MDI Merseyside Dance Initiative
Inspiring people through dance
Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Community Dance Artist Maxine Brown Leaves MDI after 16 years of culturally diverse work

Starting as a freelance artist with the organisation in 1993, Maxine began her role as Community Dance Artist for APD (African People’s Dance) in 2002. During her time at MDI, Maxine has been dedicated to ensuring that dance of the African Diaspora has been prevalent throughout the work of MDI with memorable contributions in developing the programming of International Dance Day, Bend Down Low Community Dance Showcase and Summer school Tingalayo. She supported many a major event from the start of her time with the organisation from Exchange Flags for the Commonwealth Games (2002) and Barging In (2003) alongside more recent projects such as the Olympic torch Relay and Big Dance Link up NW (2012); Battle of the Atlantic Celebrations and The Big Cat Walk at The Albert Dock (2013).

Maxine has championed diversity in both dance and its people and artists who have supported so many decisions the organisation has made in bringing some world class dance to the city over the years, especially in 2007 when MDI produced Cultiv8 featuring “L’Acadco” from Jamaica.

Personal highlights of the past 16 years for Maxine include the development of Tingalayo, MDI’s children’s African and Caribbean focussed summer school, bringing in a wave of professional artists from across the UK to engage with children and young people; and  Bend Down Low, an annual community showcase that brings both professional and community dancers from across the North West together to share their experience of black dance in performance.

Maxine is also incredibly proud of the work she has done in Dance and Health, working with African Elders, Hector Peterson Court, Rainbow club and her work on the wards of Alder Hey and Aintree hospitals. 

She will be leaving the MDI to undertake various freelance work as well as develop her own personal work in health, somatics, massage and wellbeing.

Speaking about her time at MDI, Maxine says:

“I sincerely appreciate having had the opportunity to work for MDI and have enjoyed my time at the company. Working with a countless number of wonderful children and adults. Thank you for the support, guidance, and encouragement you have provided me during my time at MDI. As a member of the MDI team I have appreciated the support and commitment of my co-workers. Their work and contribution, including the extended hours of dedication are greatly honoured. I will miss their charm, professionalism, empathy and strength. I wish them all the best for their future endeavors.  Even though I will miss my colleagues and the company, I am looking forward to the challenges of new opportunities and dancing on my new pathway.”

Karen Gallagher MBE, Artistic Director says:

“I have worked with Maxine for over 16 years and I am forever impressed with how she works with people and makes them feel so at ease in their own bodies. She has made some truly significant impacts on the work of MDI especially over the recent years with her work in health and wellbeing and contributing to our programmes in partnership with Alder Hey Children’s' Hospital, The Alzheimer’s Society and African Elders Association.  Particular highlights for me has been her work with Bend Down Low and her ability to bring such diverse groups together to perform be they local communities or professional dance makers, all are treated with equity and equality matched with a huge measure of warmth and friendliness.  MDI will miss her very much”

Over her time with MDI Maxine has won the following awards:

Black Achievers Awards  2008 - Female achiever
Alder Hey Children's Hospital - The Breathe Project ; Outstanding performance
Alive Centre Kensington 2017 -  Outstanding worker in the community