Brooke Kidd Named Business Leader of the Year

Founder of Joe’s Movement Emporium Receives Award at Prince George’s Chamber Excellence in Business Awards Event 

COLLEGE PARK, MD – Brooke Kidd, Founder and Executive Director of Joe’s Movement Emporium in Mount Rainier, MD, was named Business Leader of the Year by the Prince George’s Chamber of Commerce at its Excellence in Business Awards event on September 18, 2015.  The gathering, which was hosted by the Chamber at the Marriott Conference Center, University of Maryland University College, recognized the contribution of the business community in advancing the quality of life in Prince George’s County, MD.

Kidd has championed community responsive programming in Prince George’s County more than 20 years and pioneered efforts to utilize the arts as a vehicle for progressive education, workforce training and economic growth.  A vocal advocate for the arts, she 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.

Kidd co-founded Joe’s Movement Emporium with Artist/Dancer Joe “Ajax” Drayton in 1995 based on the open-door-oriented arts centers she experienced while studying in Cameroon.  It quickly became a popular neighborhood destination where every “Joe,” – no matter their background, race, gender, age, or ability – can move!

Today, Joe’s is the County’s largest independent performing arts center, serving as the artistic base to over 20 artists and arts group of all disciplines. Complete with black box theater, three dance studios and an arts education wing, the facility serves 70,000 individuals annually.  Joe’s successfully utilizes arts as a vehicle for cultural enrichment, economic growth, progressive education and workforce training, serving 3,500 youth last year alone.

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.  Her drive and vision helped to anchor 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.  In February 2015 Kidd was selected as the Sue Hess Maryland Arts Advocate of the Year by Maryland Citizens for the Arts, an award that honors an individual whose work has had lasting impact on the state of public funding for the arts at all levels of government.  Kidd earned a B.A. in Dance, Anthropology, African Studies and International Relations from American University. She also holds an M.A. in Dance, having completed a thesis titled “Revitalizing Community through Dance.”

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