Dallas Black Dance Theatre Founder Ann Williams and Executive Director Zenetta S. Drew are doing cabrioles and echappés with good reason. Thanks to The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s providing the International Association of Blacks in Dance a multi-year grant, the five founding dance companies of IABD each received a $100,000 unrestricted grant that “can be applied to general operating expenses.”
Dallas’ oldest leading dance company, DBDT joined Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Lula Washington Dance Theatre and The Philadelphia Dance Company in establishing IABD back in 1991.
According to Zenetta, “This unrestricted grant gives Dallas Black Dance Theatre the financial flexibility to be more efficient and secure in executing season plans for dancers, choreographers, and artistic programs and assists with mitigating the rising costs of employee benefits.”
IABD President/CEO Denise Saunders Thompson further explained, “These grants will enable five leading dance companies, that are all deeply vested in African American neighborhoods across the United States as evidenced by their operations of dance companies, facilities, programs, and schools, to pursue greater innovation and take new risks, both organizationally and artistically. Despite their creative excellence and international acclaim, many smaller and mid-sized Black dance companies have had to come to terms with inadequate capitalization and other business challenges.”
* Photo provided by Dallas Black Dance Theatre