Created in 1969 in New York City, the Modern Organization of Dance Evolvement or MODE worked to provide support to the Black dance community and established programs that allowed communities to better connect with the art of dance. Fifty years ago in 1973, MODE and IU’s Black Music Center partnered to organize The First National Congress of Blacks in Dance at Indiana University. The seven-day conference brought roughly 400 Black dancers, choreographers, and dance enthusiasts to Bloomington with the goal to “identify and preserve the continuity of traditions and skills between generations of Black dance artists” and included master classes, film screenings, dance performances, and social events all centered around the celebration of African American dance and culture.

This exhibit showcases records documenting both MODE and The Congress at Indiana University.

Curated by Graduate Assistant, Jo Otremba.


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