PRESS RELEASE: Dance/USA to Celebrate 2016 Honorees in Austin Wednesday, June 8, 2016 at Opening Night Celebration

April 27, 2016

Contact: Johanna Tschebull 

Washington, DC – Dance/USA, the national association for professional dance, will recognize the 2016 Dance/USA Honorees on Wednesday, June 8, 2016 at the Opening Night Celebration, which kicks off the 2016 Dance/USA Annual Conference in Austin, TX. If you are a member of the press and would like to attend the 2016 Annual Conference, please e-mail Dance/USA here.

The 2016 Dance/USA Honorees are:

  • Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, founder and visioning partner, Urban Bush Women, will receive the Dance/USA Honor Award. Read about Zollar here.
  • Ann Williams, founder and artistic advisor, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, will receive the Dance/USA Ernie Award. Read about Williams here.
  • Ella Baff, former executive and artistic director, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, will receive the Dance/USA Trustees Award. Read about Baff here.
  • Sarah and Ernest Butler, philanthropists, Board leaders and global audience members, will receive the Dance/USA Champion Award. Read about the Butlers here.

The 2016 Opening Night Celebration will take place on Wednesday, June 8, 2016 at 6:00pm at The Long Center for the Performing Arts in Austin, TX. The festivities will include dinner, dance performances, and the Honors Celebration recognizing the 2016 Honorees in an awards ceremony.

The Opening Night Celebration is supported in part by DeWitt Stern Group. Freed of London is the exclusive sponsor of the 2016 Dance/USA Honor Award.

About the Dance/USA 2016 Annual Conference
Dance/USA will host its 8th Annual Conference in Austin, TX from Wednesday, June 8 through Saturday, June 11, 2016. Nearly 500 individuals will convene in Austin for the country’s broadest gathering of dance professionals, including executive directors, artistic directors, development directors, agents, artists, emerging arts leaders, company managers, marketing directors, dance service organizations, and more. 

Programming at the Conference will be a mix of discussion-based sessions and practical breakout sessions. Broad questions that will drive programmatic content and conversations will be: How will we continue to finance dance, How will dance deal with constant technological change, and What is the social responsibility of dance?  Dance/USA’s core values of equity, inclusion, and diversity will serve as a lens by which the design of all topics and sessions will pass through including but not limited to the diversity of voices being presented, addressing the needs of the diverse group of Conference attendees, and program designs that allow for active discussion

Register as a Member of the Press
To register for the Dance/USA Annual Conference contact Dance/USA Communications Specialist Johanna Tschebull here.

About Dance/USA
We believe that dance is essential to a healthy society, demonstrating the infinite possibilities for human expression and potential, and facilitating communication within and across cultures.

Dance/USA is the national service organization for the professional dance field. Established in 1982, Dance/USA serves a diverse national membership of dance groups working in the genres of aerial, ballet, contemporary, culturally-specific, hip-hop, ice, international, jazz, liturgical, single-choreographer, and tap, dance presenters, dance service organizations, dance agents, dance educators, independent dancers, freelance choreographers, students of arts administration and/or dance and business in service to dance, and individuals related to the field. Learn more about Dance/USA by visiting our website,

Dance/USA is grateful to the following: The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Harkness Foundation for Dance,  National Endowment for the Arts, and The Shubert Foundation. Additional thanks to 2016 Annual Conference sponsors: Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau, Austin Symphony, Ballet Austin, City of Austin, IBC Bank, The Long Center for the Performing Arts, Palmer Events Center, RetailMeNot, Sterling Events, and the University of Texas at Austin, College of Fine Arts and the Department of Theater and Dance, Host Partners; Arts Insurance Program, Platinum Sponsor; DeWitt Stern Group, Harlequin Floors, and Jannette and Patrick Keating, Gold Sponsors; Capacity Interactive, Freed of London, KLRU, and Texas Commission on the Arts, Silver Sponsors; Arts Consulting Group, Body Wrappers, Management Consultants for the Arts, and Ovation, Bronze Sponsors; KMP Artists, Technology Sponsor; and Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, H-E-B, KIND, Tiff’s Treats, and Whole Foods Market, Welcome Sponsors. 

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