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Shanta Thake

Senior Director, Artistic Programs — The Public Theater

Shanta Thake (B.A. ’02, Theatre and Drama) is the senior director of artistic programs for the Public Theater in New York City. Prior to this position, Thake served as the director of Joe’s Pub, a venue that’s part of the Public Theater that embodies and fosters the diverse and artistic heart of the city. After earning her undergraduate degree at Indiana University, Thake moved to New York and, within just two weeks of arriving, secured an internship with the Public Theater. This feat marked the beginning of her devoted and extensive career with Joe’s Pub, where she worked for years alongside programming director Bill Bragin. In 2007, Thake took Bragin’s place as director of the vibrant club at just 27 years old.

In addition to her role as director of Joe’s Pub, Thake founded New York Voices, a commission program that provides musicians with the tools necessary to develop original theatrical works. She served as a producer of globalFEST, a world music festival and non-profit organization whose stages have been curated at festivals such as Bonnaroo, Festival d’lle de France, SXSW, and Webster Hall. An experienced leader in the arts community, she also acted as board chair for the theater company Waterwell and was the co-creator of the show Weimar New York.

Thake’s career thus far has demonstrated her passions as a creator, a leader, and a guiding light for young artists, and these passions have not gone unnoticed; Thake has received the Association of Performing Arts Presenters Emerging Leader award as well as Theater Communications Group’s Leaders of Color grant.

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