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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. After graduating from 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, Greene 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.  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 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

  • Fordham University/Alvin Ailey's Undergraduate Program and

  • The Juilliard School 

Culture Arts Initiative has awarded over $50,000 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 was again met with a sold out audience of 3300 delightful spectators at the Stafford Centre in 2019 and 2021 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. 

Traci is married to Adraon Greene, Esq. who is Chairman of the 100 Black Men of Metro Houston. They have one son, AJ.