Our Board

HANNAH DENNISON, Director and Founder, Participating Artist

Hannah Dennison has been creating and teaching contemporary dance in Vermont for over 35 years.

My body knows, if I can just pay attention, open my senses, and let go of habits.  All aspects of the work of creating and presenting offer just what I need to live fully and connect with others. www.hannahdennison.org

LIDA WINFIELD, President, Participating Artist

Image: Harold Roth

Lida Winfield is an innovative and accomplished dancer, choreographer, spoken word artist and educator. She creates original solo, duet and group work, merging storytelling, dance and visual art. She considers her artistic practice inextricably linked to her role as an educator and is dedicated to using the performing arts to move herself and others forward intellectually, developmentally, socially and spiritually. Lida has taught and performed in a variety of places, including Roger Williams University, Habla: The Center for Language and Culture in Mexico, National Dance Association Conference, Skidmore College and the Bates Dance Festival. In 2011, she toured original duet work with Ellen Smith Ahern and intermedia dance company Double Vision across Europe. Lida studied at The School for New Dance Development in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and in 2011 earned a Masters of Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College, VT, with a focus on the transformative power of the expressive arts. In 2016, she was honored with the Rebecca Blunk Fund Award though New England Foundation for the Arts, and in 2017, she received a National Performance Network Creation and Development grant for her new work IMAGINARY with commissioning partners The Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, Jacob’s Pillow, Middlebury Performing Arts Series, and The Yard. Lida is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Dance Program at Middlebury College. www.lidawinfield.com/

SELENE COLBURN, Vice President, Participating Artist

Image: Daisy Benson

Selene Colburn is an Associate Library Professor at the University of Vermont, with a secondary appointment in the Department of Music and Dance. Her original performances have appeared at venues such as the International Festival of Arts and Ideas, the Bay Area Dance Series, Movement Research at Judson Church, the Cultivate Festival, the Scope Art Fair, the Firehouse Gallery, the Phantom Theater, and the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts. She is a member of Dance Tramp, a collective of Vermont-based, experimental dance artists. Her work focuses on the intersection of research and performance. She also serves as a Representative of Burlington’s Chittenden 6-4 District in the Vermont House.


Emily brings to the board more than 20 years experience managing non-profit organizations and a love for and appreciation of the creative process. Having lived in England growing up on Shakespeare productions in Stratford-on-Avon, alternative musical and street performance while in Grenoble, France, and acting in theater performances while living in Sacramento, CA, she is now delighted to be enjoying the talents of Vermont’s rich cadre of native artists and supporting the creation of original works with her participation in Cradle to Grave Arts. When not enjoying artistic performances Emily is a nonprofit consultant, and has served in environmental leadership roles in Vermont for nearly two decades..

ELLEN SMITH AHERN, Secretary, Participating Artist

Image: Christopher Ahern

Ellen Smith Ahern grew up dancing in Illinois and came east to study at Middlebury College. Since then, she has worked with many artists, including Jane Comfort & Company, Lida Winfield, Kate Elias, Tiffany Rhynard, Polly Motley, David Appel and El Circo Contemporaneo. Thanks to a wide array of supporters and collaborators, Ellen has had the opportunity to dance throughout the world.  Based now in Connecticut, she studies community organizing through social work and continues to create, teach and perform as an independent artist. ellensmithahern.com/