Grace Hamilton-Mayfield a 1982 graduate of University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She has advanced studies at Alvin Ailey School, Dance Education Teacher Certification at Western Kentucky University, and advanced studies at Texas Women’s University. In 1981 she Founded Hamilton Academy of the Arts (HAA) located in North Lafayette. In 1988 she expanded to Opelousas her hometown and founded the Hamilton Academy Performance Company (HAPC). In 2001 she developed a dance curriculum in accordance with long term objectives of existing lesson plans and organizational goals.
Grace served as an Artist in the classroom for 15 years with the St. Landry Parish School Board working with Special Needs children. She has served as the President of the Louisiana Alliance for Dance for the State of Louisiana and served on Dance grants review panels locally, statewide, and nationally. Grace has been appointed to many boards of directors. She was appointed Dance liaison for the City of Lafayette by the Mayor, and he declared June 9th Hamilton Academy of the Arts Day to honor her many years of service in the community. Hamilton Academy Performance Company has toured and traveled the US for the past 30 years performing at festivals, conferences, and other events. HAPC has opened for Ailey II in honor of Black History Month.
Grace has written, directed, and produced over 30 major productions Implementing performing arts education as a tool for the purpose of integrating multi-sensory and interdisciplinary learning experiences compatible with a dance education curriculum for children. Each year she organizes a program showcasing students newly acquired talents in the performing arts.
Her business has received numerous local, state, and national awards. Grace has been the guest speaker at numerous conferences and events. As an advocate for dance, she has been an invited guest on all the local CBS, ABC and Fox affiliates. Her company has sponsored many events highlighting the importance of dance in the community. She continues to be an advocate for Arts and Culture and the community.
Who makes up your art circle?
The International Association for Blacks in Dance Basin Arts PASA ULL Dance Department Millicent Johnnie Clare Cook Jackie Lyles Dance Studio Owners Association National Dance Education Organization Twinkle Star Dance Hamilton Academy Alum And a lengthy list of artist friends and associates
How do you expand your art circle?
By supporting other artist and arts organizations whenever my time permits Giving lectures Public speaking on the importance of the arts in our community
What value do you see in having a creative community?
Networking Collaboration Support Sharing of creative ideas and information
How does your artistic approach contribute to your community?
We are a dance education and performing arts based program with 40 years of dedication, love and support of community arts Host community events in person and on Zoom (Ex. Make a Difference Day Free community classes, Beyone Dance Women and Money, Free Black History Month activities, Kids Fest etc).