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Camille A. Brown Honored With Distinguished Artist Award By International Society For The Performing Arts & Receives Andrew W. Mellon Award

ISPA's Distinguished Artist Award is presented to artists who have made an outstanding contribution of talent, artistry, dedication and service to the performing arts.

Choreographer and director Camille A. Brown was honored by the International Society for the Performing Arts (ISPA) on Thursday evening, January 14th, 2020 with the Distinguished Artist Award, presented by Alicia Adams, VP International Programming at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

ISPA's Distinguished Artist Award is presented to artists who have made an outstanding contribution of talent, artistry, dedication and service to the world of the performing arts. In awarding Ms. Brown for the Award, ISPA praised, "Camille is an extraordinary choreographer and dancer, storyteller and educator. A powerful voice that is being heard louder now and into the future."

ISPA is a global association of more than 500 arts management leaders from 56 regions, who come together with the shared goal of strengthening and developing the arts internationally. ISPA members include presenters, performing arts organizations, artist managers, competitions, funders, consultants and other professionals working in the performing arts. As a leadership network, ISPA is committed to recognizing excellence in the performing arts globally.

The first ISPA Award was presented in 1975 to Beverly Sills. Since then, ISPA has continued to recognize outstanding individuals for their contribution to the arts and their communities.

Ms. Brown joins such other Distinguished Artists as: Gustavo Dudamel, Taylor Mac,Peter Brook CBE; Robert Lepage; Bill T. Jones; Akram Khan, Anna Deavere Smith, Audra McDonald, Merce Cunningham, Pina Bausch, Pierre Boulez, Max Roach, Philip Glass, Alvin Ailey and Martha Graham, to name but a few.

Camille A. Brown's award-winning company, Camille A. Brown & Dancers, was recently honored with an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant award of $355,000 to participate in a 5-week Bubble Residency at the Performance Space for the 21st Century, PS21, in Chatham, New York, February 15 - March 21, 2021.

During the residency, Brown and the Company (13 dancers, 2 musicians) will revive and re- imagine Matchstick (2008), develop choreography for Brown's new work, Queens, and engage in creative exploration. The Company is extremely grateful to the Mellon Foundation for this opportunity to gather together to rehearse and explore choreography for the first time in nearly a year.

"We are thrilled to support the dynamic vision of Camille and the talented artists of Camille A. Brown & Dancers through a return to creative community," said Emil Kang, Program Director of Arts and Culture at the Mellon Foundation. "We believe in the importance of safely reuniting artists with their passion and purpose after a year of profound disruption and devastation."

"We have been hoping to host Camille A. Brown & Dancers at PS21 for several years and are deeply grateful to the Mellon Foundation for extending a lifeline to the performing arts during this period of unimagined challenge," said Elena Siyanko, PS21 Executive Director. Camille's artistic vision and commitment to community outreach through programs like Every Body Move, adapted to virtual and socially distanced modes during the pandemic, dovetail perfectly with our own community service initiatives and our conceptions of the role of the arts in contemporary life. Camille's group will inhabit a COVID-Bubble on our peaceful, rambling grounds in Chatham, living in our spacious guesthouses while developing Queens, a new solo work; reimagining Matchstick, inspired by the Great Migration and now more pertinent than ever."

CAMILLE A. BROWN is a prolific Black female choreographer, who is reclaiming the cultural narratives of African American identity. She is a 2020 Dance Magazine Award recipient and 2020 Obie Award Winner for Sustained Excellence in Choreography. She is a Ford Foundation Art of Change Fellow, Audelco Award recipient, five-time Princess Grace Award winner, Guggenheim Fellow, Jacob's Pillow Dance Award recipient, United States Artists' Awardee/Jay Franke & David Herro Fellow, TED Fellow, and Doris Duke Artist Award recipient.

Her Bessie award winning company, Camille A. Brown & Dancers (CABD), tours nationally and internationally and is featured on Google Arts & Culture. As a 2020 Emerson Collective Fellow, Ms. Brown is building the "Social Dance for Social Change" virtual School to provide opportunities for dance education, cultural engagement, and mentorship during the pandemic and beyond.

Broadway and Off-Broadway theater & television credits include: Tarell Alvin McCraney's Choir Boy (Tony and Drama Desk nominations), Tony Award-Winning Broadway revival, Once On This Island (Drama Desk, Outer Critics, and Chita Rivera Nominations), Toni Stone (Drama Desk, Lortel nominee, Audelco nominee), Emmy Award- Winning Jesus Christ Superstar Live on NBC, BELLA: An American Tall Tale (Lortel, Audelco winner), Much Ado About Nothing (Audelco winner, SDCF finalist) for Shakespeare in the Park, among others.

Ms. Brown is the choreographer of The Metropolitan Opera's Porgy & Bess. She made her feature film debut in the recently released Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, directed by George C. Wolfe (Netflix). Brown will make her directorial debut with the Broadway revival of, for colored girls who have considered suicide/ when the rainbow is enuf , Fire Shut Up In My Bones for The Metropolitan Opera (co-directed with James Robinson), and Ain't Misbehavin' at Westport Country Playhouse.

Camille A. Brown & Dancers is a Bessie Award-winning, NYC-based dance company that soars through history like a whirlwind. Celebrated for gutsy moves, powerful theatricality and virtuosic musicality, the nationally acclaimed works of Camille A. Brown & Dancers (CABD) weave together the techniques and aesthetics of Modern, Hip Hop, African, Ballet and Tap to forge dances that reclaim the cultural narratives of African American identity. Brown makes a personal claim on history through the lens of a modern Black female by leading her dancers and collaborators through excavations of ancestral stories, timeless and traditional, as well as through piercing examinations of social issues.

CABD has performed its repertory with live music to critical acclaim in over 68 cities and dozens of states across the US--from Chicago, Los Angeles, Detroit, Boston, Miami and Washington, DC to Oxford, MS and Auburn, AL. In NYC, the Company has been presented by Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors, Celebrate Brooklyn!, Fall for Dance at NY City Center, The Kitchen, and multiple times at The Joyce Theater. CABD performs before 20,000 + people annually and serves 3,000 to 8,000 audience members and community participants each year in New York City.

CABD's community engagement platform, EVERY BODY MOVE (EBM), inspires collective action through the art of social dance and serves 2,500 community participants in NYC and nationally each year, with its flagship initiatives: Black Girl Spectrum, Black Men Moving and The Gathering. During the pandemic CABD launched its virtual Social Dance for Social Change school, which has provided free classes, lectures on social dance, talks and screenings, for more than 90,000 viewers.

Brown's TED-Ed talk, A Visual History of Social Dance in 25 Moves, has over 15 million views on Facebook and the Company's performance of New Second Line at the TED Conference 2018 is on TED.com. Google Arts & Culture highlighted the Company's ink, for Black History Month in 2019.


CABD's activities are supported, in part, with public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. In addition to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Company's activities are supported by the NoVo Foundation, the Howard Gilman Foundation, the New York Community Trust, the Booth Ferris Foundation, the Mertz Gilmore Foundation, Grantmakers for Girls of Color, the Shubert Foundation,
the Harkness Foundation, the Hyde and Watson Foundation, Jody and John Arnhold Arnhold Foundation and Black Art Futures Fund. CABD's new creative initiative is supported by the National Dance Project of the New England Foundation for the Arts, the Princess Grace Foundation, The Joyce Theater, The Apollo Theater and The Meany Center for the Arts in Seattle, Washington.


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