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Pat Brown-Seltzer, Jackson Award recipient for The Arts

Pat Brown-Seltzer received her education of dance from Hartford, Connecticut and her master’s in teaching in New York City. She moved to Jackson in 1963 and opened the Pat Brown School of Dance, which celebrates its 50th year of operations this year.

During the last five decades, she has taught thousands of students the art of dance and has enriched our community by bringing ballet center stage.

Pat taught in satellite schools throughout West Tennessee for 22 years. She did choreography for the Jackson Theater Guild and for Lambuth Theater. She also worked with the Parks and Recreation Department, where she taught summer dance classes.

In the early ‘70s, she and fellow ballet teacher Jackie Ralls began discussing the idea of starting a civic ballet company in Jackson. In 1975, Ballets Arts was chartered with the goal of giving local dancers the opportunity to participate in quality performances while establishing a greater appreciation of dance in the community. Despite humble beginnings, the group continued to grow audiences and community support of the program.

In 1981, Ballet Arts partnered with a Memphis ballet company for a local production of “The Nutcracker,” and our city took notice.

Since then, Ballet Arts has sponsored the annual production of “The Nutcracker.” It is the longest-running production of “The Nutcracker” in the state.

The company also produces a spring show each year.

Pat served as a member of Tennessee Arts Commission’s Dance Panel and was president for the Tennessee Association of Dance. She has also been recognized for her contributions to our community both as a teacher and as a small business owner. In 1999, she was named the Tennessee Association of Dance’s Teacher of the Year. In 2012, she was presented a Sterling Award from the Business and Professional Women of Jackson.

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