An artist, educator and community builder, Jess Muise joined The Umbrella team as the Visual Arts Manager in 2018. She has a BA with honors from New York University in Dance in Education as Transformative Pedagogy and a graduate certificate in dance education from the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa. She is currently a member of the Boston Community Leaders Cohort, a fellowship of 20 leaders who span the secular-sacred divide, and whose communities bring people into soulful, transformative relationships at a time of crisis-level isolation. As a community builder, she recently served as Member Services and Outreach Manager for Artisan’s Asylum, a 40,000 square foot community design and fabrication center helping people make what they imagine from 2013-2017. She has also led capacity building projects for community organizations OnStage Dance Company, Green Street Studios and most recently worked for the Dance For World Community Festival on developing survey tools for the Boston Dance Community Network Project.
For over ten years as an educator, she has used the arts as a tool for transformation for various community based organizations and schools including KZNArts Link, Flatfoot Dance Development Projects, Buckingham Browne & Nichols, Newton Community Education, Collective Motion Arts and Boston's Moving Target. An artist, she is currently working in metals out of the Artisan's Asylum's jewelry and metal shops. Her dance company Intimations Dance was presented by the Boston Contemporary Dance Festival, First Night Boston, National Choreography Month, Cambridge River Festival, Dance for World Community, Somerville’s ArtBeat, 24Hour Choreofest, Art City Cambridge, and the Southern Vermont Dance Festival. She also served on the Artists Committee for National Choreography Month (NACHMO) as the National Production Coordinator and produced over 25 community events and performances as the NACHMO Boston producer from 2012-2017.