Articles filed under Diversity

  • Michael Kaiser: Exit Interview, part 2

    Michael Kaiser, the outgoing president of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., talks candidly about the state of the dance field, funding, American dance abroad, challenges and perceptions, and his love of baseball and baking. In September 2014, he leaves the Kennedy Center to bring the DeVos Institute of Arts Management to University of Maryland joining the College of Arts and Humanities’ Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, a leading national arts incubator. This is the second part of his conversation with Dance/USA.

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  • What We Talk About When We Talk About Race, Part One

    Art and arts organizations are not capable of solving racism on their own. It’s not that the arts have nothing to say about race or that diverse cultural expressions aren’t important, but in the absence of a clear and shared understanding of the underlying factors that perpetuate racism, I fear that arts-centric interventions can all too often end up being little more than a band-aid – a way to reassure ourselves that we’re doing something important and valuable when in reality we’re really having very little impact at all. I believe that the sooner we as a field start framing our efforts not around “what can we do as artists and arts administrators to promote diversity?” but rather “how does racial injustice manifest today, what are its root causes, and how can we as human beings most effectively be part of the solution?” the sooner we’ll actually have something to be proud of.

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  • What We Talk About When We Talk About Race, Part Two

    Too many of the mainstream narratives about race in the United States are stuck in mid-twentieth-century paradigms of black vs. white. The classic archetypes of the oppressor and the oppressed make for good movies, but the racial groups that feature in conversations about race today are insanely reductive visions of reality. Read on for more on this provocative topic.


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  • Building Bridges for Ballet’s Future

    What does it take to create a great community outreach dance program at a ballet organization? Some key ingredients include: community need, planning and preparation, good timing, strong program leadership, local funding, a committed community partner, organizational buy-in, engaging curriculum, dedicated instructors, and interested program participants. Read on for former Ailey dancer April Berry's report on how model ballet programs are built and sustained.

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  • Conference 2013 Report: From Racial Equity to the Future of Dance

    From crucial networking sessions for artistic and executive directors to share programming hits and budgetary misses to paperwork how-to’s for grants and insurance, to sustaining partnerships and forging bonds in the community, Dance/USA’s 2013 Annual Conference held June 12-15 in Philadelphia reflected the wide spectrum of interests and issues confronting the organization’s members. Read on here for Karyn D. Collins’ report.

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  • Diversifying Arts Institutions, Exploding the Canon, and Educating the Next Generation

    Get to know Aaron Dworkin before he gives the opening plenary on Thursday, June 13, 2013, at 9:30 a.m. at Dance/USA’s 2013 conference.

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  • Where Have All the African American Audiences Gone for Concert Dance?

    Many professional dance companies in major U.S. cities dream of having more African American audiences for their work. Reality sets in as artistic and administrative staff look out over the crowd and wonder where all the African Americans audiences have gone. Sure there are a few people of color scattered among the sea of dance lovers, but not nearly enough to fulfill the dance field’s collective desire for more racially diverse crowds.

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  • Two Shoes, Same Foot: Vernacular Dance & Concert Dance

    Does concert dance happen in a concert hall? Master Juba or William Henry Lane performed in theaters and halls across the United States in the mid-19th century. Does “concert dance” imply some level of professional commitment or success? Lane, a black percussive dancer, toured internationally, receiving top billing over his all-white minstrel troupe. Does “concert dance” suggest some level of peer review or development of craft? Percussive dancer Emily Oleson ponders these issues and others. Read on.

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  • Two Shoes, Same Foot: Vernacular Dance & Concert Dance, Part 2

    As a teenager I was reluctant to openly study hip-hop dance although I loved the music, like much of my generation, because I had a vague fear I might be “stealing” it. It took a lot of pain and discomfort from many areas of my dance training to realize that no matter what my focus was going to be, racism was an element of so many stories in American dance history that it could not be avoided – and that ignoring it would not make it go away. It might make it worse.

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  • Is Dance a Field in Danger?

    A young woman started to cry as she described her personal struggles with a career in dance, and the difficulty of working multiple jobs in the service industry without access to adequate health care or insurance.
    This could be you.
    This could be your dance student.

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Covering the business of dance for dancers, choreographers, administrators, dance organizations and foundations with news, commentary and discussion of issues relevant to the field.
Editor: Lisa Traiger

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