Two Oakland artists take on a massive mural in the city's downtown, only to find themselves at the center of the debate over gentrification and cultural resiliency.

JUDITH SMITH, Artistic Director and Founder of AXIS Dance Company, was born and raised in Colorado. Prior to becoming disabled in a car accident at age 17 in 1977, Judith was a champion equestrian. She transferred her passion for riding to dance after discovering contact improvisation in 1983. She has earned an international reputation in the field of physically integrated dance. Judith has commissioned works by some of the nation’s best choreographers and composers and has developed one of the field’s most extensive integrated dance education/outreach programs.

Judith has been featured in several videos including Dancing from the Inside Out, WNET’s People in Motion, John Killacky’s Crip Shots, KQED’s Spark, KRCB’s One in 5 Stories and KGO/ABC’s Profiles of Excellence.  In 1997, she was a co-curator and Artistic Consultant for Dance Umbrella’s International Festival of Wheelchair Dance. Judith teaches dance to youth and adults and lectures at community organizations, schools, universities and conferences.  She has been on the faculty of Florida Dance Festival and Bates Dance Festival. In addition, she serves on numerous conference panels, arts review panels and is on the advisory board of the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography, The National Art and Disability Center, Dancers’ Group and Bates Dance Festival.

In 2006, Judith participated in the Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders in the Arts and Dance/USA’s Leadership for Artistic Directors. Judith has received the Dreamspeakers’ Award, the Alameda County Arts Leadership Award, KQED’s Local Hero, the Homer Avila danceAble award and Artship Foundation’s Local Hero award.  She was honored with an Isadora Duncan Dance Award for Sustained Achievement in 2014, the O2 Initiatives Sabbatical Award in 2015 and in 2016 she was honored as one of Theatre Bay Area’s 40 people that have changed the face of Bay Area theatre.

In her spare time, Judith is actively involved in thoroughbred racehorse rescue and adaptive carriage driving.Warmly, judy

JUDITH SMITH