Sarah Crowell is the Artistic Director at Destiny Arts Center, where she is responsible for the artistic quality and mission-alignment of our performing arts programs and public performances. She communicates the depth of our programming to wider audiences through strategic partnerships, speaking engagements and professional development. Sarah also co-directs the Destiny Arts Youth Performance Company, which she co-founded in 1993. Originally from Canada and the Bahamas, Sarah has been with Destiny since 1990 in a variety of roles. She served as the organization’s Executive Director from 2002-2007.
Sarah believes that the arts are an essential component of the journey to social justice, especially art forms that involve moving the body. She believes that movement must be part of all movements for social change.
Sarah directed the dance program at Lick-Wilmerding High School in San Francisco for three years, and directed an award-winning hip-Hop dance ensemble at the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts in Richmond for five.
The Destiny Arts Youth Performance Company, a troupe for teens to co-create original movement/theater productions based on their own experiences, continues to perform for over 20,000 audience members a year at conferences, festivals and other community events. In addition to her work teaching dance, theater and violence prevention to youth and educators locally and nationally in schools and community centers, Sarah has performed and toured nationally with modern, jazz and dance/theater companies in Boston and the Bay Area, including Impulse Jazz Dance Company and the Dance Brigade, between 1984 and 2000. She also directed and performed with the dance/theater company i am! Productions between 1994 and 2002.
Sarah received nine California Arts Council Artist in Residency grants for her work at Destiny and a National Endowment for the Arts grant to author a curriculum guide for artists working with teens called Youth on the Move: a teacher’s guidebook to co-creating original movement/theater performances with teens. The Destiny Arts Youth Performance was awarded the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award in 2017, the nation’s highest award of its kind. Sarah was the recipient of 2006 Purple Moon DreamSpeakers award, the 2007 KPFA peace award, the 2011 KPFA Women’s History Month Local Hero award, the 2013 Bay Area Dance Week Dancer’s Choice award, and the 2015 Alameda County Arts Leadership award. In 2016, Sarah was inducted into the Alameda County Women’s Hall of Fame and was part of the YBCA 100, a list of visionaries assembled annually by the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Sarah has also been a finalist for a Tony Award for Excellence in Theater Education.