Black women continue to shape the landscape of the arts and are making power moves in the process. According to CNN, Janet Rollé was recently appointed to serve as CEO and Executive Director of the American Ballet Theatre.
The appointment is historic as it marks the first time a Black woman has sat at the helm of the company in its 82-year history. Rollé has dedicated her entire career to using the arts as a form of creative expression. She used the life lessons she’s learned through dance—which she started at the age of 8—to navigate every chapter of her journey.
“Through dance, I learned how to be a professional, the value of discipline and technique, and my love for the creative process. These lessons have always been at the core of my professional life and work,” she said in a statement, according to the news outlet.
Before being selected to lead the American Ballet Theatre, she served as the general manager of Beyoncé’s Parkwood Entertainment. She produced poignant projects that include “Black Is King” and the songstress’ historic Coachella performance. Rollé also was an executive at CNN Worldwide.
As she prepares for her next act, she says she’s looking forward to preserving the dance company’s rich historic legacy while expanding its influence and impact in the arts space.
“It is, therefore, a singular privilege to be entrusted by the Board to preserve and extend the legacy of American Ballet Theatre and to ensure its future prosperity, cultural impact, and relevance,” she said. “To come full circle and be in a position to give back to the art that has given me so much is a source of unbridled and immense joy.” Rollé is slated to officially step into her new role on January 3, 2022.
Her appointment comes at a time when there remains a lack of diversity within ballet.