FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 5, 2023
Contact: Johanna Tschebull
Washington, DC – Dance/USA, the national service organization for dance, announced an update today regarding the Dance/USA Bylaws, one of the organization’s most significant foundational documents. During our November 2022 Board Meeting, the Dance/USA Board of Trustees voted and approved several changes to the Bylaws in order to center our core value of equity.
The process that resulted in these changes began in 2020 when Dance/USA’s Trustees Committee initiated a formal review of the Bylaws with curiosity as to how they reflect our core values. In 2021 the Board approved the formation of the Bylaws Revisioning Working Group, composed of six Trustees, two Dance/USA team members, and two non-Trustees, who met over the course of six months and examined how Dance/USA’s Board governance aligned with our values. The Working Group then reimagined our Bylaws to reflect and amplify our value of equity.
The Changes To Our Bylaws Include:
- We shifted the Dance/USA Board Year from July-June to January-December to align with our fiscal and membership years.
- We clarified that ex-officio means a “voting member” of the Board as it specifically relates to the role of the Executive Director.
- We reduced the number of named Board Committees within the Bylaws. The Board Committees that remain codified in the Bylaws are Executive, Governance, Finance, and Audit. Other Committees, formally in the Bylaws, may become Impact Groups.
- We shifted to a singular, equitable pathway to elect Board members. This process ensures all Trustees are nominated, vetted, elected, and on boarded through a singular process that is rooted in equity and inclusion. Council Chairs are no longer automatically appointed to Dance/USA’s Board of Trustees.
Why Did We Make These Changes?
Dance/USA is on an intentional equity journey, one that started over ten years ago with a pivotal moment in our journey occurring at our 2012 Conference in San Francisco, California.
The journey to become a more equitable and inclusive organization starts with a commitment to dismantle characteristics of white supremacy and oppressive structures that impede progress. To do this with integrity can be difficult and can sometimes conjure feelings of uncertainty – externally as stakeholders grapple with the change they are noticing, and internally as the individuals, a part of the institution, work to recognize and address how to authentically transform and align core programs, operations, and leadership with our values.
And while this work and the notion that “change is hard” may be true, we must remain committed, and that means putting our values into action.
As an organization in humble service to the dance ecosystem, we must be relentless in this commitment to transform our organization and our member community into an environment that is equitable, inclusive, and cultivates a profound sense of belonging for all parts of the dance ecosystem. We have done a lot of external work with our programming, but now we must shift our focus internally to address our internal structures and policies.
Our Bylaws are central to this shift. And with these changes to our Bylaws, we are prioritizing inclusive practices in our governance structure, which will move us closer to fully actualizing our values, living them more authentically, and putting our vision and mission into daily practice.
Learn More About the Changes to Our Bylaws and Get Involved!
- Read our FAQ document, which includes information about Impact Groups. This document is also available on our website.
- Join us at the 2023 Conference for updates from Dance/USA. We will host an inaugural Dance/USA member town hall on Friday, June 16 starting at 8:30am ET. Online registration for the Conference has closed; however onsite registration opens on June 13.
- In the coming months, Dance/USA will continue to host The Exchange: A Conversation for Learning and Sharing, a triannual conversation with Council and Affinity Group Chairs and Co-Chairs and Dance/USA leadership.
- Shape the Dance/USA Board of Trustees! Nominate yourself or a colleague to join our Board. Learn more and submit a nomination by June 20.
- Support our mission-driven work with a tax-deductible donation. Donate now.
Propelled by our belief that dance can inspire a more just and humane world, Dance/USA will amplify the power of dance to inform and inspire a nation where creativity and the field thrive.
Established in 1982, Dance/USA champions an inclusive and equitable dance field by leading, convening, advocating, and supporting individuals and organizations. Dance/USA’s core programs are focused in the areas of engagement, advocacy, research, and preservation. Learn more about Dance/USA at danceusa.org.