The co-founders voluntarily build BAAD! for nine years in collaboration with sculptor Cassandra. All raised income was invested in the festivals, artist commissions, and infrastructure. In 2007, the team decided to transform from a volunteer led organization to a sustainable arts organization. Their first strategic move was to add non-profit, corporate and arts professionals to its working board of "friends and volunteers" and raise salaries for Charles and Arthur.
Cassandra remained an active volunteer contributor to the organization until the relocation in 2013. Her brilliant sculpture which echoes Charles and Arthur dancing in one of Arthur's choreographed pieces is featured in the theater lobby.
Arthur Aviles, co-founder and Artist Director, was born in Queens and raised in Long Island and the South Bronx. He received his B.A. in dance and theater from Bard College, and became a member of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, and toured internationally with the company for eight years. He has received many awards and was recently bestowed an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from his alma mater, Bard College.
Charles Rice-Gonzalez, co-founder and Executive Director, is a writer and long-time community and LGBT activist. He ran Rice-Gonzalez Public Relations for over 15 years and received an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Goddard College and his debut novel, Chulito, received awards and recognitions from American Library Association and the National Book Critics Circle. He serves as the chair of the board for The Bronx Council on the Arts and NALAC - The National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures.
Marion Dienstag, Board Chair, joined the board in 2010, after resigning from Dance Theater Workshop to become a fundraising consultant.
The enhanced board rapidly developed its fundraising responsibilities and, since 2009, has hosted an annual Gala, increased board giving and the annual appeal and connected new foundations and donors. The two co-founders and two original board members - Reggie Bullock, Legal Counsel for North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, Inc. and Elizabeth Marrero, Performer - provide continuity and connection to the community. The other four board positions are comprised of women, people of color, and/or LGBTQ professionals.