Misty Copeland to Headline Arts, Creativity, and Innovation Weekend

Back to All Stories

Misty Copeland, a principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre, will address the Colgate community on Friday, April 14. Her visit is part of the Kerschner Family Series Global Leaders at Colgate and will be the keynote of a weekend dedicated to arts, creativity, and innovation.

The weekend’s program also includes a Thought Into Action entrepreneur showcase, student performances, and other events. Registration and ticket information will be posted at colgate.edu/ACIweekend in the days ahead.

Copeland is the first Black woman in the history of the company to be promoted to the position of principal dancer, and she has performed some of the most iconic ballet roles, including Odette/Odile in Swan Lake; Juliet in Romeo & Juliet; Giselle; Manon; Coppelia; Kitri in Don Quixote; and Firebird.

Her production company, Life In Motion Productions, focuses on representative stories of artists past, present, and future in addition to normalizing the arts experience. Copeland, a New York Times best selling author, recently published The Wind At My Back, in tribute to her late mentor and friend, Raven Wilkinson, a pioneering ballerina. 

Copeland is also an avid philanthropist, acting as an ambassador for both the Boys & Girls Club of America and Mind Leaps — an arts education program based in Rwanda that helps young people get off the streets and into an academic setting. In 2022 she launched the Misty Copeland Foundation, whose first signature program, BE BOLD, aims to broaden diversity, equity, and inclusion in dance. In 2021, Copeland received the Spingarn Medal, the highest honor of the NAACP.

The Kerschner Family Series Global Leaders at Colgate, launched in 2007 and sponsored by Colgate’s Parents’ and Grandparents’ Fund, is an opportunity for the  University to invite thought-provoking leaders to campus. Past lecture series speakers have included President Joe Biden, former Prime Minister of Israel Shimon Peres, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, President Bill Clinton; Tony Blair, former prime minister of Great Britain; Felipe Calderón, former president of Mexico; and the Dalai Lama, spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism.

Arts, creativity, and innovation is a centerpiece of Colgate’s Third-Century transformation, joining programs across the curriculum. For more information, visit thirdcentury.colgate.edu.