Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano recently appointed Joan MacNaughton to serve as Lead Ambassador for Cultural Arts in Nassau County.
MacNaughton’s career work has always been immersed in dance and theatre beginning with her dance and theatre classes under the tutelage of renowned teachers of the Broadway dance world. She founded and remains the artistic director and a teacher of Leggz Ltd. in Rockville Centre and has a faculty of New York City’s finest dance artists.
“Joan’s extensive background in the arts and love for her county make her perfect for this position,” said Mangano. “Together we will continue to provide residents with a wide variety of opportunities to expand horizons and help reach the full potential of our young people.”
MacNaughton’s focus has been on children receiving the best possible dance training and nurturing their dreams of dance on the professional stage and theatre. Many of her students have gone on to careers in Broadway, television and the ballet world. MacNaughton is a dance coach/choreographer for dancers of Broadway shows, television, film and commercials beginning with “Annie” (the original), “Will Rogers Follies,” “The Man Who Came to Dinner,” the revival of “Bye Bye Birdie” and the New York City Ballet. She has created, directed and choreographed numerous productions including the Off-Broadway play “Rare Times Altogether” by James Joyce. She is a life member of Dance Educators of America. One of her finest accomplishments is the nationally recognized and award winning Leggz Ltd Dance Ensemble.
“I am so thrilled to have been appointed by County Executive Ed Mangano,” MacNaughton said. “I’m so happy to be part of his team.”
As Lead Ambassador for Cultural Arts, it will be MacNaughton’s job to bring events to the county, such as concerts, shows, author readings and more. MacNaughton is no stranger to the task: she served under former County Executive Tom Suozzi as the Special Advisor for cultural Affairs for eight years. It was a similar position, but now she has more authority and autonomy, working directly with mangano.
In addition to her many artistic contributions, MacNaughton is very active in her community as she is the Vice President of the RVC Lion’s Club, Chairman of the RVC Community Fund Enchanted Winterland, Old Westbury Gardens Children in Bloom Luncheon Chair, Nassau County Museum event planner, United Cerebral Palsy Nassau Festival of trees coordinator and the Friends of the Madison Theatre at Molloy College advisory committee.
The first event MacNaughton has planned is a concert at Nickerson Beach in late July.
“We’ve been through Sandy, we’ve been through a lot of tough stuff around here on the North and South Shore,” she said, “and some bright spots are that we have some good things to look forward to.”