Image of Pickup Performance Co(s) archive project: Fellow Patsy Gay, stage manager Ed Fitzgerald, and visiting fellow Kat Bell pose with a David Gordon cutout in the PUPCS archive/office room.
You don’t have to do this alone. Here are some resources that address big factors like money, time, space, and expertise. To assess what resources you already have and what you will need, consider who is going to do the tasks described in this toolkit, where the work will be done, where the records will be kept, when the work will occur, and how long the project may take. If you are working in an organization, start building support within your organization and among your board members for the investment of resources. Hold meetings to increase awareness of both the benefits of protecting your legacy and the resources required to do it. Have any of your peer organizations or artists embarked on their own archive project? They may be a good contact for advice.
Can you work the cost to document and preserve a grant-supported work into the grant budget? Funders who have shown commitment to your work may also be open to supporting projects to preserve your legacy.
Seek out pro bono services. Taproot Foundation can help you connect to professionals with specialized skills.
The Bay Area Video Coalition offers reduced rates on video and audio preservation services to artists and small- to mid-sized arts and cultural heritage organizations.
Archiving is time-consuming, but can save you time in the long run.
Think about what needs to be done, or something that might help the project. Is this something an intern could do? Remember, you don’t have to do this alone. Local dance studios or library/archive programs may have students that are interested and qualified to work with your materials. To find accredited library science programs in your area with contact information, use the American Library Association’s directory.
We are happy to answer your questions. We are also able to provide assessments, and though these generally do cost your organization money, it is our first step to helping all dance organizations with their archive needs. Reach out to ismith [at] danceusa.org.
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