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Advocacy: Anywhere and Anytime

April 09, 2014

I’d never experienced face-to-face advocacy firsthand to gain true insight into its meaning — and outcomes. In imagining what my first governmental advocacy meetings might be like, I wondered: How could I be the most effective voice in representing a diverse field of artists? Do I need to be an expert on the issues? Ultimately, what sort of impact can I make? Read on for more from Michelle Lynch Reynolds.

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Tags: Advocacy · Commentary

Sequestered

March 25, 2014

As a judge in any competition, you are expected to be “objective.” But there is no such thing as pure objectivity, since we all come with our own set of past experiences. I am aware of my personal biases and try to move beyond them, but part of the value of my — or anyone’s — feedback is in the passionate personal response. If we know a person from our past, we see more in their performance than if we never laid eyes on them. This is why the American College Dance Festival Association requires that its adjudicators be kept away from the participants — “sequestered.” Read about dancer/critic Wendy Perron's experience.

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Tags: Artistry · Commentary · Criticism

Moving On: A Close Up Look at the Closing of the Trey McIntyre Project

March 10, 2014

The announcement in January by the Trey McIntyre Project that its performances June 25-29, 2014, at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival would be the company’s last sent both shockwaves and shrugs through the dance community. The shockwaves were because despite the company only being a full-time entity since 2008 (it had begun in 2005 as a summer pickup company); it seemed to be a model of success in a dance world that is constantly searching for new blood.

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Tags: Artistry · Arts Administration · Dance News

Dance and Parenthood: A Case Study

March 02, 2014

Despite the daunting landscape for independent and freelance dance professionals, we’re seeing encouraging trends in how some dance companies regard the family lives of their employees.

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Tags: Arts Administration · Features · From The Studio

Balancing Acts: Dancers and Their Experiences With Motherhood

February 27, 2014

George Balanchine didn't hide his disapproval of dancers having children.  Doubtless, such overt pressure from a director would not fly anymore, but many issues that more indirectly discourage parenthood have not changed. Dancers still deal with issues like taking parental leave, juggling child care, physical recovery from childbirth, and health care.

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Tags: Artistry · Arts Administration · Features · From The Studio

What We Talk About When We Talk About Race, Part Two

February 22, 2014

Too many of the mainstream narratives about race in the United States are stuck in mid-twentieth-century paradigms of black vs. white. The classic archetypes of the oppressor and the oppressed make for good movies, but the racial groups that feature in conversations about race today are insanely reductive visions of reality. Read on for more on this provocative topic.

 

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Tags: Commentary · Diversity · Engagement

What We Talk About When We Talk About Race, Part One

February 21, 2014

Art and arts organizations are not capable of solving racism on their own. It’s not that the arts have nothing to say about race or that diverse cultural expressions aren’t important, but in the absence of a clear and shared understanding of the underlying factors that perpetuate racism, I fear that arts-centric interventions can all too often end up being little more than a band-aid – a way to reassure ourselves that we’re doing something important and valuable when in reality we’re really having very little impact at all. I believe that the sooner we as a field start framing our efforts not around “what can we do as artists and arts administrators to promote diversity?” but rather “how does racial injustice manifest today, what are its root causes, and how can we as human beings most effectively be part of the solution?” the sooner we’ll actually have something to be proud of.

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Tags: Commentary · Diversity

Affording Affordable Care

February 18, 2014

Many dance organizations have long been unable to afford health insurance for dancers, even though they are the tools through which we fulfill the missions of our companies. The Affordable Care Act and its subsidies to small businesses provide an opportunity for dance companies to invest resources in their employees’ health care, many for the very first time. Great! But, wait … what options are available? What can we afford? Is my organization required by law to provide insurance? What if my company can’t afford insurance?? What are the deadlines???

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Tags: Arts Administration · Commentary · Health Care

Affordable Care Act: Important Dates (revised)

February 05, 2014

Important revised dates to put on your calendar regarding the Affordable Care Act.

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Tags: Arts Administration · Government Watch · Health Care

Field Trip: A Visit to Congress

January 21, 2014

Meeting your member of Congress in Washington, D.C., is a great way to make your voice heard with lawmakers and to share the important work your company does in the community. Read about a recent legislative visit on Capitol Hill by Nashville Ballet’s Paul Vasterling. And then schedule your own, with Dance/USA’s Legislative Director Brandon Gryde.

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Tags: Government Watch


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