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The International Association of Blacks in Dance Receives 2021 National Medal of Arts


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The International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD) is proud to receive the National Medal of Arts. Through teaching, training, and performance, The International Association of Blacks in Dance promotes dance by people of African ancestry and origin, explores and exchanges art, spans cultures and generations, and enriches the dance culture of America.

“Receiving this National Medal of Arts award is a significant milestone in the history of this organization. It acknowledges the work, years of dedication by so many and endless contributions of Black people in Dance. We are so honored!” said Denise Saunders Thompson, President and CEO of The International Association of Blacks in Dance. “The current climate in our country has us more closely examining access and opportunity, body image, cultural integration vs. cultural appropriation, policymaking, mental health and well-being, philanthropy, and a host of other issues. There is no discipline that nurtures and sparks the ability to imagine, unleashes creativity and innovation, and offers promise as a powerful catalyst for change, more than arts, culture and humanities. They challenge dominant narratives in ways that other media cannot, yet connect us to each other, move us to action, and unify our collective voices. Art engages the soul.”

On Tuesday, March 21 at 4:30pm ET, President Biden will host an East Room ceremony at the White House to present the 2021 National Humanities Medals and the 2021 National Medals of Arts. Dr. Biden will attend the ceremony as well, which will be available to view via live stream at

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