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New Book 'Shifting Cultural Power' Out September 1, From Choreographer Hope Mohr & NCCAkron

Shifting Cultural Power: Case Studies & Questions in Performance is a reckoning with white cultural power and a call to action.

The National Center for Choreography-Akron has been named a series editor with The University of Akron Press. Choreographer Hope Mohr (San Francisco, CA) authored the first title in this publication series: Shifting Cultural Power: Case Studies & Questions in Performance. The book reflects on her ten years at the helm of The Bridge Project and the organization's shift into distributed leadership. Shifting Cultural Power will be published September 1, 2021. This book is Mohr's first.

Shifting Cultural Power: Case Studies & Questions in Performance is a reckoning with white cultural power and a call to action. The book locates the work of curating performance in conversations about social change, with a special focus on advancing racial equity in the live arts. Based on the author's journey as a dancer, choreographer, and activist, as well as on her ten years of leading The Bridge Project, a performing arts presenting platform in the Bay Area, Shifting Cultural Power invites readers to imagine new models of relationship among artists and within arts organizations - models that transform approach, rather than simply re-cast who holds power. Mohr covers such subjects as transitioning a hierarchical nonprofit to a model of distributed leadership; expanding the canon; having difficult conversations about the racial inequities that continue to pervade the field; and reckoning with aesthetic bias. This title also features case studies of socially engaged projects in the performing arts; a workbook for embodied research; an archive of The Bridge Project's ten-year history; and transcripts of landmark performance events.

"When we reckon with and decenter whiteness, we open imaginative space for decolonized models of artmaking and art community," Mohr comments. "We create possibilities for shifting cultural power. We go beyond optics and tokenism. The time is now to imagine and implement new models of arts production driven by a commitment to equity and inclusion."

In a field historically dominated by New York City, NCCAkron seeks, through this publishing partnership, to uplift narratives in dance in a way that is geographically equitable. Books in the series will focus on individuals, regions, and genres of dance that have traditionally been overlooked. A second as yet untitled manuscript slated for publication in 2022 will highlight women leadership in dance with essays documenting stories from across the country.

"NCCAkron is invested in sharing undertold and lesser-seen stories, in distributing new working knowledge, and pushing for a more conversational and welcoming style of writing about dance," says NCCAkron Executive/Artistic Director Christy Bolingbroke. "I appreciate how Hope documents ten years of programming to create a reference for other artist-activists, while making the evolution of her own operating context transparent. I invite you to read this book and ask new questions. How is your operating environment shifting? How can you challenge what you think you know?"

To pre-order this book, click here: https://blogs.uakron.edu/uapress/product/cultural-power/.



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