Who We Are
Artist as Innovator
Amanda Whitworth (alias, Lead With Arts) is a dancer who is excited about cross-sector collaboration in art-making, creative economy support and arts and health. She uses her experience as a performer, choreographer, teaching artist and collaborator to lead and consult on interdisciplinary projects in performance, wellness, public education and creative economy development.
Growing up in metro Detroit, Amanda was surrounded by music, art, education and athletics as modeled by her parents and extended family. Her passion for dance performance has carried her to New York City and around the world. She now resides in central New Hampshire with her own family. Named one of NH’s “40 Under 40” young leaders by the NH Union Leader in 2019, and awarded a Vermeil Medal from the Academy of Arts, Sciences and Letters in Paris, France, Amanda, continues a rigorous practice of dance making, working as a performer of dance and physical theatre nationally and internationally.
In March of 2020, with the support of the NH State Council on the Arts, Amanda was nominated by New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu and confirmed by the Executive Council as the state’s eighth Artist Laureate, and first dancer to receive the honor. She feels energized about bringing visibility to New Hampshire’s rural spaces and people using the arts.
In her inaugural year as laureate, Amanda alongside C. Robin Marcotte, MFA and Bobby Kelly, MD, MPH, founded the nonprofit organization ARTICINE, which uses the performing and creative arts as a means to improve people’s health, both at the patient and healthcare provider level. Passionate about equity, care and healing for all people the organization creates devised physical theatre based on public health challenges, creates narrative medicine curriculum and provides standardized patient services.
Very proud of the “extended family” she has garnered through her teaching and service in higher education, Amanda is Senior Teaching Faculty and Dance Program Coordinator at Plymouth State University where she has integrated interdisciplinary thinking and collaborative performance into the curriculum. In 2020, she was the recipient of the Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award.
Amanda’s Artist Statement
I make performances that feel like magic. I collaborate with artists in different fields and we start by believing our dreams can come true. We play with questions, movement, light, color and materials that ultimately become inventions, dances, furniture, sculptures and make-believe worlds. Designed to be witnessed by others, this tangible magic invites ooh’s, ahhh’s and hmmmm’s.
American College Dance Association
Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire
New Hampshire Dance Alliance
B.F.A. Dance – New York University, Tisch School of the Arts
M.Ed. Integrated Arts Education – Plymouth State University
Certificate in Creative Placemaking – Institute of Art & Design at New England College
Certificate in Standardized Patient Educator Training – University of Illinois, Chicago