Home of Arthur Aviles Typical Theatre and The Bronx Dance Coalition
The co-founders, Arthur Avilés and Charles Rice-González, voluntarily built BAAD! for nine years in collaboration with sculptor Cassandra. All of the income raised 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 and contributor to shaping the organization in exchange for free studio space at BAAD! until the relocation in 2013. Her brilliant sculpture, "Freedom to Love," which echoes Charles and Arthur dancing in one of Arthur's choreographed pieces, “This Pleasant and Grateful Asylum” is featured in the theater lobby.
Arthur Avilés, 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-González, co-founder and Executive Director, is a writer and long-time community and LGBT activist. He ran Rice-González Public Relations for over 15 years. He 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, NALAC - The National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures, and is on the board of the Macondo Writers’ Conference.
Barbara Berliner, Board Chair, has been a supporter of BAAD! since its early days and joined the board in 2012. Charles and Arthur called BAAD! “The house that Barbara built” because as they were building the space in Hunts Point, Barbara generously underwrote many foundational elements for the theater including the sound system, portable mirrors and the building of the sprung dance floor.
The board, enhanced and expanded in 2007, 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 an original board member - Reggie Bullock, Legal Counsel for North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, Inc. - provide continuity and connection to BAAD! / AATT history. All the board members resonate and represent BAAD!’s mission and is composed of women, people of color, and/or LGBTQ professionals.