Zakiya Atkinson is an arts administrator, educator, and interdisciplinary artist committed to fostering artistic exploration and social change, through education, performance, and community engagement. She is the Artistic Director of Zaman Dance Theatre Collective and the Fine & Performing Arts Supervisor for Cranford Public Schools. Prior to her appointment with Cranford Public Schools Atkinson was the dance program director for the Memorial High School Performing Arts Academy, where she taught for ten years.
Atkinson has served on the faculties at New York University, William Paterson University, and Bronx Community College. An advocate for dance, she founded the Essex County MetroWest Dance Festival and Modern Renaissance X, performance events merging student and professional dance artists throughout New Jersey. Atkinson employs the arts in community spaces as a tool for reflection, response, and transformation and has facilitated outreach in South Africa, Uganda, and locally. She has been the recipient of an NEA Learning & Leadership grant and fellowships with Body Politic Laboratory at Gibney (NYC), Bates Dance Festival, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Atkinson earned a B.A. in Communications and Theatre from Temple University, an M.A. in Dance Education from NYU Steinhardt, and a Certificate in Holocaust & Genocide Education from Saint Elizabeth University. She is a member of Dance New Jersey, the National Dance Education Organization and continues to present her in-practice research at arts, education, and social justice conferences. Atkinson is pursuing the Interdisciplinary specialization as a doctoral student with the Ed.D. Dance Education Program at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research interests include dance as a conduit to social justice education, transdisciplinary learning, and sociocultural theories in education.
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