Movers & Shapers: Joan Myers Brown and Kim Bears-Bailey

By August 8, 2022Podcast

PODCAST No.138 – Joan Myers Brown and Kim Bears-Bailey

Release Date: 8.8.22


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ABOUT Joan Myers Brown

Ms. Brown is the honorary chairperson for the International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD), an organization she established in 1991. Founder of the International Conference of Black Dance Companies in 1988, a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of the Arts and Howard University in Washington, DC. She was awarded an honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters by Ursinus College and an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania. Listed in Who’s Who in America and described as an “innovator and communicator,” Ms. Brown’s efforts for dance excellence are only part of her contribution to the field. She was co-chair of Dance/USA Philadelphia. She received the Philadelphia Award and documented in a publication “Joan Myers Brown and the Audacious Hope of the Black Ballerina”, by Brenda Dixon Gottschild. She has received awards from the City of Philadelphia, the State of Pennsylvania and the Embassy of the United States of America. Brown honored as a Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania and Outstanding Alumni of West Philadelphia High School. She received the prestigious National Medal of Arts Award. Also honored by the American Dance Guild Honoree Award in addition to many other awards. Ms. Brown is a recipient of the Philadelphia Inquirer’s 2017 Industry Icon Award and received the Philadelphia Cultural Funds David Cohen Award in April 2019. Most recently Ms. Brown received the distinguished 2019 Bessie Award for Lifetime Achievement in Dance for her choreographic influence on black dance in America.

ABOUT Kim Bears-Bailey

Early formal dance training at Jones & Haywood, Lynne B. Welters School of Dance, and Duke Ellington School of the Arts. A Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) graduate of The University of Arts, Kim joined PHILADANCO in 1981. A 1992 “Bessie” Award recipient, (The New York Dance and Performance Award), Kim represented PHILADANCO at the 1988 American Dance Festival performing works of Dr. Pearl Primus and appeared in the movie “Beloved”. Ms. Bears-Bailey is an Associate Professor of dance at the University of the Arts. Kim is one of few artists granted permission to remount the works of many world-renowned choreographers including Talley Beatty, Pearl Primus and Gene Hill Sagan. She received the Mary Louise Beitzel Award for Distinguished Teaching and the Silver Star Alumni Award from UArts. Kim is a member of the International Association of Blacks in Dance’s Next Generation of Leaders. Kim choreographs and directs an annual ‘Dancing with the Stars of Philadelphia’ event. Kim received the 2017 ‘Bring it to the Marley’ Icon Award and the 2018 ‘Legacy Award’ from DCNS Dance. Just recently Kim completed a one week residency at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa teaching and restaging a work by Dr. Pearl Primus.




Katherine Dunham

Sister Sledge

Sammy Davis

Billy Eckstine

Pearl Bailey

Pennsylvania Ballet

Arthur Mitchell

Camille Brown

Rennie Harris

Leslie Odem

Lee Daniels


President Obama presents National Medal of Arts to Joan


Jones-Haywood Dance School

Louis Johnson

Duke Ellington School of the Arts

University of the Arts

Denise Jefferson

Debra Chase 

Vanessa Thomas-Smith

Deborah Chase Hicks

Tally Beatty

Pearl Primus

Kimmel Center



Podcast produced by: The Moving Architects
Interviewer: Erin Carlisle Norton
Theme Music: Adam Crawley whose music can be found at

This podcast episode is in partnership with JAM.  JAM is the home of dance entrepreneur Jessica Marino, providing artist management services and industry shopping., networking for dance and bringing ideas to the spotlight.