Dance/NYC Releases New Findings and Resources for and by Disabled Artists
This past Saturday, February 27, 2016, at a half-day Disability.Dance.Artistry. convening at Gibney Dance Center's 280 Broadway Location, Dance/NYC unveiled primary deliverables of an ongoing initiative to increase inclusion within and access to the art form for disabled New Yorkers, including a 161-page research report, Disability.Dance.Artistry., and online resources available at Dance.NYC.
"Dance/NYC has demonstrated the vision to bring equity to dance through both its research and capacity to instigate important dialogue," says Victor Calise, Commissioner, New York City Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities.
"This work is a game changer in a growing movement toward a cultural ecosystem that expressly and equitably includes the disability community," says Lane Harwell, Executive Director of Dance/NYC. "It puts disability front and center as a positive artistic and generative force and advocates dance making by and with disabled artists."
The Disability.Dance.Artistry. report responds directly to Dance/NYC's quantitative research, Discovering Disability (2015), and to a seminal conference it presented as part of ADA25NYC, the City's celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The qualitative findings and recommendations are grounded in dialogue surrounding the conference, and draw from a wide range of both disabled and non-disabled stakeholders to make the case for:
• expanding dance making with disabled artists and the presentation of that work;
• enhancing dance education for disabled public school children;
• improving dance facilities and communications environments; and
• extending workforce development and audience engagement with disabled people.Dance/NYC also launched new online resources on Dance/NYC's website. A Disability Works Dance Maker Directory, or simply Disability Works, aims to address a gap in visibility of and knowledge of dance made by and with disabled artists in the metropolitan New York City area by centralizing listings populated by these artists. Dance/NYC continues to add access and usability features and grow its repository of disability resources aggregated from government and nonprofit sources, including the new SpaceFinder Accessible Spaces, a directory of inclusive workspaces recommended by disabled artists for disabled artists. This directory is Fractured Atlas' response to a call for action from Dance/NYC's initiative. Visit Dance.NYC for more info.
These findings and resources were released during a series of Disability.Dance.Artistry. sessions that included a workshop with Inclusion in the Arts and New Jersey Theatre Alliance and screening and discussion of the documentary film, Invitation to Dance, with Simi Linton, Christian von Tippelskirch, and Alice Sheppard. At its full-day Symposium this past Sunday, February 28, 2016, Dance/NYC continued to explore disability matters, with speakers including Commissioner Calise, in conversation with Heidi Latsky of Heidi Latsky Dance, and artists Michelle Mantione, Zazel-Chavah O'Garra of ZCO Dance Project, Marc Travis Rivera of marked dance company, and Peter Trojic of Heidi Latsky Dance, among others. For information on upcoming Dance/NYC events, visit Dance.NYC.
Dance/NYC's mission is to promote the knowledge, appreciation, practice, and performance of dance in the metropolitan New York City area. It embeds values of equity and inclusion into all aspects of the organization. It works in alliance with Dance/USA, the national service organization for professional dance.