Mark Travis Rivera is an award-winning activist, choreographer, dancer, speaker, and writer who grew up in Paterson, New Jersey. At 17 years-old, Rivera became the youngest person in the United States to artistically direct and found a physically integrated contemporary dance company, marked dance project. As an advocate, Rivera has spoken at various institutions of higher learning including Harvard University, Rutgers University, and MIT, to name a few, on topics such as disability/dance/ artistry, LGBTQ issues, and leadership. As a writer, his works have been published by Fox News Latino, Huffington Post, and North Jersey Media Group. He published his first collection of poems and short essays entitled, Drafts: An Imperfect Collection of Writing, which is available on Amazon. Prior to joining the AXIS team, Rivera served as the communications and marketing manager for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City.
"For the past decade I have dedicated my life to advancing the field of physically integrated dance and that journey began, in part, because of the work of AXIS Dance Company and Judy Smith," said Mark Travis Rivera. "Back in 2013, I had the pleasure of serving as an apprentice with AXIS and it fundamentally changed my life. It affirmed that as a disabled person, I had an undeniable right to dance and to choreograph. Now as I prepare to step into the role of Community Engagement Manager, I look forward to expanding on AXIS' long history of rigorous advocacy for the community in Oakland and beyond. I am thrilled to be joining forces with Marc Brew, whose work I've admired since he set, Full of Words on AXIS, and the rest of the AXIS team."