The Covid-19 pandemic has increased awareness in the dance field of the value and currency of archives and archiving practices. This page offers tips and suggestions for how to securely preserve your digital archives, projects that you can do from home, how to use digital archives for engagement, and how to document your experience during the pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the requirements of social distancing have led dance artists and companies to embrace the digital: offering remote classes or rehearsals, streaming archival or new performances. Digital materials are not automatically preserved just because they are online! Find out how to improve the ways you are saving and organizing your stuff, so that it can be even more useful to you. Read more.
If you have archival materials digitized, or if you are able to scan things at home, you can use these videos, photos, artworks, or press clippings to engage your community, increase your visibility, and create moments of joy for audiences at home.
Other ways to utilize archival materials could include sharing never-before-seen photographs and choreographic notes, or vintage poster designs, programs, and press materials on your social media or in newsletters.
Stuck at home with time on your hands? This can be a good opportunity to start digging into your archives! Read more.
In the future, there will be great value in having a record of this time, how people coped, how the dance field responded, and how the arts endured. Find out how you can document your experience, as well as information about national or regional efforts to collect archives of the Covid-19 pandemic. Read more.
Have questions? Want to discuss your archiving goals? Book a phone consultation with Dance/USA archivists. An hour-long consultation is free for Dance/USA members and $40 for non-members. Find more information and how to schedule here.
Image: Video collage of seven artists for project "apartTogether." Image courtesy of the Chicago Dance History Project, from the Dancing Under Quarantine Collection.
Project series was created by Joel Styzens during the stress of quarantine. Short description given by Joel: "Project apartTogether was created by 8 artists, strangers seeking creative and emotional connection during unprecedented isolation. Our story reveals that bonds built virtually can be significant and sustaining, encouraging stability and inspiration. / We invite you to enjoy our diverse geographic artistry that shares a united vision of hope. Please share our work as we continue to express that closeness is not always about proximity, and that we can be together even when we are apart." Performers include Joel Styzens, Consuelo Lepauw, Queen, Xin Ying, Rachelle Scott, Erke Roosen, Hannah Brooke