Americans for the Arts will present the Americans for the Arts Annual Leadership Awards at the 2016 Annual Convention
in Boston on Friday, June 17, 2016 from 12:00 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. These awards recognize the achievements of individuals and organizations committed to enriching their communities through the arts.
Octavia Yearwood, Arts Educator and CEO/Director of Team Ohhh, will receive the American Express Emerging Leaders Award. Given annually since 2006 and sponsored by American Express since 2011, the award recognizes an exceptional new and/or young arts professional for their exemplary leadership, deep engagement with community, and strong commitment to advancing the arts.
Yearwood is a choreographer, dancer, arts education advocate, mentor, and entrepreneur. After developing the Team Ohhh company in New York City, she began teaching dance and got visits from parents and school administrators who were impressed by her students’ positive behavioral improvements. Inspired, she developed a dance enrichment program, the Team Ohhh Playbook, based on teamwork as the root and art as the vehicle for how people treat each other and themselves.
Since relocating to Miami, Yearwood has partnered with University of Miami’s School of Education and Human Development, the Haitian Student Organization, Commissioner Monestine’s office and District 2 College Prep series, BarnYard, URGENT Inc, and more to fulfill her mission of positively impacting as many youth as possible through the arts. A lead facilitator for South Florida Cares Mentoring Movement, she mentors at the Broward County Detention Center and alternative schools in Miami, and is a site coordinator at Williams Park where she started #SuperFriends, a volunteer-based arts and sciences program that has engaged major cultural institutions such as the Institute of Contemporary Art, Perez Art Museum Miami, Greater Miami LINKS, and RUSH Arts Philanthropic.
American Express, Americans for the Arts, and the Emerging Leaders Network will present Yearwood her award. Through its Emerging Leaders Network, Americans for the Arts works to identify and cultivate the next generation of leaders in the arts and arts education. Currently, the Network has more than 7,200 members in all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
Stay tuned for more Leadership Award honoree highlights later this week!