Julie Akerly


Julie Akerly is a leader, mentor, and advocate in the Phoenix Dance Community. After graduating from Arizona State University with an MFA in Dance and Interdisciplinary Media and Performance, she made a decision to stay in Phoenix and work towards building more opportunities for artists, especially in the field of dance. In 2014 she co-founded [nueBOX], and currently the Artist Support and Development Director. In 2018 she received the Mayor’s Arts Award in Dance for her work in supporting and uplifting the Phoenix dance community. She has taught courses in higher education in dance technique, dance history, and art and technology. She currently works as the Community Arts Specialist for the City of Tempe where she focuses on building programs with the community and artists, and supports the professional development of artists in her community. 

Work Experience


Community Arts Specialist, City of Tempe

  • Manage and oversee the planning and execution of arts programming, festivals, and events occurring at the Tempe Center for the Arts, Edna Vihel Arts Center, and in Tempe Parks

  • Evaluated and developed new programming at the Tempe Center for the Arts that reflected a vision of Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity for artists and audience

  • Worked alongside Artistic Director in meetings with booking agents and managers, planning and scheduling the presenting season at the Tempe Center for the Arts, negotiating contracts, and coordinating support with team members including travel arrangements, meals, and riders

  • Arrange, negotiate, and manage contracts and payments for artists, performers, community partners, and community organizations participating in  programs

  • Plan, coordinate, and execute engagement programming that supports the Tempe Center for the Arts presenting season by connecting with local community partners to perform, serve on panels, and lead workshops for the community

  • Coordinate with City of Tempe Public Information Officers to develop marketing and outreach strategies to promote artists, programs, and events

  • Oversee, train, and coordinate schedules, roles, and responsibilities with supervisors, part-time staff, interns, and volunteers assisting in the planning and day-of support for events and programs

  • Plan and build collaborative relationships with supervisors, staff, and team members by involving everyone in brainstorms, planning, and event roles

  • Strategized, led, and collaboratively developed a strategic plan, goals, and vision for new Community Arts work group within the Arts and Culture Division

  • Collaborate and coordinate with partners and artists to develop and implement residencies and performances in partnership neighborhoods, Economic Development, the Office of Sustainability, Neighborhood Services, and with the Tempe Union High School District music and dance programs.

  • Continuously evaluate the diversity, equity, and inclusion of services, programs, outreach, and engagement and make improvements with input from artists and community members

  • Track payments, maintain budgets, and plan for future expenditures for all Community Arts and Engagement programs


Arts Grants & Public Art Assistant, City of Tempe

  • Assist with project management and application processing including documenting information, and preparing forms and materials for panel members and applicants.

  • Maintain records and file Public Art maintenance reports, contracts, and payment requisitions.

  • Create budgets and track spending of the Public Art accounts within the Municipal Arts Fund.

  • Communicate and schedule meetings and installations with artists, fabricators, and contractors.

  • Respond to council driven initiatives to work with neighborhoods to bring more art to their parks.

  • Meet with artists and community groups to provide technical and conceptual assistance for RFPs and RFQs during individual meetings. 

  • Assist in the development of GIS map for Public Art, Neighborhood Art, Art In Private Development, Murals, and Schools.

  • Assist with researching and designing new art initiates such as a new private art mural permitting process and an arts and culture communications plan.

  • Write press releases and work with Public Information Officers to share content on social media and through e-mail campaigns.


Artist Support & Development Director, [nueBOX]

  • Co-founded [nueBOX]; established artist residency program serving multi-disciplinary artist collaborations with a focus in dance & performing arts

  • Produce and oversee over 100 events/year including festivals, workshops, performances, classes, and community discussions

  • Manage and train incoming staff, volunteers, and interns, providing mentorship and professional development for careers in arts administration

  • Support emerging and professional artists through residencies, workshops, training, and performance opportunities

  • Initiate and create partnerships; work collaboratively with artists, arts organization leaders, and local businesses 

  • Lead post-show discussions using Liz Lerman’s Critical Response Process

  • Work with teachers to provide curriculum training and development in the Phoenix Unified School District dance programs

  • Organize class schedules, select teachers and workshop teachers, and oversee the execution of classes in media, music, writing, dance, and theater

  • Create professional development opportunities for artists through artist-led panels, workshops, and feedback sessions.

  • Develop residency program guidelines and manage artist calls and panels

  • Develop strategies to build partnerships with organizations and events that will help grow or sustain programming through services, funding, or exposure

  • Create and execute fundraising plans, apply for grants, and develop research strategies to assess strategic goals and impact

Teaching Experience

University Teaching Positions

Estrella Mountain Community College - Adjunct (Fall 2015-Present)

  • Introduction to Dance

  • Ballet

  • Modern

  • Jazz

Grand Canyon University - Adjunct (January 2016-Present)

  • Modern


Arizona State University - Graduate Professor (January 2012-May 2014)

  • Media for Dance

  • Non-Linear Film Editing

  • Introduction to Dance

  • Modern

  • Jazz

  • Yoga

Curriculum Development

Grand Canyon University’s new BFA in Choreography and Performance Program (2016)

  • Creative Practices: Community-based Art-Making

  • Seminar 1: Careers in the field of Dance

  • Seminar 2: Arts Administration

Masterclasses & Workshops

  • Building a Collaborative Network 

                  Creative Catalysts Well Fed Artist Workshop Series (2016)

  • Contemporary Movement Research 

                  Arizona State University (2016)

  • Analog x Digital x Analog: Workshop on interdisciplinary collaboration

                  International Symposium on Electronic Arts & [nueBOX] (2015) 

  • Isadora Software as a Choreographic Tool 

                  Arizona State University (2014)

  • House & Modern Dance Fusion

                  Arizona State University (2013)

  • Partnering

                  Pittsburgh Dance Explosion (2011)

  • Introduction to Modern Dance 

                  Lakeside Dance Studio (2009)

  • Advanced Release Concepts 

                 Erie Dance Conservatory (2009)



Arizona State University

MFA in Dance & Interdisciplinary Media and Performance


Slippery Rock University

BA in Dance