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.