Former Miss West Set & Philadanco Founder Discusses Her Life in Dixon Gottschild’s New Book [1/14/2012]

13 01 2012

Brenda Dixon Gottschild, a supporter of the work of the Archivists Society, has written a new book that discusses the life and achievement’s of America’s Black Ballerina Joan Myers Brown. The book is entitled “Joan Myers Brown & the Audacious Hope of the Black Ballerina: A Biohistory of American Performance”. Brown is the founder of Philadanco and a former Miss West Set–a designation awarded to women of notoriety by the Gentlemen of the West Set. The West Set was one of Philadelphia’s first black gay organizations.

This Saturday, January 14, 2012, The Brother’s Network, will host a discussion featuring author Brenda Dixon Gottschild and Joan Myers Brown.

WHERE: Moonstone Arts Center, 110A South 13th Street, 2nd floor, Philadelphia WHEN: Saturday, Jan. 14, 2012, at 1 p.m. Contact The Brother’s Network for more information at comments@thebrothersnetwork.org .

The book description (from Amazon.com): “Founder of the Philadelphia Dance Company (PHILADANCO) and the Philadelphia School of Dance Arts, Joan Myers Brown’s personal and professional histories reflect both the hardships and the accomplishments of African Americans in the artistic and social developments through the twentieth century and into the new millennium. Dixon Gottschild deftly uses Brown’s career as the fulcrum to leverage an exploration of the connection between performance, society, and race—beginning with Brown’s predecessors in the 1920s—and a concert dance tradition that has had no previous voice to tell its story from the inside out. Augmented by interviews with a score of dance professionals, including Billy Wilson, Gene Hill Sagan, Rennie Harris, Milton Myers, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, and Ronald K. Brown, Joan Myers Brown’s background and richly contoured biography are object lessons in survival—a true American narrative.”
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Online Exhibit – History of The West Set: The Gentlemen’s Social Club of West Philadelphia (founded 1957)

21 08 2010

The Black LGBT Archivists Society has installed its first online exhibition, The West Set: The Gentlemen’s Social Club of West Philadelphia. The West Set was founded in 1957 as a social club for men. The name reflects the residence of many of the clubs’ member–West Philadelphia. As a fraternal club, they traveled the world, held social gatherings and contributed to social causes. Each year, they held the Miss West Set Competition. PHILADANCO Founder Joan Myers Brown held the title from 1972 to 1973. The Archivists Society is honored to present this history.

Online Exhibit: The West Set.