Courtney J. Boddie Honored in Crain’s Notable Black Leaders List

Courtney J. Boddie
Courtney J. Boddie

Crain’s New York Business names Courtney J. Boddie, New 42 Vice President, Education & School Engagement, a 2021 Notable Black Leader and Executive for her creative solutions in bringing performing arts to New York City’s underserved communities, and for strengthening schools through New Victory Education programs. Guided by a globally-minded, liberatory approach to arts and culture education, Boddie oversees New Victory School Partnerships, which annually impacts 40,000 school kids and 500 NYC teachers with free arts education in the classroom and low cost access to live performing arts.

“I’m so proud to be included among such a powerful and diverse representation of Black excellence,” says Courtney J. Boddie, New 42 Vice President, Education & School Engagement. “I hope that kids across the city view the creative arts as for them, and that I am a part of opening up more spaces for them to work and lead in the arts and culture field.”

This year, when the City cut education funding and its arts allocation from $21 to $3.5 million, Boddie led the way to make New Victory Education programs completely free for NYC Department of Education public schools and charter schools, helping to fill the gap in arts education and support children’s social-emotional development amidst the pandemic.

“Courtney’s leadership pushes us to deepen our ongoing accessibility and inclusion efforts so that more kids from more communities can participate and engage with the performing arts in meaningful ways,” says Russell Granet, President & CEO of New 42. Internally at the nonprofit, Boddie co-founded the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force in 2017, building the foundation for New 42’s ongoing anti-oppression work, and created opportunities for her staff and ensemble of Teaching Artists to train in radical healing and trauma-informed practices, strategies for students with disabilities, and antiracist and liberatory education.

During Boddie’s tenure, New Victory has garnered accolades from Americans for the Arts and the Drama Desk for its multitude of education programs, including New Victory Dance, a summer program that provides free dance performances and arts education to NYC summer schools; New Victory SPARK, a multi-year education residency for schools with no arts teachers or programs; and GIVE, a partnership program that provides strategies and tools for educators to facilitate equitable engagement in inclusion classrooms for students with disabilities. New Victory is also the official theater partner for Pre-K Create, the NYC Department of Education’s arts-based professional development track for the City’s 3K and Pre-K expansion, the largest in the nation.

The 2019 recipient of the national TYA Community Impact Award, Boddie is additionally recognized for professionalizing the role of the Teaching Artist and her research on the intrinsic impact of the performing arts on youth. She is the creator and host of Teaching Artistry with Courtney J. Boddie, a podcast with an international listenership of arts and community organizers from more than 50 countries around the world. Recent speaking engagements include keynotes at National Endowment for the Arts, Kennedy Center, International Teaching Artists Conference and at national conferences by American Alliance for Theatre and Education, Theatre for Young Audiences USA, National Guild for Community Arts Education and Houston Arts Partners.

The Crain’s list celebrates individuals who have affected New York City in major ways through their professional, civic and philanthropic achievements, particularly in matters of diversity and inclusion. The publication’s honoree program garners nominations from across the spectrum of companies in the New York metropolitan area. Honorees are selected by Crain’s editors based on a combination of professional achievements, community service, a history of mentoring others, and promotion of workplace diversity and inclusion.