Monday, April 4, 2016

Town Hall: Perspectives on Cultural Identity in Dance


This event has already occurred. Please enjoy photos, videos, and event information below. 

When: Monday, April 4, 2016, 5:00-8:00 p.m.
Where: City College Center for the Arts, Aaron Davis Hall, Marian Anderson Theater, West 135th Street and Convent Avenue, Harlem, NY 10031 (Directions)
 Accessibility: This event venue is wheelchair accessible.



Photo Credit: Hubert Williams

The Harlem Arts Alliance (HAA), in partnership with Elisa Monte Dance, the City College Center for the Arts, Dance/NYC and Women of Color in the Arts (WOCA), present a DANCE-focused Town Hall meeting that includes:

  • Dance Resource Stations (see list below for more information)
  • Award Presentations to Dance Icons Dianne McIntyre and Virginia Johnson
  • Perspectives on Cultural Identity in Dance: An esteemed panel of guest speakers in a lively discussion about cultural representation in dance

Kaisha Johnson (moderator)
Theresa Ruth Howard
Sita Frederick
Marya Weathers
Francine Sheffield
Camille A. Brown

Performances by Elisa Monte Dance

Dance Resource Station Providers

(in alphabetical order)

The Asian American Arts Alliance is dedicated to strengthening Asian American arts and cultural groups through resource sharing, promotion, and community building. Since 1983, the Alliance has sought to unify, promote, and represent the artistic and cultural producers of one of New York City's fastest-growing ethnic populations. The organization is a diverse alliance of artists, organizations, and arts supporters who believe that working together as a pan-ethnic, multidisciplinary community is essential to nurturing the development of artists and arts organizations and to providing meaningful and innovative ways for civic engagement in society.

@aaartsalliance (Twitter) | (Town Hall Tumblr) | Cate Yu, Director of Public Programs,

Dance/NYC's mission is to promote the knowledge, appreciation, practice, and performance of dance in the metropolitan New York City area. It embeds values of equity and inclusion into all aspects of the organization. It works in alliance with Dance/USA, the national service organization for professional dance.
@DanceNYC (Twitter) | DanceNYCorg (Facebook)

The Dance/NYC Junior Committee is a professional development organization comprised of young dance leaders (between the ages 21-30) who are actively engaged in critical dialogue with an emphasis on advocacy and diversity. We look to serve as a catalyst for change by strengthening and re-energizing our peer group to navigate the challenges of the dance field. In regular consultation with Dance/NYC, the Junior Committee serves as a liaison for our demographic and the greater dance community by organizing events on relevant issues, facilitating a dialogue among a diversity of perspectives, raising awareness of available resources and opportunities, and generating ideas that will serve our common goals and interests.

@DanceNYCJComm (Twitter & Instagram) | DanceNYCJuniorCommittee (Facebook)

Elisa Monte Dance (EMD), founded in 1981, bridges cultural barriers through the universal language of dance. The company is widely recognized for its highly athletic, technical and physical acuity, exploring a multitude of topics and themes. The company has performed in over 40 countries on 5 continents. Elisa Monte Dance has also appeared in several major dance festivals among them, the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival, Jacob’s Pillow, The Spoleto Festival both in the US and Umbria, Italy and Lincoln Center’s Out of Doors.

Inspired by the arts, driven by a world in transition, EmcArts creates the space and conditions for our partners to take on complex challenges. As a non-profit servicing the arts and social sectors, we work alongside individuals, organizations and communities to support innovation and adaptive change. Our rigorously designed and facilitated workshops, coaching, and intensive labs create the space and conditions to test innovative strategies and build cultures that embrace change. Learn more us at and

@EmcArts (Twitter) | EmcArtsInc (Facebook) |

For the past 30 years The Field has been providing strategic services to thousands of performing and media artists and companies in New York City and beyond. Founded by artists for artists, The Field also responds proactively to sector-wide challenges through various special programs, such as Field Leadership Fund, a fellowship that offers real opportunities, remuneration and access to ambitious artists, arts organizations and arts managers.

@thefieldnyc (Twitter & Instagram) | | 75 Maiden Lane, Suite 906 New York, NY 10038 | 212-691-6969

Fractured Atlas is a nonprofit technology organization that helps artists with the business side of their creative work. We build and operate products and services that help artists raise money, manage risk, find space to make and share their art, build audiences, gain new skills, advocate, and more. Simply put, we help more artists create more art. Check us out at

The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce (GHCC), originally incorporated in 1896 as the Harlem Board of Trade, is now celebrating its 120 year of continuous service to Upper Manhattan and the greater New York region. GHCC continually served as an anchor for regional and community stability and progress during the periods of urban challenges, and now, as we have entered periods of greater prosperity. GHCC, over the past thirtya??eight years, has also worked diligently to focus on Harlem’s renaissance and the revitalization of upper Manhattan by supporting: new and established businesses, strengthening and enhancing the number, quality and diversity of the professional services provided residential and retail development, affordable housing, tourism and the sustainability of Harlem’s arts, culture and history. GHCC also continues to work closely with many of the key health service providers in the region and is a major catalyst for improving the quality of life and health for residents. GHCC aggressively promotes, contributes to and benei??ts from Harlem’s world renowned vitality and recognition as an international tourist, business, sports, arts and culture, education, historic, religious and health services mecca.

The Chamber and HARLEM WEEK annually join forces to oi??er an array of opportunities for members, sponsors, residents and visitors to experience multiple activities highlighting the rich cultural and economic vitality of our communities.

The invitational HARLEM WEEK opening and closing receptions each year are coa??hosted with various public and private institutions like the NY Philharmonic, Apollo Theatre, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Aaron Davis Hall, The Russian Tea Room, Harlem Hospital Center and others. These receptions include live performances by Broadway Theater companies; alla??star bands playing great live music; the presentation of special congressional, gubernatorial, Mayoral and borough proclamations, Chamber college scholarships, educational grants and recognition of New York City outstanding community service providers and business honorees.

Harlem Arts Alliance is a not-for-profit arts service organization committed to nurturing the artistic growth and the development of artists and arts organizations based in Harlem and its surrounding communities. Comprised of over 850 individual artists and arts organizations, HAA plays an essential role by helping to build the resources, network, and capacity of its richly diverse membership. Counted among its members are young emerging artists as well as established and internationally recognized artists. Also represented are small grassroots organizations and major cultural institutions in Harlem and beyond. In addition, HAA maintains strong partnerships with numerous arts organization and institutions throughout New York State, the region and the nation to maintain vital collaborative efforts to promote the arts in communities.

(347) 735-4280 | @HAAinfo (Twitter)

The mission of Harlem Arts Festival (HAF) is to provide resources, visibility and career opportunities to artists; to increase participation and engagement in the arts by the Harlem community; and to continue Harlem’s artistic legacy of making art that preserves the history and develops the identity of Harlem.

Now in its 5th season, HAF presents multi-disciplinary performances in venues throughout Harlem, culminating in an annual festival that takes place in Marcus Garvey park at the Richard Rodgers amphitheater. The performances showcase local performers and visual artists that inspire and nourish the artistic community in Harlem. The festival aims to promote arts education and literacy by implementing arts-related discussion forums, educational workshops, performance opportunities and activities for youth and family. The goal of the Harlem Arts Festival is to fuel the cultural and artistic prosperity of our neighborhood.

In only a few short years, the Harlem Arts Festival has showcased more than 150 artists and has garnered press from media outlets such as ABC News, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The New York Daily News, The Village Voice, Amsterdam News, Flavorpill, and more. Attendance has grown exponentially since its first festival in 2012 with more than 6,000 attendees in 2014 alone. Its budget and staff have more than doubled since 2012, and the festival’s reputation continues to grow, marking the amphitheater as a performance destination for world acclaimed artists while cultivating local talent.

@harlemartsfest (Twitter & Instagram) | | (347) 619-3823

Founded in 2009 it is the mission of Inception to Exhibition (ITE) to provide a space where artists of diverse disciplines can freely conceive, rehearse, and perform their work, providing a holistic arts experience from inception to exhibition. It is the vision of Inception to Exhibition to grow into a high impact arts organization built around the creation of an environment where the unbridled sense of collaboration, which defines the conservatory experience, is, once again, available to those entering the professional performing arts community in New York City. To learn more please visit

@itearts (Instagram & Twitter) | itearts (Facebook) |

Pentacle is a not-for-profit management support organization for small and mid-sized companies and project-based artists. Pentacle’s mission is to provide these communities with flexible and affordable management support in a sustained way, on an expert level, and at an affordable price. Pentacle is unique in providing infrastructure support directly to dance groups and individual artists. We ground our services and programming in the creative work of each artist/group we work with, and respond and adapt to the ever-changing needs of the community, so artists have more time to create, perform and engage with the world.

Pentacle provides comprehensive fiscal administration to registered 501(c)(3)'s as well as fiscal sponsorship to dance companies who are not incorporated as non-profits. For companies who receive full fiscal administration, Pentacle provides a dedicated staff member to work closely with your company to handle all the fiscal activities of your organization. We maintain your company’s general ledger and administer all inflows and outflows of funds, including deposits, bill payments, check disbursements, reconciliations, etc. For companies who are interested in being fiscally sponsored by Pentacle, we have three programs to choose from. Each features a different combination of services to meet the needs of artists looking for different degrees of financial and managerial support. Pentacle also offers Fiscal Working Sessions, which allows companies to meet one-on-one with one of Pentacle's fiscal administrators.

Pentacle's Cultivating Leadership in Dance provides an unparalleled opportunity for interns to receive the benefits of a structured internship program, while working intimately with dance artists/choreographers and non-profit organizations. Pentacle matches interns with participating companies, and works with them to create a program experience that is rewarding and useful to both company and intern. Participating companies work with interns 10 hours a week over an 8 week period. Work responsibilities may include: assistance with archival projects, development research, aid with tour management, production preparation, collaboration on website development and other projects specific to the company's needs. Interns, in addition to working directly with their company, attend weekly workshops covering topics in arts administration and career exploration, while gaining access to a network of interns, Pentacle staff, and guest speakers.

@PentacleDance (Twitter) | pentacle.danceworksinc (Facebook) | 212.278.8111

Women of Color in the Arts (WOCA) is dedicated to creating equity in the performing arts field, by promoting professional opportunities for arts administrators and providing a platform to give voice and visibility to women of color. By working to diversify the pipeline of arts administrators and fortify leadership, WOCA aims to cultivate a field as varied in voice and perspective as the communities it serves. Our members hail from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds across the country, and around the world, and serve in an assortment of roles at performing arts centers, festivals, dance and theatrical companies, artist management firms, museums, educational institutions, service organizations and state and federal arts agencies.

@WOCAonline (Twitter) | WomenofColorintheArts (Facebook) |


Elisa Monte Dance logo Aaron David Hall logoCity College Center for the Arts logoWomen of Color in the Arts logo Harlem Arts Alliance logo

Dance Resource Station Providers:

EmcArts logo   Women of Color in the Arts logo  Harlem Arts Festival logo  Asian American Arts Alliance logo  Elisa Monte Dance logo

The Field logo  Fractured Atlas logo  Pentacle logo  Dance/NYC logo  Dance/NYC Junior Committee logo


Mellon Foundation logo            Mertz Gilmore Foundation logo

Logos for Art Works, NYSCA, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, and ConEdison

Dance/NYC Town Halls are supported in part by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. They are also made possible, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council, and from the National Endowment for the Arts. Consolidated Edison is the lead corporate sponsor.

HAA Dance is made possible with support from the Mertz Gilmore Foundation.


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