Welcome to KDCAH!

Katherine Dunham is probably best known as a legendary dancer who propelled the awareness of the cultures of the African Diaspora via her choreography. Her famous dance technique reflects a fusion of many cultures.

Miss. Dunham was a true renaissance woman. She was an artist, anthropologist, author, activist, manager, movie star, producer, educator, wife, mother and so much more.

The world needs to know about her wonderful life story and there’s no better learning environment than the Museum and Centers for Arts and Humanities she created.

Please take a global journey through this website and find out more about Miss Dunham’s legacy, Museum, Dance Technique, Dance Seminar, Children’s Workshop, and Membership/Giving Opportunities.

Thank you for visiting our website and we invite you back again and again.

Her legacy continues...

The Katherine Dunham Centers for Arts & Humanities Board of Directors

 

Marie-Christine Dunham Pratt, Honorary Chair, is the daughter of Miss Katherine Dunham and Mr. John Pratt. As such, she is Miss Dunham’s living legacy.

 

 

 

 

Leverne Backstrom, KDCAH President, Pro Tem, joined the board in 2005 and is a retired 9th grade Language Arts Teacher at East St. Louis Senior High School. She is a member of the East St. Louis Federation of Teachers, Local 1220 and a former organizer for the Illinois Federation of Teachers. She was asked to join the board because she is president of The Olivette Park Neighborhood Assocation. As a resident of the neighborhood, she has been active in the community through The Trinity United Methodist Church since 1960. The OPNA has championed community gardens, and several community and economic development projects. It recognizes that the Dunham Museum positioned in its neighborhood is unparalleled as a tourism development magnet. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kansas Wesleyan University, Salina KS. Leverne is a talented, recorded vocal artist, preferring to sing sacred music.

Riley L. Owens, III: A former 5-term Mayor of the City of Centreville, IL, Owens is a semi-retired consultant, entrepreneur, visual artist, and inventor. When this US Air Force Veteran doesn't have a sculpting knife, hammer and chisel or paint brush in his hand, he manages the R. Lawrence Company. With his BS in Urban Planning from SIU Edwardsville, Owens, during his first term as Mayor co-founded the National Conference of Black Mayors. He held many positions on the board of directors and was instrumental in launching the World Conference of Black Mayors. Owens attended the Leadership Institute for Mayors at Clark University and has traveled extensively to Europe, Africa, Asia and South America to promote the development of national and inter-national trade. He was elected the chairman of the East St. Louis Area Development Gateway Coordinating Council and served on the 50th anniversary of Brown vs. Board of Ed. He has served on the KDCAH board since 2006.  

  

Gordon Bush, joined the board of KDCAH in 2011. He has served more than 40 years as a public servant, with 32 of those years as an elected official. That service includes St. Clair County Assessor, two-term mayor of East St. Louis, East St. Louis Building Commissioner, East St. Louis City Treasurer, and St. Clair County Board of Review. During his tenure as mayor, Gordon Bush was elected president of the National Council of Black Mayors.

Gordon Bush is also a decorated U.S. Army veteran with 29 years service. Upon his retirement, Lieutenant Colonel Bush received the U.S. Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster and the Meritorious Service Medal. During a ceremony at the White House, President Bill Clinton presented Dr. Bush with a “Certificate of Appreciation” honoring his distinguished military career. Gordon Bush is also active on numerous boards and organizations including the NAACP, Shriners International, and the United States Army Reserves Officer Association. In 2006, the Gordon D. Bush Elementary School in East St. Louis opened in his honor. He is a lifetime member of the SIUE Alumni Association and received the SIUE Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1996. He is also a member of the 2009 SIUE Alumni Hall of Fame.

Theodore J. Wofford, Architect: Wofford received his BA from Washington University in St. Louis in 1953, and following military service, returned home to join the firm of Murphy & Mackey, Architects. that association lasting nearly 50 years ended in the partnership of Murphy Downey Wofford and Richman, Inc. Architects. When his partners retired, he dissolved the firm and began practicing as an individual, allowing him to resume an active interest in painting, drawing and sculpture. A champion of regional urban planning and civic causes with service on many boards and commissions: his long and personally costly battle to save the St. Louis Arena as a world-class aquarium, his concepts for the East St. Louis and St. Louis riverfronts, successful efforts to save the Wainwright Building and many other studies to try to resolve regional crises, are now part of the archive of his, and his firm's work, at the Mercantile Library. Early in the 1990's his interest in East St. Louis drew him to Miss Dunham and he found in her limitless vision, a wise kindred soul and a dear friend. She asked him to serve on her Board where he has remained for many, often turbulent, years. He is now involved in the efforts to secure her legacy for the future. His architectural designs have included fifty libraries, 100 religious structures, innovative medical and educational facilities, and many master plans, including that for Sangamon State University (now the U of I, Springfield). A number of his buildings now enjoy "landmark" status (a somewhat disturbing, though gratifying fact), as do his internationally recognized restorations of the Missouri Governor's Mansion carried out through five administrations, and the Shrine of St. Joseph - a pro bono project now in its 34th year. Mr. Wofford is committed to the preservation of our rich heritage and a sense of cultural continuity, and the power of art and our urban environment to change and enrich lives.

Lonnie Mosley, joined the Board of K.D.C.A.H in the beginning of 2012. Lonnie Mosley is a member of the St. Clair County Board Finance Committee, Property and Recreation Committee, Chairman of the Trustee Committee,  Chairman of the Transportation Committee and a member of the Executive Committee. His Biography will be available soon. 

Deletra M. Hudson, joined the Board of K.D.C.A.H. in the beginning of 2013. She has more than 20 years of professional experience in accounting, finance, budgeting, and administration with public and private companies. Deletra served as the City Manager for the City of East St. Louis, IL. During her tenure in municipal government, Deletra Hudson has earned her reputation among public administrators for creativity and innovation. She has a vision to assist in developing the rebirth of East St. Louis. Hudson earned a Master of Business Administration in Finance from Webster University. She added structure to operations of staff at City Hall, integrity to the work of the City and developed better working relationships with other communities and agencies working with the City. In effort to make for a better East St. Louis. Mrs. Hudson has collaborated with other agencies to foster growth and development. Proof of rebuilding relationships can be seen with the construction of the Jazz at Walter Center Senior Living Project (Housing Authority), demolition of structures on Collinsville Avenue (EPA and St. Clair County), rehabilitation of structures throughout the City (HUD-Neighborhood Stabilization Funds), and School Resource Officer Program (School District #189) just to name a few. Hudson mission is to continue to bring projects to the City that will foster growth and prosperity for the community and it's citizens. 

Marty Crawford, joined the Board of K.D.C.A.H. in the beginning of 2013. Marty was inspired to join the Board after touring the museum for the first time and realizing the great number of historical artifacts it has within it. Mr. Crawford grew up in Centreville and has worked for Centreville Township for over 31 years. He has also served on the Cahokia School Board for 11 years until he was elected to the St. Clair County Board. He served as Precinct Committeeman for Precinct #3 in Centreville Township for 16 years. Mr. Crawford is a family man and loves his wife and two children dearly. Mr. Crawford vision is to see the works and accomplishments of Miss Katherine Dunham be placed in surrounding districts curriculum. Targeted districts are District 187 and 189.  

Patricia Brockman, joined the Board of K.D.C.A.H. in 2013. Patricia (Pat) has been involved with the Katherine Dunham legacy through her involvement with the Katherine Dunham Children's Workshop since 1997. Pat has put three grandchildren through the Children's Workshop. She joined the board because of her devotion to the cause of keeping Miss Dunham's legacy alive and well in East St. Louis. Pat grew up in East St. Louis and has strong emotional ties to the city. Pat started her working career at East St. Louis City Hall working in accounting for Urban Renewal and currently works in administration for Southern Illinois Healthcare Foundation for the past 18 years.