Alexis Marnel is an energetic and creative professional offering extensive experience in multicultural arts programming, education, grant writing, and administration for government agencies, schools, community centers, cultural institutions and the private sector.
Most recently, as interim co-director of the Morris-Jumel Mansion—an historic museum in Washington Heights—Marnel expanded community and stakeholder engagement, increased in-kind donations, membership, board giving and grants funding, and developed innovative programs in health and wellness, theater, music and the arts, as well as literacy.
As founder of the Artists Collective for Social Change (ACSC), Marnel combined a passion for the arts with an ongoing commitment to raise important social questions through theatrical productions, festivals, poetry and dance. Recipient of an NEA grant in 2010, Marnel implemented Broadway in the Schools in selected Harlem educational institutions. The program was expanded in 2011-2012 enabling ACSC’s production of the Broadway musical Mack and Mable at New Jersey’s Fort Lee High School.
Other ACSC productions under Marnel’s leadership included Dominique Cieri’s Count Down (in conjunction with Off World Theatre) at NYC’s Barrow Street Theater; Arthur Wilson’s Words for Journey (in conjunction with VSA Arts of New Jersey) at Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey; Flat Black by Rodney Gilbert and Alysia Sounder; and a stage reading of Talking Trash for Truth at Newark’s City Without Walls. Among the critical issues ACSC examined were adolescent mental health, the physical and social barriers confronting people with disabilities, and the school-to-prison pipeline, as well as other important social challenges. ACSC’s First International Arts Festival in Skyros, Greece in 2004 was a pet project that stemmed from an initial inquiry that led Marnel and fellow creative choreographer Catlin Cobb to investigate pre-Christianity Goat dances and its surprising similarities in places as disparate as Spain, China, Italy and the Ivory Coast, an exploration of our connectivity as human beings.
Marnel was creative consultant on various productions including: Niles Ford’s Invisible People at the Urban Dance Collective; for Project One Voice’s Four Little Girls; and for world music bands Bonga and the Vodou Drums of Haiti as well as Heritage O.P. Marnel has also worked with Marlies Yearby, Tony-nominated choreographer of Rent and as a consultant for NYC’s Dixon Place Theatre.
NY1 named Marnel “Person of the Week” for contributions in arts education; and Eric Booth’s Teaching Artist Journal featured Marnel twice. Coty cited Marnel as an “American Original” for work melding arts and social services in 2001.
Marnel has extensive professional training in theater, voice and jazz/modern dance and holds a B.A. in Human and Social Services from Adelphi University.
Alexis Marnel lives in New York City with a pit bull called Aristophanes, a rescue from the NYC Animal Shelter in Manhattan.