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School of Dance's Jawole Willa Jo Zollar to deliver Lawton Lecture on Oct. 27

Jawole Willa Jo Zollar

Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Florida State University's 2011-2012 Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor, will discuss "A Life in Art and Public Practice" when she delivers the 15th Annual Lawton Lecture on Oct. 27.

An Artist-in-Residence in FSU's School of Dance, Zollar is an acclaimed choreographer and the founding and artistic director of New York dance company Urban Bush Women.

"Jawole Willa Jo Zollar is a force of nature who truly unleashes the power of dance to change lives, from her astonishing work since 1984 with contemporary dance company Urban Bush Women to her pioneering and inspiring work with students, artists and communities around the world," said FSU College of Visual Arts, Theatre and Dance Dean Sally McRorie. "Her celebrated work is a rich stew that reflects the artistic and historical diversity of human culture. She is a national treasure. We are lucky to have this exceptional artist, educator and humanitarian as our colleague, friend, devoted teacher and mentor."

The esteem with which colleagues and students regard Zollar has been reflected in her recognition as a 2009-2010 Guggenheim Fellow. She also is the recipient of, among numerous honors, a 2008 United States Artists Wynn Fellowship; a 2006 and 1992 New York Dance and Performance Award, better known as a "Bessie" — the dance world's Tony; the 2006 Joyce Award; the 2005 Master of African American Choreography Award from the Kennedy Center; FSU's 1999 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Service Award; the 1997 FSU Alumna of the Year Award (Zollar received her Master of Fine Arts degree in dance from FSU in 1979); and the 1994 Capezio Award.

Zollar and her Urban Bush Women were appointed as 2010 U.S. State Department cultural ambassadors to South America and, closer to home, Zollar has led community leadership institutes across the United States for many years.
FSU's 15th Annual Lawton Lecture will take place:


3 P.M.



Immediately following the lecture, a reception will be held on Landis Green outside Montgomery Hall. Parking is available (first come, first served) in the WoodJeff Lot (entrance off Woodward Avenue). Additional parking may be available in Garage No. 2, located at the corner of Woodward Avenue and Traditions Way.

The Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor award is the highest honor that FSU faculty can bestow upon a colleague. It is named in honor of the late Vice President for Academic Affairs Robert O. Lawton, a longtime and highly esteemed member of the FSU faculty.

For more information on the Lawton Lecture, contact Tom Hunt of FSU University Relations at (850) 644-1612 or

19 October 2011

"Her celebrated work is a rich stew that reflects the artistic and historical diversity of human culture. She is a national treasure."

Sally McRorie
Dean, Florida State University College of Visual Arts, Theatre and Dance