Kyle Abraham ’00
Central to The Performing Arts Center’s stated mission to “educate, inspire, and engage” is creating opportunities for Purchase students, faculty, and staff, and the greater community to interact with and learn from the artists that perform on our stages. Successful engagement opportunities require strong partners, and few can compare to alumnus Kyle Abraham ’00 (dance), whose artistic and educational contributions to Purchase have been immense.
In 2011, OUT Magazine labeled Kyle Abraham the “best and brightest creative talent to emerge in New York City in the age of Obama.” Recently featured in O, The Oprah Magazine, Kinfolk, and Vogue Italia, Abraham has amassed impressive awards and achievements, including designation as 2018 Princess Grace Statue Award winner; a Lincoln Center Education Artist in Residence; a 2013 MacArthur Fellow; and a 2016 Doris Duke Artist. He received an MFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts, an honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from Washington Jefferson College, and is currently serving as a visiting professor in residence at UCLA. Abraham is the founding Artistic Director of A.I.M, an American contemporary dance company, created to honor his history, experiences, and artistic interests.
But his busy schedule and impressive list of awards and choreographic credits have not deterred Abraham from giving back to Purchase. A.I.M is a regular part of The PAC’s dance series. In December 2019, A.I.M presented the avant-premiere of a new piece, An Untitled Love at Purchase, commissioned by The PAC and partly developed on campus. Always willing to visit Purchase whenever A.I.M. is in town, last December was no exception. Abraham and his dancers conducted master classes for Conservatory students, sharing their insight and expertise with the next generation of dancers.
In recognition of his contributions, Abraham was to have been one of the honorees at The PAC 2020 Gala in March. (Unfortunately, the gala was unable to take place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.) As theatres closed and The PAC made the pivot to virtual programming, Abraham was one of the first artists on board, willingly donating his time for a recorded interview that helped launch The PAC in YOUR Living Room initiative.