Colleen Leonardi’s work has received awards including: a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in dance criticism; an Outer/Space Artist-in-Residence at Dance Theatre Workshop in New York City; a fellowship in the Next Generation of Leaders Fellowship in Arts & Culture program in Columbus, Ohio; and, as the former editor of Edible Columbus, a member of Edible Communities, Inc., she celebrated as a fellow winner of their 2011 James Beard Award for Publication of the Year. She had the pleasure of celebrating with choreographer Susan Rethorst the release of Rethorst’s first book, A Choreographic Mind: Autobodygraphical Writings, for which Leonardi served as an editor, and the New Yorker named one of the Best Books of 2012. Currently, she is a 2019 fellow in the Deep Ecology Artist Fellowship Program at the United Plant Savers Botanical Sanctuary and an MFA candidate in creative nonfiction at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.
Her writing has appeared in Orion Magazine, The Village Voice, Contact Quarterly, criticaldance.org, Front: a publication on Contemporary Dance, Edible Columbus, Edible Indy, Edible Grand Traverse, Edible Rhody, and Edible Hawaiian Islands. She has studied with writers April Bernard, Gretel Ehrlich, Elizabeth Zimmer, and David James Duncan, and dance artists Bebe Miller, Susan Rethorst, Levi Gonzalez, Juliette Mapp, Susan Sgorbati, Dana Reitz, and Terry Creach, among others.
She has taught at St. Mary’s College, Antioch College, Kenyon College, Capital University, Ohio Wesleyan University, The Ohio State University, and the Vermont Governor’s Institute on the Arts as well as Yoga on High and the former Kasa Yoga in Worthington, Ohio.
Leonardi is a graduate of The Ohio State University’s MFA program in dance with a focus on choreography and dance writing. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Bennington College in creative writing and dance. She is the sister of the late painter Devin Leonardi and daughter of the late Wayne Leonardi. She dedicates all of her work to the life of their loving spirits. She is currently working on her first book in her brother’s memory.
Photo by Rachel Joy Barehl