Behind the Scenes with BMD: Board Member Chris Guerre, Like Lucy, Takes On New Challenges

Bowen McCauley Dance board member Chris Guerre relates to artistic director Lucy Bowen McCauley’s risk-taking. After nearly ten years in Public Relations at Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, Guerre opened the Maple Avenue Market — a grocery store in downtown Vienna, Virginia that specializes in locally produced meats, produce, and dairy.  At the same time, he also became a full-time organic vegetable farmer on a small farm in Great Falls, VA.

“How much of our life is based on doing the same thing we’ve done before and the security of doing something known or established?” he asks. “Perceiving risks rather as opportunities and having the vision to see down the road is very powerful. “

The anticipation of supporting new work is part of the reason Guerre became active on the BMD board. “I’m thrilled and totally engaged every time I get to see a new work.  Lucy is so committed to the creation of new dances and partnerships to bring it all together, even after 17 years of leading this organization.  It’s at the heart of why BMD should be supported.”

He is also proud of the deep community engagement that is at the core of BMD, it’s commitment to students of all ages and abilities and the company’s partnership with the Parkinson Foundation of the National Capital Area as the only regional dance company providing free weekly dance classes for people with Parkinson Disease and their care-partners. “I don’t know how many other companies are giving back that much and still presenting great performances,” he says.

Given his work history in the performing arts, Chris knows that dance is one of the most challenging genres for sustained funding.  He believes that the arts are critical for helping the next generation of young people to tap into their own creativity. “If we’re preparing our children to take on the world, they have to be inspired to create — to have new ideas.  The arts can help drive that kind of creativity across all sectors.”