Maryland Citizens for the Arts announces the winner of the 2015 “Sue Hess Maryland Arts Advocate of the Year Award”

Since 1992, Brooke Kidd has championed community responsive programming at Joe’s Movement Emporium. Her pioneering efforts to utilize the arts in Maryland as a vehicle for progressive education, workforce training and economic growth have made her one of the most well respected arts managers in the region.  A vocal advocate for the arts, Kidd has participated in state and national panels to educate and support other leaders involved in community arts service, capacity-building innovations, and arts and entertainment districts.

A winner of the Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award for choreography, Kidd’s successful vision has created a gold standard for community-based arts organizations throughout Maryland.  Local families hungry for affordable, quality childcare can find it at Joe’s in their Club Joe’s after-care program.  When teens from the neighborhood came to her for jobs, she fashioned a workforce development program to train them for positions in technical theatre and digital media. Her drive and vision anchored an entire arts district – the Gateway Arts District of Prince George’s County – joining small businesses and the arts community in pursuit of economic growth.

Brooke is always looking for opportunities to bring art to both community members and businesses, facilitating events such as a singer in a hair salon, art in a Laundromat, and dancing through an abandoned building. Together with a group of other arts and community-based organizations, she helped land a $50,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and $240,000 grant from ArtPlace America to call attention to the richness of the Gateway Arts District through creative placemaking and business development with the “Art Lives Here” initiative.

Ms. Kidd founded Joe’s Movement Emporium in Mt. Rainier, MD after graduation from American University with a B.A. interdisciplinary degree in Dance, Anthropology and African Studies, as well as a B.A. in International Relations.  Ms. Kidd also holds an M.A. in Dance, having completed a thesis titled “Revitalizing Community through Dance.”  The concept of Joe’s Movement Emporium was based on “open-door-oriented” arts centers she experienced while studying in Cameroon. It became a place where every “Joe,” – no matter their race, gender, age, or ability – could move!

Now in its sixth year, the Sue Hess Maryland Arts Advocate of the Year Award honors an individual whose work has had lasting impact on the state of public funding for the arts at all levels of government.  Named for Sue Hess, a founding trustee of MCA, the award exemplifies a commitment to civic engagement on behalf of the arts sector, ensuring strong public support and public policy for the arts.  The award will be presented at the annual Maryland Arts Day on Tuesday, February 10, 2015 at the President’s Conference Center in the Miller Senate Building in Annapolis.  To attend, please register at www.mdarts.org.

Maryland Citizens for the Arts is a 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1977 to advocate for public support for the arts.  MCA works to serve the entire Maryland arts sector by representing its needs to state and federal government and by working to support the organizational capacity of artists and arts organizations, thereby making them stronger stewards of both public and private investment.

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