Archiving Fellowships

Summer Archiving Fellowships

Dance/USA, the national service organization for professional dance, is pleased the announce the Dance/USA 2022 Archiving and Preservation Fellowship Program for current and recent master’s or doctoral degree students in library and information sciences and related fields. The theme of this round of Fellowships, generously supported by funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is Preserving Cultural Heritage, Supporting Communities

The application period for this cycle has closed. Check this page for future opportunities.

The goal of the Archiving and Preservation Fellowship Program is to develop an engaged, passionate, and well-trained next generation of archivists in the dance ecosystem and to advance models for community-based archiving assistance to regional dance communities. Dance/USA invites applicants who are committed to advancing a more equitable and inclusive archives field that reflects and supports the true diversity of voices, practices, and identities within dance communities. Applicants should be interested in learning and applying archiving methods that are culturally sensitive and rooted in community practice. Read about Dance/USA’s previous Archiving and Preservation Fellows and their projects here

Program Format and Project Descriptions

Dance/USA will award six Fellowships in 2022.

Timeline and commitment: June-August 2022, approximately 450 hours total. 

Locations:
Ballethnic Dance Company (East Point, GA)
Charya Burt Cambodian Dance (Windsor, CA)
Dancing Wheels Company (Cleveland, OH)
Dayton Contemporary Dance Company (Dayton, OH)
Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center (San Antonio, TX)
TeMaTe Institute for Black Dance and Culture (Detroit, MI)

Find descriptions of projects and project sites below!

NOTE: The Fellowships will be in-person or hybrid, unless health and safety concerns require a complete shift to remote work. 

Proof of vaccination will be required for any on-site work or attendance at in-person convenings, and Fellows must agree to follow any COVID protocols or mandates required by their host sites.

Stipend: $10,000 per Fellow

The Fellowship will be supervised and administered by Dance/USA’s Department of Archiving & Preservation. The Fellow will receive orientation and training in dance-specific concepts and resources for archiving, and will work with local mentors and organizations on projects to preserve and create access to unique dance materials. Each Fellow will be assigned to work on one of the following projects.

Two photos side-by-side. Photo on the left is of my laptop and disc reader hardware setup to upload and skim through each CD to record information, such as song title, work title, length of time, etc. Photo on the right is the box, labeled as “AXIS Repertoire Music CDs” and the discs carefully alphanumerically sorted and labeled by work or choreographer.
Archival materials at 2020/21 project site AXIS Dance Company in Oakland, CA. Photo by Sarah Nguyễn.

Ballethnic Dance Company: To support the creation of an accessible and sustainable archives of Ballethnic’s history, the Fellow will:

  • Organize, inventory, and describe archives relating to the “Urban Nutcracker,” which can serve as a pilot module for the company’s archives;
  • Participate in the creation of new documentation, including oral histories, to enhance the archives and build out the timeline of Ballethnic’s history;
  • Assist with developing an archival exhibit focusing on the “Urban Nutcracker” which could be presented at local cultural institutions;
  • Develop protocols for preserving born-digital materials, and train staff to continue the inventory process.

Charya Burt: To support the development of the Charya Burt Cambodian Dance Digital Legacy Library, the Fellow will:

  • Develop a comprehensive and culturally sensitive cataloging/descriptive metadata schema for the database, in collaboration with CBCD’s technology consultant;
  • Research copyright/IP issues to determine which videos can be made publicly accessible;
  • Act as a thought partner on the further development and expansion of the database, which aims to provide the Cambodian-American community with a resource to find authentic dances from the classical repertory, explore how classical dance can be relevant in the 21st century by viewing Charya Burt’s new works, and have access to professional dance and costuming instruction.

Dancing Wheels Company: To support the creation of an archival exhibition on the history of Dancing Wheels, as well as the long-term sustainability and accessibility of the archives, the Fellow will:

  • Assess, organize, and curate materials for the exhibition;
  • Create documentation of protocol and best practices for a traveling exhibition;
  • Prepare materials for physical and digital display;
  • Perform general assessment of Dancing Wheels’ archives and provide guidance to the company on developing a legacy plan for the archives.

Dayton Contemporary Dance Company: To support For the Record: DCDC’s Journey Through Time, the Fellow will: 

  • Inventory archival materials, including developing and documenting methodology and workflows;
  • Train staff in how to continue the inventory process;
  • Develop protocol for outreach to dancers outside the company to gather materials to be scanned and added to the archive;
  • Serve as a thought partner in planning next steps for DCDC’s  archival legacy project, which aims to preserve the history of DCDC and make it accessible via a digital platform that will become a repository for Black culture narratives.

Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center : To support the creation of a sustainable and accessible archive of the Guadalupe Dance Company, the Fellow will:

  • Complete an inventory of audiovisual materials and prepare them for digitization, including assisting with curation and setting of priorities for digitization;
  • As time allows, inventory other materials, such as photos, programs, posters, and costumes;
  • Serve as a thought partner in helping GCAC develop plans for long-term goals to 1) capture the stories of elders in the community to be added to the archives, and 2) create a digital library for the dance program and company which will live on the GCAC website as a fully accessible resource for the GCAC, San Antonio, and Mexican/Mexican-American community.

Note: Spanish-language skills are preferred but not required for this project.

TeMaTe Institute for Black Dance and Culture: To support the The DigitalJeli, a digital archive, culture repository, and education/exhibition platform of dance, drum, and song lessons from the African diaspora dance community, the Fellow will

  • Develop a protocol for ingest of materials from companies participating in a pilot of the project;
  • Work on building out a relational database structure and descriptive schema;
  • Train staff in sustaining this system and be a thought partner in the development of the project, which aims to bring together material from across the globe into a searchable library and accessible public trust.
  • Fellows will keep a blog throughout the Fellowship period that shares their learning and discoveries and engages with the themes of the program. View blogs by former Dance/USA Archiving Fellows.
  • Fellows will receive support for professional development and networking activities, including attendance at virtual or in-person conferences and convenings. 
  • Fellows will assist the Dance/USA team with tracking metrics and evaluating the program’s outcomes. 

How to Apply

Eligibility Requirements: 

Current or recent full- or part-time enrollment in a graduate program in Library and Information Science, Archives, or related subjects (with archiving experience) who graduated/will graduate Spring 2021 or later. Fellows must be available to work full-time for approximately 13 weeks during June, July, and August 2022 and able to travel for conferences. Exact start and end dates can be coordinated with academic year commitments. Applicants who identify as Black, Native, Indigenous, Person of Color (BIPOC), gender diverse, disabled, and/or as committed to advancing social justice causes, are strongly encouraged.  

Application Process

The application period for the current cycle has closed. Check back for opportunities in future years.

Submit a resume, list of references, and a Vision, Values, and Goals Statement explaining what the applicant hopes to contribute to and gain from the Fellowship and how this opportunity aligns with career goals and personal values. This statement should highlight any experience or connection with dance/performing arts and dance legacy materials. Please include any language skills. Applicants may, but are not required to, express a preference for one of the six projects described; however, Dance/USA does not commit to assigning the applicant to the preferred project. 

Deadline: 11:59pm EST, February 28, 2022

Please send Vision, Values, and Goals statement, resume, and contact and relationship (e.g. professor, supervisor) information for 3 references as one PDF named “Lastname_Firstname.pdf” to Hallie Chametzky, Archiving Specialist, hchametzky@nulldanceusa.org.

Applicant Finalists will be contacted to schedule a Zoom interview with the Dance/USA team, and may also have a second interview with a host organization.

If you have questions, contact Imogen Smith (ismith@nulldanceusa.org) and Hallie Chametzky (hchametzky@nulldanceusa.org)

A woman standing at a copy machine
2020/21 Archiving Fellow Sasha Jelan scanning archives at Viver Brasil, Los Angeles, CA. Photo courtesy of Sasha Jelan

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.

In 2017, Dance/USA began the process of integrating the archiving and preservation programs of Dance Heritage Coalition (DHC). Formerly a stand-alone nonprofit, DHC was founded as an alliance of institutions holding major dance research collections with a mission to document, preserve, and create access to the legacy of dance. With the integration, Dance/USA has taken on this mission to provide archiving services to the dance field and build skills, resources, and awareness of dance heritage. 

Ballethnic Dance Company (East Point, GA): Comprised of Ballethnic Dance Company (BDC) and the Ballethnic Academy of Dance (BAD), BDC is a classically trained, culturally diverse professional ballet company dedicated to providing training and performance opportunities to children, pre-professional and professional dancers. Founded in 1990 by Nena Gilreath and Waverly T. Lucas II, both former dancers with the Dance Theatre of Harlem and the Atlanta Ballet, Ballethnic’s mission is to be a global catalyst for social change through presenting ballet with a fusion of African dance concepts.  Ballethnic is unique in its commitment to performing classical ballet blending that traditional discipline with modern, jazz, African, and other ethnic dance forms.  

Charya Burt Cambodian Dance (Windsor, CA): Founded and led by Master Teacher, choreographer, dancer, and vocalist Charya Burt, CBCD is dedicated to the preservation and advancement of the classical tradition of Cambodian dance through formal instruction, workshops, performance, and the creation of new works. Through her teaching, choreography, speaking and as a master culture bearer, Charya Burt works to help Cambodian American communities to heal and move beyond their tragic history and define themselves by the values and beauty of their rich culture.

Dancing Wheels Company (Cleveland, Ohio): Founded in 1980 by Mary Verdi-Fletcher, Dancing Wheels is the nation’s first physically integrated dance company, now hailed as the World Center for Integrated Dance and Arts Access, and also a recognized training center for dancers, choreographers and educators. As one of the premiere arts and disabilities organizations in the U.S., Dancing Wheels is animated by its founder’s belief that “If dance is an expression of the human spirit, then it is best expressed by people of all abilities.”

Dayton Contemporary Dance Company (DCDC) (Dayton, Ohio): A culturally diverse modern dance company, DCDC was founded in 1968, and remains rooted in the African-American experience and dedicated to creating exceptional performance, community engagement, and arts-integrated education. DCDC tours nationally and internationally, partners with schools and universities, and offers community-based workshops, classes, and conversations

Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center (San Antonio, TX): Located in San Antonio’s Westside, the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center (GCAC) is the parent organization of the Guadalupe Dance Company. GCAC promotes and preserves traditional and contemporary Chicano, Latino and Native American arts and culture through multidisciplinary programming as one of the largest community-based, multidisciplinary organizations in the U.S. The Dance Company has existed almost as long as GCAC and creates Mexican folkloric and interdisciplinary performance work. 

TeMaTe Institute for Black Dance and Culture (Detroit, MI): TeMaTe’s mission is to embody a more culturally just and equitable world by uplifting and making space for the contributions of the African diaspora. Programs include an education-focused repertory collective which studies Afro-diasporic dance, dance classes, and conferences.