LEADERSHIP

Apollo Executive Team

Jonelle Procope
President & CEO

Ms. Procope joined the Apollo Board of Trustees in 1999 and in 2003 became its President and Chief Executive Officer.  During her tenure as President, she has led a team of 50 full-time employees and an executive team responsible for all operating and strategic functions of the legendary Theater.  During this period, she led the successful Apollo Rising Capital Campaign to restore the legendary theater, focused on the development of the Apollo Theater Board of Directors, and attracted and engaged a first-rate executive team and staff insuring the long-term stability of the organization.  She has overseen the Apollo’s transformation into a vibrant not-for-profit performing arts organization by increasing its base of support, expanding its education and community programs and creating large-scale artistic initiatives. 

 

 

Prior to assuming her role as President and CEO of the Apollo, Ms. Procope held a variety of senior positions within the fields of entertainment law and media-related corporate affairs and management.  She began her legal career as a corporate associate attorney at the law firm of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.

 

Kamilah Forbes - Executive Producer
President & CEO

Ms. Co¬founder and artistic director of Hi¬ARTS, Kamilah Forbes, is an award-winning director and producer. In her diverse body of work, Forbes is noted for having a strong commitment to the development of creative works by, for, and about the Hip-¬Hop Generation. Her talent in the range of aforementioned endeavors has been said to “cast a vivid and evocative spell on both the national and international stage.” 

While her family originally hails from Jamaica, Forbes was born and raised in Chicago. After graduating from Howard University with a degree in theater, Forbes partnered with one of her former classmates and friends, actor Chadwick Boseman (42, Get On Up) and wrote a theatrical piece fusing the elements of her generation’s sensibilities, thrust and penchant for social justice, coining the aesthetic ‘hip­hop theater’. Forbes and Boseman presented the piece at the National Black Arts Festival and in other venues. A year later, the Hip-Hop Theater Festival was born.

Over the last 16 years, Forbes has led the Hip-Hop Theater Festival as it has grown from a fledgling project into an independent nonprofit organization with a truly national scope. Presented in New York, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Chicago, the festival has featured the works of nearly 100 artists from the United States and from around the world, including England, Brazil, and Canada. Many new and well­known artistic forces have had their work leveraged under Forbes’s artistic direction, including OBIE Award-winner Will Power, TONY Award-winner Sarah Jones, Rennie Harris, Nilaja Sun, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, and Indio Melendez, to name a few.

 

 

Hi­ARTS received the Union Square Arts Award under Forbes’ direction, as well as a special award given by the New York Regional Association of Grantmakers for “its innovative approach for addressing socio­political issues in NYC and beyond.”

Other projects produced by Ms. Forbes include: What’s Going On—the 40th anniversary celebration of Marvin Gaye’s seminal conversation with America (with John Legend as Marvin Gaye, Sharon Jones as Tammy Terrell, and Dap, Sonia Sanchez, and others); One Mic—a month­long multi­disciplinary celebration of Hip­Hop Worldwide; and Nas’ 20 Year Anniversary of Illmatic—a celebration of the classic hip­hop album, accompanied with 96 players from the National Symphony Orchestra—all staged at the Kennedy Center.

Forbes first came to prominence as the writer/director of Hip­Hop Theatre Junction’s premier work “Rhyme Deferred.” Forbes has produced several works for both television and theater, most notably the seven­season Peabody Award-winning series Russell Simmons presents Def Poetry on HBO.  She was also a co­executive producer on the Brave New Voices documentary series on HBO, in addition to executive-producing the most recent PBS special The Women’s List.

Forbes has received numerous accolades for her work in the arts, including a Josephine Abady Award, AUDELCO Award nomination, NAACP Image Award, numerous Helen Hayes Award nominations, DC Commission Distinguished Artist Award, Tony Award, and The Mayor’s Arts Award for Emerging Theatre Artist.

 

Jacques Brunswick
Chief Operating Officer

Mr. Brunswick joined the Apollo in 2013 as COO. Prior to joining the Apollo Theater, Jacques was the Chief Administrative Officer of the nation’s premier regional theater, The Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, MN, where he successfully managed the Theater through its first six seasons in a new $125 million, 285,000 square foot facility designed by Jean Nouvel.  He was responsible for the business affairs, bottom line, and operations of 3 theaters, 2 restaurants, and 11 bars with an annual attendance of 420,000 and an operating budget of $28 million.  Earlier career highlights include VP, Finance and Administration/CFO of Mystic Seaport, supervising Finance, Facilities, Construction, IT, HR, Museum Stores, and Food Services for America’s premier 17-acre maritime museum and VP Finance and Administration/CFO of BAM (Brooklyn 

 

Academy of Music) where he directed the finances and administration of this internationally recognized 4-theater performing arts center. In addition to supervising Finance, MIS, Box Office, Building Management, Construction, Personnel, and Concessions, Mr. Brunswick also handled government relations, union contracts, and real estate development, including the renovation of the Majestic Theater, now known as the Harvey Theater. Mr. Brunswick holds an MA in Business Administration from the Bolz Center for Arts Administration, University of Wisconsin, Madison.