Mission & History
Joe's Movement Emporium inspires creativity through cultural experiences supporting arts education, job training and a creative community.
A world where everyone is creative, confident and connected.
World Arts Focus was founded in 1992 by Brooke Kidd to present performances and education programs that connect local audiences to world traditions.
Joe’s Movement Emporium began as studio for dance and the performing arts when Brooke Kidd and fellow artist Ajax Joe Drayton opened it in Mt. Rainier, MD in 1995, a community that lacked arts access for its ethnically and economically diverse residents. It quickly became known as a place where everyone was welcome, where every “Joe,”- no matter his/her race, age, or ability- could come to move!
Today, Joe’s is the largest independent performing arts center in Prince George’s County, MD. The abandoned 20,000 sq. ft. warehouse turned performing arts space opened its doors in 2007 following a $3.2 million capital campaign. Joe’s has become a home where community members can access exceptional educational and artistic experiences that expose them to arts traditions from around the world.
In 2015 year Joe’s celebrated it's 20th anniversary, growing from a leased storefront studio in 1995 to a community center for the arts that serves 70,000 individuals annually. The facility is open 7 days a week, 350 days per year with classes for all levels of movers. You can see a variety of performances at Joe’s, from dance and comedy to concerts and aerial arts, all showcasing performing arts traditions from around the world.
Programming at Joe’s has evolved over the years based on the needs of the local community. Many resident artists and arts companies call Joe's home where they create, rehearse and perform. Local families in need of affordable, quality childcare can find it at Club Joe’s, the organization’s innovative aftercare program, and Joe’s Camp Joe's. The Theater Tech Program/CreativeWorks provides life and employability skills for at-risk youth. Joe’s provides physical activity to improve the health of teens and adults with differing abilities. Finally, Joe’s drive and vision anchors an entire arts district – The Gateway Arts District of Prince George’s County, MD – joining small business and the arts community in pursuit of economic growth.