Dacquiri Baptiste is Vice President & COO for the Orpheum Theatre in Memphis, TN, a role she assumed in June 2019. She is passionate about using the arts to create access to the world because that is what it did for her. She is responsible for managing all operational aspects of the theater and aligning them with growth and expansion.
Prior to joining the Orpheum, Baptiste worked at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater for 19 years and in various roles with the company, starting as Merchandise Manager in 2000, becoming Company Manager for 10 years and then assuming the role of Director of Production in 2014. Baptiste began her career at Ailey as a student in 1997 when she moved from Los Angeles, CA, to follow the path of becoming a professional dancer. As her professional dance training was coming to a close in 2000, she was offered an opportunity to work with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater; though it wasn’t a performance opportunity, she took the job, sensing it was the best way to develop more extensive knowledge in the performing arts. She had no idea that making that decision would change her life forever.
Baptiste has a wonderful supportive partner, Daven, who is constantly pushing her to reach higher. They share two beautiful children, Denver, age 7, and Duke, age 4. She credits her mother for never making her feel limited and for always encouraging her to put 100% into whatever she feels passionate about. Dance was the vehicle that allowed her to see the world and expand her mind. She wants to take all she has learned and share her experiences with younger artists who don’t realize that tapping into creativity in the mind is their passport to the world. Baptiste challenges herself to learn something new every day and always strives to be encouraging.
Faustina Brooks serves as Director of Finance for the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, GA. She is a proud graduate of Georgia State University’s J. Mack Robinson School of Business with an Executive MBA degree and Bachelor’s degree in Accounting. She has held numerous leadership roles in Accounting & Finance and is an active licensed CPA. Faustina also holds a CGMA (Chartered Global Managerial Accountant) designation. In addition to her recent Executive MBA degree, she also received the following Certifications: Lean Six Sigma - Green Belt, Data Analytics, FinTech and Change Leadership.
Faustina was born in Monrovia, Liberia. The vastness and diversity of music in Africa has significantly influenced her love for music of all kinds. Brooks is a proud mother of two, Danielle and Caleb. She currently serves as Vice President of the Georgia Society of CPAs, Gwinnett Chapter. Faustina has also been blessed to serve as an Adjunct Professor in Accounting and has done several motivational engagements to encourage others in the field of Accounting. In her free time, she loves to cook and bake, event plan, read, travel, volunteer, and listen to live music, especially contemporary jazz.
Achia Floyd is Director of Foundation and Government Partnerships at SPHINX. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Music Performance from the Florida State University, a Master of Music degree in Flute Performance from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and a Master of Arts degree in Arts Administration from Florida State University.
In her professional career, Floyd founded the Terpsichore Winds, served as the executive assistant and private music instructor for Music Lessons Express and served as the assistant director of the Javacya Arts Conservatory after-school program. More recently, Floyd worked as Executive Director of the Tallahassee Youth Orchestras and as Prospect Strategy Analyst/Development Coordinator for the Florida State University Foundation.
Tania Palkhivala is an accomplished, entrepreneurial executive with over 20 years of experience in the nonprofit and corporate sectors. She is currently the Director of Development at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. In her capacity as Director, she plays a critical role in realizing the Dr. Phillips Center’s philanthropy goals and is responsible for fundraising $1.5 million annually. She serves as a senior fundraising strategist, development officer, and administrator to prepare strategic plans with short- and long-range goals to meet the arts center’s objectives. Tania joined the Dr. Phillips Center in 2012 under the Executive Office and transitioned to the Development team in 2016.
Prior to this, Tania was the AVP, Global Corporate Social Responsibility at Bank of America. She earned her Master’s Degree from Rollins College with a concentration in Corporate Communications & Technology.
Marisol Sánchez-Best is Director of Education and Community Engagement for Seattle Theatre Group (STG). She was born in Oaxaca, Mexico. Her work and passion are focused on theatre access initiatives and providing platforms for historically excluded communities.
Prior to STG, she worked at La Jolla Playhouse as the Associate Director of Education. She has worked in the U.S. and México as a theatre educator, actor, and teaching artist trainer. Sánchez-Best received her undergraduate degree from San Diego State University with a double major in Theatre Performance and Spanish and an M.F.A in Performance from the University of Florida. Her biggest pride is elevating and sharing the beauty of her Oaxacan culture.
Jennifer Tsukayama is the Vice President of Arts Education at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC). She leads one of the largest arts education departments in the state that serves nearly 112,000 families and students annually in grades Pre-K-12. Programs include on-campus and in-school performances, residencies, as well as afterschool and summer arts training and professional development for teachers.
Prior to joining NJPAC, Tsukayama was the Director of Strategic Partnerships and the Director of Performing Arts for the Arizona Commission on the Arts (ACA). There she managed the agency’s $2M grant portfolio, provided statewide technical assistance to the grantees, and developed partnerships and programs across government and community sectors. This included the areas of government and public affairs, local arts advancement, and private sector relations. Tsukayama’s successful philanthropic initiatives include Artist Research and Development Grant, Artspace Initiative, Honoring Our Service Members, and Rural Presenters Consortium.
Tsukayama was also an Associate Professor at Arizona State University’s Department of Dance, where she received numerous awards for her research and teaching and chaired the Academic Policy and Standards Committee for the College of Fine Arts. She has been invited to present papers on her creative research at Counseil Internacional de la Dance of the United Nation’s Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Congress on Research in Dance, and National Education Dance Organization.
Tsukayama’s artistic work includes the direction of three dance companies and the creation of over 40 original dance works. Her repertory ranges in projects that integrate dance and technology to site-specific and community works. She is an active member and mentor for the national Women of Color in the Arts. Currently, she serves on the Board of the Newark Trust for Education, Art-ed NJ Steering Committee, and the Leadership Council for Arts Ed-Newark, which is dedicated to advancing arts education in the city of Newark where she also co-chairs its evaluation committee. She was a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Association for Latino Arts and Culture, ArtPlace America, and many state arts councils.