Dance/USA Announces First Cohort of Archiving and Preservation Fellows

June 22, 2020

CONTACT: Johanna Tschebull

Washington, DC – Dance/USA, the national service organization for professional dance, is excited to announce the selection of four Archiving and Preservation Fellows, who will work with dance organizations to organize and preserve their archives. The 2020 Archiving Fellows are Sasha Jelan, Sumi MatsumotoSarah Nguyen, and Ishmael RossRead their bios here.

The theme of this round of Fellowships is Honoring Dance Elders and Pioneers. The organizations that the Archiving Fellows will work with are AXIS Dance CompanyDanceATLViver Brasil, and World Arts West. The Fellows will be paired with professional archivist mentors from UC Berkeley’s Bancroft Library, the Spelman College archives, and UCLA Library Special Collections. Read more about the projects here.

Due to the ongoing health and safety concerns around the coronavirus pandemic, the Archiving Fellows’ on-site practicums and attendance at professional conferences have been postponed until Summer 2021. They will begin working on their projects remotely during Summer 2020, and will convene and collaborate virtually with their cohort, mentors, and dance organizations.

“We are thrilled to begin working with these accomplished and passionate students,” said Imogen Smith, Dance/USA’s Director of Archiving and Preservation. “Although we have had to adapt the program to the realities of COVID-19, the extended timeline and expanded opportunities for connectivity will ultimately strengthen the Archiving Fellows’ relationships with their projects, their cohort, and Dance/USA.”

Amy Fitter, Executive Director of Dance/USA, added, “We are looking forward to building on the successful Fellowship model developed by Dance Heritage Coalition and extending its benefits to more artists, companies, and students.”

The Archiving and Preservation Fellowship program is generously supported by an award from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

About Dance/USA 
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. Dance/USA is the national service organization for the professional dance field. 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

In June 2018, Dance/USA announced a new strategic plan that establishes archiving and preservation as a core service. Dance/USA’s Department of Archiving and Preservation offers expertise on archiving practices specific to dance organizations and artists, building on the integration of Dance Heritage Coalition’s (DHC) successful programs. Since 1996, DHC advanced preservation through digitization and access to dance archives, education and training, and hands-on archiving help for artists and dance companies. Archival resources are freely available on Dance/USA’s website through the Artist’s Legacy Toolkit, Dance/USA offers archiving services for artists and dance companies, and the Archiving and Preservation Affinity Group provides a national network for dance archivists to collaborate and convene. Dance/USA’s Annual Conference offers opportunities to consult with archivists and attend panels and workshops on archiving topics. 

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