image by J. Gash
ARTIST & ENTREPRENEUR
As a Dancer, Entrepreneur, and Community Activator, Alyah Baker leads a multifaceted life that exists at the intersection of art and activism. She identified her passion for dance at an early age and spent decades exploring various techniques with a focus on classical ballet. In 2003 she graduated from Duke University in Durham, NC, with a BA in Sociology and a minor in Dance. After relocating to Oakland, CA, she began her professional dance career, performing with Oakland Ballet, Dance Through Time, and ABD Productions, among others.
Outside of dance, she honed her business skills during a 13-year career with Gap Inc. Alyah left her merchandising role at Gap in 2011 to open Show & Tell Concept Shop, a boutique in downtown Oakland focused on ethical and sustainable design. While working closely with independent artisans and makers, she realized there was a need for spaces that centered the marginalized communities being displaced in the shifting Bay Area landscape. As a result, Alyah co-founded Qulture Collective in Jan 2015, a multifaceted community space and creative hub for Queer, Trans, and Non-Binary folks, with an emphasis on communities of color. In her role as Creative Director and Program Manager, Alyah facilitated hundreds of events and art openings over the course of four years. In 2019 Qulture Collective transitioned from a brick and mortar into a national digital platform.
In 2021, Alyah received her MFA in Dance: Embodied Interdisciplinary Praxis from Duke University. Currently, you can find her running her businesses, performing, and teaching her signature dance class, “Ballet for Black and Brown Bodies,” in studios throughout the US.