Photo: The Secret Bureau of Art + Design
Jenna Pollack (she/her), MUPP, MA is a community-engaged researcher, dance professional, cultural organizer, urban planner, and educator. She specializes in cultural planning and progressive community economic development, and is committed to the integration of cultural, communal, and civic infrastructure.
Jenna is a Visiting Research Specialist on the Solidarity Economy Research, Policy & Law Project at the Center for Urban Economic Development at University of Illinois Chicago (UIC).
She recently graduated from UIC with her second masters degree in Urban Planning and Policy, where she had a dual-concentration of economic development and community development.
Between 2021 - 2023 she was a graduate research assistant for Dr. Stacey Sutton and for the UIC Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement (IPCE), Community Researcher at Borderless Workshop for their ongoing Creative Grounds project, Researcher at Arts Alliance Illinois on their Illinois Creative Workforce Activation (ICWA) program, and the Summer Studio Manager for the UIC City Design Graduate Program for their community charrette which won the 2022 APA-IL Student Project Award.
From 2017 - 2021 Jenna was an Assistant Professor of Dance at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee and a Visiting Lecturer at Salem State University. She was also an Adjunct for the Boston Ballet Trainees, Northern Essex Community College, and Dean College. She has worked as a dance educator for Lincoln Center Education, The New York City Department of Education, Together in Dance, Chinese Children’s Musical Theater Shenzhen, and the Arusha Arts Initiative in East Africa. From 2013 - 2022 she was on the Staff and U.S. Board of Directors for Springboard Danse Montréal.
In her final years in Boston Jenna was an Arts Envoy to the U.S. Embassy in Colombia in collaboration with the University of Caldas, the Bessie Schonberg resident artist at The Yard on Martha's Vineyard, the Boston Center for the Arts Dancemaker Resident, a featured artist for the ICA Boston's First Friday series, co-editor of a documentary art film with support from the National Parks Service, and a finalist for the Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellowship for Choreography.
Jenna and her creative teams have been commissioned by the Olin College of Engineering, New Movement Collaborative, Hubbard Street Professional Program, and The Reciprocity Collaborative. Individually, she has choreographed for Bridge Repertory Theater, InDance Barcelona, Theater Felina-Areal Mannheim, Urbanity Dance Company, Endicott College, Boston Moving Arts Productions, Brandeis University Theater Department, Salem State University Theater Department, Providence College Dance Department, and in NYC focused on immersive performance with The Center for Innovation in the Arts at Juilliard and Dau al Set Productions. Additionally, she was the Dramaturg and Rehearsal Director for The Davis Sisters' 2018-2019 season.
She has previously performed with Ali Kenner Brodsky & Co., little house dance company, Betsy Miller, Bridge Repertory Theater, Scottish Dance Theatre, The Metropolitan Opera's production of 'Two Boys' choreographed by Hofesh Shechter, American Repertory Theater, Nicole von Arx, Bryan Arias, Equus Projects, and BOP Montréal. Beyond the stage, she is a Principal Dancer in the 2019 feature film 'Little Women' directed by Greta Gerwig, was in a music video for Arcade Fire's Will Butler, featured in Pantone's 'Make it Brilliant' ad campaign, a highlighted Harvard Business School Online alumnus, and guested on the Playbill podcast: The Compass.
Jenna holds a Master of Urban Planning and Policy (MUPP) from University of Illinois Chicago, an Executive Certificate from University of Pennsylvania's School of Social Policy and Practice in Social Impact Strategy, an M.A. with Distinction in Choreography from the Institute of the Arts Barcelona/Liverpool John Moores University, a Certificate with Honors from Harvard Business School Online’s CORe program, and a B.F.A. in Dance Performance from The Juilliard School.