It is with tremendous sadness and shock that we acknowledge the passing of Mrs. Dhana Bradley Donaldson on Friday, November 11, 2022. She leaves behind a legacy of Beauty, Grace, Creativity, Generosity, and a Love of God that continues to enrich all who knew her and many who did not.
Her artistic excellence and community impact were recognized by the Commonwealth of Kentucky with the Governor’s Award in the Arts. Her biography is featured in Notable Kentucky African Americans database. In 1994, Dhana brought her formidable artistic and administrative skills to Cincinnati to become Executive Director of the Arts Consortium of Cincinnati. During her tenure, she oversaw the physical restoration of the facility, expanded arts programming, and enhanced the visibility of Cincinnati’s African American artists.
In 1996, Dhana was honored as the Robert S. Duncanson Artist-in-Residence at the Taft Museum. The YWCA of Cincinnati recognized her as a Career Woman of Achievement in 1997. During this time, Dhana expanded her creative vision to establish MainStage Events (MSE). MSE has produced major events for organizations in Cincinnati including the Urban League, Collective Empowerment Group (CEG), and Festival 513.
At the time of her death, Dhana was co-owner of Tri-City Staffing, established in 2013 with her business partner Yvonne Brown, providing job opportunities for hundreds of Cincinnati residents. In Cincinnati, Dhana became a member of Corinthian Baptist Church in Cincinnati under the leadership of Pastor K.Z. Smith.
Dhana shared her life with husband William Donaldson Jr. for more than 30 years. In addition to William, Dhana is survived by her mother, Florence Rucker Bradley (Lester-deceased); brother, James Bradley and her niece, Dr. Tai-Danae Bradley of Valencia, Calif.; two aunts, Margaret Snead of Lynchburg, Va., and Ophelia Morgan of Richmond Va.; two uncles Theodore Rucker of Draft 1 11/15/22 Lynchburg, Va., and John Plumber of Virginia Beach, Va.; and 15 cousins. She will be deeply missed by the Donaldson family including her mother-in-love, Anita Donaldson (William Sr.-deceased) of Louisville, Ky.; two sisters-in-love, Margaret Donaldson-Cobb (Andrew-deceased) of Indianapolis, Ind., and Pamela Donaldson-Johnson (Eric). She also leaves to mourn stepchildren, ShaCola Donaldson Walker, William Donaldson III, Cherinee Donaldson, and Marissa Youngblood and six grandchildren.
Dhana’s loving spirit and fabulous fashion flair (Pearls, Heels and Red lipstick) will be deeply missed by her chosen sisters in Louisville and Cincinnati, a host of “adopted” nieces and nephews, and friends across the country.
Dhana’s care was entrusted to J.C. Battle & Sons Funeral Home, Cincinnati.