Dance/NYC State of the Organization Address & Winter Break 2023

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Dance/NYC State of the Organization Address & Winter Break 2023


(FAQs after letter)

Dear Dance Community,

Without question, this year has been a time of extraordinary transition. At Dance/NYC, we’ve navigated a transition in leadership, released the first State of NYC Dance research report since 2016, and adapted to ongoing organizational and field-wide change against the backdrop of a challenging economic landscape.

Many of you have faced crossroads in your practices as well. Yet, you’ve supported us and each other. You’ve highlighted crucial issues within our field—addressing economic injustice, pushing for cultural equity at the city level, cultivating humane working conditions and, overall, leaning into a field-wide desire for radical change. Thank you for your energy and camaraderie; we are honored to be on this journey with you.

3 by 3 collage of headshots of the Dance/NYC staff

2023 reflections...

As we announced last year2023 marked the start of a new path for Dance/NYC, informed by inquiry and learning about how we can more sustainably serve you and the field we all cherish. We reprioritized our activity and piloted a co-leadership structure that is more aligned with our values of justice, equity, and inclusion. But make no mistake: becoming while existing is hard.

The Dance. Workforce. Resilience. (DWR) Initiative took center stage, driving our public programming with a focus on advancing economic justice. We closed the landmark Dance Industry Census and Roundtable Discussion Series in March, which welcomed the data and perspectives of more than 2,300 dance workers and entities. Months of collaboration among our team, Strategy and Research Consultant Alejandra Duque Cifuentes of ADC Consulting, Research Consultant Carrie Blake, Webb Mgmt, and our DWR Task Force—which has since evolved into the DWR Advisory Group and DWR Network—led to the creation of our fifth State of NYC Dance research report. The report’s findings were shared at our December 12 event, underscoring the breadth and complexity of our field, driven by commitment but shortchanged by a lack of infrastructure and resources.

Simultaneous to the development of the report and its recommendations, we distributed over $1 million through our regranting initiatives and doubled down on our advocacy efforts by co-signing the Cultural Funding Equity Letter, participating in the Mayor's inaugural Live Performance Industry Council, and providing testimony around the value of arts and culture funding at the city and state level. We also launched the DWR Hub, created in partnership with digital media development company Surface Impression and Accessibility Consultant, Minh Ha, which currently houses the State of NYC Dance research report and a resource library of professional development and self-advocacy tools.

While these external, mission-driven efforts remain essential, we are equally committed to the behind-the-scenes work undergirding an interim co-leadership structure and our evolution as an organization. From January through July, our Strategic Leadership Committee (SLC) conducted research and developed recommendations in collaboration with cultural strategists at Yancey ConsultingOne finding was that a new long-term leadership structure for Dance/NYC must be refined in tandem with deep, strategic organizational changes. Through these recommendations, we’re grateful to have a roadmap born out of community to lead us forward in a way that makes space for continued learning, collaboration, and iteration.

Many of these discoveries align with those made on-the-ground by our Co-Executive Directors in their first year of co-leadership. Burnout and capacity challenges weren’t magically eradicated overnight. Decisions around what the organization can and can’t reasonably take on have lasting ripple effects. Striking a balance of distributed responsibility is a process that is never fully complete. That said, when we take stock of what the team collectively made happen in 2023, it’s a testament to the fact that we are on the right path.

2024 intentions...

We can now move into 2024 with more intention and clarity. At the core of this is an intensive 6-12 month strategic planning process that will build upon the discoveries and recommendations made in 2023 and result in a (flexible!) plan for our future. This choice is not made for efficiency or ease. Instead, it’s a values-based decision that requires time and resources, as is often the case when disrupting the status quo. We trust that our tenacity and the learnings we’ll continue to share will be meaningful to you and the field at-large.

Rest assured that this extended planning period will center on the continued exploration of shared leadership in the pursuit of a more permanent model that works for us and our ability to show up for you. At the time of this writing, Interim Executive Director Milena Luna, who served as one of our four Co-Executive Directors throughout 2023, has shifted into an Executive Consulting role. Our shared leadership model will proceed with Co-Executive Directors Vicki Capote, Sara Roer, and Candace Thompson-Zachery guiding the organization forward.

“Having had the profound privilege of leading and serving Dance/NYC and its constituents for the past decade and firmly believing in the crucial role of change for true advancement, I am confident that this exceptional team will not only be integral in guiding the organization to its next stage, but they will also serve as catalysts for radical transformation,” says Executive Consultor Milena Luna.

The DWR Initiative will continue to guide our activities and promote economic justice in our industry. We will leverage the recommendations unveiled in the State of NYC Dance research report and build tools to move them forward. The DWR Hub will be expanded to incorporate more resources and a searchable Dance Workforce Directory of dance workers and entities. While we further our 2022-2024 Rehearsal Space Subsidy Program and launch the 2024-2026 iteration of the Dance Advancement Fund (more information coming in 2024), we will also ideate around equitable wage standards.

At the same time, we must thoughtfully choose when and where to say “yes” so that we can balance responsiveness with sustainability. This has led to the decision to prolong our pause around select activities—most notably the Symposium. As part of our 2024 strategic planning process, we will explore what frequency and format would allow future Symposiums to be meaningfully implemented by our team, while giving all of us time to act upon the recommendations, learnings, and provocations made during these convenings.

Let’s connect…

It’s important to us to stay in dialogue as we embark on another year of expected and substantial transition. We will continue to share updates around our process and decisions. We also invite you to be in touch with questions about what we’re up to, how we’re honoring our commitments to you, or thoughts about how we can do better.

Please note, however, that Dance/NYC’s offices will be closed from Monday, December 25, 2023–Monday, January 1, 2024, to allow our team time to rest and recharge. This annual break will be followed by an internal, focused work period from Tuesday, January 2-–Friday, January 5, 2024, during which we will operate with limited external communications. In the meantime, we’ve compiled answers to your most frequently asked questions here to ensure you maintain access to key and timely resources.

Thank you for your continued trust and partnership as we forge ahead with our internal work and collaborate with you to create a thriving NYC dance community. Please take good care, and we look forward to seeing you in the new year.

With gratitude,
The Dance/NYC Team



Key Dates

December 21, 2023: Submit website ads by 3:00 p.m. to run during Dance/NYC’s winter break.
• ​December 25 –January 1: Dance/NYC offices closed (meaning no external programs, communications, or ad placements​​)

• January 2–5: Dance/NYC offices open for internal activity (meaning no external programs and limited external communications)
• January 8: Dance/NYC offices open with all activity resumed


We welcome your questions, ideas, and feedback! Our emails are publicly available on Dance.NYC. Please expect a delay in response to any communication (email, phone calls, voicemails, and/or direct messages via social media) received from December 25–January 5 due to Dance/NYC’s winter break.



Visit Dance/NYC’s Advocacy page for the most up-to-date catalog of events, news, and updates on legislative efforts at the federal, state, and local levels. Other resources are noted below.

• There will not be a Field-Wide Call in January 2024. Visit Dance/NYC’s website for more details on schedules and to access past meetings.

Visit Dance/NYC’s subject-specific resource pages including:

• Advocacy Resources

• Racial Justice Resources

• Sexual Harassment Resources

• Land Acknowledgement Practice Resources

• Disability. Dance. Artistry Resources

• Immigrants. Dance. Arts. Resources

• Rehearsal Space Resources

• Fiscal Sponsorship Resources

• To engage in regular 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 Tuesday 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:
• See New Yorkers for Culture & Arts for more action items.
• Sign up for Governor Hochul’s mailing list for the latest news and guidelines.
• Visit Be An #ArtsHero to learn more about arts advocacy and legislative actions.
• Join NYC Arts in Education Roundtable in advocating for the arts as essential to education for all students.
• Review Nonprofit New York’s legislative priorities for nonprofit organizations.
• Check out Dance/USA’s Key Advocacy Issues.


Visit Hub.Dance.NYC to access Dance/NYC’s newly released State of NYC Dance Report including the full report, key findings, and data tools.

Dance.NYC, Advertisements, Communications, and Press

We encourage you to lean on Dance.NYC as an ongoing resource. More on the DWR Hub, Advertisement opportunities, and information for Press can be found below.

DWR Hub: Visit the new mini-site—Hub.Dance.NYC—that aims to support the equitable and accessible advancement of the NYC dance sector. Currently, the site includes the DWR Resource Library with professional development and self-advocacy tools and access to the fifth State of NYC Dance research report (the PDF report and data tools).

Advertisements: If you’re interested in advertising with Dance/NYC during this period, please note the following:

• E-newsletter and social media ads will not be available from December 23–January 1.

• For ads to run in the Tuesday, January 2, 2024 e-newsletter, the submission deadline is Monday, January 1 at 3:00 p.m.
• For website ads to run during Dance/NYC’s winter break, the submission deadline is Thursday, December 21 at 3:00 p.m.
• Listings and events added to Dance.NYC’s Community Calendar will continue to be available. To place a listing, please visit:

Press: Please direct any press inquiries to Michelle Tabnick, Michelle Tabnick PR,, 646-765-4773. In the meantime, you can learn more about Dance/NYC by browsing our website.

Leadership Training, Networking and Convening

We extend a heartfelt thank you to all who shared space with us or tuned in virtually for the State of NYC Dance: Findings from the Dance Industry Census event on December 12, 2023. Other opportunities for engagement are as follows:

• Revisit State of NYC Dance: Findings from the Dance Industry Census research and performance event on YouTube here.
• Revisit Dance/NYC’s Town Hall + Symposia series, now streaming on YouTube:

• Experience Symposium 2022
Aesthetics and Artistry
• Redefining Practice
• Visit the Disability. Dance. Artistry. Initiative 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
• Visit the Immigrants. Dance. Arts 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:

• Dance Advancement Fund

• This program is in the second of a two-year grant cycle (2022–2023) with a three-year grant cycle launching in 2024 (2024-2026). New requests and applications are not accepted at this time; more information will be released in 2024.
• For inquiries specific to this Fund, 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.

• Disability. Dance. Artistry. Dance and Social Justice Fellowship Program

• The Disability. Dance. Artistry. Dance and Social Justice Fellowship Program application closed on October 10, 2023. Grantees have been notified and will be announced publicly in January 2024.
• If you would like to request feedback on your application, please email and we will accommodate your request as soon as possible upon our return.
• If you are a grantee and have any questions about your grant award, please email, and we will accommodate your email as soon as possible upon our return.

• Rehearsal Space Subsidy Program

• This program is in the second of a three-year grant cycle (2022-2024). New requests and applications are not accepted at this time.
• For inquiries specific to this 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 & Donors

We’re so appreciative of our community of supporters and all they enable us to do for and with the New York City metropolitan dance field.

• 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.

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

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

• send your check payable to “tbd” to Dance/NYC, 218 East 18th Street, Ground Floor, New York, NY 10003, or 
• email and our team will offer alternative methods of donation upon our return.

• If you would like to inquire about stock donations, please email and our team will provide you with next steps upon our return.  
• If you would like to make a gift through a donor-advised fund please visit our donation page for further instructions. 


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