result, she continues to build an impressive service-oriented career in student programming, community outreach and arts development at Vanderbilt for over 16 years.
As Assistant Director for Special Art Initiatives, Cindy works with more than 20 student performing arts groups as the liaison for the University to the Nashville community in arts and service opportunities. She provides mentorship to Vanderbilt’s undergraduate/graduate students and helps them navigates the extracurricular activities that drive scholastic achievement and interpersonal relationships.
In addition to her role as Assistant Director for Special Art Initiatives, she serves as the Artistic and Founding Director for Rhythm & Roots Performance Company on campus. Since its creation in 1994, Cindy has passionately invested in the organization, taking hundreds of students and supporters on a journey of self- exploration and community awareness through dance and drama. Along with the student performers, Cindy crafts original storylines through journaling using mediums such as song, dance, and poetry. The end result is an original theatrical production featuring the students’ talent, time and technique. She is not merely an adviser to the organization, but a mentor introducing today’s youth to meaningful forms of expression, making formidable and lasting relationships with tomorrow’s leaders while maintaining a connection to her artistic interest.
Cindy has taken the group to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to perform at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, as well as performances with world-renowned saxophone players, Kirk Whalum and David Sanborn.
From her years as a core dancer with the Teaneck Terpsichoreans, she knew she wanted to combine her love of the arts with the education of students and those in the community. The dance group traveled all over the country, performing at venues such as Rutgers University, Farleigh Dickinson University, University of Connecticut, Boston College, North Carolina A&T and even the world-renowned Cotton Club and Apollo Theater in New York City. Cindy’s early experiences and exposure from performing with this group were priceless and the reason why Rhythm & Roots was created.
Cindy is passionate about the performing arts and community action, using both to develop Vanderbilt’s students into the next generation of engaging community leaders. It is through her skill and guidance that Vanderbilt students understand the power of positive investment and community engagement.
Hannah Bolton | ACE Graduate Assistant, CCRF Coordinator | email@example.com
Maryann Augustine Rainey | ACE Graduate Assistant, CCRF Coordinator | firstname.lastname@example.org
Maryann is a first year master’s student at Peabody specializing in Higher Education Administration and Student Affairs. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Strategic Communication from The Ohio State University in 2009, and worked as a proposal writer for Nationwide Insurance, and Huntington National Bank in Columbus. She got married in July 2012, and moved to Nashville with her husband, Rian. She enjoys traveling, cooking, photography and great conversations.