top of page



CEO, ThirdSpace Action Lab + Reading Room

Dancing with Teagan Reed

  • Evelyn Burnett is Co-founder + CEO ThirdSpace Action Lab (TSAL) and ThirdSpace Reading Room (TSRR) headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio. Prior to TSAL, Evelyn served as Vice President, Economic Opportunity at Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, Associate Director for Program Strategies with Admiral Center at Living Cities, project director in the city of Cleveland’s Office of Sustainability, and as a 2007-2008 Cleveland Executive (Coro) Fellow. Evelyn is a 2022 Aspen Institute Ideas Fellow, Unreasonable Group Mentor, 2018 German Marshall Fellow and sits on the board of several organizations throughout Northeast Ohio and nationally including ioby (In Our Back Yards) + RidAll Green Partnership. Evelyn holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business and Organizational Communications with a double minor in Sales & Marketing and Dance from The University of Akron during which time she studied abroad in Ghana, Africa; and a master’s degree in Public Administration from The University of Akron.


  • Why did you decide to be an It Takes Two! celebrity dancer?

    As a dance minor, I can't think of a better way to raise money than to return to one of my passions.

    What about dance in general connects with you? I know I'm alive when I'm freely moving my body...especially to beautiful music.

    Why should people vote for you?

    I am passionate about equity + inclusion and creating a sense of belonging in all art forms, especially dance, which can be quite exclusionary.  Folks should vote for me because I work hard to fight for racial equity + inclusion in everything I do; you'll have A LOT of fun engaging with me + my partner's

    piece, and I'll leave it all on the floor for a good cause like this one.

    How has it been working with your GroundWorks dance partner?

    It is an honor to dance with Tea. We have so much chemistry, and the vibes are right. We have a similar taste in music, and we both appreciate deep, soulful experiences. I am excited to learn from Tea and look forward to adding a thing here and there. The audience is in for a treat, and I'm delighted to put my dancing shoes back on with Tea's guidance.

    What has surprised you about the creative process?

    I've been reminded of the brilliance of artists to create beauty from nothing.  I was surprised by how difficult it was to select songs that speak to who I am + what I would want to dance to.  So much of the creative process in dance for me, is about vibes + chemistry and lucky for me I have so much of both with Tea :)

  • Favorite TV Show or Movie: Original Color Purple, The Wiz + TV Show: Top Boy 

    Favorite Book or Author: Chocolate Cities: The Black Map of American Life 

    Favorite dessert: Sweet potato pie 

    Favorite genre of music: R&B 

    Name one thing on your bucket list: Visit all the wonders of the world 

    As a child, I wanted to be: A fly girl from In Living Color 

    When I am not working, I like to: Be behind the counter at the ThirdSpace Reading

    Room or traveling

  • Daughter of Robert + Gladys Burnett; Co-Founder Mordecai Cargill + TSAL Team

bottom of page