Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Arts Administrator - Joan Myers Brown

Joan Myers Brown is the founder of The Philadelphia Dance Company (PHILADANCO) and The Philadelphia School of Dance Arts. She serves as honorary chairperson for the International Association of Blacks in Dance, an organization she established along with the International Conference of Black Dance Companies. She is a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of the Arts, which bestowed upon her an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts, and is a member of the dance faculty at Howard University in Washington, DC. Most recently, she was awarded an honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters by Ursinus College. Listed in Who's Who in America and described as an "innovator and communicator," Ms. Brown has made significant contributions to the national and international arts communities.

Regionally and nationally, Ms. Brown has served a broad range of organizations, including NEFA's National Dance Project, the United States Information Agency, Arts America, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Arts Councils of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Michigan, Nevada, and Ohio and the National Forum for Female Executives. Locally, she has been a part of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, the Minority Arts Resource Council, the Philadelphia Mayor's Cultural Advisory Council, the Philadelphia Dance Alliance, The Women's Heritage Society, Dance/USA and the Coalition of African American Cultural Organizations.
Ms. Brown was honored as one of the "Dance Women; Living Legends" in tribute to five African-American pioneer women who founded distinguished modern dance companies with deep roots in Black communities around the country. She was also honored by Kennedy Center for African American Choreography. Ms. Brown has served as a consultant to many national cultural organizations, and was appointed to the choreographer's panel of the Rockefeller Foundation Arts & Humanities Program; and served as vice president (and co-founder) to the Coalition of Afro-American Cultural Organizations.

Ms. Brown's efforts on behalf of dance excellence belie a much larger contribution to the arts and the community. She remains a tireless advocate and spokesperson and is a model of tenacity, hope and discipline. Ms. Brown is the proud mother of daughters Marlisa and Dannielle, who teach at the Philadelphia School of Dance Arts, and grandmother of six.

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