Dan Burkett of the School of Architecture and Design and Jeffrey
The UL Lafayette College of the Arts recently named Alumna Grace Hamilton-Mayfield ’82 as this year’s SPARK Lifetime Achievement Award Honoree. The SPARK Lifetime Achievement Award honors alumni and members of the community who have made great strides to advance the arts in Louisiana and across the country. Grace will become the first female and the first person of color to be awarded the SPARK Lifetime Achievement Award. She joins the ranks of our previous SPARK honorees; A. Hays Town, Elmore Morgan Jr., Joe Stewart, George Rodrigue, Keith Sonnier, Dicky Landry, Eddie Cazayoux, Herman Mhire and others.
Grace is a 1982 graduate of University of Louisiana, Lafayette (ULL). She has been the owner of Hamilton Academy of the Arts (HAA), a Certified Louisiana Small Business for 40 years. Through HAA, she has trained over 4,000 students in the performing arts throughout Acadiana. She provides scholarships for children in need and works tirelessly for dance, as well as dance education in the State of Louisiana.
Grace has demonstrated a history of working in the performing and cultural arts, as well as the entertainment industries. Hamilton Academy Performance Company, a division of HAA, has toured the US and was hand selected by Disney Entertainment twice to present a twenty-five-minute piece on Louisiana’s Culture and Traditions. She has served on many local, state, and regional boards and panels and has received numerous awards and she has been the guest speaker at local, state, and national conferences and events.
She is passionate about arts and culture and continues to be an advocate for artistic excellence, cultural diversity, and inclusion.
Interim Dean Michael McClure of the UL Lafayette College of the Arts commented, “Grace exemplifies everything this award is about, someone who has embraced the Performing Arts and has dedicated her life to promote dance in her community, especially to communities where dance has not always been accessible. She holds a special place in this community and statewide with over 40 plus years of service and dedication to the Performing Arts. “
The College of the Arts will be making formal announcement at a small private gathering before the annual State of LA Dance performance on Friday, November 19th.
The Dance Program in the UL Lafayette School of Music and Performing Arts presents State of LA Danse November 18, 19, 20 at 7:30pm and November 21 at 2:00pm. All performances will be at the Ducrest-Gilfry Auditorium in Angelle Hall on the UL Lafayette campus.
Photo caption: Grace Hamilton-Mayfield, UL Lafayette College of the Arts, 2021 SPARK Lifetime Achievement Award Honoree. Photo provided by Hamilton Academy of the Arts