Winston-Salem — Award-winning choreographers and dancers Camille A. Brown and Juel Lane are the recipients of the second annual Alumni Artpreneur of the Year Awards from their alma mater, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA), Chancellor Lindsay Bierman has announced. Graduates of the premier UNCSA School of Dance, Brown (’01) and Lane (’02) will each receive $20,000. Brown’s award, for creative enterprise, will sustain her New York-based company, Camille A. Brown and Dancers. Lane’s award, for a creative project, will be used to create new choreographic work.
The Chancellor’s Alumni Artpreneur of the Year Awards were launched in 2018 to support alumni who establish creative projects or creative enterprises of the highest merit, artistic excellence or innovative potential.
“An artpreneur is an artist who is not defined by what is, but inspired by all that could be; who is business savvy and technologically aware; who is devoted to creating value and impact through their creative practice; who reaches beyond existing disciplines to create new ways to connect with others; who is willing to take creative risks in order to positively transform our world,” Bierman said.
“Camille A. Brown and Juel Lane exemplify what it means to be an artpreneur,” he added. “Trained as dancers and choreographers, they create groundbreaking work that enriches our culture, enlightens our society, lifts our spirits, and feeds our souls. They take creative risks, but are grounded in sound business practices. We’re proud of them, and we’re pleased to support their very promising careers.”
A four-time Princess Grace Award winner, Brown also is the recipient of a Bessie Award, Ford Foundation Art of Change Fellowship, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award, Doris Duke Award and a TED fellowship. Currently, Brown is performing and touring her new work “ink” – called “rousing and incisive” by The New York Times – the final installation her company’s trilogy about culture, race and identity. She returned to UNCSA as a guest artist in 2015.
Lane was selected for the prestigious Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation New Directions Choreography Lab in 2015-16. He is the recipient of two Celebration of Dance Awards in his native city of Atlanta, for Choreographer of the Year and Best Choreography for Live Performance for “Touch & Agree.” He is currently dancing with Camille A. Brown & Dancers. In September 2018, he premiered “DM” at UNCSA’s Fall Dance concert.
The Artpreneur of the Year Awards is part of the University’s initiative to nurture entrepreneurship. In the fall, the University will offer an entrepreneurship minor concentration – its first minor. “More than ever before, it is important that artists are able to carve their own path in the $800 billion creative economy,” Bierman said. “Disruptions across the arts and culture industries provide more opportunities for artists, but they must have the grit – business agility and the courage to take risks – to create their own career path.”
Led by Dean Susan Jaffe, a former principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre (ABT) for 22 years, the UNCSA School of Dance is the exclusive educational affiliate of ABT. With concentrations in classical ballet and contemporary dance, the school prepares talented young dancers for careers in top companies and productions around the world. Faculty have led distinguished careers with companies including ABT, Bolshoi Ballet, and Trisha Brown and Company.