Watching dance move forward
During the last three days the blog posts have been about the dance education residency that happened during December 2016 in MSAD #33. The “Hopes for the Future” funding came about thanks to the Thornton Academy dance program and seven dance programs in southern Maine. Almost $3,000 was awarded to MSAD #33 in Aroostook county where students in K-12 benefited from the expertise of a teaching dance artist. This year over $3,500 was raised by this same group of programs at a performance at Thornton Academy.
Next month another school will be having a performance and contributing the funds to the “Hopes for the Future” to provide dance education grants to other schools/districts. The Maine Arts Commission (MAC)will administer this grant. Please watch for the information on this blog and the weekly MAC arts ed list-serv.
The information below is from the New England Foundation for the Arts and is about how dance is moving forward.
In November 2016, New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) released a report by Metris Arts Consulting, entitled Moving Dance Forward: NEFA’s National Dance Project at 20 & Critical Field Trends. The report is located at http://www.nefa.org/moving-dance-forward.
The report is a comprehensive evaluation of the National Dance Project, incorporating new research about current needs of the dance field on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the program.
Major findings and trends of significance to the field include:
- NDP’s intertwined support for creation and touring has provided robust and sustained support in an environment of increasing resource scarcity and rising costs; investing in artists to make work is regarded as the highest priority for the program.
- Dance presenters credit NDP support with improving their reputation locally, their knowledge of dance, and enabling them to take risks by introducing new artists to their audiences.
- Data reveals NDP has consistently supported artists of color, but focus group findings speak to continued systemic inequities that exclude some artists and ways NEFA and other grantmakers can further equitable and inclusive grant-making.
- Artists tour to an average of six communities for each five-year period of NDP’s grantmaking from 1996-2016, revealing that tour subsidies are a high-impact bulwark to a field-wide decline in touring opportunities over the past two decades.
- Touring is no longer motivated by economic considerations; instead, artists are primarily motivated to tour to connect with new audiences, and organizations cite mission-based commitments and dance’s ability to connect audiences to diverse cultures and ideas.
- Artists and organizations value community engagement as an important component of touring and foresee deepening this practice over the next five to ten years.
The full report may be found online at www.nefa.org/moving-dance-forward.