RISKY TALKING: STREB Inc.

Organization Name: STREB Inc.

City: Brooklyn

Program Name: RISKY TALKING

Time of Program: Evening from 7 pm to 9 pm

Program Length: 2 hours

Program When Elaborate: RISKY TALKING events take place in the evening and last approximately 2 hours including 90 minutes of discussion, debate and act

Goal: STREB’s goals for RISKY TALKING are to: • create common ground that is inclusive, values interaction, honors diversity, encourages conversation and fosters experimentation; • strengthen connections to an expanding constituency; • reflect the diverse interests of audience members; • create the conditions for gathering, exchange and action – whether physical, conceptual, communal or economic; • shift both the “where” and “how” of audience experience; • harness the potential of collective action to make dance increasingly relevant.

Time of Year Offered: anytime

Program Description:

RISKY TALKING, a platform for investigating the possibilities and impact of dance as seen through the prisms of politics, urban development, cultural history, architecture, engineering, design, media, science, social anthropology and the arts. RISKY TALKING events are evening gatherings at SLAM curated by Laura Flanders and serve as a portal for engaging new audiences through discussion, debate and “doing.” The elements of each conversation differ and may include moderated discussions, performance, screenings as well as action experimentation by participants - an opportunity to engage personally with STREB company members while learning STREB technique and experimenting on company equipment.

Number of Participants: RISKY TALKING has 150 attendees, determined by capacity of SLAM.

Target Audience: RISKY TALKING is geared to an adult dance and non-dance or novice audiences.

Private/Public Public

Nature of Audience Engagement: Participants at each RISKY TALKING event engage in a conversation about risk and change. The questions posed at the first two events were “What is a real risk?” and “What is a risky truth?” respectively. Participants were challenged to write down their own response to each question, engage in discussion and debate with a group of guests (including Bill T. Jones, Majora Carter, A M Homes and Anna Deveare Smith) and actively participate in an Action Statement choreographed and presented by Elizabeth Streb.

Location: RISKY TALKING takes place at STREB’s home, SLAM.

How Many Staff: RISKY TALKING staff includes: project coordinator, production manager, technical director, 3 video personnel, 1 sound person, 1 light person, 6 front-of-house (box office, guest relations, etc.)

Program Cost: A RISKY TALKING event costs approximately $25,000.

Marketing for Program: For RISKY TALKING, STREB worked in partnership with Laura Flanders/GritTV and “invited guests” to simultaneously reach as broad an audience as possible while targeting specific communities and constituencies marketing approaches (eblasts, digital banner ads, print ads). As media sponsor, Brooklyn Rail provided free online and print advertising for the project. Marketing materials, including a logo design, web and Facebook pages were created and a postcard was distributed at the Brooklyn Book Fair, at local universities and businesses.

Cost for Program Participants: RISKY TALKING suggested admission is $10, $20 or “as much as you want.”

Attendance To Date: Both Risky Talking events have been sold-out with 150 people at each.

Past Iterations: RISKY TALKING has been held twice.

What works? RISKY TALKING was successful on many fronts. The marketing to different sectors (dance, literary, academic, civic development constituents) brought a diverse and new audience to SLAM; the guest speakers were eminent in their fields and expanded the conversation in fascinating, challenging and unexpected ways, the format encouraged participation, and food and drink following provided an environment for connections.

What doesn't work? RISKY TALKING begins a conversation. STREB’s challenge has been how to continue that conversation in a way that deepens its impact both for participants and for the company. STREB would like to expand the number of community organizations that participate in RISKY TALKING as well as develop a higher rate of cross-over/exchange between and amongst RISKY TALKING participants and the participants of other STREB/SLAM programs.

Performances Where Offered: These are stand-alone events, not associated with other performances.

Past Research on Program: Not to date.

Continuing Program? Yes.


Target Audiences Young Adults, 25-35 General Audiences

Online Engagement In person

Social Bonding Aspects With artists - meeting a choreographer, dancers With dance experts - professors, critics, etc. With peer audience members