Who is CLARK CENTER NYC?
Clark Center NYC is dedicated and was formed to preserve and continue the legacy of Clark Center for the Performing Arts [Clark Center] (1959-1989), an organization in New York City that provided a rich resource for dancers, choreographers, students and others. Clark Center NYC archives and honors the past, champions the present, and builds for the future.
Clark Center NYC currently sponsors events and programs related to the celebration of the history and continuance of the goals of Center for the Performing Arts.
Board of Directors CLARK CENTER NYC
Jill Williams, President
Ramona Candy, Vice President
Sheila Rohan, Recording Secretary
Joan Chanin, Treasurer
Former Board Members
Sandra L. Burton
Jill Williams was affiliated with Clark Center for the Performing Arts for over 15 years; first as a student and then as a member of the esteemed faculty. She studied with Thelma Hill, James Truitte, Charles Moore, Pepsi Bethel, Lenore Latimer and Bertram Ross. She was also trained by and worked with Kathy Stanford Grant in Pilates. For the past two years, she has been immersed in extensive research at the NYPL and conducting oral histories for the project, Celebrate Clark Center. Jill worked as both a dance teacher and technology specialist for the NYC Department of Education and was the Director of Technology Programs for Teachers Network, designed to improve student learning by helping teachers to develop and integrate technology into classrooms. She has a Masters of Arts in Dance Education from Columbia University Teachers College
Ramona Candy was a founding member of Dances and Drums of Africa, later known as the Charles Moore Dance Theater for over 20 years, studied at Clark Center and occasionally taught Mr. Moore’s Dunham classes. She continues to involve herself in her community by facilitating art workshops, curating art events and is currently a SuCasa resident at a neighborhood senior center. She curates and presents art exhibitions, music presentations and other events at St. Joseph’s University where she serves as the Director of the Council for the Arts. She is an exhibiting visual artist who incorporates movement and Sankofa into her works on canvas and paper. She calls herself a “choreographer on canvas” and “motivational artist” and has won honors for excellence in art and community work. She was the featured visual artist for Brooklyn Academy of Music’s DanceAfrica 2010 and for The International African Arts Festival in 2006. She exhibits her work in venues throughout New York City, is in numerous private collections as well as several public and corporate collections including the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, Dunne Development Corporation, and her work is on exhibit, as part of the US Department of State’s Arts in Embassies program, at the US Embassy in Timor-Leste. Ramona works out of her studio in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. (linktr.ee/ramonacandy)
Sheila Rohan, dancer, teacher, administrator. Sheila was an original ballerina with the Dance Theatre of Harlem, under the direction of Arthur Mitchell and Karel Shook. She toured extensively throughout the United States, Caribbean and Europe. She was a student at Clark Center for the Performing Arts and performed there with several new and known choreographers and dance companies. Upon leaving DTH, Sheila performed with the Louis Johnson Ensemble, Soloist and Ballet Mistress of Nanette Bearden Contemporary Dance Theatre,
Eleo Pomare Dance Company, Rod Rodgers Dance Company, to name a few. She taught master classes in Tokyo and toured northern China with the Myong Sook Dance Company. She performed at the Metropolitan Opera in “Porgy and Bess”, choreographer, Carmen DeLavallade, and danced the part of Rosa Parks in Gordon Park’s “Martin: a ballet”, a film made for television. She was Adjunct Professor of Dance at the College of Staten Island and taught ballet at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater School, in both Children and Adult Divisions. Upon retiring from dance, Sheila organized children dance/theater programs for the Universal Temple of the Arts and United Activities Unlimited on Staten Island. Sheila is on the Board of Directors of the Romare Bearden Foundation and a founding member of the 152nd St Black Ballet Legacy.
Joan Chanin was at Clark Center for 13 years in production of concerts, coordinating New Choreographers auditions, and administration of the school. She also produced concerts for StackMotion Productions’ artists, Urban Bush Women, and Kei Takei’s Moving Earth. As part of the “Clark Center Record” she and Louise Roberts prepared the Clark Center archives for the Library of Performing Arts at Lincoln Center. Joan also was the production office coordinator for “Thunder Born”, an independent film and an associate producer for Joseph E. Levine Presents, a film production company.
Rita Littrean MST, CPA, CGMA: A student at Clark Center from 1977 where she was drawn to the teachings of Pepsi Bethel, Charles (Cookie) Cook, Eleanor Harris, Loremil Machado, Lucinda Ransom and Charles & Ella Moore. She was a former dancer with Charles Moore Dances and Drums of Africa (a/k/a Charles Moore Dance Theatre), Malaki Ma Congo Dance Ensemble and currently performs with Mojazz Dance. She began her dance studies at New Dance Group Studios in the late 1960s where she was exposed to a diversity of dance techniques taught by Jean Leon Destine, Jill Albert-Williams, Lenore Latimer, Polli Rodgers, and Anna Sokolow to name a few. As New Dance Group began to phase out around 1970, she migrated her dance education to the Ailey School and Graham School where for many years, on a part time basis, she expanded her dance knowledge of Graham and Horton techniques and got the privilege to experience the teachings of Ms. Graham, Mr. Ailey, Ms. Jamison, and other members of the then Ailey Dance Company. along with the many summer workshop series around NYC taught by other luminary instructors such as Talley Beatty, Mary Anthony, and Daniel Maloney. She has performed at Jacobs Pillow, Dance Africa, Black Dance in America, NYS University Touring program, Women’s Press Collective and ModArts Dance Collective Thread to name a few. Rita also has over 31 years’ experience within financial services, real estate, government, and insurance industries.
Marie Rosenberg started dance training at Ballet Hispanico where she became a member of their second company under the direction of Tina Ramirez, and also studied with renowned Dunham teacher Pearl Reynolds. Another Dunham teacher, Charles Moore, invited her to join his company, Charles Moore Dance Theatre, and she performed with them for over 10 years. During this time she was fortunate to be a student at Clark Center for the Performing Arts where her dance training was expanded across many genres and with many notable teachers. Marie worked for many years as a computer systems analyst and program manager and is currently a proud member of MoJazz Dance.
John Claassen has worked in many fields including dance, theater, music, and design. He is Founding Director of fusionworks, a collaborative/interactive roster of artists and projects which includes the dance/theater project From the Horse’s Mouth of which he is also Managing Director. He has previously been Tour Director/General Manager of the Limon Dance Company and Booking Director with Sheldon Soffer Management and later Pentacle Dance Works, Inc. in New York. He attended the School of Visual Arts, received a BFA from the Manhattan School of Music and an MFA in set and costume design from Brooklyn College.