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Daniel Alexander Jones Joins Leadership Team of CalArts Center for New Performance

Daniel Alexander Jones Joins Leadership Team of CalArts Center for New Performance

Daniel Alexander Jones. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Valencia, Calif. (March 17, 2022) – CalArts Center for New Performance (CNP) is pleased to announce that Alpert Award-winning theater artist Daniel Alexander Jones has joined its leadership team as Producing Artist

The Producing Artist role is central to CNP’s artistic programming and reflects its mission to enfranchise, empower, and follow the artist. In this role, Jones will be a crucial part of programming decisions as well as identifying artists to engage and develop through the CNP residency program. In line with these objectives, he will be leading a new CNP initiative dedicated to Afromysticism

Listen to an in-depth conversation with Jones on the inaugural episode of the CalArts Center for New Performance podcast, released in January 2021.

“Having admired and worked with Daniel for years, it became crucial to embrace his broad range of skills and impulses as part of our core leadership team,” said CNP Executive Artistic Director and Dean, CalArts School of Theater, Travis Preston. “We are thrilled to work together with him to define the future of performance and to embrace Daniel’s concept of Afromysticism as a major focus of our producing activities.”

“I am thrilled to partner with the CalArts Center for New Performance at this particular time to help fellow artist-citizens cultivate bravery, compassion, and wild creation through this generous, applied practice,” said Jones. “I use the term ‘Afromysticism’ to conjure the soulful dimensions. It describes art born from the long, radical, and participatory tradition of visionary Black artists, committed in word and deed to liberation. They offered creative technology to get us all freer. Afromysticism radiates when we come together with generative connections between individuals and communities, between the subjective and the collective, among and across past, present, and future possibilities. Freedom must be practiced.” 

Jones’ appointment affirms the centrality of practicing artists to the leadership team and in defining the artistic mission and producing landscape of CNP. Joining a leadership team that includes Preston, Director of Duende CalArts/Producing Artist Marissa Chibás, Associate Artistic Directors Amanda Shank and Chi-wang Yang, and Producing Director Rachel Scandling, Jones will be integral to a broad range of activities, including artist and project development, artist mentorship, programming decisions and design, as well as the general direction of CNP’s philosophy and mission. 

A long-time CNP collaborator and 2020/21 Artist-in-Residence, Jones is currently in the midst of his multi-year, multivalent ALTAREDSTATES initiative. Its first project, anchored in Jones’ ever-expanding digital portal (, ALTAR NO. 1 – ATEN includes fifteen songs and music videos featuring Jones’ alter ego, legendary performer Jomama JonesATEN uses the solar system as both metaphor and method for an immersive journey through the celestial, within and without. Also included are a series of probing podcast conversations and penned provocations that offer invitations for audience engagement. 

For 20 years, CNP—the professional producing arm of California Institute of the Arts—has been an active incubator of new directions in the performing arts. Through ongoing residencies, development support, and presentations on the local, national, and international stage, CNP invests deeply in the creative practices of visionary national and international artists, realizing projects through a commitment to artist-led process.


About Daniel Alexander Jones
Alpert Award-winning theater artist Daniel Alexander Jones exemplifies the artist-as-energy worker. His wildflower body of original work includes plays, performance pieces, recorded music, concerts, music theater events, essays, and long-form improvisations. The Herb Alpert Foundation notes that he “creates multi-dimensional experiences where bodies, minds, emotions, voices, and spirits conjoin, shimmer, and heal.” 

Jones’ critically-acclaimed performance pieces include Radiate (Soho Rep and National Tour including the Kirk Douglas Theatre/Center Theatre Group); Black Light (Public Theater, Greenwich House Theatre, American Repertory Theatre, Penumbra Theatre); Duat (Soho Rep); An Integrator’s Manual (La MaMa, etc. and Fusebox Festival). Jones has recorded five albums of original songs as his alter-ego, Jomama JonesLove Like Light, his first anthology of writing for performance will be published by 53rd State Press in 2021.

Jones is the 2021 PEN America/Laura Pels Foundation Awardee in Theatre. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Helen Merrill Playwriting Award, a Doris Duke Artist Award, and a USA Artists Fellowship. Jones is a Professor of Theatre at Fordham University.


CalArts Center for New Performance is the professional producing arm of California Institute of the Arts, established to provide a unique artist- and project-driven framework for the development and realization of original theater, music, dance, media and interdisciplinary projects. Extending the progressive work carried out at CalArts into a direct dialogue with professional communities at the local, national and international levels, CNP offers an alternative model to support emerging directions in the performing arts. It also enables CalArts students to work shoulder-to-shoulder with celebrated artists and acquire a level of experience that goes beyond their curriculum.

California Institute of the Arts has set the pace for educating professional artists since 1970. Offering rigorous undergraduate and graduate degree programs through six schools—Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music, and Theater—CalArts has championed creative excellence, critical reflection, and the development of new forms and expressions. As successive generations of faculty and alumni have helped shape the landscape of contemporary arts, the Institute first envisioned by Walt Disney encompasses a vibrant, eclectic community with global reach, inviting experimentation, independent inquiry, and active collaboration and exchange among artists, artistic disciplines and cultural traditions.