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WHO WE ARE


 

Culture Arts Initiative, Inc. (CAI), is a 501c(3) non-profit arts organization designed to enrich the lives of young people through the performing arts with an emphasis on dance.  Our mission is to cultivate and educate new generations of life-long dancers and arts advocates throughout the country through scholarship funding, mentorship, education, and performance based arts programming.


 

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BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Traci Greene

-President/Executive Officer

Afi Frank

-Director Of Programming

Caitlin Chudy

-Secretary

Andrea Stewart

-Treasurer

What is CAI?

What is CAI?

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 OUR FOUNDER

TRACI GREENE
 
Traci Greene is the President and Founder of the Culture Arts Initiative, Inc., Greene began her classical ballet training in Chicago, Illinois, at the age of six under the direction of Madame Elizabeth Boitsov of the Bolshoi Ballet.  She continued her dance training in high school and became an NAACP Act-So Awards medalist in dance. She is a graduate of Southern University and A&M College, where she was a four year Southern University Dancing Doll and captain, Greene continued her performing arts studies in Los Angeles and New York City at some of the nation’s top dance institutions. In Los Angeles. She landed two leading roles in the Los Angeles production of The Chocolate Nutcracker, which starred a young Misty Copeland and was choreographed, directed, and co-starred Debbie Allen.

Greene concluded her professional studies at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City where she received numerous awards in acting and dance before landing her first international tour of a West Side Story.  On tour, she was appointed the position of female dance captain by Tony Award-nominated Broadway choreographer/director, Joey McKneely.  In 2007, Greene rejoined the cast of a West Side Story through special invitation in Paris, France for its 50th Anniversary tour.  Before relocating to Houston, Greene danced for acclaimed Broadway choreographer Donald Byrd on the musical workshop of “The Color Purple on Broadway” which was later produced by Oprah Winfrey.  Greene continued to train, teach, and choreograph throughout the U.S. before finally opening her award-winning dance studio, The Houston Dance Lab, in 2010.  It was through her experience as a dance teacher and studio owner that Greene discovered the immense young talent that existed within the city of Houston and the need for arts programs that could  support and empower young underserved dancers who wished to study or pursue a career in the performing arts. 

In 2013, she founded the Lab Performing Arts Initiative, now Culture Arts Initiative, Inc. with the hopes of supporting young dancers who desired to study dance but were not able to due to affordability, availability, or lack of exposure to the art form.  In 2015 and 2016 Culture Arts Initiative (Formerly LPAI) provided scholarships to eight Houston area youth to train in New York City at the highly acclaimed Dance Theater of Harlem and Alvin Ailey American Dance Center.

Through the Culture Arts Initiative's outreach and tuition scholarship programs, many of its recipients have been accepted to attend some of the most prestigious dance programs in America including:

  • American Ballet Theater’s Summer Intensive

  • Alvin Ailey American Dance Center’s Summer Intensive

  • Joffrey Ballet Summer Intensive

  • Debbie Allen Dance Academy’s Summer Intensive

  • Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Summer Intensive

  • Complexions Contemporary Ballet

  • New York City Dance Alliance

  • Radio City Rockettes Summer Intensive

  • Master Ballet Academy Summer Intensive

  • Alabama State University's Undergraduate Dance Program

  • Texas Ballet Theatre's Professional Division

  • University of Texas at Austin's Undergraduate Dance Program

  • Point Park University's Undergraduate Dance Program

  • Nazareth College's Undergraduate Dance program

  • The American Musical and Dramatic Academy in Los Angeles

  • Sam Houston State University's Undergraduate Program

  • University of California, Los Angeles Undergraduate Program 

  • Houston Ballet Academy

  • Broadway Dance Center Summer Intensive

  • Arts Saves Lives Foundation's Summer Intensive in St. Martin 

  • Texas State University

  • Howard University

  • Fordham University/Alvin Ailey's Undergraduate Program and

  • The Juilliard School 

Culture Arts Initiative has awarded close to $90,000 in tuition scholarship awards to underrepresented young dancers throughout the country.

 

In 2018, Greene and the Culture Arts Initiative produced its first city wide fundraiser, "Houston's Urban Nutcracker."  Houston's Urban Nutcracker was revered by a sold out audience of three shows at the Hobby Center's Zilkha Hall.  Houston's Urban Nucracker has delighted sold out audiences of over 4000 spectators at the Stafford Centre since it's inaugural year and has become a Houston holiday favorite! 

 

Traci Greene is the proud recipient of Houston Health Fest's 2018 Changemakers  "Metamorphisis" award and the 2018 National Black Girl Excellence "Arts and Culture" award, the 2023 MLK Community Impact Award, a 2023 Top 30 Influential Women of  Houston award, and in 2023 she received Special Congressional Recognition in honor of her Service to the Community. 

 

Traci is the proud dance coach and director of the Southern University Fabulous Dancing Dolls.  Traci is married to Adraon Greene, Esq. who is Chairman Emeritis of the 100 Black Men of Metro Houston. They have one son, AJ. 

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