Joan Myers Brown founded the Philadelphia School of Dance Arts in 1960, offering African American dancers access to professional training which traditional schools would deny them. In 1970 she founded PHILADANCO – The Philadelphia Dance Company. She initiated the Smithonian Institution’s International Conference for Black Dance Companies in 1988 and the International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD) in 1991. Joan Myers Brown was honoured in the 2012 National Medal of the Arts, the highest civic honour in the USA for excellence in the arts. President Barack Obama presented the prestigious honour at a ceremony that took place in July 2013 at the White House. Most recently Joan Myers Brown has been honoured by the Dance Heritage Coalition as one of America’s Irreplaceable Dance Treasures.