Samuel McIntosh was born in Akron, but raised in Cleveland, specifically South Euclid, Ohio. Samuel spent a majority of his life as a wrestler starting at the age of 5, and continuing until college. He received many honors and awards through this path. Though in high school, during the midst of his wrestling career he was introduced to the art form of Hip-Hop dance. While talented at wrestling, he knew his heart was shifting in a new direction. Samuel was influenced by a dancer (In the genre known as “Popping”) by the name of Robert Muraine whose audition on the popular television show “So You Think You Can Dance” would go on to be a very impactful moment for Samuel. He would then go on to teach himself the foundation, history, and origins of Hip-Hop dance, along the way training and collaborating with Hip-Hop artist’s locally and abroad. Ironically he decided to audition for the exact platform that ignited his love for dance by trying out for “So You Think You Can Dance” himself, making it all the way to the judges round before he was eliminated.
Still, it wasn’t until Samuel was introduced to a performance from Cleveland’s own modern dance company, Inlet Dance Theatre, that he knew he wanted to learn and be a part of the arts sector. This drive attracted him to work with many likeminded dancers. A few notable influences include, mentor and friend Anthony Velez, founder and owner of local Hip-Hop entertainment company Showpeace Entertainment, and Nate Allen Smith (now vocalist for Jody Watley), being featured in many productions with Akron/Barberton theater, Spotlight Theatre Company.
This passion led him to attend Baldwin Wallace University in 2011. Not entirely knowing what route he wanted to take, his major switched 4 times until he decided to create his own major senior year. He knew his passion resided within the fields of Arts and Business so he naturally submerged himself inside those avenues. These avenues would cause him to finally step away from wrestling his second year and focus on dance. He took advantage of the many dance and business classes the school offered, including “Intro to Arts Management” where he would be introduced to his advisor, Bryan Bowser and the Arts Management Program. Bryan gave Samuel many connections to those involved in the arts and culture community which turned into experience-filled internships. He interned with Karamu House, assisting with choreography under Sabrina Gregory-Taylor, as well as with Inlet Dance Theatre, working and training under Bill Wade.
At this time, Arts Management was not a major, but in September 2015, an Arts and Culture conference was held to present the students with this as an option as a major. Many organizations came to the event including CPAC. This is where, past CPAC staff member Adam Sheldon, introduced Samuel to Chief Operating Officer, Megan VanVoorhis of CPAC. As a requirement for his major he needed an independent study project to graduate. Samuel used this opportunity meeting Megan to fill this requirement. He then worked on an independent study project for CPAC where he focused on the impact that Arts and Culture has had on youth and public safety.
In December 2015, Samuel graduated with Bachelor’s Degree in Business of the Arts, a major he created before the Arts Management major was in place. Following his graduation he accepted a position as the outreach hip-hop instructor teaching dance for the Rainey Institute. A few months after, he unexpectedly was offered a position at CPAC by as the Arts Administration Fellow based on the work he did with the independent study. He was excited to be asked work in an organization that did the work he had been actively engaged with for some time.
Samuel currently works under Chief Operating Officer, Megan Van Voorhis, and Director of Research and Development, Kristin Puch. He is still thoroughly involved within his entertainment company as an instructor. He also manages and is one of the vocalists for the Hip-Hop collective known as “AyyeDeesMM”, where they perform and collaborate with local and national artists. Samuel is eager and proud to be the new addition of the CPAC team.
Contact: (216) 575-0331, x126 or Samuel [at] cultureforward.org
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