Endowed Professor Spotlight: Donna Davenport - Hobart and William Smith Colleges
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Endowed Professor Spotlight: Donna Davenport

Professor of Dance Donna Davenport, who holds the John Milton Potter Professorship in the Humanities, is a prolific choreographer and performer with a strong background in leadership at the Colleges, having chaired the Dance Department and co-founded the Social Justice Studies and Arts and Education Programs.

In the summer of 2016 and 2017 she performed new solos at the Somatic Dance Conference and Performance Festival and in Dances at MuCCC in Rochester, and danced in “Looming” with HWS Dance faculty specially composed by internationally renowned choreographer Bill Evans. In the past few semesters, Davenport has advised the annual Junior and Senior Choreographers Concert and presented new solo work and choreography on campus and in local venues, including her collaboration with composer David McGuire at Finger Lakes Community College. Her commissioned work for BIODANCE, “Lined Up for Injustice,” opened the concert at Geva Theatre for the 2015 Rochester Fringe Festival. At the 2017 Fringe festival she produced a dance concert with Artists Coalition for Change Together (ACCT). She has performed duets at The Smith Opera House Music and Dance Celebrations of St. Peter’s Community Arts Academy faculty and students in May 2017 and 2018.

Actively engaged in the community, Davenport volunteers as Dean of Faculty for St. Peter’s and was previously a board member for 10 years of Geneva Concerts, Inc. She has worked with The Smith Center for the Arts on multiple projects, including its Centennial Production of West Side Story, four years of Musselman Arts Triathlons and the first Koshare Dance Collective Concert performed at the Smith Opera House. Davenport recently co-founded the Artists Coalition for Change Together based in Rochester, N.Y., and works annually with Dance 2050: A Think Tank on the Future of Dance in Higher Education, seeking to reimagine dance in colleges and universities.

Named Civically Engaged Faculty of the Year in 2014, Davenport holds both an Ed.D. and an M.Ed. in dance education from Temple University, and a B.F.A. in dance and a B.A. in psychology from University of Massachusetts. Her tenure as the John Milton Potter Endowed Professor, which recognizes her scholarship in choreography, performance and dance education, concludes at the end of the spring 2018.

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