Joseph V. Melillo. Photo: Jesse Winter.

Joseph V. Melillo to Receive 2018 Bessies Presenter Award

The New York Dance and Performance Awards, known as the Bessies, announced today that Joseph V. Melillo, the executive producer of the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), is the recipient of the 2018 Bessies Presenter Award for Outstanding Curating. His accomplishments will be celebrated at the Bessies Presenters Gathering at La MaMa on Sunday, January 14, 2018.

“The Bessie committees wanted to recognize Joe Melillo for his visionary curation for more than three decades,” said Bessies executive director Lucy Sexton. “Joe has made sure dance has a place on the stages of BAM—from the grand Howard Gilman Opera House to the adventurous Harvey Theater to the intimate space at the Fisher. He has brought so many international choreographers to New York City and lifted up generations of American dance artists on the world stage. We are thrilled to be honoring him with this award.”

Melillo, who has been the executive producer at BAM since 1999, is responsible for its artistic direction. During his tenure, the academy has expanded its programming, increased its audience attendance, and launched initiatives such as the Bridge Project—a three-year series of international theater engagements—and DanceMotion USAsm, a cultural diplomacy and exchange program that partners with the US Department of State. Previously, Melillo served as BAM’s producing director, following a six-year tenure as founding director of the Next Wave Festival.

Established in 2017, the award for Outstanding Curating recognizes an individual or curatorial team that has presented work in the New York area which positively impacted the dance and performance field. The inaugural award was given to Judy Hussie-Taylor, the executive director and chief curator of Danspace Project.