"Kabby Mitchell III was in his early 20s when he became the first black company member of PNB, back in 1979; pictures of him from the time show a charismatic young man clearly at ease with being elegantly airborne. He danced with the company until 1984, reaching the rank of soloist. It was the beginning of a rich career that took him around the world — he performed with Nederlands Dans Theater, as well as Dance Theater of Harlem, PNB and other companies — but kept him rooted here in the Pacific Northwest, where he became a beloved choreographer, teacher, mentor and role model." -Moira Macdonald, The Seattle Times
T.U.P.A.C. Co-Founder and Executive Director, Klair Ethridge has always worked in the arts/entertainment fields. She began her dance training at the American Ballet Theatre School, the High School of Performing Arts, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and various other schools of dance in New York City. Klair danced in numerous stage, television, commercial, and feature film productions.As a young girl, one of her three brothers coerced her into watching the film "The Producers", Klair was intrigued with the art of producing for the stage and screen and ultimately worked with Broadway Producer, Ashton Springer and Director Otis Sallid in New York City on several productions before moving to Los Angeles.
She assisted Director, Bill Duke on the feature film, Deep Cover, and was the Assistant to the Executive Producer of, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, before she went on to Produce & Co-Write the Short Film, Conversations, which featured James Earl Jones, Harvey Fierstein, Obba Babatunde and other notable actors, which presented at numerous domestic and international Film Festivals. Klair went on to produce for Sony Pictures, Dick Clark Corporate Productions and numerous other companies.
Klair has also always been fascinated with sound and became a microphone boom operator, she was on the Emmy Award nominated Sound Team for Season I of LOST as well as an Emmy Award winner as a member of the Sound Team for Season IV of LOST. Desperate Housewives, the uproarious comedy, Next Day Air directed by Benny Boom, starring Mike Epps and Mos Def as well as countless other Television Shows, Feature Films and Commercials round out her professional work.
T.U.P.A.C.’s mission is to provide the youth of Tacoma, particularly underrepresented youth in the historic Hilltop Community, with opportunities to achieve artistic excellence through culturally relevant pre-professional dance training, community events, and classes in the performing arts. Further, our mission is to provide students with mentoring by national and international artists, and intergenerational artists, and most importantly, whole person development and community give back.
T.U.P.A.C. envisions a future where our students will be globally recognized as T.U.P.A.C. artists by the content of their character, their poise, the generosity of their spirit and the phenomenal contributions they make to their communities and the planet.
T.U.P.A.C. would like to acknowledge our studio is on the land of the Indigenous Puyallup tribe. The Puyallup Tribe of Indians have lived along the shores of the Puget Sound in Washington State for thousands of years. The people of the Puyallup Tribe have been known for their "generous and welcoming behavior to all people who enter our lands."
Jade Solomon Curtis
Tacoma Urban Performing Arts Center
1105 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Tacoma, WA 98405