President and Executive Director
Sonja Kostich brings with her both the knowledge and experience of having been a professional dancer for over two decades as well as significant business acumen derived from her business education and time working at Goldman Sachs. Through a unique and successful professional trajectory, she now merges her artistic and business experience as an arts leader.
Ms. Kostich was hired by Mikhail Baryshnikov at the age of 17 to join American Ballet Theatre from The School of Classical Ballet, the training school for ABT created by Mr. Baryshnikov, consisting of only seven female students and five male students. She later danced with the San Francisco Ballet and the Zurich Ballet, Mikhail Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project, and in multiple collaborations with opera/theater director Peter Sellars, before co-founding OtherShore, which she co-directed for six years. Her experience in ballet, contemporary, and modern dance resulted in a diverse international career that spanned across artistic disciplines.
Upon retiring from dancing, Ms. Kostich returned to school, obtaining a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Accounting and Business Communication from Zicklin School of Business, CUNY Baruch College, where she graduated Salutatorian at the age of 42. Following, she began a full-time position at Goldman Sachs in the Finance Division with a focus on regulatory capital requirements. Simultaneously she obtained an MA in Arts Administration, eventually returning to the dance world, first as the finance manager at Mark Morris Dance Group and then as program manager at New York City Center. From 2018 to 2022, she served as the Chief Executive and Artistic Officer at Kaatsbaan Cultural Park, a 153-acre artist sanctuary located in Tivoli, NY, where she led the successful rebrand and revitalization of the 30+ year organization, bringing it to award-winning status for its significant artistic and economic contributions to the Hudson Valley.
In October 2022, Ms. Kostich joined Baryshnikov Arts as its new Executive Director. As a female Korean American, born in Seoul, Korea, and raised in Minnesota, her history, both personal and professional, lends itself to cultivating and supporting new perspectives as Baryshnikov Arts expands its capacity to create multi-platform and collaborative havens for artistic expression, innovation and freedom and especially as we commit further to elevating and sharing the stories of artists of diverse cultures and histories.