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Bennett Rink named new executive director of Alvin Ailey

10/19/2012, 12:46 p.m.

From his first days with Ailey, Rink has worked with Luckman, who began her tenure in 1992 as director of development and in 1995 was named executive director. Over the course of two decades, she has strategized and overseen the dramatic growth and success of the entire Ailey organization: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Ailey II, the Ailey School, the Ailey Extension and the Arts in Education program, as well as the creation of the organization's state-of-the-art home and studio building, the Joan Weill Center for Dance, which opened in 2005. Luckman has established one of the most remarkable records in American arts management for program development, marketing, promotion and branding, fundraising, financial stability and overall excellence.

Rink's appointment is the most recent in a series of leadership transitions in which people within the Ailey family have taken over for legendary, long-time figures. In 2010, Tracy Inman and Melanie Person succeeded the late Denise Jefferson as co-directors of the Ailey School. In 2011, Battle succeeded Judith Jamison as the new artistic director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. And in 2012, Troy Powell succeeded Sylvia Waters as the new artistic director of Ailey II.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will pay tribute to Luckman with a special performance on Tuesday, Dec. 4, as part of the company's 2012 season at New York City Center from Nov. 28 through Dec. 30.

Seen by an estimated 23,000,000 fans in 48 states and 71 countries on six continents, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater has been recognized by a U.S. congressional resolution as a vital American "Cultural Ambassador to the World" and as a trailblazing leader in concert dance. The Ailey organization received National Medal of Arts awards in 2002.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater debuted its December 2011 season--Battle's first as artistic director--at the newly restored and renovated New York City Center, where Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater was named principal dance company in November 2011. From February through May, the company will be performing on a 20-city North American tour.