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Founder Timeline

2016

Dance/USA Honor Award. The Honor goes to an individual who has demonstrated extraordinary leadership in the dance field by reason of artistic excellence and/or force of vision.


2015

Dance Magazine Award. The award recognizes outstanding men and women whose contributions have let a lasting impact on dance.  

                                         Honorary Doctorate. Bestowed by Tufts University in Boston.


2014

Meadows Prize. Awarded to pioneering artists and scholars who are active in a discipline represented by one of the academic units within The Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University.


2013

Arthur L. Johnson Memorial award. Awarded for work geared toward building diversity in the arts.

Doris Duke Performing Artist Award. Awarded to twenty of America’s most vital artists working in the fields of contemporary dance, jazz and theatre.


2012

Otto René Castillo Award for Political Theatre. Recognizes and supports theatre companies and artists that use their stages and talents to make positive and humane social, political, moral, philosophical and aesthetic statements.


2011

Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor of Dance. The highest honor bestowed by the FSU faculty on one of its own.


2009

The White House. Jawole was invited to participate in a meeting the White House convened on using creative and collaborative approaches to community-building and civic engagement.

Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Presented for choreography.

FLY: Five First Ladies of Dance. Presented by 651 Arts, Jawole was featured as a leading influential dancer/choreographer on a program that included her mentor Dianne McIntyre, her collaborator Germaine Acogny, Carmen de Lavallade and Bebe Miller.


2008

United States Artists Wynn Fellow. Awarded for diversifying the discipline’s field of vision.


2006

New York Dance and Performance Award (Bessie). Presented for her work as choreographer/creator of Walking With Pearl…Southern Diaries.


2005

The Kennedy Center. Selected as Master of African American Choreography.


2002

Honorary doctorate. Bestowed by Columbia College in Chicago.

 

PBS Documentary “Free to Dance.” Featured in this film which chronicles the African American influence on modern dance.

2001


 
 
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THE 30+ YEAR LIFE DANCE OF UBW

2018

UBW launches website redesign

Inaugural group of UBW Choreographic Center Initiative (CCI) Choreographic Fellowship Candidates become Fellows


2017

Premiere of Hair & Other Stories. Choreographed by Chanon Judson and Samantha Speis with The Company.

Launch of the UBW CCI Choreographic Fellowship Program


2016

UBW Choreographic Center Initiative (CCI) is launched


2015

UBW celebrated our 30 year anniversary with our friends at the Anniversary Gala at Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM).

Premiere of Walking with 'Trane Side A & B Choreographed by Jawole Willa Jo Zollar and Samantha Speis.


2014

Premiere of dark swan


2012

Blood Muscle Bone, UBW's collaboration with Liz Lerman in progress


2011

visible Premiere

BOLD launched as formal education and community engagement


2010

UBW tours South America in March as one of three American companies selected to inaugurate DanceMotion USA, a cultural diplomacy initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs produced by BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music).

Zollar: Uncensored, 25th anniversary premiere


2009

Jawole is invited to a White House convening for innovative, grassroots leaders building community and is named a fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

To celebrate and recognize its 25 year anniversary season, UBW launches Being Bushified, its monthly programming series held in the Great Room in its Brooklyn headquarters.


2008

Jawole is named a United States Artist Wynn Fellow.


2006

Jawole is awarded a Bessie for her work as choreographer/creator of Walking with Pearl…Southern Diaries.


2005

Jawole completes Walking with Pearl…Southern Diaries, which follows 2004’s Walking with Pearl…Africa Diaries, both of which pay tribute to the legendary choreographer, educator and social activist, Pearl Primus.


2004

Premiere of Walking with Pearl…Africa Diaries at Columbia College Dance Center

The first Brooklyn Summer Leadership Institute is held. Participants co-create a piece called Are We Democracy?


2003

UBW begins a summer camp partnership with the Brooklyn YWCA


2002

UBW’s Hair Parties project receives funding to promote arts-based civic dialogue, which prompts Jawole to initiate discussion of UBW’s core values.


2000

UBW moves to Brooklyn to be more fully connected to an African American community.


1998

Hands Singing Song is commissioned by American Dance Festival.

The company is awarded a Doris Duke Award for New Work from the American Dance Festival.


1997-99

Jawole develops the Institute entitled “A New Dancer for A New Society” in tribute to W.E.B. Dubois. It is the first of its kind in the dance industry.


1995

The idea for the UBW Summer Leadership Institute emerges from problems encountered regarding our community engagement work in Miami.


1992

Shelter is set on the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and becomes a staple in the company’s repertory. UBW incorporates as a non-profit and is awarded the New York Dance and Performance Award (“Bessie”).

The first community engagement project takes place in New Orleans.


1990

Praise House premieres at the Spoleto Festival with previews at Atlanta Black Arts Festival.


1989

Jawole spends a month in New Orleans and creates I Don’t Know But I’ve Been Told If You Keep On Dancin’ You Never Grow Old, a tribute to popular and vernacular dance traditions within the African American community.


1988

Heat premieres

Shelter premieres (an adaptation of Heat)

Lipstick premieres (an adaptation of Heat)

LifeDance II – the Papess…mirror in the waters premieres (excerpt from Heat)

Shelter becomes known as a signature work and identifies UBW as a company that creates works around issues of social justice.


1985

UBW shares a stage with Sweet Honey in the Rock and discovers the women’s community is embracing its work.


1984

On June 30th, Urban Bush Women premieres in New York City self-presented by Jawole.