Bennett Rink

Bennett Rink
Please Credit Photo: Executive Director Designate Bennett Rink. Photo by Paul Kolnik

Bennett Rink became Executive Director of Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation in January 2013.  Prior to that time, Mr. Rink served the Ailey organization in a number of roles.  He first joined Ailey as Manager of Special Events in 1994, became Development Director in 1998 and then worked as Senior Director of Development and External Affairs from 2007 to 2012.  In his tenure overseeing Ailey’s development and fundraising efforts, Mr. Rink led a $75 million capital campaign that supported the construction of Ailey’s first permanent home, The Joan Weill Center for Dance which opened in 2005, and established an endowment to support major program areas.  When the Company celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2008, Mr. Rink supervised an 18-month celebration, including events, promotions, collaborations and special performances, bringing public awareness of the Ailey organization to new heights.  In conjunction with the anniversary, Mr. Rink also oversaw “The Next Step Campaign,” which grew the organization’s endowment to $50 million.

As Executive Director, Mr. Rink launched a five-year strategic plan in 2014 to realize Artistic Director Robert Battle’s creative vision for the Company, expand the impact of Ailey’s educational offerings, and enhance technology to extend the reach of all aspects of the organization.  A key element in the plan involves the enlargement of The Joan Weill Center for Dance.   As the largest and most active destination for dance in New York City, the Center attracts more than 200,000 visitors annually.  The planned expansion will create additional studios and classroom space to meet the growing demand for Ailey’s programs.   Mr. Rink also conceived The Campaign for Ailey’s Future, a $50 million initiative to support the Center’s expansion and other long-range strategic priorities.  To date, more than $44 million has been raised.

During Mr. Rink’s tenure as Executive Director, the Company has deepened its presence in New York City by establishing a spring season at Lincoln Center to complement its annual winter season at New York City Center, while also extending its role as America’s “Cultural Ambassador to the World” with tours to Africa, Europe and South America.  In the fall of 2015, the Company unveiled its first-ever theatrical movie release as part of “Lincoln Center at the Movies: Great American Dance.”

Mr. Rink is a graduate of Syracuse University and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in theater.

Featured News Releases

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Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Begins Expansion Of The Joan Weill Center For Dance And Names New Education Wing In Honor Of Philanthropist Elaine Wynn

Leaders of the Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation today celebrated the expansion of Ailey’s permanent home, The Joan Weill Center for Dance, with a ceremonial roof-breaking to mark the company’s upward growth. The event featured an unveiling of the design for the expanded building and performances by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s Jacqueline Green, Ailey II and students from The Ailey School.

Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Announces Over $40 Million Raised In Unprecedented Honoring Of Board Chair Joan Weill To Cap Her Two Decades Of Transformative Leadership

The Board of Trustees of Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation and Executive Director Bennett Rink today announced that more than $40 million has been raised to date to cap the tremendous legacy of retiring Chairman of the Board Joan H. Weill. The unprecedented gift, led by the generosity of Sanford I. Weill, inaugurates the Campaign for Ailey’s Future to support the expansion of Ailey’s building and the extension of Ailey’s artistic and educational initiatives.

Featured Press Coverage

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90.1 WABE - Alvin Ailey Brings Destination Dance To Atlanta

Alvin Ailey Dance Theater already has deep roots in Atlanta. It has been touring through the city for more than 40 years and hosts a summer camp for underserved youth through the Atlanta Ballet. But Ailey is about to become even more ingrained in Atlanta’s art community through an initiative called Destination Dance.

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Courier Journal - Q&A With Bennett Rink: NYC Arts Director

The path to becoming an actor can often lead to something else entirely. While Bennett Rink ended up in New York City, he didn’t find his career on the stage but behind it as executive director of the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, which performs at the Kentucky Center on Tuesday, March 15.