Dance/NYC State of the Organization Address & Winter Break

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Dance/NYC State of the Organization Address & Winter Break


(FAQ after letter)

Dear Dance Community, 

As we come to the close of a third pandemic year, we reflect on the learnings, losses, and triumphs of the past three years. As an artistic community, city, nation, and world, we continue to navigate what remains to be an unprecedented time— one that has forced us to reassess our relationships to each other and to demand and build more just futures. The structures and systems we’ve long upheld, lived and worked within do not serve us. It has long been time for something new. 

Reflections on 2022…

In response to this provocation, Dance/NYC spent 2022 deeply engaged in a spirit of inquiry and learning to more sustainably serve you, our beloved dance community. Externally, we distributed over $1.76 million in funds through our grantmaking initiatives; gathered the community through our annual Symposium: Life Cycles. Livelihoods. Legacies.; and launched our groundbreaking Dance Industry Census and Dance. Workforce. Resilience. Initiative to engage, listen and ideate with you as we look toward a new future. 

Internally, we slowed down to consider the effects of the pandemic on our operations, our wellbeing as a collective of workers, and to envision a future where wellness is a manifestation of justice. To do this, we worked alongside the team at Liberation-Based Therapy, spearheaded by Tanisha Sabine Christie MA LCSW, an artist, cultural worker and licensed therapist to support the staff and to engage in a systems-wide analysis of Dance/NYC’s organizational health, structure, and methodologies. The revelations from this process were affirming and demand committed action: Similar to many of you, Dance/NYC’s pointed and singular executive leadership structure, and the sheer volume and intensity of labor taken on by the organization and its workers, is both unsustainable and at odds with its values of justice, equity, and inclusion.

Time for change…

So it is time for a change. In an effort to act on these values and move toward internal and external sustainability, we are announcing a series of significant and necessary changes for 2023. Over time, Dance/NYC has set precedents for thorough and supportive planning in the midst of major organizational shifts and this moment is no exception, as we lean into experimentation and risk-taking.

1. New Leadership Structure: 
Beginning January 1, 2023, Alejandra Duque Cifuentes will step aside as Executive Director of Dance/NYC and shift into a new role as Strategy and Research Consultant. In this capacity, she will support the organization in memorializing its processes, advising its interim leadership team, and continuing to lead the Dance Industry Census through its completion. 

An experienced interim leadership team will continue to advance Dance/NYC's important operational and programmatic work, including:

Pictured clockwise from top left Candace Thompson-Zachary, Vicki Capote, Sara Roer, and Milena Luna.
Pictured: (Clockwise from top right) Candace Thompson-Zachary, Vicki Capote, Sara Roer, Milena Luna

  • Candace Thompson-Zacherywho will be promoted to Director of Programming and Justice Initiatives. Having led Dance/NYC’s Symposium and programmatic work since 2019, Candace has played an integral role in furthering the organization’s justice initiatives strategy;
  • Vicki Capote who will be promoted to Director of Development. Since joining the organization at the top of 2021, Vicki has stewarded Dance/NYC’s revenue streams, with a focus on sustainability and community care;
  • Sara Roer who will lead Dance/NYC’s core administrative functions as its new Director of Operations and Finance. With 15+ years of experience in the dance sector and in the areas of human resources and operations, Sara is a welcome addition to the team; and
  • Milena LunaDance/NYC’s founding Operations Manager and former Co-Interim Executive Director, who will return as Interim Executive Director. Milena has been with Dance/NYC across a variety of roles for 9 years, and brings deep institutional knowledge and coaching expertise to support the organization as it experiments with new leadership constructs.

Together, this powerhouse team will work as a collective— sharing power, strategy, vision, and labor —to put to the test Dance/NYC’s first attempt at a shared and distributed leadership structure. You can learn more about them by visiting Dance.NYC

Additionally, the Dance/NYC Board of Directors will establish a Strategic Leadership Committee to design a bespoke leadership model for the organization. The committee will be comprised of members of Dance/NYC’s board, staff, and selected members of the field including dance workers and organizational representatives. This group will engage in a process of inquiry to re-assess the role of the Executive Director and consider alternative models to mitigate future burn-out and elevate the organization’s mission and values over the face of its leadership. The committee will work with cultural strategist Lisa Yancey and the team at Yancey Consulting as design and facilitation partners from January through June of 2023. Thereafter, the Board of Directors will engage in a search and hiring process to implement the outcome of this thoughtfully designed new leadership model.


2. Time of Rest: 
To allow the Dance/NYC team an opportunity to rest after a significant year of activity, the Dance/NYC offices will be closed from Saturday, December 24, 2022 through Sunday, January 1, 2023 for winter break. Upon our return, we will focus on internal intention setting from Monday, January 2, 2023 through Sunday, January 8, 2023. During this period, our office will be closed for public-facing programs with limited external communications.

To help you continue to access important resources, you can find the answers to your most frequently asked questions here, including details on where you can get timely information about the field while we are away.


3. Services to the Field: 
As a part of this major organizational shift and to better align our services with organizational capacity, Dance/NYC will focus on reflection and restructuring in 2023.

What does this mean for you and the services we offer? Please expect: 

  • A reduction in programmatic activity in order to focus on the ongoing work of the Dance Industry Census, local advocacy, and grantmaking; 
  • The Symposium will shift to a biennial event moving forward. The next Symposium will take place in 2024; and
  • A focus on our internal infrastructure through this period of leadership exploration and transition. 

Throughout the year, we will share updates on Dance/NYC’s learnings and information about the services our capacity will allow us to deliver. 

A new season…

This transition, though inevitable, is one that we invite with great joy. Our hope and intention is that it will birth a new paradigm of more democratic and collectively-driven leadership–one that distributes decision-making and representational responsibilities to engender sustainable, creative, and responsive engagement with you and the entire dance field. Our goal is to embody the change making we advocate for in the field. 

As this year unfolds, if you have any questions about what we are up to, how we are honoring our commitments to you, or recommendations for how we can do better, please feel free to contact us. Our emails are publicly available on Dance.NYC.

Collage of headshots featuring the Dance/NYC team

Thank you for trusting us to serve you and for all you do to ensure that dance can thrive here. #WeAreNYCDance

Onward for Dance,

Dance/NYC Team & Board of Directors



Key Dates: 

  • December 22: Submit ads by 3:00 p.m. for website ads to run during the organizational break

  • December 26–January 1: Dance/NYC offices closed, no external programs, communications, or ad placements​​

  • January 2–8: Dance/NYC office reopens for internal activity: no external programs, limited external communications

  • January 9: Resume external programs and communications​

  • January 11: Resume Dance Industry Census Roundtable Discussion Series


Please expect a delay in response to any email communications, phone calls, voicemails, and/or direct messages via social media received from December 24 – January 8.



  1. Visit Dance/NYC’s Advocacy page for upcoming events, news, and updates on legislative efforts at the federal, state, and local levels.

  2. There will not be a Field-Wide Call in January 2023. Visit Dance/NYC’s website for more details on schedules and to access past meetings. 

  3. Visit Dance/NYC’s resource pages including:

    1. Advocacy Resources

    2. Reopening Dance in NYC

    3. COVID-19 Resources

    4. Racial Justice Resources

    5. Sexual Harassment Resources 

    6. Land Acknowledgement Practice Resources

    7. Disability. Dance. Artistry Resources

    8. Immigrants. Dance. Arts. Resources

    9. Rehearsal Space Resources

    10. Fiscal Sponsorship Resources

  4. If you would like to continue to engage in discussions dealing with advocacy and other issues of concern to NYC's cultural community, you might consider joining the Culture@3 calls which happen at 3:00 p.m. every Monday and Wednesday or the NY4CA Advocacy calls on Thursdays at 3:00 p.m. These calls are for leaders of nonprofit cultural institutions in NYC to connect with each other. For more information on joining these calls, email Lucy Sexton of New Yorkers for Culture & Arts:

  5. See New Yorkers for Culture & Arts for more action items

  6. Sign up for Governor Hochul’s mailing list for the latest news and guidelines

  7. Visit Be An #ArtsHero to learn more about arts advocacy and legislative actions

  8. Join NYC Arts in Education Roundtable in advocating for the arts as essential to education for all students

  9. Review Nonprofit New York’s legislative priorities for nonprofit organizations 

  10. Check out Dance/USA’s Key Advocacy Issues 



  1. Read the Coronavirus Dance Impact Informational Brief: A Dance Sector in Peril and review additional findings for independent dance workers and dance organizations, groups, and projects.

  2. Read Dance/NYC’s research report Defining “Small-Budget” Dance Makers in a Changing Dance Ecology

  3. Dance/NYC’s research page also hosts a library of all of the past research reports for your use


Dance.NYC, Advertisements, Communications, and Press: 

  1. Advertisements: 

    1. If you are interested in advertising with Dance/NYC during this period, please note the following:

    2. E-newsletter and social media ads will not be available from Friday, December 23, 2022 through Sunday, January 8, 2023

      1. For ads to run in the Monday, January 9, 2023 e-newsletter, ads must be submitted by 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 5, 2022

      2. For website ads to run during the organizational break, the submission deadline is Thursday, December 22, 2022 at 3:00 p.m.

    3. Dance/NYC is currently running a 2022-23 Winter Ad Special for artists to promote end-of-year performances, APAP|NYC showcases, or other winter programming events. Learn more here.

      1. All ads and payments must be submitted via our website

    4. Listings and events added to Dance.NYC’s Community Calendar will continue to be available during the organizational break. To place a listing, please visit:

  2. Press:

    1. If you are a member of the press, please direct your questions to Michelle Tabnick, Michelle Tabnick PR,, 646-765-4773

    2. Learn more about the organization by browsing our website


Leadership Training, Networking and Convening:

Listed below are the upcoming events in Dance/NYC’s Networking & Convening portfolio, and resources related to our major initiatives:

  1. Join the conversation at the Dance Industry Census Roundtable Discussion Series January 11 – February 22, 2023. Share your unique perspective as a dance worker or dance-making entity. Learn more and register today. 

  2. Dance/NYC 2024 Symposium: Dates TBD 

    1. Experience Symposium 2022 

  3. Revisit Dance/NYC’s Town Hall series, now streaming on YouTube:

    1. Aesthetics and Artistry

    2. Redefining Practice

  4. #ArtistsAreNecessaryWorkers As of August 4th, 2021, Dance/NYC’s #ArtistsAreNecessaryWorkers campaign conversation series concluded. You can find an archive of all #AANW conversations [not captioned] on Dance/NYC’s Facebook Page and the growing archive of captioned conversation videos on our YouTube page. Visit Dance.NYC/ArtistsAreNecessaryWorkers/Tune-In for full conversation recap information. 

  5. Disability. Dance. Artistry. Initiative Visit this page for information related to this initiative that aims to advance inclusion and access to the art form for disabled people including: research reports, resources and accessibility guides and recent fellowship recipients

  6. Immigrants. Dance. Arts. Visit this page for information related to this initiative that aims to extend the role of dance artistry in fostering the inclusion, integration, and human rights of immigrants in NYC including: research reports, and resources.  



Included below are resources related to our major regranting programs:

  1. Dance Advancement Fund

    1. This program is in the first of a two-year grant cycle (2022–2023). New requests and applications to the Dance Advancement Fund are not accepted at this time.

    2. For inquiries specific to the Dance Advancement Fund, please email

    3. If you are a grantee and have any questions about your grant report, please email, and we will accommodate your email as soon as possible upon our return. Payments of grant installments for the second year of the program will be processed in January.

  2. Rehearsal Space Subsidy Program

    1. This program is in the first of a three-year grant cycle (2022-2024). New requests and applications to the Rehearsal Space Subsidy Program are not accepted at this time.

    2. For inquiries specific to the Rehearsal Space Subsidy Program, please email

If you are a grantee and have any questions about your grant report, please email, and we will accommodate your email as soon as possible upon our return.


Funders and Donors:

We are so appreciative of our funders and donors and all they have enabled us to do historically and particularly over the past year. 

  1. Dance/NYC continues to advocate on behalf of the New York City metropolitan dance community. If you or anyone you know is interested in making a contribution and learning about the different ways to support Dance/NYC’s work and growing impact on the dance sector, please visit Dance.NYC/about/donate.

  2. If you encounter any issues while attempting to donate online, please email and our Development team will support you in your generosity upon our return.

  3. If you wish to donate, but prefer not to submit payment processing information through our secure online form, you can:

    1. send your check to Dance/NYC, 218 East 18th Street, Ground Floor, New York, NY 10003, or 

    2. email and our Development team will offer alternative methods of donation upon our return.

  4. If you would like to inquire about stock donations, please email and our team will provide you with next steps upon our return.  

  5. If you would like to make a donation through a donor-advised fund you can visit our donation page for further instructions. 

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