Published: Dec. 6, 2021

Cleo Parker Robinson receives 2021 Regent Award: Doctor of Humane Letters

Cleo Parker Robinson has a firm belief in the healing power of art and dance as a universal language.

Founder, artistic director and choreographer of the Denver-based Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, Robinson leads a professional dance ensemble, youth and junior youth ensembles, a dance academy, an international summer dance institute, a 240-seat theater that bears her name, and myriad community outreach programs.

A native of Denver, Robinson graduated from Colorado Women’s College (later merged with the University of Denver) with a degree in dance, education and psychology. She established her eponymous dance company in 1970 and persevered with determination, ingenuity and unwavering optimism. In the years since, she has become renowned as a master collaborator whose work crosses artistic genres and engages diverse audiences, including at-risk youth and prison inmates. She has taught and performed with her ensemble in such diverse places as Iceland, Singapore, Israel, Turkey and throughout the African continent.

As one of the founding members of the International Association of Blacks in Dance, Robinson has long worked to present the complex and faceted histories of Black dancing bodies. Among her notable artistic creations is Lush Life, a jazz, poetry and dance collaboration she created with Maya Angelou.

Robinson is a member of the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame and recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Colorado Governor’s Award for Excellence, the Denver Mayor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts and the Kennedy Center Medal of Honor.

The Board of Regents is pleased to award Cleo Parker Robinson the honorary degree Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, for her commitment to the power of dance to transform people and communities.

Full article available at CU Boulder Today.

Cleo Parker Robinson