Cleo Parker Robinson
Cleo Parker RobinsonFounder and Artistic Director, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance

Meet Cleo Parker Robinson

Cleo Parker Robinson joined the Foundation’s Board as Community Trustee in October 2020. Cleo founded her namesake dance company in 1970 which encompasses the renowned Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, Cleo II (her second company), a Youth Ensemble, a year-round academy, an international summer institute, a 240-seat theatre, and an extensive outreach program serving communities throughout Denver and the Front Range. Cleo is a Denver native and graduate of the University of Denver, formerly Colorado Women’s College (CWC), in the field of Dance, Education and Psychology. She holds Honorary Doctorates of Fine Arts from the University of Denver, Humane Letters from Colorado College, and Public Service from Denver’s Regis University.

In addition to being the Foundation’s first Artist Award recipient in 1985, her other awards include the Colorado Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, the Denver Mayor’s Award, the Kennedy Center Medal of Honor for the “Masters of African American Choreography” series, the “Pioneer In Black Dance” Award by the Dynamic Dance Festival in Atlanta, Georgia, the Huntington’s Disease of America “Distinguished Leadership Award”, the “Fairfax B. Holmes Community Award” from The Denver Links, Inc., the “Unsung Heroes Mountain Award” from African-American Leadership Institute, the “Civil Rights Award of the Anti-Defamation League” (ADL), the “Building Civil Rights” award from the Rachel B. Noel Distinguished Visiting Professorship, the Denver Metropolitan State College “Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Peace Award for Service to the Community”, and the “Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award” from the Urban League of Metropolitan Denver. She is an Honorary Lifetime Trustee of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts and was named a “Timeless Legend” by the Denver Urban Spectrum.

Her service to the community has a long and impactful tenure, serving on several panels for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts and on local arts and leadership panels. In 1999, she was appointed by President Clinton to advise on policy and programs for the NEA. Currently, Cleo is the 1st Vice President of the International Association of Blacks in Dance.