Germaine Ingram is a jazz tap dancer, choreographer, song writer, and vocal/dance improviser. Her work channels styles and traditions she learned from and performed with legendary Philadelphia hoofer LaVaughn Robinson (1927-2008), her teacher, mentor, and performance partner for more than 25 years. Since her work with Robinson, she has created choreography for national tap companies; performed as a solo artist, and collaborated and performed with noted jazz composers and instrumentalists—including Odean Pope, Dave Burrell, Diane Monroe, Tyrone W. Brown, and Bobby Zankel—— as well as dance artists rooted in diverse genre. Through choreography, music composition, performance, writing, production, oral history projects, and designing and leading artist learning environments, she explores themes related to history, collective memory, and social justice. Her recent performance projects include an evening-length production inspired by the establishment of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia in the late 18th Century; an hour-length performance piece for Atlanta, GA’s 150-year commemoration of the Battle of Atlanta, a turning point in the Civil War; in April 2015, an evening-length production of original music and dance for the VivaDanca International Festival in Salvador, Brazil; and in February 2016, an artist residency, performance, and keynote lecture/performance for Brandeis University’s annual festival of social justice. In 2015/2016, she was a collaborator in a two-year, multi-disciplinary exploration of how art addresses sudden loss of human life. Currently she is the principal designer and a collaborator in a Pew-funded project that excavates the history and evolution of the practice of Yoruba performance traditions and culture in Philadelphia.
She was a 2010 Pew Foundation Fellow in the Arts, and a 2014 resident fellow at the Sacatar Institute in Itaparica, Bahia, Brazil. She received, among other awards, an Artist of the City Award from Painted Bride Art Center; Transformation Award (2008) and Art & Change Award (2012) from the Leeway Foundation; Rocky Award (2011) from DanceUSA /Philadelphia; Philadelphia Folklore Project’s Award for Folk Arts & Cultural Heritage Practice (2012). Her projects have been funded by the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, Independence Foundation, Leeway Foundation, Pennsylvania Humanities Council, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Wyncote Foundation, and Lomax Family Foundation. A former civil rights and trial lawyer, law professor, and school district executive officer, she has served on many boards of foundations and non-profit organizations dedicated to education reform, supporting arts and culture, and arts education. She is a member of the Advisory Board of the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life at Brandeis University, and of the Steering Committee of IMPACT, a new initiative to build a global infrastructure for deploying artists and artistic practices to address and transform conflict.