Amanda Newman is a community-engaged dance artist working at the intersection of the arts and social work. After completing her master’s in social work with an emphasis on Community Organizing, Planning and Development at Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College in May 2019, she will continue working with Community-Word Project as Program Assistant. Originally from Utah, Amanda earned her BFA in Modern Dance at the University of Utah, but did her most important learning about dance, education, and organizing while moving and making in museums, summer camps, living rooms, and parking lots. Before coming to New York, Amanda was a resident artist, youth programs facilitator, and communications coordinator at Dance Exchange, an intergenerational, community-engaged dance company in the Washington, D.C., region. There, she managed the culmination of New Hampshire Avenue: This is a Place To…, a multi-year, kaleidoscopic project funded by the NEA and ArtPlace America. Amanda also spent a year as a healthcare innovation fellow with Health for America at MedStar Health, the largest health system in the Maryland/D.C. region—an experience which affirmed her belief in artists as agents of change in all of our biggest, messiest institutions.
This year in TAP, while also in her final year of grad school, Amanda relished the opportunity to be back in her dancing body and in her creative self—all while in a community of incredible peer artists. She did her internship in her Astoria neighborhood at P.S. 85, with Javier Baca and Libby Mislan. Also serving as a social work fellow within the Community-Word Project team, Amanda was able to bring social work thinking and frameworks to both her experience in TAP and her contributions to the organization as a whole.
Most Memorable TAP Moment:
“Spending each Tuesday morning with fourth graders from my neighborhood was a real highlight for me—a way to start the week by embracing the inherent joy, risk, growth, and chaos of making art in community.”
Check out this video of what Amanda means when she talks about “working at the intersection of the arts and social work” and read her Teaching Artist philosophy here.