About 4A Arts

4A American Alliance of Artists and Audiences (4A Arts) has established a national web platform to increase participation in the arts, humanities, sciences, arts education, and cultural advocacy across America.

Read the press release about our new vision here.

Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.

-- Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Art is how we connect with each other.

We want to become a centralized resource for arts and cultural programming by artists and organizations of all sizes from all disciplines across the country. By showcasing all disciplines, we hope to encourage audiences to discover and explore new types of programming. 

We intend to feature education and advocacy initiatives on the same platform as other arts and cultural events, in order to raise awareness of critical connection among education, advocacy, and arts and cultural programming. As our membership grows, we will work with advocacy organizations to develop strategies to engage our members in their ongoing work, in order to elevate the social, economic, and political perception of arts and culture.

Arts and cultural organizations, presenters, educators, advocates, service organizations, and individual artists – we want to help you achieve your goals by sharing your work and magnifying its value. Post your events, education programs, and advocacy activities on our site for free!

Our Team Members

Gavin Lodge

Executive Director

Whitney S. Christiansen

Director of Research and Operations

Alex Carrillo

Communications and Marketing Coordinator

Special Thanks

Sebastian Scripps

4A Arts is enormously grateful to its founding sponsor, J. Sebastian Scripps, whose support has enabled the development and implementation of this platform. Mr. Scripps is retired from a career in industrial design and engineering. He now spends his time as a board member for several startups in the medical and environmental fields as well as philanthropy with a focus on education. The majority of his time is family-focused.

Board of Directors

Charlie Reinhart, Chair


Director of the American Dance Festival (ADF) since 1968, he was Co-Director with the late Stephanie Reinhart from 1993 to 2002 and Director through 2011. Mr. Reinhart was a member of the Board of Directors of the Theatre Development Fund (TDF) for 41 years and is presently a member of the Board of Directors of ADF. Mr. Reinhart has been the recipient of numerous awards including Dance/USA's Honors for lifetime achievement in dance (1994) and the Arts Presenters’ Award of Merit for Achievement in the Performing Arts (2011). In 1986, the French government awarded Mr. Reinhart with the title of Officier dans l'ordre des Arts et des Lettres for his efforts in introducing French modern dance to the United States. In 2002, he was honored again by the French Government, receiving the title of Commandeur dans l'ordre des Artes et des Lettres. Duke University conferred the honorary degree of Doctor of Fine Arts upon Mr. Reinhart in 2003.

Mr. Reinhart served as Co-Artistic Director for Dance at the Kennedy Center with Stephanie Reinhart from 1996 to 2002 and as Artistic Director from 2002 to 2004. From 1967 to 1978, Mr. Reinhart developed and was the National Coordinator of the National Endowment for the Arts Dance Touring Program. He also developed the dance component of the NEA's Artists-in-Schools Program and served as its National Coordinator from 1970 to 1981. He worked with the Asia Society Performing Arts Program in the early 1960s, and in the early 1970s was a member of its Advisory Committee. In 1974, in addition to directing ADF, he also directed the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival. He served as a military historian in Korea in 1953–54. Mr. Reinhart graduated from Newark Rutgers in 1952 and studied at the graduate school of the University of Copenhagen, Denmark in 1956–57.

Jodee Nimerichter, Treasurer

 

Jodee Nimerichter was appointed ADF Director in January 2012. During her tenure, she has expanded outreach and performance programming, created new collaborative partnerships, produced performances in New York City, and launched the successful $3 million Shall We Dance campaign that allowed the festival to purchase its first year-round studios. Ms. Nimerichter served as the festival's Associate Director from 2003 to 2007 and Co-Director from 2007 to 2011. She also worked for the festival from 1991 to 1999 in numerous capacities, beginning as an intern. In 1997, she joined the production team for ADF’s Emmy Award-winning series, Free to Dance, a three-hour documentary on the African American presence in modern dance for which she was nominated for an Emmy. Prior to returning to ADF, Ms. Nimerichter was a production member of Great Performances: Dance in America at Thirteen/WNET New York, where she co-produced a number of documentaries and television productions. Ms. Nimerichter graduated from New York University (NYU) with a degree in performing arts administration. During college she held internships at ADF, Jacob's Pillow, and Changing Times Tap Dancing Company. Jodee has served on the boards of Arts North Carolina, Mark Dendy Dance & Theatre, and Durham Central Park as well as the advisory board of Emory College Center for Creativity & Arts and is currently the President of the ADF board.

Ariane Malia Reinhart, Secretary

 

Ariane is a native Manhattanite and earned her BFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.  As a New York based actor/singer/dancer she has many stage/film credits with lead roles in independent films including: Inspired (Garden State Film Festival), Mr. Reilly (Manhattan Film Festival) and the upcoming Before I Wake. TV Credits include Diabolical (Discovery ID) & Mysteries of the Castle (Travel Channel).  Theatre credits include Rabbit Hole, The Last Five Years; Sweeney Todd; and the Off-Broadway production Babette’s Feast… Solo work has been created for her by directors as diverse as Martha Clarke (Signature Theatre, etc.), Doug Varone (Manhattan Theatre Club, etc.) and Shen Wei (2008 Beijing Olympic Opening Ceremony Dir/Choreographer). As an arts administrator, she has worked for The Paul Taylor Dance Company (now a member of their Board of Directors), Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, The Joffrey Ballet, Hunter College, personal assistant to Marni Nixon, and as a private event planner. As a performance coach, she believes the entire body informs the voice, presence and self-expression. As such, she is on faculty at The Joffrey Ballet school and has taught at The American Dance Festival, Peridance and privately. Ms. Reinhart lives in Jackson Heights, New York with her husband, Grammy® winning jazz musician, Laurence Hobgood.

Carlos Cuevas, Director

Long-time arts appreciator, political activist, and civil servant, Carlos served as the New York City Clerk and the Deputy Borough President of the Bronx. During his time as the Deputy Borough President of the Bronx, Carlos advocated for the legalization of domestic partnerships. Not only did he fight for the rights of same-sex couples to establish

Dr. James Frazier, Director

Dr. James Frazier is Dean of the Florida State University College of Fine Arts and a tenured Professor in the School of Dance. He comes most immediately from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). During his 18-year career at VCU, Dr. Frazier rose through the ranks from Assistant Professor to full Professor with tenure. He held the positions of Interim Dean (2016-2017) and Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Faculty Affairs (2012-2016, 2017-2018), and Chair of Dance and Choreography (2007-2012). In addition to his work at VCU, for three years (2010-2013), he was Co-Dean of the American Dance Festival(ADF), housed on the campus of Duke University.

 

Frazier serves as a Visiting Evaluator for the dance accrediting body – the National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD) and since 2015 he has served on the board of the celebrated ADF. In the past, he held the elected offices of President and Secretary of the Council of Dance Administrators (CODA, 2008-2012). He was alsoan elected board member of the American College Dance Association (ACDA, 2011-2017), representing the Mid-Atlantic Region. And, he served as Co-chair of the Diversity Task Force of the International Council of Fine Arts Deans (ICFAD, 2009-2016).

 

Dr. Frazier’s past appointments not already mentioned include: Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance History, Florida State University; Associate Artistic Director, Dance Institute of Washington (District of Columbia); and Publicity Coordinator for the Urban Bush Women Summer Dance Institute (1998 and 1999); and adjunct appointments as a dance instructor at Florida A & M University, Florida State University, Temple University and Montgomery College (MD).

 

As a professional dance artists, Frazier performed and toured with Kokuma Dance Theatre Company (England), Dallas Black Dance Theatre (Texas), and was a founding member of Edgeworks Dance Theater (Washington, DC); and he has worked as a guest or creative collaborator with many others, performing nationally,including engagements at Jacob’s Pillow, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The Dance Place, The Publick Playhouse [sic], Philadelphia’s Prince Music Theater, The Joyce (SoHo) and more. His own choreography has been presented at numerous universities, but also at Washington DC’s Kennedy Center(Concert Hall and Millennium Stage), The National Museum and the Carter Barron Amphitheater. He is a past recipient of the Virginia Commission for the Arts Choreographic Fellowship, and in 2009 he was commissioned to create a new ballet for the Richmond Ballet Company.

 

Frazier earned an Ed.D. in Dance from Temple University and both an M.F.A. in Dance and a B.S. in Marketing from Florida State University. In 2006, he was awarded the Alma Hawkins Award for Excellence in Dance Education for emerging leadership in the field by the Council of Dance Administrators. He was made a fellow in the mentoring program of the International Council of Fine Arts Deans (ICFAD) in 2008. Current and recent affiliations include Institutional memberships with the ACDA and the NASD and associate memberships with the ICFAD, the National College Art Association (NCAA) and the College Art Association (CAA).

Paula Lawrence, Director

 

Most recently serving as the Vice President of the Starr Foundation, Paula has served in philanthropy and arts non-profits in New York City for decades. Drawn to international performance festivals, she served as the Director of Performing Arts for the Japan Society and as the Assistant Director for Performing Arts for the Asia Society. She holds a B.A. from Barnard College and a Master’s from Columbia University Teachers College. She lives in New York City with her husband. 

Lawrence Ridley, Ph.D, Director 

Jazz musician and music professor Larry Ridley was taught to play the violin at the age of five, but later became interested in jazz music and learned to play the bass. After attending the Lenox School of Jazz summer program in 1959, Ridley moved to New York City to pursue a career as a professional jazz musician. In the 1960s, Ridley was active in the New York jazz music scene, playing on tours and in studio recordings with a wide range of notable jazz musicians, including Horace Silver, Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, Duke Ellington, and Jackie McLean. In 1971, he was hired as a professor of music at Rutgers University’s Livingston College, where he developed the college’s jazz education program, creating both bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in jazz performance. He also chaired the National Endowment for the Arts’ Jazz Panel, served as the coordinator of the Jazz Artists in Schools program and was the executive director of the African American Jazz Caucus.

Ruby Shang, Director

 

Ms. Shang was Country Director, Asia Director and Advisor at the Clinton Foundation from 2003 to 2015, where she established the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) in Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Vietnam. She first implemented CHAI in China as Country Director and assisted the Chinese Ministry of Health to successfully implement a national Care & Treatment program for HIV/AIDS. In 2008, she assumed responsibility for the Clinton Climate Initiative in China, Japan, Korea, and throughout Southeast Asia, implementing sustainable Energy Efficiency Programs for Building Retrofit and Solid Waste with, as well as Forestry programs with the national Forestry Ministries in Cambodia and Indonesia. 

 

Previously, Ms. Shang performed with The Paul Taylor Dance Company and served as a member of the dance faculties of The Juilliard School, and the NYU Tisch. She was Chair of the Dance Panel for the New York State Council for the Arts, and a member of the Board of Governors for the NY Foundation for the Arts. As a choreographer, Ms. Shang was the recipient of numerous grants and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and a Fulbright Hayes Cultural Award, among others. 

 

Ms. Shang was born in Tokyo, attended the American School in Japan, and graduated from Brown University. She served as a member of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Finance Committee for her 2016 Presidential campaign and as a member of Brown University President’s Leadership Council for 14 years.

executive director

Actor, entrepreneur, political strategist, and father of two, Gavin Lodge comes to 4A Arts with a unique perspective on arts and culture in America. A 20-year veteran of stage and screen, Gavin grew up in suburban Colorado and traversed the country in his work with political campaigns at the senate and presidential levels as well as touring for shows.

After studying international affairs and philosophy at the University of Colorado, he worked as a field organizer in the Iowa Caucus followed by the role of “body guy” to then-candidate Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington State. Politics empowered him to move to New York City to pursue a performing career. Ultimately, he performed in multiple Broadway shows (including 42nd Street, Spamalot, and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert) as well as regional theater, national tours and several network television appearances.

Though he was thrilled every time he stepped onto a theatrical or sound stage, Gavin was equally happy to take on leadership roles in his local union and later his kids’ PTA.  

With the Covid-19 pandemic, Gavin jumped back into the political realm, working as a strategist for Bryson Gillette, a minority-owned PR firm focused on politics and public affairs. He also volunteered for Be an #ArtsHero, an arts advocacy movement blossoming during the first few months of the pandemic. During his time with Be an #ArtsHero, he was part of a team that successfully lobbied for a first-of-its-kind hearing on the creative economy in front of the House of Representatives Small Business Committee.

Gavin lives in rural Connecticut with his partner (a composer and orchestral conductor), his TikTok-dancing daughter (who is musically gifted in unparalleled ways) and his soccer-playing son who recently told him “Dad? I’m just not into concerts and theater stuff.” As he told his son, Gavin believes there is much more to American arts and culture than “concerts and theater stuff.” From the video games his son loves to play to low-rider paint jobs to streaming television series while sitting on the couch, Gavin sees American arts and culture as an inclusive, “big tent” spectrum where everyone is an artist and everyone is a member of an audience.

Director of Research and Operations

Whitney S. Christiansen is a native Kentuckian with an interdisciplinary background in arts, education, and advocacy. She spent nearly a decade teaching secondary English and drama in public schools, receiving a master’s in Interdisciplinary Humanities from the University of Louisville in 2017, where she received that year’s Grady Nutt Award for the year’s most creative directed study project, “Summoned,” an interdisciplinary practicum that combined research on medieval morality plays and Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus with contemporary concepts of costume and set design. From 2009-2015 she was a cast member and later director for the Kentucky Highland Renaissance Festival, where she inaugurated and directed the festival’s teen cast, who developed two stage shows in the commedia dell’arte tradition. 

Leaving the classroom in 2019, Whitney received her second master’s degree from Colorado State University in Arts Leadership and Cultural Management, where she began working with Be An #ArtsHero, a grassroots campaign dedicated to bringing COVID relief to Arts Workers (now Arts Workers United.) She was the researcher on staff for AWU’s lobbying team for the U.S. House Small Business Committee’s January 2022 hearing on the creative economy, and for Ovation TV’s The Green Room with Nadia Brown, an educational comedy show about the creative economy that launched in March of 2022. Formerly the general manager of the Center for Music Ecosystems, Whitney heads up 4A Arts’ new research initiative alongside her work managing central operations.

Communications and Marketing Coordinator

Working as the Communications and Marketing Coordinator of 4A Arts fulfills Alex Carrillo’s dream to bring his knowledge of the entertainment industry to the broader arts and culture world. Born in Oakland, CA and raised in the Tri-Cities of Washington state, Alex envisaged himself exiting generational poverty and eventually working in the music industry.

After high school, without scholarships, funding, or other support to help him reach his goals, he enlisted in the U.S. military in 2013, joining the Army Infantry. Alex received his basic training in Fort Benning, Georgia before being stationed in Fort Drum, New York, where he proudly became a member of 4-31 Charlie Company, the Mountain Division (the world’s best kept secret). In 2015, Alex was deployed to Afghanistan in a classified combat war zone through early  2016. 

After his time in the service, Alex returned home to seek his college degree. He enrolled at The Los Angeles Recording School, a division of the Los AngelesFilm School, where he received his associate’s degree in Music Production and bachelor’s  in Entertainment Business. 

While still studying at the L.A. Recording School,  Alex landed a publishing deal with Position Music, earning his music a place in the Netflix movie Moxie and in the video game NBA2k22 with his album Locked In. 

After receiving his Bachelor’s degree, Alex began working on the business side of the industry, managing artists, performing social and digital marketing, and distribution, among other duties. Alex joined 4A Arts in the summer of 2022, bringing those talents to the nonprofit world.