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DANCECleveland and Choreographer Camille A. Brown awarded Joyce Award

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The coveted $50,000 grant supports the creation of thought-provoking work
from artists of color and non-profit collaborators

Of the four 2014 recipients of the Joyce Award (given annually by the Joyce Foundation in Chicago) DANCECleveland and New York choreographer Camille A. Brown are among the recipients. The award is given annually to recognize artists of color who work with non-profit institutions. The purpose of the $50,000 grant is to develop cross culture understanding through the arts by bringing together diverse audiences to performances.

“We are thrilled the Joyce Foundation selected our proposed project with Camille for this prestigious and generous award,” said Pam Young, DANCECleveland executive director. “We’re looking forward to supporting Camille as she creates a new work that we will present as part of our 60th anniversary season in 2015.”

As a result of this funding, Brown will create a new dance and music performance piece with the working title “Black Girl”. The work will shed light on the complex nature of African American females as they try to carve out a positive identity in urban American culture.

Featured in the new work will be the multimedia depiction of literary works including “The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison. Along with the established literary works, Brown and her dancers will conduct interviews in Cleveland as well as other parts of the country. These dialogs will be used as spoken text during the performance. By combining history, dance, dialog and music with the approach of imagery in “Alice in Wonderland” the piece will bring to forefront the issues of the concepts of feminism, patriarchy, stereotypes and beauty in the female African American community.

The other three recipients of the 2014 award are composer Jessie Montgomery with the Sphinx Organization in Detroit; and in Minneapolis, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage with the Guthrie Theater and playwright Tracey Scott Wilson with the Pillsbury House Theatre.

The recipients are picked by an anonymous national panel made up of cultural organizations and business leaders and is based on artistic merit, quality of work and community engagement in the arts.

“Throughout the Joyce Awards’ 11 years, we have been so proud to support over 35 community-oriented arts projects to diversify and engage audiences and artists,” said Ellen Alberding, President of the Joyce Foundation. “This year’s endeavors bring strong voices to the table and showcase the incredible artistic talent of the winning artists, and we’re excited to be part of the process.”

About Camille A. Brown

Brown, a prolific choreographer who has achieved multiple accolades and awards for her daring works, is the artistic director of her own New York City-based company, Camille A. Brown & Dancers. Dance companies that have commissioned her work include Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Philadanco, Urban Bush Women and Complexions, among others.

About DANCECLeveland

DANCECleveland, a Cleveland, Ohio based non-profit, is one of a handful of presenters nationally that is dedicated solely to the presentation of modern and contemporary dance. The centerpiece of the organization’s programming is its annual performance series. The performances are surrounded by an array of educational outreach events including artist-run master classes, residency programs, student matinees, pre-performance lectures and post-performance Q&A sessions, designed both to break artistic boundaries and provide community access to the dance aesthetic and dance luminaries that DANCECleveland brings to Northeast Ohio. For more information visit www.dancecleveland.org

About the Joyce Foundation

The Joyce Foundation supports policies that improve the quality of life for people in the Great Lakes region and that can serve as models for the country. Our efforts are focused on addressing today’s most pressing problems while also shaping the public policy decisions critical to achieving long-term solutions and creating opportunity. The work is based on sound research and aimed at areas where we can add the most value. We encourage new, forward thinking and innovative approaches with a regional focus and the potential for a national reach. To learn more about the Foundation, please visit www.joycefdn.org.

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