Celine Schein Das

Celine Schein Das is the executive director of the Chitresh Das Institute (CDI) in San Francisco, CA. She founded CDI with Artistic Director Charlotte Moraga and School Director Preeti Zalavadia in 2016 to carry forward and evolve the vision of the late Pandit Chitresh Das. 

As Executive Director of the Chitresh Das Dance Company & Chhandam School of Kathak (CDDC/Chhandam), in partnership with and inspired by her late husband, Founder and Artistic Director Pandit Chitresh Das, Schein Das built the organization’s national and international reputation, growing it from a budget of under $100,000 in 1996 to over $1.1M in 2014. Schein Das built the programming, fundraising, marketing, and community outreach to achieve a vision of an organization that had both grassroots, community involvement, and global recognition. This was so successful, in part, because she passionately believed in incorporating Pandit Chitresh Das’ advocacy of traditional arts and insistence that traditional artists and art forms and artists of color, should be supported equitably along-side Western-based art forms and largely white organizations. She increased touring by 500%, and under her leadership, the school grew from 50 to over 500 students.  She raised millions of dollars from local, regional, and national government and foundation funders, raised over $500,000 through the individual donor program she established, and developed a successful corporate sponsorship program. 

Schein Das served as executive director and producer of two of the largest Indian classical dance festivals to have taken place outside of India: Kathak at the Crossroads in 2006 at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and Traditions Engaged in 2010 at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, CA and at REDCAT in Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles, CA.  Those festivals gained national and international recognition from the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Dance Magazine, the Hindu, among others, as well as a special Isadora Duncan Dance Award. Schein Das produced performances in India as well as managing artistic exchange programs between the U.S. and India. She produced, India Jazz Suites, Pandit Das’ iconic collaboration with Tap star Jason Samuels Smith, that went on to become an international phenomenon, touring throughout the world and resulting in a documentary that was screened internationally and aired nationally in the U.S. on PBS.  In addition to her work with CDI, Schein Das does consulting for traditional arts organizations. Schein Das also currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Dance/USA, the national service organization for dance, where she is on the Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity and Programming Committees.

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