State of Illinois
91st General Assembly

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 1                          HOUSE RESOLUTION

 2        WHEREAS,  The  members   of   the   Illinois   House   of
 3    Representatives  are pleased to honor people within the State
 4    that have achieved significant milestones in their lives; and

 5        WHEREAS, One such person is  Katherine  Dunham;  born  in
 6    Joliet,  Illinois  in 1909, Katherine Dunham is a dancer; she
 7    is an entertainer; she is an educator; through hard work, and
 8    unbelieveable dedication to her craft, she  has  changed  the
 9    face  of  modern  dance, and also has changed many lives as a
10    result; and

11        WHEREAS, In the 1930's Katherine Dunham taught ballet and
12    modern dance at the University of  Chicago  to  pay  for  her
13    expenses;  she  joined  Chicago's  Federal Theatre Project in
14    1938 and composed her ballet, L'Ag'Ya; while working  on  her
15    Master's  degree  in  Anthropology  she  made  a  trip to the
16    Caribbean  and  Brazil,  where  she  encountered  new   dance
17    movements  and  rhythms  that  would  influence her work; she
18    later moved to New York City and choreographed  the  Broadway
19    hit Cabin in the Sky; and

20        WHEREAS,  In  1939  she married John Pratt, a painter and
21    costume and set designer;  they  had  one  adopted  daughter,
22    Martinique; and

23        WHEREAS,  Katherine  Dunham  is  a professor emeritus and
24    artist-in-residence  at  Southern  Illinois   University   in
25    Edwardsville;   she   is  director  of  the  East  St.  Louis
26    Performing Arts Center; she has been an advisor to the  State
27    Department;  she  is  a  lecturer  in  college and university
28    settings; and

29        WHEREAS,  She  is  a  member  of  the  Women's  Honorable
30    Scientific Fraternity at the University of Chicago; she is  a
31    member  of the Royal Society of Anthropologists in London; in
                            -2-                LRB9105844KBkb
 1    1978 the Katherine Dunham museum was established in East  St.
 2    Louis, displaying costumes that she has worn in performances,
 3    items  from  her  travels, paintings, sculptures, and musical
 4    instruments; and

 5        WHEREAS, Katherine Dunham received the Albert  Schweitzer
 6    Music Award in 1979, the Kennedy Center Honors Award in 1983,
 7    and  honorary degrees from USC, Dartmouth, Howard University,
 8    and Washington University; in 1986 she received  the  Scripps
 9    American  Dance  Festivals  Award;  and she has been inducted
10    into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame; therefore, be it

13    we congratulate Katherine Dunham for a job well done; on  the
14    occasion of Black History Month in the State of Illinois, she
15    stands as a role model and example of what hard work and love
16    of one's profession can become; and be it further

17        RESOLVED,  That  a  suitable  copy  of this resolution be
18    presented to Katherine Dunham.

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