PRESS RELEASE: Liz Lerman and D. David Brown to be Honored by Dance/USA

March 6, 2014

Contact: Johanna Tschebull

Washington, DC – Dance/USA, the national service organization for professional dance, is pleased to announce the 2014 Dance/USA Honorees. Liz Lerman will receive the Dance/USA Honor Award and D. David Brown will receive the Dance/USA Ernie Award.

The awards will be given on Wednesday, June 18, 2014 at the 2014 Opening Night Celebration, which kicks off the Dance/USA Annual Conference being held June 18-21, 2014 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Register early and save money – early bird rates are in effect through March 14, 2014. Register for the 2014 Annual Conference here.

“Liz and D. David are extraordinary leaders who have made a tremendous impact on our field,” said Dance/USA Executive Director Amy Fitterer.  “Both have received numerous accolades, but there is nothing so special as being recognized by your peers for truly outstanding work.  These awards are special because they are unique and competitive; the Dance/USA membership singled out these individuals for recognition and we look forward to celebrating their accomplishments this June in Minneapolis.”

Lerman, founder of the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, will receive the Dance/USA Honor Award. A choreographer, performer, writer, educator and speaker, Lerman is the recipient of numerous honors, including a 2002 MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellowship and a 2011 United States Artists Ford Fellowship in Dance. Described by the Washington Post as “the source of an epochal revolution in the scope and purposes of dance art,” her dance/theater works have been seen throughout the United States and abroad. Read more here. 

Brown, who joined Pacific Northwest Ballet as Executive Director in May of 2000, will receive the Dance/USA Ernie Award. Brown’s career in ballet began more than 30 years ago as a dancer in the corps of Boston Ballet. Moving quickly through the ranks of the company to principal, he danced many roles including several ballets premiered at Boston Ballet.  In 1981, upon retiring from active performing, he moved to Director of Production and then served in the role of General Manager of Boston Ballet from 1983-1998. Read more here.

Nominated by the membership and voted on by the Board of Trustees, the Dance/USA Honor and Ernie Awards are given to outstanding members of the national dance community. The Honor goes to an individual who has demonstrated extraordinary leadership in the dance field through artistic excellence and/or force of vision. The Ernie, named for the late Ian (Ernie) Horvath, goes to an individual working “behind the scenes” in the dance field, who has significantly empowered artists and supported their creativity individually or as a community. 

Dance/USA is deeply grateful to Target and Dewitt Stern for their support of the 2014 Dance/USA Opening Night Celebration.

About the Dance/USA 2014 Annual Conference
Dance/USA will host its 6th Annual Conference in Minneapolis, MN from Wednesday, June 18 – Saturday, June 21, 2014.  From executive directors and emerging arts leaders to managers and presenters, agents and artists, join nearly 500 individuals associated with the professional dance field for networking, creative conversation, enriching training sessions, discussion on important issues facing the field, and performances. Dance/USA is grateful to American Harlequin Corporation, Title Sponsor; Target, Gold Sponsor; & Host Partners The Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts and Northrop of UMN for their support of the 2014 Annual Conference.

About Dance/USA
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,

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