Velocity Interim Artistic Director Attends National Dance Presenters' Forum

Velocity Interim Artistic Director Attends National Dance Presenters' Forum

Erin Johnson, Interim Artistic Director of Velocity Dance Center has been selected to attend the distinguished National Dance Presenters' Forum at Jacob's Pillow. This four-day dance leadership development intensive is held at Jacob's Pillow's 220-acre site in Western Massachusetts, July 10-13. The second annual Forum, reinstated in July 2018, is developed in collaboration with key partners from across the U.S. and designed to be a catalytic opportunity for early career dance presenters. Erin was selected through a critical and rigorous interview process to join a cohort of 15 early-career dance presenters from around the U.S. Jacob's Pillow is a National Historic Landmark, recipient of the National Medal of Arts, and home to America's longest-running dance festival.

Jacob's Pillow has worked closely with national and regional partners to develop the curriculum for the program that provides a platform to discuss critical issues facing the dance field; strengthen curatorial practice in dance; explore collaborative strategies to support choreographic development; learn about and share audience engagement strategies; strengthen professional networks; and bolster support for dance across the United States.

"It's so exciting for us to be welcoming such a distinguished cohort from around the country working to expand and enhance engagement with dance in their communities. Over the course of four days they will be immersed in the life of the Festival, learn from leaders in the field, and build a network that will support them as they move forward," says Director Pamela Tatge.

Lead funding for this initiative comes from The New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA), with support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support is provided by the Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP), Dance/USA, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, and South Arts.

"Last year's revival of the National Dance Presenters' Forum filled an important gap by bolstering the capacity of emerging dance presenters. We are excited to see these arts leaders engage with critical issues in the dance presenting landscape to benefit artists and communities," says New England Foundation for the Arts' executive director, Cathy Edwards.

The 2019 Forum planning committee selected 15 emerging dance presenters with diverse backgrounds as curators, cultural organizers, and service providers to artists and audiences. The Forum will take the shape of a learning cohort, wherein participants, facilitators, presenters, and virtual panelists will interrogate and contribute perspectives on the evolving state of 21st-century dance presenting.

Additional curricular insight comes from initiatives including NEFA's National Dance Project Regional Dance Development Initiatives and Moving Dance Forward: NEFA's National Dance Project at 20 & Critical Field Trends report; The Black Report by the International Association of Blacks in Dance; The Future of Physically Integrated Dance in the U.S. by AXIS Dance; South Arts' Dance Touring Initiative; and Dance/USA's Engaging Dance Audiences.

In addition to participating staff from partner organizations, facilitators include Ali Rosa-Salas, Director of Programming at Abrons Arts Center in New York City; Sean Dorsey, San-Francisco based choreographer, dancer, and trans rights activist; Madison Cario, Executive Director of The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) in Portland, OR; and Suzanne Callahan, founder of Callahan Consulting for the Arts, among others. Mary Anne Carter, Acting Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, joins the Forum for conversation and an opportunity to hear successes and challenges from participants about dance presenting in their communities.

Forum participants will engage with the rigorous curriculum alongside the 87th season of Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, America's longest running dance festival. Room and board, participation costs, and tickets to Festival performances for attendees are fully subsidized. Festival events include exhibits, talks, access to the Pillow's extensive Archives, as well as performances. Programming highlights include the trailblazing ballet company Dance Theatre of Harlem in celebration of their 50th anniversary, and the world premiere of POWER, a new work that imagines what Black Shaker worship may have looked like from Brooklyn-based Reggie Wilson/Fist and Heel Performance Group, among others.

The National Dance Presenters' Forum aligns with Vision '22, the Pillow's strategic five-year plan. Centered around growing the Pillow's ability to best serve the field at large as a year-round center for dance research and development, Vision '22 ambitiously expands the Pillow's resources, offerings, and convenings.

PARTNERS & FUNDING SUPPORT

Lead funding for this initiative comes from The New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA), with support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support is provided by the Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP), Dance/USA, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, and South Arts.

The complete list of 2019 Forum Attendees with current affiliation and title is included below.

  • Chavi Bansal, Arts Coordinator, Pao Arts Center; Boston, MA

  • Ellen Chenoweth, Director of the Dance Presenting Series at the Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago; Chicago, IL

  • Malakhi RL Eason II, Programming Manager for Omaha Performing Arts; Omaha, NE

  • Gillian Jones, Director of Programming, Edmonds Center for the Arts; Shoreline, WA

  • Napoleon Wesley Gladney, Audience Development Coordinator at Musco Center for the Arts at Chapman University; Orange, CA

  • Liliana Gomez, Dance Director at Phoenix Center of the Arts; Phoenix, AZ

  • Liza Wade Green, Associate Director of NC State LIVE; Raleigh, NC

  • Sarah Greenbaum, Associate Curator at Dance Place; Washington, DC

  • Kelsey Halliday Johnson, Executive Director of SPACE; Portland, ME

  • Erin Johnson, Interim Artistic Director of Velocity Dance Center; Seattle, WA

  • Yonca Karakilic, Director of the Arts Transcending Borders program at College of the Holy Cross; Worcester, MA

  • Brett Wellman Messenger, Curatorial Director of Live Arts at the Morris Museum; Morristown, NJ

  • Sruthi Mohan, Creative Director, Tat Tvam Asi; Austin, TX

  • Theresa Remick, Managing Director of the Page Theatre; Winona, MN

  • Paul Wilborn, Executive Director of the Palladium Theater at St. Petersburg College; St. Petersburg, FL



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