WESTFEST TEAM & PANELISTS
CAROL NOLTE/DANCE COLLECTIVE (Artistic Director) founded WestFest 11 years ago as a response to the financial strain of the recession, offering choreographers free or low-cost performance opportunities at the Westbeth Artisits’ Residence, her home for the last 30 years. She has also created over 50 dances for her award-winning company Dance Collective. Recently, her work has been seen at Merce Cunningham Studio, The Kitchen, Joyce SoHo, The 92nd Street Y Fridays at Noon. She has also co-founded and produced three dance festivals, DanceBLITZ, Taos Dance 2000, and, currently, WestFest.
She graduated from Brown University with honors in American Civilization and took an advanced degree in dance at The New School.
GEORGE COMINSKIE has been the executive producer of WestFest and the Pen Literary Quest since its inception in 2010. George currently serves on the Westbeth Board of Directors. Mr. Cominskie served on the Westbeth Artists Residents Council for 21 years, 17 of them as President of WARC. He also serves on an advisory committee of The Whitney Museum of American Art and Pier 55. He has been a Wednesday morning volunteer at God’s Love We Deliver for the past 22 years. He lives at Westbeth with his husband John Turner.
LAUREN HAFNER ADDISON is a bi-coastal dancer, curator, musician, and producer. Starting out with a BFA in Dance and BA in Music, Lauren moved to New York city in 2009 to start her exciting new career in Film Post Production as a producer. While there, she co-founded BOiNK! Dance & Film with Dylan Baker, Christopher Huth, and Cassandra Motta.
Lauren has had the opportunity to work for numerous art organizations including Union Editorial, Lost Planet Editorial, Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra, Wildspace Dance, Madison Chamber Orchestra, BOiNK! Dance & Film, SPARK Dance Forum, WestFest, and Arts On Site.
After moving back home to Wisconsin in 2018 to be closer to family, Lauren remains active in her various passions both in Madison and New York.
LAUREN HAFNER ADDISON
DYLAN BAKER is a New York City based dancer, choreographer, and teaching artist, Dylan is originally from the boondocks of Wisconsin where he acquired a BFA in Dance at The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Along with works by BOiNK! Dance & Film, Dylan can be found dancing with David Parker & The Bang Group and Matthew Westerby Company. Behind the scenes for once, he is proud to be a producer for the annually held WestFest dance festival at Westbeth Artist Housing and Center for the Arts.
When Mr. Baker is not performing or producing, he wears his teaching hat at The Steffi Nossen School of Dance in White Plains, NY and Rivertown Dance Academy in Tarrytown, NY.
Producer/Westbeth Performing Arts Chairman
ERIN QUINN PURCELL has worked as an actor/director/writer in New York City for over 25 years. She serves as Performing Arts Chair on the Westbeth Artist Residents Council. She is currently working with Jay Reiss (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee) on a new musical, Iceboy! (music and lyrics by Mark Hollmann) at the Pasadena Playhouse starring Megan Mullally, Nick Offerman, Adam Devine and Laura Bell Bundy. You can watch 4 numbers from the musical on their website:
ERIN QUINN PURCELL
JAMAL JACKSON was born in Brooklyn, New York and began his formal studies of movement with the Harlem based Batoto Yetu Dance Company. His pursuit of Biology and dance led him to Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, where he received the Weston Award for his contribution to the Fusion Dance Company and New Works/ World Traditions African Dance Company from 1996-2000. Jamal performed with Ballet International Africans for two seasons as a principal dancer and in 2004 he founded the Jamal Jackson Dance Company. Jamal Jackson Dance Company has established a strong presence in and out of New York City, performing year round in festivals, self-produced shows, community outreach programs and private events.
Born and raised in California, DEBORAH LOHSE is a comedian, dancer and choreographer living and working in New York City. Her work has been presented in theaters, public spaces and festivals including DANCE NOW Joe’s Pub, American Dance Festival, Chicago Contemporary Circus Festival, United Solo Theater Festival, La Mama Moves, Winter Garden at Brookfield Place and The Stonewall Inn. She has received commissions from Women In Motion, Mantra Percussion, SUNY Purchase, DANCE NOW and Island Moving Company as well as artist residencies from The Yard, Marble House Project, Djerassi Resident Artist Program, Acadia Summer Arts Program and SILO.