Elizabeth Yntema is the President & Founder of the Dance Data Project®. She is a member of the Board of Trustees for WTTW/WFMT and the Board of Directors of the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre. Liza was graduated from the University of Virginia in 1980 and is 1984 graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, where she was awarded the Jane L. Mixer Memorial Award for Outstanding Contribution to Social Justice. Ms. Yntema is a past member of numerous organizations in the Chicagoland area, including the Joffrey Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Company, Women’s Bar Association, Trust for Public Land in Illinois, Winnetka Board of the Northwestern Settlement House, the Children’s Home and Aid Society, and the Junior League of Chicago, where she was named as Volunteer of the Year for her work advocating for homeless women and children.
Named to the final full year training cohort of The Philanthropy Workshop (TPW) in 2018, Liza spent a year honing her skills as part of “the next generation of strategic philanthropists.” TPW is a global network of over 450 selected philanthropists, from 26 countries.
Ms. Yntema has underwritten ballets for Sacramento and Pacific Northwest Ballets, the Joffrey Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Company and BalletX, including world premieres by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa (Mammatus) and Stephanie Martinez (Bliss!). She has also supported works by Penny Saunders, Robyn Minenko Williams, Amy Seiwert and Eva Stone, as well as Nicolas Blanc and Christopher Wheeldon. Liza was Lead Sponsor of Crystal Pite’s work Solo Echo as part of the celebration of the 40th Anniversary of Hubbard Street Dance Company.
Most recently, Ms. Yntema is personally supporting Aszure Barton’s work for HSDC and her new work for Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Penny Saunders’ new production with Ballet Idaho, the Eugene Ballet (in honor of Artistic Director Toni Pimble), Ballet Hispánico’s presentation of Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s Doña Perón at the Auditorium Theater, Amy Seiwart’s contemporary ballet company, Imagery, and Stephanie Martinez’s work All’s Well that Ends Well with the Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
In May 2018, American Ballet Theatre announced the launch of its ABT Women’s Movement, a multi-year initiative supporting the creation of new works by female choreographers for the company. Ms. Yntema, along with the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation and Rockefeller Brothers Fund, was an initial Principal Sponsor for this initiative and continues to support its development. Ms. Yntema recently joined the Boston Ballet’s multi-year initiative ChoreograpHER as a Lead Sponsor. Liza also actively supports the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s choreographic initiative for female students, New Voices.
Liza and Dance Data Project® have been featured in the book Women and Leadership: Journey Toward Equity by Lisa DeFrank-Cole, Professor and Director of Leadership Studies at West Virginia University and Sherylle J. Tan, Ph. D. a developmental psychologist and Director of Internships and KLI Research at the Kravis Leadership Institute at Claremont McKenna College. Ms. Yntema has also been awarded the inaugural Top Tier Feminist Giver Award by Philanthropy Women in March of 2021.
Ms. Yntema was recently selected for the first national cohort of Chief, a global network of women founders and C-Suite executives.
DDP’s ground breaking work is featured in the book Turning Pointe: How A New Generation of Dancers is Saving Ballet From Itself, published in May 2021.
Photo credit: Kyle Flubacker