National Menada Award

Acknowledging the importance of American Dance, the Council of Dance Fest Skopje has awarded the National Menada Award to Joan Myers Brown, Artistic Director of Philadanco, which she founded in 1970, for exceptional lifetime achievements in the field of dance. She serves as honorary chairperson for the International Association of Blacks in Dance, an organization she established in 1991, which received a Bessie Award in 2000. Brown is a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of the Arts, which bestowed upon her an honorary doctorate of fine arts. She was awarded an honorary doctorate in humane letters from Ursinus College, and is a member of the dance faculty at Howard University. She also received an honorary doctorate of arts from the University of Pennsylvania. Brown has served a broad range of regional and national organizations, including NEFA’s National Dance Project, the United States Information Agency, Arts America, the National Endowment for the Arts, National Forum for Female Leaders, Philadelphia’s Mayor’s Cultural Advisory Council, and many others. She is a recipient of a 2012 National Medal of Arts, the nation’s highest civic honor for excellence in the arts. President Barack Obama cited her for carving out “an artistic haven for African American dancers and choreographers to innovate, create, and share their unique visions with the national and global dance communities.”

Joan’s acceptance speech can be viewed below.

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