Béa Rashid’s Philanthropic Work Through Dance Touches the Evanston Community and Beyond
The Evanston Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the selection of Béa Rashid as Public Service/Non-Profit Person of the Year. Founder and Director of Dance Center Evanston, Béa will be honored at the Evanston Chamber’s 97th Annual Celebration and Awards event on Thursday, January 26, 2017.
Béa Rashid graduated from Northwestern University in theater and dance. She has choreographed for numerous professional theatre and opera companies, including the Goodman, Steppenwolf, and Light Opera Works. In 1994, Béa opened Dance Center Evanston (DCE), and in 1997, established the Evanston Dance Ensemble (EDE), a non-profit youth dance company, in residence at DCE.
Béa is the recipient of the 1999 Evanston Mayor’s Award for the Arts and is the Chairperson for the Midwest Committee of the Cecchetti Council of America.
Bea’s philanthropy reaches far and wide. Through her school, Dance Center Evanston, Bea established a financial aid program providing tuition assistance to many families. DCE offers free rehearsal space to many non-profit dance companies, including Elements Contemporary Ballet, Jump Rhythm Jazz Project, Be the Groove, Classic Jazz and Tap Productions, and enidsmithdance.
Béa, and her husband/composer/collaborator, Steve Rashid, recently opened Studio5, a performing arts venue for dance, music and theater in Evanston. This theater will be a much needed home for many non-profit performing arts groups in Evanston and beyond.
As Founding Artistic Director of EDE, Béa formed an organization that creates artistic performing experiences for talented young dancers and brings professionally produced dance performances to the community. EDE continues to serve the area with several other programs. Using Ensemble members as teachers and mentors, Jump for Joy, is a free dance experience for children with physical and emotional challenges. The second company of the Evanston Dance Ensemble, ede2, does significant outreach, touring their productions for free to senior centers, libraries, and public schools. Bea also donates significant time, energy and choreographic skills to the Ensemble.