Archiving Fellowships

Summer Archiving Fellowships

Dance/USA, the national service organization for dance, invites applications for Summer 2023 Archiving and Preservation Fellowships from current and recent master’s or doctoral degree students in library and information sciences and related fields, and other emerging archivists with relevant experience. Archiving and Preservation Fellows are paired with dance companies, arts organizations, and independent artists to complete archiving projects for 13 weeks in the summer. In 2023, Dance/USA will award four Archiving and Preservation Fellowships. This program is generously supported by funding from the Mellon Foundation.  

The goals of the Archiving and Preservation Fellowship Program are to develop an engaged, passionate, and well-trained next generation of archivists in the dance ecosystem; to advance models for community-based archiving assistance to regional dance communities; and to provide high quality archival assistance to dance organizations and artists who may otherwise not have the resources, time, or expertise to access professional archiving services. Read about Dance/USA’s previous Archiving and Preservation Fellows and their projects here 

Program Format and Project Descriptions

The theme of the 2023 Archiving and Preservation Fellowships is Archives as Stories; Stories as Resources. Dance/USA will award four Fellowships in 2023.

Timeline and commitment: June-August 2023, approximately 450 hours total. 

Locations:

  • Cleo Parker Robinson Dance (Denver, CO)
  • JazzAntiqua (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Jennifer Harge/Harge Dance Stories (Detroit, MI)
  • Segunda Quimbamba Folkloric Center (Jersey City, NJ)

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.
Project Descriptions

Cleo Parker Robinson Dance (CPRD): To support the preservation and accessibility of CPRD’s archives, the Fellow will:

  • Work with CPRD’s Technical Director to begin the organization and cataloging of the collection;
  • Develop a manual that establishes systems and processes for organization and description of materials, and train staff and/or interns in these procedures;
  • Serve as a thought partner on building pathways to achieve CPRD’s other archiving goals, including digitizing media, building an archival database, and conducting outreach to other entities that hold archives of CPRD’s work.

JazzAntiqua: To support the creation of a sustainable and accessible archive for JazzAntiqua, the Fellow will:

  • Begin the process of inventorying and cataloging the archives;
  • Develop a manual that establishes systems and processes for organization and description of materials, and train staff in these procedures;
  • Serve as a thought partner on how JazzAntiqua’s archives can tell the story of the organization and the artform, and to develop plans for the long-term goal of making the archives a hub for the study of West Coast jazz dance.

Jennifer Harge/Harge Dance Stories: To support Jennifer Harge’s goal to share her choreographic praxis, which centers the application of Black feminist thought and Blackqueer movement, codes, and rituals in creative practice, and create tools and models for other artists, the Fellow will:

  • Work together with Harge and her collaborators to develop methods and systems to preserve and catalog Harge’s hand-written choreographic notes and citations;
  • Pilot this method on 1-2 groups of notes, creating categories/topics for access, and linking materials to other types of documentation;
  • Serve as a thought partner on Harge’s longer-term goals to share her creative process and design blueprints or strategies that can be used by other artists via a book and/or web portal.
  • Assist with documenting the process of archiving and reactivating the choreographic notes.

Segunda Quimbamba Folkloric Center (SQFC): To support the community-centered archiving and preservation of SQFC’s legacy, the Fellow will:

  • Develop protocol for conducting outreach to community members to collect documentation of SQFC’s performances and activities, and for cataloging these materials;
  • Pilot initial outreach, collection, and cataloging of crowdsourced materials;
  • Assess preservation needs for existing archival materials, including paper, audiovisual, and digital archives, and assist with developing a plan to preserve and create access to these materials;
  • Serve as a thought partner to support SQFC’s long-term goal to be a resource for the study of authentic Bomba and Plena traditions.
  • NOTE: Spanish-language skills are preferred, though not required, for this project.
Other Professional Development Activities
  • Fellows will share learning and discoveries from their projects in articles that will be published in Dance/USA's eJournal. 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: 

Preferred: full- or part-time enrollment in a graduate program in Library and Information Science, Archives, or related subjects through at least Spring 2023. Dance/USA will consider applicants who are not in academic programs, but who have a strong interest in dance archiving and relevant skills and experience. Fellows must be available to work full-time for approximately 13 weeks during June, July, and August 2023 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

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 four projects described; however, Dance/USA does not commit to assigning the applicant to the preferred project. 

Deadline: 11:59pm EST, January 18, 2023

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
About the Project Sites

Cleo Parker Robinson Dance (Denver, CO): Founded in 1970 by choreographer and artistic director Cleo Parker Robinson, CPRD is one of the nation’s foremost dance companies rooted in African American cultural traditions. There are five pillars of the organization: the CPRD Ensemble, Academy, Theatre, Education Programs, and Art in Wellbeing. Working in concert, CPRD programs have created an oasis where a varied population—by gender, race, age and ethnicity—gather to study and appreciate a modern, cross-cultural approach to creative community development. Housed in a historic A.M.E. Shorter Church in the Five Points neighborhood, CPRD serves as a convener of community, art and dance. 

 

JazzAntiqua (Los Angeles, CA): Founded in 1993 by choreographer Pat Taylor, JazzAntiqua Dance & Music Ensemble celebrates the jazz tradition as a vital thread in the cultural fabric of African American history and heritage, and a defining element of the American experience. Dedicated to jazz arts education, preservation and creation, JazzAntiqua embraces "the movement in the music," and aims to be a hub for the study of West Coast jazz and jazz dance. JazzAntiqua is in residence at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center / Ebony Repertory Theatre, and is committed to providing free and low-cost community arts programming. 

 

Jennifer Harge/Harge Dance Stories (Detroit, MI): Jennifer Harge is an interdisciplinary choreographer, performance artist, and educator. Her work centers Black and queer vernacular movement practices, codes, and rituals that manifest at the intersections of performance, installation, and community gathering. Harge’s processes and artistic products grow out of Black subjectivity; Black feminist thought; nurturance of intimate reciprocal partnerships; and iteration-based research that allows the work to evolve nomadically across time and varied contexts. She founded Harge Dance Stories in 2014 as a container for choreographic research. 

 

Segunda Quimbamba Folkloric Center (Jersey City, NJ): Segunda Quimbamba is a percussion and dance ensemble that performs authentic Bomba and Plena, the drum music of Puerto Rico. The ensemble was founded by director Juan Cartagena and his wife Nanette Hernandez as Los Pleneros de la Segunda (The Pleneros from Second Street) in 1989, and adopted its current name in 1996. SQFC celebrates the Puerto Rican Folkloric drum music Bomba and Plena, which reflects the influence of the African diaspora throughout the Carribean and beyond, through education, live performance, research and documentation. From 1997 to 2007, they published the only periodical on Puerto Rico's drum music anywhere in the U.S. or Puerto Rico, called Güiro y Maraca

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.

 

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. 

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