2017 Annual Conference


Dance/USA hosted its 9th Annual Conference in Kansas City, MO from June 7-10, 2017. From executive directors and emerging arts leaders to managers and presenters, agents and artists, 500 individuals associated with the professional dance field gathered convened for networking, creative conversation, enriching training sessions, skill-building workshops, discussions on important issues facing the field, and performances. Browse through photos, watch video interviews, enjoy a special address by NEA Chairman Jane Chu and find out what happened at the Annual Conference! 

Photos from Kansas City

Browse a gallery of photos from the Conference in Kansas City here!

Interviews with Attendees 
Watch 13 interviews with Conference attendees and participants, and learn what the Conference was like!
Watch more video interviews here! 

The 2017 Opening Plenary Session
On Thursday, June 8, 2017 Dance/USA presented a live stream via HowlRound of the Opening Plenary session of the 2017 Annual Conference from the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, MO. Dawn J. Fraser was the keynote speaker.  The Opening Plenary also included a special guest speaker: Jane Chu, Chairman, National Endowment for the Arts. Learn more about the speakers here.

Watch Special Guest Speaker Jane Chu Address the Attendees:

Remarks of Jane Chu, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, June 8, 2017.

Watch the Full Opening Plenary:

The Opening Night Celebration Highlights Featuring the 2017 Honorees 

The Opening Night Celebration featured the presentation of the 2017 Dance/USA Honors: the Honor Award, the Champion Award, the Ernie Award (named for the late Ian “Ernie” Horvath), and the Trustees Award. This extraordinary event is cause for reflection upon these individuals’ contributions to dance in America and an acknowledgement of the roles they play in the national and local dance community. In 2017, Dance/USA  honored Billie Mahoney, Kansas City Dance Artist; Cleo Parker Robinson, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance; Gina Gibney, Gibney Dance; and Doug Sonntag. Watch highlights from the Opening Night Celebration below.

The 2017 Annual Conference Preview Video

Kansas City dance companies and dance artists featured in the above preview video include:

Art in the Loop
City in Motion
Concept Zero
Elizabeth Stehling
Hema Sharma
Jane Gotch
Kansas City Ballet
Kansas City Dance Festival
Lucia Aerial Performing Arts
Maura Garcia Dance
Owen/Cox Dance Group
Seamless Dance Theatre
Störling Dance Theater
Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company

Dance/USA and the 2017 Host Committee are grateful for Tico Production’s generous production of the 2017 Annual Conference preview video.

About the 2017 Dance/USA Annual Conference

Programming at the Conference was a mix of discussion-based sessions and practical breakout sessions. Broad questions that will drive programmatic content and conversations will be: How will we continue to finance dance, How will dance deal with constant technological change, and What is the social responsibility of dance?  Dance/USA’s core values of equity, inclusion, and diversity served as a lens by which the design of all topics and sessions passed through including but not limited to the diversity of voices being presented, the needs of the diverse group of Conference attendees, and program designs that allow for active discussion. 

The 2017 Annual Conference took place campus style to showcase the beauty of Kansas City's local venues including Union Station, Kansas City Ballet, National World War I Museum and Memorial, and the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.