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UBW galvanizes artists, activists, audiences and communities through performances, artist development, education and community engagement. With the ground-breaking performance ensemble at its core, ongoing initiatives like the Summer Leadership Institute (SLI), BOLD (Builders, Organizers & Leaders through Dance) and the developing Choreographic Center, UBW continues to affect the overall ecology of the arts by promoting artistic legacies; projecting the voices of the under-heard and people of color; bringing attention to and addressing issues of equity in the dance field and throughout the United States; and by providing platforms and serving as a conduit for culturally and socially relevant experimental art makers.



Founded in 1984 by choreographer Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Urban Bush Women (UBW) seeks to bring the untold and under-told histories and stories of disenfranchised people to light through dance. We do this from a woman-centered perspective and as members of the African Diaspora community in order to create a more equitable balance of power in the dance world and beyond. 

As UBW celebrates its 33rd Anniversary year, we continue to use dance as both the message and the medium to bring together diverse audiences through innovative choreography, community collaboration and artistic leadership development.


Validating the Individual

Each individual has a unique and powerful contribution to make.

Catalyzing for Social Change

UBW's work intends to help people make sense out of the world and prepare to take action in it.

Building Trust through Process

A transparent process of artistic and managerial leadership builds and nurtures trust.

Entering Community and Co-Creating Stories
Each community is unique and has the answers it seeks to uncover.

Celebrating the Movement and Culture of the African Diaspora

UBW is committed to highlighting the power, beauty and strength of the African Diaspora.

Recognizing Place Matters

We recognize that being part of, responding to and contributing to the overall well-being of our home community, Brooklyn, is of the utmost importance.
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Buy Your Book on UBW TODAY


Urban Bush Women: Twenty Years of African American Dance Theater, Community Engagement, and Working It Out

by Nadine George-Graves 

Provocative, moving, powerful, explicit, strong, unapologetic. These are a few words that have been used to describe the groundbreaking Brooklyn-based dance troupe Urban Bush Women.

Did You
       Know... ?

Educational theorist, Lloyd Daniels, brought the term "community engagement" to UBW in 1990 during a 3-month residence with Junebug Productions in New Orleans.

Urban Bush Women
Create Dance. Create Community.

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