Since 1979 Joanna has been creating work that uses natural, architectural and cultural environments as points of departure for movement exploration and narrative. Her stages have included grain terminals, a clock tower, the pope’s palace, military forts, and a mile of urban neighborhood streets in the South Bronx. Her work has been commissioned by many arts institutions, including Dancing in the Streets, Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, Walker Arts Center, the Exploratorium Museum, the National Black Arts Festival, and Festival d'Avignon. She has also been honored with the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Cal/Alpert Award in Dance, the US Artist Fellowship, and a New York Bessie Award. Most recently, Haigood was a recipient of the esteemed Doris Duke Performing Artist Award. Joanna has had the privilege to mentor many extraordinary young artists internationally at the National École des Arts du Cirque in France, the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in England, Spelman College, the Institute for Diversity in the Arts at Stanford University, the San Francisco Circus Center and at Zaccho Studio.
Eric Wallner is an unwavering advocate for the catalytic power of artists and the arts to grow healthy, engaged communities. For over 25 years, Eric has held leadership roles in community-based organizations and local arts agencies (such as LEAP, Painted Bride Art Center, Queens Council on the Arts, City of Ventura Cultural Affairs) as well as in institutions working at the state and national levels (Ohio Alliance for Arts Education, OPERA America, Urban Institute). He holds a B.A. from Brown University in Art/Semiotics, a M.A. in Arts Policy and Administration from the Ohio State University and has taught in the Arts Management program at George Mason University. While at the Urban Institute, he spent three years as a lead researcher on Investing in Creativity: A Study of the Support Structure for U.S. Artists and was a co-project manager for the design and construction of NYFA Source, the largest comprehensive database of artists resources. As a consultant, he has worked with the Creative Capital Foundation, co-wrote the City of Santa Monica’s Cultural Plan, was a Senior Research Associate on Live from Your Neighborhood: A National Study of Outdoor Arts Festivals for the National Endowment for the Arts and served on numerous grant panels. Most recently, he worked as the Chief Executive Officer for the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria, VA.
Charline Formenty practically grew up on stage. Originally from Paris, France, she caught the theater bug very early in life: she began performing at the age of 3 and has not stopped since. Charline’s stories are cut-and-paste montages assembled from art history and literature, observations of daily life and politics, and the vivid imagery and mythos of her dreams. Drawing on her lifetime of experience, she founded her first company, Les Petites Portes, in 2000. She was the artistic director, writer and producer of the company, created 10 shows and a short movie over a period of 8 years. After graduating from university Paris III and IESA Paris (2008) with a double degree in Art History and Production Management, she worked for DCA - Philippe Decouflé and Le Cirque du Soleil. In 2009 she moved to San Francisco, started freelancing as a designer/photographer for companies like Theatre of Yugen, Cirque Noir, etc., founded her company Carte Blanche and created Ophelia at Fort Mason Center, le Garage and NOHspace (2013) and Femme Fatale at NOHspace, Ashby Stage and San Francisco International Arts Festival 2015. She currently works for SFJAZZ as a house manager, teaches dance-theater at the Lycée Français de San Francisco and is the Marketing Coordinator for Zaccho Dance Theatre.
Youth Performing Arts Program Manager & ZYC Production Manager
For more than 35 years Lizzy Spicuzza has been involved in the arts in San Francisco. First as a performer and them as a production manager, stage manager, lighting designer, producer, teacher and technical consultant. For the past 25 years Lizzy has worked with Zaccho Dance Theatre in many different capacities. Lizzy is also a long time member of Project Artaud and served on the Board of Directors for Theater Artaud Inc. for 18 years.
As the former Program Coordinator at Presidio Graduate School and holding internship positions at various student resource centers at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Jose comes to Zaccho with over 5 years of administrative experience in higher education and 3 years of event coordination.
While studying at UCSC, Jose developed a love for EcoUrbanism, Architecture, Social Justice, Youth Advocacy, and Dance - All themes that directly inform their work as an administrator and artist.
Jose aims to uplift and shape new narratives for Queer, Trans, and communities of color through whatever means necessary. Whether that means providing administrative support for arts organizations, creating performance pieces that reflect their lived experience, or simply lending an ear to those who need to be heard, Jose is here to help.
Jose joined the Zaccho team in August 2015 and is excited to continue to support an organization dedicated to serving the Bay View/Hunter's Point neighborhood and integrating art into the lives of all who choose to step into our doors.
Studio Manager CDAA Program Manager
Sonya Smith is the first to complete the Aerial Track of the MFA in Dance from the University of Colorado Boulder. A scientific artist, Smith has accumulated somatic information from Alexander Technique, Kinesiology, and athletic training as well as a certificate in Pilates and a Gyrokinesis Apprenticeship. Smith’s curiosity about the body and effective training methods for aerial and ground-based dancing is insatiable. Performing in San Francisco and producing work in multiple cities, she combines a passion for highly physical dancing and a quirky theatricality both on the ground and in the air, weaving together Contact Improvisation, bungee and harnesses, lyra, and a variety of invented aerial apparatus. Smith spent a decade studying and dancing in with Joanna Haigood/Zaccho Dance Theatre, Project Bandaloop, Jo Kreiter/Flyaway Productions, Sara Shelton Mann, Eat Cake Productions, and Terry Sendgraff before returning to academia where she has continued to earn residencies and produce work around the country.
Nicole started getting immersed in the creative arts at an early age. After various stints with painting drawing, singing, dancing, playing a musical instrument and acting, she transitioned from performing to production and then to administration. Nicole holds a Master of Arts Management from the H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy & Management at Carnegie Mellon University and has held arts administration positions at Ensemble Theatre, the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, TheatreWorks, LINES Ballet, and Theatre Bay Area. Nicole was a member of the Public Art and Budgeting subcommittees while serving as a Tracy Arts Commissioner and has served as a panelist for the Maryland State Arts Council’s Arts in Communities (AIC) Program and for Arts Council Silicon Valley's Regional Arts Fund (RAF) and Community Arts Fund (CAF). Since moving back to California, she’s volunteered with numerous organizations including TheatreFIRST, the Red Poppy Art House and the Fremont Opera. While Nicole currently lives in Northern California, she has also called Maryland, Pennsylvania and Ohio home. She loves cooking, reading, attending arts events, enjoying nature and working in the nonprofit arena.