Vershawn Sanders-Ward is a movement artivist, Founder Artistic Director & CEO of Red Clay Dance Company based in Chicago, IL. A native of Chicago, Sanders-Ward holds a MFA in Dance from New York University and a BFA in Dance from Columbia College Chicago where she attended as a Gates Millennium Scholar. Her work has been presented at festivals in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Kalamazoo, Toronto, Toubab Dialaw, Senegal, Kampala, Uganda and The Yard at Martha’s Vineyard. She is a 2017 Dance/USA Leadership Fellow, a 2013 3Arts awardee, and the recipient of a 2009 Choreography Award from Harlem Stage NYC. Vershawn has served as an adjunct faculty member, facilitated residencies, and received choreographic commissions from Columbia College Chicago, Northwestern University, Knox College, City Colleges of Chicago, AS220, , and the National Theatre in Kampala, Uganda. In 2015 and 2018, NewCity Magazine selected Ward as one of the “Fifty People Who Really Perform for Chicago”. Vershawn proudly serves on the Board of Directors for Enrich Chicago, and was selected to attend the inaugural Obama Foundation Summit for Emerging Global Leaders! Sanders-Ward remains committed to uplifting the work of emerging artists by curating "La Femme", a biennial two-day festival, presented in the month of March in celebration of Women’s History Month, that brings the work of black/African/African Diaspora female choreographers to Chicago stages.