Kim Davis (she/her/hers) has more than 25 years of experience in arts and culture education and administration for nonprofit and municipal organizations. Her training and experience have provided her with the tools to successfully manage innovation while using the philosophies of equity, diversity, inclusion, and access as a guide. Davis’ areas of expertise include arts education and program design, workshop and curriculum development, individual mentorship and group facilitation, project management, and executive leadership. She is passionate about the use of arts as a gateway to communication and the dismantling of systemic racism and injustice in communities.
Prior to joining ACG’s Leadership Transitions team, Davis served as the Senior Director of Education at Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, the largest community arts school in the United States. In this role, she led equity, diversity, inclusion, and access initiatives, including designing and developing its first Equity Advisory Group and the board’s Education & Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Access Committee. She served as staff liaison for a variety of board-led committees, including the COVID-related Reopening Committee, Communications Working Group, and Faculty Wage Taskforce, among others. Davis also designed, developed, and led Old Town School’s Creative Dance Residency program.
“The arts provide a voice—spoken and unspoken—giving life to the stories of the people. These stories connect us throughout the world and provide pathways to understanding, forgiveness, love, and peace.”
“The core of all cultures is artistic expression, which is why arts and culture programming is so vitally important. I believe that by entrenching the values of equity, diversity, inclusion, and access into an arts organization's practices, we can begin to shift the narrative on who determines cultural capital and build thriving spaces for all.”
An experienced presenter, Davis has given lectures and presentations and facilitated discussions at conferences, municipal departments, and universities. She also has experience curating programs for festivals, conferences, artist residencies, and workshop presentations. Davis participated in the New England for the Arts’ National Dance Project - 2016 Regional Dance Development Initiative’s Presenter Showcase. She also served as a task force member of Chicago Dancemakers Forum’s 2017 inaugural Elevate Dance Chicago festival.
Davis is a board member and Art of Rehearsal Coach for Links Hall, which is committed to fostering career growth, mentoring, and presenting Chicago BIPOC artists. Davis holds a bachelor of arts degree from Columbia College of Missouri and a master of science degree from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She also completed post-graduate studies in management from The Pennsylvania State University and training in caucus facilitation through Chicago Regional Organizing for Antiracism. She is currently earning a doctor of education degree in leadership and innovation from Arizona State University’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College. Her research examines the development of organizational equity plans and their contribution to moving towards anti-racist and equitable environments within arts organizations.
Davis' professional and business clients include:
Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre
Chicago Dance History Project
Deeply Rooted Dance Theater
Downers Grove Park District
Folk Alliance International
Homewood-Flossmoor Park District
José Mateo Ballet Theatre
League of Chicago Theaters
Old Town School of Folk Music
Prairie Spirits Dance Troupe
Swallow Hill Music
Valerie Alpert Dance Company
© Liza Voll Photography