THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BLACKS IN DANCE (IABD) has become the Mecca for Blacks in Dance such as administrators, artists, choreographers, dance companies, directors, educators, scholars, teachers, and those interested in artistry, black dance issues, and performance presentations. The Association, founded in 1991, provides a network, formal newsletters, choreographers directory, published papers and is the raison d’être for the annual conference. The Association also responds to and initiates dialogue around issues that impact the Black Dance Community as well as the Dance community at large. IABD has developed national prominence and allowed the Black Dance Community to come together on issues important to them.
The International Association of Blacks in Dance preserves and promotes dance by people of African ancestry or origin, and assists and increases opportunities for artists in advocacy, audience development, education, funding, networking, performance, philosophical dialogue, and touring.
IABD, Inc., was founded in 1991 as a direct result of an artistic development grant to Founder/Artistic Director, Joan Myers Brown, Philadanco!, The Philadelphia Dance Company. Ms. Brown felt that a gathering of the Black Dance Community would serve not only her needs, but also needs of other Black Dance professionals. In 1988, Ms. Brown along with the Philadanco! staff launched the1st International Conference of Blacks in Dance. Eighty professionals attended. Today, the conference and festival has grown to include an average of 400 participants from across the country, Africa, Australia, the Caribbean, Europe, and South America. The conference and festival has been held in California, Colorado, Ohio, New York City, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington D.C., and Canada.
In 1991, an Emergency Fund was instituted for IABD artists and companies. In 1996, it established a national scholarship-training program for dancers. Through the annual conference it offers a multi-company audition for dancers across the nation and the first of its kind. In January 1999, an Executive Director was appointed to carry forth the vision and daily administrative operations of the organization.
The Annual IABD Conference and Festival is the only national gathering of Black Dance professionals in the United States.The conference and festival has become the convergence of ideas and interaction not only for the Dance community, but also for those who serve the black community, especially the black critics association and educators.We expect 400-600 administrators, agents, artistic directors, artists, choreographers, executive directors, presenters, service providers, and other individuals associated with the professional Dance field (archivists, development staff, marketing, scholars, and etc.) to join us for four days of networking, information sharing, professional development, discussion on important issues facing the Black Dance field, and performances. Explore and embrace the diversity, partnerships, and technology in this gathering that will inspire new thinking and lead to a vibrant future for Dance.