Steve Sneed works closely with Pacific Northwest Ballet leadership and PNB’s I.D.E.A. committee as a race and social justice consultant. He has been consulting with PNB since Fall 2020.
Steve began his career at the age of 15 as the Leader of the African Drum and Dance group the Ogundas. For seven years, the group performed at festivals, prisons, colleges, churches and various special events in the State of Washington including CTI Jazz at the Paramount Theatre. He graduated from the University of Washington with a General Studies degree, designing his major which he called, Black Performing Artist. Steve worked as an Equity actor in Seattle, and produced and directed plays in Seattle. As an actor he was nominated for an Emmy Award for his role in the KCTS 9 Drama, Cellar George of which he played the title character.
Steve is semi-retired after 31 years with the City of Seattle, serving 11 years as the Director of the Langston Hughes Center and 20 years as the Managing Artistic Director of Cultural Programs at Seattle Center where he expanded the Festal Cultural Festival program from 11 events to 24 ethnic cultural festivals. For ten years he served as the Co-Lead of the Seattle Center award winning Race and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI) Change Team.
Steve has served two terms as a Washington State Arts Commissioner appointed by Governor Gregoire, a Board member for the local arts organization Central District Forum For Arts and Ideas, founding Co-Chair of the Historic Central Area Arts District, and is currently serving as a board member with Inspire Washington. In 2001, Steve was the Recipient of the Corporate Council for the Arts (now Artsfund) “Unsung Hero Award.” In 2017, he was selected as “Man of the Year” by the Fifth District First AME Church of the Pacific Northwest. In 2019, he was given the City of Seattle Leadership in Management award by the Seattle Management Association and the Cultural Custodian Award from the Central District Reunion committee.
In 2014 and 2015 Steve directed the community Black History production, “Can I get a Witness,” which involved over 50 cast and crew members and performed to capacity crowds at the Langston Hughes Arts Institute. Steve is the proud dad of six children, six grandchildren and has been married to Vida, his childhood sweetheart, for 40 years.