Making Dance Accessible to All
July 7, 2021—As the readers of Arts & Culture Connections know, I am passionate about dance! That’s why I am delighted to share with you a wonderful interview conducted by the extraordinary Aaron Dworkin with Malik Robinson, executive director of the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Company (CPRD) and chair of Dance USA.
The interview was conducted for Aaron’s latest venture—Arts Engines—a weekly, online video interview conducted in partnership with Detroit Public Television, Ovation TV, The Violin Channel and American Public Media. Through real-life experiences and best practices, Arts Engines seeks to share valuable advice from arts administrators about creative problem-solving, policy, economic issues, crisis management and empowering the future of our field.
As a result of Malik’s efforts with CPRD, Dance USA, as well as with the International Association of Blacks in Dance, the lens through which dance is viewed now prominently includes Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Access, which benefits all communities throughout the country. In this interview, which you can watch via this link, Malik talks abkout the role of dance in our ever-changing world.
I have been a long-time admirer of CPRD and it’s mission to utilize “universal” language of dance to honor the African Diaspora, explore the human condition, champion social justice, unite people of all ages and races, and ultimately celebrate the complexity of life through movement.” last July, I wrote about CPNR’s milestone, 50th anniversary in an effort to keep the readers of Arts & Culture Connections abreast of how this valiant Champions of the Arts was continuing its work amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
At this moment in time of many firsts [n the world of the arts and humanities, I am encouraged to see African Americans in critical, decision-making positions. When I think of powerful figures in philanthropy, such as Darren walker, Elizabeth Alexander, and Reggie Van Lee, I see them on the frontlines committed to justice. Now. Aaron’s videocast is educating thousands of people about arts engagement and the vital work Malik is doing at the epicenter of dance in America.
As always, I’d like to know what you think. Please share your thoughts on the role of dance in our ever-changing world..
PS: Just in case you missed it, 14 year-old Zaila Avant-garde of New Orleans, LA, made history this past week. She became the first African-American to win the National Spelling Bee in its 93 year-old history when she correctly spelled the word “Murraya,” which is a type of tree. This young woman hopes to attend Harvard, become a coach in the NBA, and have a career with NASA. Watch out world!