Stephen Clapp is a cultural strategist and change agent who maintains a professional creative practice as Co-Artistic Director for Dance Box Theater with Laura Schandelmeier, and has been serving as Executive Director for Dance Metro DC since 2012. His work is mission driven with a passion for exploration at the intersections of the performing arts, social justice and service to the field of dance. Clapp has engaged with communities of children, adults, seniors, artists, organizers and veterans with arts-integration strategies that foster self-determination, innovative thinking, equitable communication structures and community empowerment. He is a voting member of Alternate ROOTS and has facilitated arts-based cultural equity trainings nationally. Clapp earned a Master of Fine Arts degree at the George Washington University in dance performance and choreography. After receiving a full university fellowship to the program, his research and performance work examined the intersection of contemporary dance and climate change communication. Clapp’s experiences in the arts have helped him to understand how the creative sector is uniquely positioned to foster and model innovation that can transform communities.
Laura Schandelmeier is Co-Artistic Director of Dance Box Theater (DBT), was Artistic Director of Schandelmeier & Co. in NYC from 1988-1994 and a solo performer in the DC area from 1995-2004 when she began collaborating with Stephen Clapp. DBT has created and toured eight full-evening performance works with increasing recognition regionally, nationally and internationally. DBT has received commissions from the Creative Communities Fund, The Kennedy Center and received the 2010 Dance Metro DC Founder's Award for Innovation in Dance. Schandelmeier’s work has been commissioned and presented by DTW and Danspace Project at St. Mark's Church in NYC and by The Kennedy Center, Dance Place, The IN Series, and by WPAS in Martha @ Dance Place, curated by Richard Move in DC. In 2014 she was choreographer for Yentl, Directed by Shirly Serotsky at Theater J and Movement Consultant for a staged reading of Remember This: Walking with Jan Karski by Derek Goldman and Clark Young, featuring Academy Award nominee, David Strathairn. She has received several awards for her choreography including grants from the Harkness Foundations for Dance, the Suitcase Fund, Maryland State Arts Council and Prince George's Arts Council. She is a Master Teaching Artist for the Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts.