Cori Terry, Wellspring’s founder and Artistic Director, was born in Brooklyn and attended the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She completed her dance training in New York City and joined the Erick Hawkins Dance Company in 1974. Cori performed and taught in major cities throughout the United States and Europe. In 1980, Cori came to Kalamazoo as artist-in-residence at Western Michigan University. Then, in the 1980-81 season she formed Wellspring/Cori Terry & Dancers.
Wellspring's first appearance was a good omen of great things to come. The first show, a sell out at Dalton Theater, in the Light Fine Arts Building, Kalamazoo College, was followed by a standing ovation. As with most new artistic ventures, the road to sustained success was a steep one. The company's first rehearsal space was a humble, narrow loft on East Michigan Avenue. By the summer of 1983, Wellspring had settled into the Park Trades Building. It was a spacious and welcome home (although the cement pillars in the middle of the dance floor posed both a creative and personal hazard to dancers!) Nonetheless, the professional company was full of energy and continued to grow over the next 17 years, as did its outreach to a community eager to learn more about modern dance.
Wellspring has experienced unprecedented growth since its March 2000 move to the Epic Center in downtown Kalamazoo, resulting in greater visibility in the community and increased opportunities. Wellspring now enjoys the custom designed, state-of-the-art Wellspring Theater and a second rehearsal studio, Studio 19, allowing for a greater number and variety of performances, classes and workshops.
Highlights of Wellspring's history include critically acclaimed performances and collaborations with Artichoke Dance Company and Naumburg-winning eighth blackbird of New York, Zephyr Dance and XSIGHT! of Chicago, Susan Van Pelt from the University of Ohio, Detroit Dance Collective, Eisenhower Dance Ensemble, Ariel Dance Company, Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, Fontana Chamber Arts and Cavani String Quartet. In 1997, Wellspring was the subject of an hour-long documentary, The Birth of a Dance, which aired on PBS.
Ms. Terry twice has received the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs Creative Artist Grant for choreography and was the recipient of Kalamazoo's coveted Community Medal of Arts Award for her contributions to the creative community. In 2001, Wellspring was the recipient of the Great Lakes Community Arts Award given by the Michigan Association of Community Arts Agencies for “artistic excellence as well as community impact and outreach”. In 2003, Wellspring was honored to be chosen as the official Artists-in-Residence for the Battle Creek Public Schools. In 2008, Ms. Terry was awarded the Community Dance Advocacy Award by Western Michigan University's Partners in Dance and was honored at the Governor's Awards for her lifetime achievement as a Michigan artist.
Wellspring follows an equal opportunity employment policy that guarantees employment opportunities, training, promotion and work environment to be free of any discrimination based on race, color, religion, age, weight & height, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, ethnic background, handicap, disease, or veteran status.