At the age of twenty-one, Ayisha Morgan-Lee became the Founder, CEO, and Artistic Director of Hill Dance Academy Theatre (HDAT). As the CEO of HDAT, Ayisha oversees the Academy’s fall, spring and 8 Week Summer Dance Intensive. Ayisha is an adjunct faculty member at City High School where she teaches Dance to seniors.
In 2017, Ayisha was accepted into the University of Pittsburgh Doctoral Degree Program in the area of Out of School Arts Education. She was selected, in 2016 as one of 50 international and national leaders in the Arts to attend the yearlong program by the National Arts Strategies Chief Executive Program…Community and Culture at Harvard Business School, Michigan Ross School of Business & Ken Fischer Chief Executive Fellowship Fund. Since 2014, Ayisha has been a member of The International Association of Blacks in Dance’s (IABD) Next Generation Leadership Program (NGL). The goal of the leadership program focuses on the development of arts leaders to insure the future of IABD.
Ayisha’s professional experiences are many. From 2009 to 2010, she served as the Education Director for Pittsburgh’s Dance Alloy, teaching dance to students in East End schools and developing educational arts programs for public schools. She was a Teaching Artist for The Heinz Endowments Culturally Responsive Arts Education (CRAE) Program that for three years brought arts education to district schools. In 2010, Ayisha was named one of the Pittsburgh Courier’s Fab 40 young professional leaders in the Arts and she was selected as a member of Leadership Pittsburgh 2010, LDI XXVII class.
Ayisha has received numerous awards as a community leader. In 2015 she received the YWCA Young Business Professional Award. Her awards in the arts include, the 2009 and 2008 recipient of the African American Council of the Arts, Onyx Award for Best Choreography in musical productions. She has used her theatrical skills as stage manager for Pittsburgh Playwrights Theater and for productions of local independent play writers.
Ayisha is a 2007 graduate from CMU, John Heinz School of Public Policy with a Master’s in Arts Management. She interned as a graduate student with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre in New York and apprenticed with August Wilson Center for African American Culture. Ayisha is a 2005, cum laude graduate of Howard University with a BFA in Dance and Theater. In 2003, Ayisha performed at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival in South Africa with Kuntu Repertory Theatre in the production of Mahalia and Lady Sings the Blues and created a documentary on Indigenous Dance in South Africa funded by Howard University’s Provost Fellowship.
Beyond her professional artistic endeavors, she is also a sought after speaker and presenter for national and local arts groups and conferences. Ayisha is a member of Pittsburgh Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc. where she serves as chair of the Arts and Letters Committee. She is a very active resident of the Hill community and a member of St. Benedict the Moor Parish.
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