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Gabrielle L. Kurlander, President and CEO


Gabrielle L. Kurlander was born in Washington, DC and grew up in the college town of Ithaca, New York.  She began performing on stage with her violin at age four and appeared in her first theatrical production at eleven, playing a singing orphan in an original opera staged at Cornell University.  Ms. Kurlander went on to perform as an actor and singer in community, regional and summer stock theatre before moving to New York City to pursue her acting career.  Ms. Kurlander holds a BA from Empire State College, and has studied acting with the acclaimed teacher William Esper, as well as modern dance, ballet, voice and several other disciplines.  She became a member of Actor's Equity when she was cast (from an open call) in the national tour of the Broadway show,Biloxi Blues.


In the 1980s, Ms. Kurlander spent several years volunteering as a community organizer for grassroots organizations, working in Harlem, many of Brooklyn's poor communities, as well as in Chicago and Philadelphia.  In 1988, Ms. Kurlander worked as an aide to Dr. Lenora B. Fulani during her history-making independent run for the presidency.   

In the early 1990s, Ms. Kurlander raised investment capital to found a new company, Performance of a Lifetime, which provides performance-based training to corporate professionals. The company now serves dozens of corporate clients worldwide.  In 2003, Ms. Kurlander served as executive producer for the independent film, Nothing Really Happens (Memories of Aging Strippers), which garnered four film festival awards. 

Ms. Kurlander has been a member of the All Stars Project's Castillo Theatre company since 1987. She has performed in over 35 productions, and is on the directing staff.  During Castillo's 2008-2009 season, Ms. Kurlander co-directed the musical Coming of Age in Korea with dancer/choreographer, Desmond Richardson, and in the 2009-2010 season, she starred as Amelia Earhart in Safe at Third(or Josh Gibson Don't Bunt) and directed Heiner Müller's The Task; and in 2010 she directed Playing with Heiner Müller, texts by Heiner Müller, and additional text and original songs by Fred Newman, artistic director emeritus of the Castillo Theatre.  

Ms. Kurlander's unique combination of creativity, community organizing, and business sense has served the All Stars Project well.  When she took the helm in 1990, she was the ASP's only staff member and the organization had a budget of $200,000 annually.  By the late 1990s, Ms. Kurlander launched a fundraising campaign to establish a unique development center for poor and minority youth.  As a result of the campaign's success, the All Stars Project, Inc. is headquartered on West 42nd Street in New York City at a performing arts and development center, a 31,000-square foot, $19 million facility with four theaters.

Ms. Kurlander's leadership has developed the ASP's unique partnerships with the business community, private donors, and volunteers, building the ASP's budget to $7 million, entirely through private sources.  Today, the ASP employs 45 people in four cities, reaches 10,000 youth, and has over 900 people volunteering annually.  It serves as a national model for inner-city youth development, operating in New York City, Newark, Chicago and the San Francisco Bay Area and inspiring programs in several other U.S. cities and throughout the world.

Members of Ms. Kurlander's President's Committee hail from every firm on Wall Street, and include hundreds of managing directors and many CEO's.  President's Committee members contribute between $1,000 and $50,000 annually, and function as volunteers and fundraisers for the programs and as advisors to the All Stars Project's senior staff.

Ms. Kurlander is also the creator and director of the All Stars alumni summer program, The Art of Painting the World in Different Colors - an advanced course of study that helps young people develop a worldly persona and prepares them to be successful in our diverse and demanding world. During an intensive month-long program the young people receive hands-on coaching from leading professionals in business and in the arts.  The faculty has included businessman, philanthropist, and former CEO of AT&T C. Michael Armstrong; the late jazz pianist/composer Dr. Billy Taylor; president and chief executive officer of the Apollo Theater Foundation Jonelle Procope; economist and China expert Dan Rosen; and the American avant-garde stage director and playwright, Robert Wilson.  

Over the years, Ms. Kurlander's opinion pieces have been published in Investor's Business Daily, and the Christian Science Monitor. In 1998 she was the subject of a cover story-profile in Fundraising Management magazine, and in 2009 she was profiled in Lilith Magazine and featured in 12 Key Actions of Volunteer Program Champions:  CEOs Who Lead the Way. Ms. Kurlander has appeared on CNN, the BBC, and was featured on PBS's New York Voices, Help Wanted: Black, Male and Unemployed, and CNN's Business Unusual. Ms. Kurlander has appeared in numerous newspaper articles, and has been interviewed on local television and radio.

For more information about Ms. Kurlander go to