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Lifting Girls Up Gala

About the Honorees

Leah C. Johnson
Leah C. Johnson
Executive Vice President, Chief Communications, Marketing & Advocacy Officer for Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
Leah C. Johnson

Leah C. Johnson is the Executive Vice President, Chief Communications, Marketing & Advocacy Officer for Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Since starting in 2019, Leah has been at the nexus of the institution’s ongoing transformation into a place all New Yorkers can feel welcome.  She is vital in reaching audiences new to Lincoln Center: During 2022’s Summer for the City series, over 75% of audiences were new. She leads a team that is implementing innovative, accessible ticketing models – including “Choose What You Pay” – and deep community engagement practices.  


She led the communications campaign for the opening of the reimagined David Geffen Hall, where among her many duties she drove inclusion benchmarks resulting in 42% Minority & Women Business Enterprise (MWBE) participation, 51% of the workforce from underrepresented communities, and a job training program which resulted in long-term employment for individuals from the local community. She promotes diverse programming to help cultivate an inclusive environment at Lincoln Center where all New Yorkers can see themselves and their stories represented. Currently, she is spearheading a major, collaborative project to reimagine the west side of Lincoln Center’s campus to make it a more welcoming, accessible, and inclusive space, and an ongoing commitment to examining injustices within the organization’s founding history. Leah is at the helm of a number of initiatives that interrogate the accepted historical narrative of the “urban renewal” program that displaced thousands and honor and uplift the stories of those who lived in the neighborhood before Lincoln Center was built—including the Legacies of San Juan Hill website.  


Leah has held leadership positions in the public and corporate sectors and ran her own strategic communications firm before joining Lincoln Center. She holds positions across several organizations and sits on numerous non-profit boards dedicated to creating and maintaining diversity and equity within the NYC arts and culture community, including: Vice Chair of the Board, New York Public Radio; and Trustee and Member of the Executive Committee, and Founding Chair of the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEA) Committee of the Board at the Museum of the City of New York. She serves as a mentor with Women in America and was Vice Chair of the Board of Planned Parenthood New York City. She is a director at Monro, Inc. (NASDAQ:MNRO).  


Leah is a graduate of Harvard College and holds a B.A. in Psychology. A Brooklyn native, Leah makes her home in East Harlem with her husband and daughter.

About the Host

Abbi Crutchfield
Host, Hulu's Up Early Tonight
Actor, Writer, Comedian

Abbi Crutchfield is the host of Up Early Tonight on Hulu. You have seen her on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, Comedy Central, and as the host of You Can Do Better on TruTV. She has been a staple of the NYC stand-up scene and has toured nationally.

Abbi Crutchfield

About the Performer

Smashworks Dance Company • Ashley McQueen
Founder and Artistic Director

Smashworks Dance is a New York-based group of movers advocating for human rights through arts activism and site-specific work. 

Founder and Artistic Director Ashley McQueen directs and choreographs for Smashworks Dance, teaches as an Adjunct Professor of Dance at Manhattanville College, performs with Amanda Selwyn Dance Theatre, and works as a freelance choreographer and teacher.

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Smashworks Dance Company

For additional information, please contact Shea Harris, by email or by phone 212-531-7620 x406

For more information on corporate sponsorships, please reach out to

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