Dr. Lonnetta M. Taylor-Gaines
Lonnetta Marie Taylor-Gaines, Ph.D. is an educator, dancer/storyteller, and motivational speaker who has worked for over thirty years in education and the arts. Born in Choctaw County,
Alabama, Gaines was raised in Mobile, Alabama and Louisville, Kentucky. She received her B.A. in English from Fisk University where she had a four-year academic scholarship, her M.S. in Educational Leadership from the
Bank Street College of Education where she was a Cary Leadership Fellow, and her Ph.D. in Afro-American Studies/Early Childhood Education from the Union Institute through a fellowship from the Institute for Policy
Studies in Washington, D.C.
Taylor-Gaines has performed as speaker and storyteller throughout the United States and in Kenya, East Africa. As professional dancer, Gaines has performed throughout
the United States, in Paris, France, and at FESTAC—the International Festival of African Arts and Culture—in Nigeria, West Africa. Gaines has performed with the Erika Thimey Dance Company in Washington, D.C. and with
the New York City-based companies of Eleo Pomare, Dianne McIntyre, and George Faison. She has also performed as improvisational dance artist with stellar jazz musicians including Bob
Cunningham, Marion Brown, Mal Waldron, Sun Ra, Cecil Taylor, and Warren Smith.
Now, as author, Gaines mostly dances with her words. She is the author of Fia and the Butterfly: Seven Stories for Character Education, Fia’s Literacy Pack for Young Scholars, and
Building a Pan-African Pre-School. She is the co-author of The Monroe-Gaines Parenting Manual, and the author and producer of “The Faith Story” CD based on the
seventh story from Fia and the Butterfly.
Dr. Gaines began her career as an English teacher in New Haven, Connecticut and continued to work in the field of education over the years – co-founding and directing the Learning House, a community
pre-school in Atlanta, Georgia, directing the New Approach Method Child Development Center in Trenton, New Jersey, serving as Director of Curriculum of the Patterson School, a private elementary school in Harlem, and
teaching and counseling first-year-students at the Borough of Manhattan Community College in New York City. In the 1980’s, Dr. Gaines was founder and director of Education Arts, Inc. in Louisville, Kentucky, a
non-profit organization dedicated to community uplift through the art of dancing.
For twelve years, Dr. Gaines was a member of the Graduate School faculty at the renowned Bank Street College of Education in New York City where she chaired the Educational Leadership Department,
directed the Early Childhood Leadership Program, taught courses in Educational Administration, Curriculum Development, Child Study, and Creative Movement in the Curriculum, and served as Curriculum Coordinator of the
Center for Folk Arts in Education, a Bank Street City Lore collaboration.
Currently, Dr. Gaines is the Vice President of the Lorraine Monroe Leadership Institute
in New York City. In
this capacity, she consults with public school principals and their teams, helping them to use the Monroe Method to lead schools that promote student achievement.
Lonnetta Marie was brought up in the Pilgrim Rest A.M.E. Zion Church in Whistler, Alabama and the Broadway Temple A.M.E. Zion Church in Louisville, Kentucky. She is currently an active member of the
Mother A.M.E. Zion Church in Harlem, New York. Dr. Gaines is also a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and a member of the Advisory Board of the Genesis II Museum of International Black