Mark DeGarmo’s Dance for Dance Annual Gala, “The Dance Party of the Year!,” goes Virtual: Company’s Virtual Dance for Dance 2020 Event to be Broadcast on Facebook and Youtube on Thursday, April 30th, 2020 from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM Eastern (U.S.) Time.


Thursday, April 30th, 2020 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM Eastern (U.S.) Time

6:30PM – Video Broadcast on Facebook & YouTube

6:50 PM – Shout Out Auction on Facebook

7:00 PM –  Dance Party on Zoom!


Mark DeGarmo Dance Facebook Page:

For Registration and Silent Auction: or Text d4d2020 to 76278

To Donate: Online at, Text d4d2020 to 76278, Venmo: Mark-DeGarmo-2, Paypal:


Mark DeGarmo Dance pivots its annual community celebration and fundraiser, Dance for Dance 2020, into a virtual broadcast to connect with its local, national, and international audiences on Thursday, April 30th from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM Eastern (U.S.) Time on Facebook and Youtube. At 7:00PM, MDD will host a dance party on Zoom to close out the evening with live dancing worldwide hosted by DJ Steve. DJ Steve is a professional DJ and event MC with Make a Mark Events in the Boston area.


Those wishing to attend the virtual event and participate in the online silent auction can register by texting d4d2020 to 76278 or visiting


Dance for Dance is Mark DeGarmo Dance’s annual community celebration which raises awareness and funds needed to support MDD’s mission and programs. Each year, it brings together Mark DeGarmo Dance’s students, supporters, guests, teachers, the Board of Directors, and community members from across New York City and beyond, to celebrate and support MDD’s programs. This year, MDD  expands the event’s reach by using an online platform, eliminating the need for guests to be physically present or to live in or close to New York City in order to participate in our community gathering.


“We’re excited to offer a moment of safe connection and fun during this unpredictable time- for our communities in NYC, across all artistic disciplines, and throughout our national and international networks,” says Mark DeGarmo, Founder, Executive and Artistic Director. 


This year’s virtual event will include a DJ, highlights from MDD’s in-school and adult professional performance programs, and an online silent auction, all of which are accessible to anyone with an internet connection. 100% of all donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. By eliminating overhead costs associated with holding an in-person event, MDD is able to direct 100% of the event’s contributions directly to its educational and artistic programming.


MDD’s Dance Education Program, Partnerships in Literacy through Dance and Creativity©, was heralded as “a national model” by the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2019-20, MDD is partnering with 5 public Title I elementary schools in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens combining dance; creativity and creative process; and journal writing. MDD’s transcultural transdisciplinary Performance Programs include its compelling Las Fridas’ 60-minute duet about the life, traumas, loves, and astonishing body of paintings of Mexican revolutionary Frida Kahlo; and its innovative Salon Performance Series (SPS) which is a presentation of curated works-in-progress with a facilitated audience response. SPS provides opportunities to diverse artists, including artists of color working in dance and other performing art forms underrepresented in traditional and commercial performing, museum, and performance art venues. In 2019-20, MDD will host a total of 60 NYC, national, and international artists of all ages and across all stages of career development.


At Dance for Dance, MDD also honors artists and scholars of national and international stature who made a significant difference through the arts in the lives of others. Last year, MDD awarded its inaugural “Arts Education Advocate” Award to Nia Imani Franklin, Miss America 2019. Previously, MDD awarded its “Educational Visionary” Lifetime Achievement Award to international dance advocate Patricia Aulestia (2017); dance writer Deborah Jowitt (2016); classical ballet dancers and teachers Oleg Briansky and  Mireille Brianne (2015); actress, director, and co-founder The Living Theatre Judith Malina (2014); and educational philosopher and social activist Maxine Greene (2013).

About Mark DeGarmo Dance

Founded in 1987, Mark DeGarmo Dance is a nonprofit organization that educates New York City communities and children; creates, performs, and disseminates original artistic work; and builds intercultural community through dance arts. MDD has received over 300 grants from public and private funders and was the subject of a coveted cover feature article by Dance Teacher Magazine in June 2017. Since its beginnings, MDD has committed its resources to serving social justice, equity and equality issues across multiple fronts through dance arts in New York City, the U.S. and internationally.

About Mark DeGarmo

A graduate with a B.F.A. of the Juilliard School Dance Division and Union Institute & University’s Ph.D. program, DeGarmo has created, performed, and produced over 100 dance-theater works and led his company on 30 international tours to 13 countries. His work has been recognized with performing arts awards and honors from the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program, the U.S. Department of State, and The White House. He developed MDD’s New York City-based elementary school education program based on transcultural transdisciplinary scholarship. His transcultural transdisciplinary commitment includes writing “Transdisciplinary Performative Improvisation” for the University of Colima Mexico’s textbook Teaching Choreographic Composition from a Transdisciplinary Focus (2020 Spanish publication pending). Dance Director of Tlacopac International Artist Residency Mexico City, he is also an artist-scholar of Creative Agency Australia. His early experience as a family-stay high school exchange student in Arcachon, France sparked his commitment to transcultural diplomacy. His creation and performance in Las Fridas: A Movement Installation and Offering about the pathos, life, loves, struggles, and art work of Mexican painter and revolutionary Frida Kahlo has been called by New York audiences in November 2019: “Genius,” “Wonderfully in your face,” and “Frightening… in a way great art always should be.” Melanie Brown of deemed DeGarmo “a gladiator in various arenas.”, Follow Mark DeGarmo Dance on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter 

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General Manager

Elena K. Holy is proud to join the 4A movement as General Manager. Her 30+ year arts management career includes NYC’s non-profit Roundabout Theatre Company, commercial Broadway and Off-Broadway at Richard Frankel Productions, and founding and running The Present Theatre Company,  where she co-created the New York International Fringe Festival (FringeNYC). FringeNYC was once the largest multi-arts festival in North America – with an all-volunteer staff of 100 people, 2500+ additional volunteers, and 5000 artists representing 200 companies from all over the world, and producing nearly 1100 performances annually, with many now-famous alumni and productions.

As Producer, Holy was awarded the 1997 New York Magazine Award for her “creativity, vision and enterprise”. In 2006, she was named one of New York Magazine’s “Influentials” because she “turned the Fringe Festival, which she founded in 1996, into Sundance for the theater crowd – a place where anyone with an idea and a tiny budget can get noticed. Urinetown, the 1999 Fringe musical that made it to Broadway and won three Tonys, is the most extreme example, but more than a dozen Fringe shows have gone on to significant Off Broadway runs. Her triumph: retaining the fest’s brilliant lunacy amid commercial success.”

Other achievements include the 2007 Mayor’s Award for Arts & Culture, serving as a Tony Awards Nominator from 2008, and being named an Indie Theater Hall of Fame “Person of the Decade” in 2015. As FringeNYC ended (and the pandemic began) she became Interim Managing Director at SHADOWLAND STAGES in beautiful Ellenville, New York where she and husband Kevin share a home with their two westies, Daisy and JuneBug. She serves as Treasurer for the local Chamber of Commerce and is an active member of her community.

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.

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.

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.