Dance/NYC 2017 Symposium

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Welcome Remarks

9:00 a.m. to 9:10 a.m.

Presentation on the New York City Cultural Plan by Hester Street Collaborative's Executive Director Betsy MacLean
9:10 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

Conversation about the Future of Dance in New York City with Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl, Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission Chair Susana Leval, and Citizens Advisory Committee Chair Ben Rodríguez-Cubeñas
9:30 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.

Studio H, Capacity: 150, and simulcast in Studio C, Capacity: 125

State of NYC Dance and Workforce Demographics
10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m., Studio C, Capacity: 125

With its latest research, State of NYC Dance and Workforce Demographics, Dance/NYC continues to reveal the activity and economics of nonprofit dance and dives more deeply into the demographics (race, disability, age, gender, and LGBT identity) of the workforce than ever before. This session, focused on demographic findings, seeks to generate recommendations for policy, investment, and programs to foster diversity and inclusion for the dance workforce in New York City and, by extension, increase equity for the field nationally.

Research Presentation:

  • Hannah Joo, Equity and Inclusion Coordinator, Dance/NYC
  • J. Soto, Equity and Inclusion Coordinator, Dance/NYC

Featured Speakers:

  • Anne Coates, President, Allagash Consulting, LLC (moderator)
  • Andrea Louie, Executive Director, Asian American Arts Alliance
  • Joan Jeffri, Director, Research Center for Arts and Culture, The Actors Fund
  • Kaisha S. Johnson, Founding Director, Women of Color in the Arts
  • Simi Linton, Disability Arts Advocate, Dance/NYC Disability Task Force

Designing the Future of Dance Education
10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m., Studio H, Capacity: 150

This session seeks to advance the goal of cultural planning underway by New York City by “increasing arts education and cultural activities in the schools of the city school district” (Local Law 46). It takes as its starting point a presentation of new research findings on arts education activities made available to public school students, both in and out of school time, through the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs and Department of Education, and invites respondents and participants to consider, what is next for dance? What will it take to advance excellence and equity in dance instruction, and what should the dance field recommend for the cultural plan? How can the schools and dance and culture groups work together to achieve shared goals?


  • Paul L. King, Executive Director, Office of Arts and Special Projects
  • Shirley Levy, Chief of Staff, Department of Cultural Affairs

Research Presentation:

  • Melanie Lorek, Cultural Policy Research Fellow, The Graduate Center, CUNY


  • John-Mario Sevilla, Director, 92Y Harkness Dance Center (Moderator)
  • Ana Nery Fragoso, NYCDOE Director of Dance, Office of Arts and Special Projects
  • Cathryn Williams, Director, Arts in Education & Community Programs, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
  • Jody Gottfried Arnhold, Founder, Dance Education Laboratory (DEL) 92Y
  • Zazel-Chavah O’Garra, Artistic Director, ZCO/DANCEPROJECT

Conversation about the Future of Dance in America with Director, Producer, Arts Activist and former NYC Ballet Principal Dancer, Damian Woetzel, and Sphinx Organization's, President and Artistic Director, Afa Dworkin
12:00 p.m. to 12:45 p.m., Studio H, Capacity: 150

Making Affordable Rehearsal Space for Dance
1:15 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., Studio C, Capacity: 125

The challenge of affordability for local dance artists threatens New York City’s future as a dance capital, where dance can be created as well as consumed. This session intervenes to explore solutions for meeting the needs of artists with respect to affordable rehearsal space, a priority for cultural planning underway by the City of New York. What are the opportunities to create affordable space to make the city livable for dance artists? How can the cultural plan ensure that these opportunities are equitable and benefit all New Yorkers?

Featured Speakers:

  • Risa Shoup, Executive Director, Spaceworks (Moderator)
  • Abby Hamlin, President, Hamlin Ventures
  • Jeffrey Rosenstock, Vice President, Queens College, CUNY Dance Initiative
  • Jerron Herman, Dancer, Heidi Latsky Dance Company
  • Matthew Kwatinetz, EVP, Asset Management Revenue, New York City Economic Development Corporation
  • Paz Tanjuaquio, Cofounding Director, Topaz Arts
  • Raja Feather Kelly, Artistic Director, The Feath3r Theory

National Perspectives on Cultural Planning
2:30 p.m. to 3:45 p.m., Studio H, Capacity: 150

This session brings together national perspectives on cultural planning and the role of arts in cities. What lessons have been learned across the United States that could help advance the art form of dance and New York City as a dance capital? What are the opportunities for local-national dialogue and action?

Featured Speakers:

  • Jamie Bennett, Executive Director, ArtPlace America (Moderator)
  • Edwin Torres, Deputy Commissioner, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs
  • Michelle T. Boone, Chief Program and Civic Engagement Officer, Navy Pier
  • San San Wong, Senior Program Officer for Arts and Creativity, Barr Foundation

Dancing with New York City Agencies
2:30 p.m. to 3:45 p.m, Studio D, Capacity: 70

This session engages artists participating in the City’s Public Artists in Residence (PAIR) program to explore “how city agencies [other than the Department of Cultural Affairs may] coordinate with respect to [dance] activities,” a priority for cultural planning underway by the city of New York (Source: Local Law 46). How, from the artist perspective, can dance artists and companies successfully form partnerships with government agencies and how can the partnerships be mutually beneficial and supportive?

Featured Speakers:

  • Deborah Fisher, Executive Director, A Blade of Grass (Moderator)
  • Bryan Doerries, Artistic Director, Theater of War
  • Diya Vij, Special Projects, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs.
  • Rebeca Rad, Artistic Director, The Lost Collective
  • Shirley Levy, Chief of Staff, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs
  • Simon Dove, Executive Director, Dancing in the Streets

Creative Placemaking: The Role of Millennial Artists
4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m, Studio D, Capacity: 70

What works are being created and performed, and how are they shaped by our socioeconomic, political, and cultural climate? What role do millennials serve in dance, dance-making, and the larger context of creative placemaking for cultural communities? How do we hold those creating and those governing funding and cultural plan accountable to the visibility and accessibility of dance-making within this contemporary condition? Join Dance/NYC's Junior Committee in a panel session with dance artists, community organizers, and curators that situates and interrogates the contemporary condition of dance and dance-making as it pertains to the cultivation of cultural communities.

Featured Speakers:

  • Niya Nicholson, Arts Administrator: Gibney Dance, MOVE(NYC); and Nimbus Dance Works; freelance arts consultant; Member, Dance/NYC Junior Committee (Co-Moderator)
  • Tara Sheena, freelance dancer and writer; Member, Dance/NYC Junior Committee (Co-Moderator)
  • André M. Zachery, Artistic Director, Renegade Performance Group
  • Emily Mock, Program Associate, The Laundromat Project
  • Kendra J. Ross, Dancer; Teaching Artist; Community Worker; Founder, STooPs
  • Pepper Fajans, Choreographer; Dancer; Founder, Brooklyn Studios for Dance
  • Risa Shoup, Executive Director, Spaceworks

Voices on Race and Dance

This series of discussions brings together leading national voices in order to explore and foster solutions for an equitable dance ecology.

Working Together for Racial Equity
10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m, Studio B, Capacity: 30

Walk away from this interactive workshop with deeper insights into experiences around race, an understanding of racial equity core concepts, and a systems-thinking framework to assess and transform your organization. Come ready to share your wisdom and co-create!

Featured Speaker:

  • Alia Lahlou, Facilitator, Trainer, and Consultant

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion on Dance Boards
12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., Studio C, Capacity: 125

How can you move from talk to meaningful action that engages African, Latina/o/x, Asian, Arab, and Native American (ALAANA) board members who traditionally have been excluded from the audience, management, and decision-making in arts organizations? What should a diversity, equity, and inclusion initiative look like for your organization, and where do you begin? This session is for arts leaders who want to understand the issues—from a local and national perspective—and real strategies to move the dial forward.

Featured Speakers:

  • Vernetta Walker, Vice President of Programs & Chief Governance Officer, BoardSource (Moderator)
  • Michelle Ramos, Project Director, Vera Institute of Justice
  • Dabash Negash, Chief of Staff, NYC Service

Increasing Philanthropy's Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
1:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m, Studio H, Capacity: 150

This conversation will spotlight a distinguished panel of funders advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion within their philanthropic institutions. We'll discuss their approach and explore emerging trends, lessons learned, and their long-view regarding anticipated impacts as a result of DEI expanding in the dance community.

Featured Speakers:

  • Lisa Yancey, Organizational Development Consultant, Yancey Consulting (Moderator)
  • Ella Baff, Senior Program Officer for Arts and Cultural Heritage, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
  • Hoong Yee Lee Krakauer, Executive Director, Queens Council on the Arts
  • Maurine Knighton, Program Director for the Arts, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
  • Sage Crump, Program Manager, LANE, National Performance Network/Visual Arts Network

Dance/USA’s Engaging Dance Audiences: Audience Engagement IS Community Engagement
2:45 p.m. to 3:45 p.m, Studio C, Capacity: 125

In Round Four, Dance/USA’s Engaging Dance Audiences (EDA) is not only funding African, Latino(a), Asian, Arab and Native American (ALAANA*) organizations and their audiences, but expanding its definition of engagement to encompass community, rather than audience. In the US, our notions of community are inherently tied to structural racism and economic status. People can feel welcomed or excluded from neighborhoods, and gentrification encourages some to move in while others are displaced. EDA Grantee speakers will reflect on their own notions of community, including the relationship of their artmaking and presentation to the communities in which they work.

Dance/USA Executive Director Amy Fitterer will introduce the session, which will be facilitated by EDA Program Manager Suzanne Callahan. As a takeaway, attendees will be encouraged to reflect on their own notion of community engagement and what it means to their artmaking and work in the dance field.

* An ALAANA organization is an organization whose primary intentions, practices and mission are by, for, and about African, Latino(a), Asian, Arab and Native American artists, cultures and communities (Source: Grantmakers in the Arts).

Featured Speakers:

  • Amy Fitterer, Executive Director, Dance/USA (Introduction)
  • Suzanne Callahan, Founder, Callahan Consulting for the Arts (Moderator)
  • Donna Walker-Kuhne, President, Walker International Communications Group, Inc.
  • Indira Goodwine, Managing Director, Camille A. Brown & Dancers
  • Marjani Forté-Saunders, for Urban Bush Women. Independent Choreographer and Co-founder of LOVE|FORTÈ A COLLECTIVE

Dance Makers on Race and Equity
4:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m, Studio C, Capacity: 125

This session invites dance makers to share their vision for advancing African, Latina/o/x, Asian, Arab, and Native American (ALAANA) choreographers and dancers, how to bring about systemic change in the field, and how this change will move the art form forward.

Featured Speakers:

  • Paloma McGregor, Director, Angela's Pulse (Moderator)
  • Adham Hafez, Artistic Director, Choreographer Adham Hafez Company
  • Eduardo Vilaro, Artsitic Director and CEO, Ballet Hispánico
  • Emily Berry, Founder of B3W Performance Group
  • Joya Powell, Artistic Director, Choreographer, Movement of the People Dance Company

Audience Engagement

These engagement-driven discussions will feature leaders in the field addressing questions of technology, fundraising, and action-oriented steps for activating audiences and making New York City a stable home for dance practice.

Igniting Public Passions and Participation in the 21st Century
10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. & 3:30 p.m. to 4:45pm, Studio A, Capacity: 40

Shake off static modes of arts outreach in an interactive, action-oriented lab, led by rebel-clown choreographer and marketing consultant Jamie Jeppe Benson. The event will include quick-and-dirty presentations, brainstorming exercises, and on-the-spot community building. Expect to walk away with a flood of new ideas, a small army of allies, and take-home tactics to activate your audience in mutually beneficial ways. Dare the public to dance with you and wield the power of immaterial labor in this “Web 2.0” world.

Featured Speakers:

  • Jamie Jeppe Benson, Rebel-Clown Choreographer / Marketing Consultant

New Technologies, New Dance, New Audiences

How have emerging technologies affected the New York City dance community, and what kinds of new platforms are needed to sustain our work? Through two lively discussions– curated by Sydney Skybetter, choreographer and Professor at Brown University- we will explore our technological landscape as it pertains to audience engagement, company administration and creative output.

Conversation #1
1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., Studio A, Capacity: 40

This first conversation will explore the question of what platforms are necessary to make New York City a stable home for artistic dance practice.

Featured Speakers:

  • Ashley Ferro-Murray, Associate Curator of Theater/Dance, Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center EMPAC, (moderator)
  • Adam H. Weinert, Choreographer and Media Artist
  • Okwui Okpokwasili, Choreographer

Conversation #2
2:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m., Studio A, Capacity: 40

This second conversation will ponder whether emerging technologies are sustaining or disrupting dance making.

Featured Speakers:

  • Anne Dunning, Associate, ARTS Action Research (moderator)
  • Lisa Niedermeyer, Director of Client Development, Fractured Atlas
  • Koosil-ja, Choreographer

Aggregating Dance Audiences, Optimizing Digital Communities
3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Studio B, Capacity: 30

The digital economy is the biggest force of disruption for all legacy forms of business and entertainment, including the performing arts. What does it mean for dance to innovate in this way of evolution? By way of disruption in its own right? Join Elizabeth Scott--former Chief Media and Digital Officer of Lincoln Center and current Industry Advisor at DUNCH and co-founder and CEO of the early stage performing arts streaming and engagement platform, nRapt--to explore the promise of content aggregation for artist and arts organization discoverability, audience engagement and cultural relevance in the digital age.

What does it mean to build "communities of interest" in a fractionalized digital landscape?
How can realizing artistic excellence in live performances of traditional art forms with geo-local audiences complement best practices for ensuring relevance in digital channels?
How can digital aggregation and engagement of audiences fuel artist and art form accessibilty while providing valuable data that feeds organizational strategy?

This presentation will provide some answers and strategies to add to your long-term vision and immediate tool kit--and offer a sneak peak at the revolutionary platform, nRapt, pre-launch.

Featured Speaker:

  • Elizabeth Scott, Industry Advisor, DUNCH

Workshops and Resources

This series of workshops and resources feature key strategies for increasing inclusion and advocacy within organizations, accessing legal resources for artists, and an opportunity to engage with the City’s cultural planning process.

CreateNYC Workshop
10:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m., Studio D, Capacity: 70

We want to hear from you! How should CreateNYC: A Cultural Plan for all New Yorkers support arts, culture and the dance community?

This interactive workshop session, led by the Hester Street Collaborative team, is aimed at listening and documenting barriers, opportunities and ideas for improving how New York City supports arts, culture and the dance community. Facilitated small group discussions will encourage all participants to provide feedback on prioritizing and issue areas the plan is covering such as Equity and Access in Arts and Culture, Affordability for Live, Work and Presentation space for Artists, Arts Education, and Neighborhood Character. Participants will be encouraged to provide recommendations and ideas that will inform the Cultural Plan.

Beyond Accessibility: A Workshop with Inclusion in the Arts and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance
12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., Studio D, Capacity: 70

What does it take to make your organization and its programming truly inclusive to disabled patrons and artists? Arts Advocacy leaders from Inclusion in the Arts and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance will go beyond accessibility to impart key principles and practices that promote full inclusion in the performing arts. In this 60-minute deep dive, arts administrators, dance makers, and facilities managers will come away with the tools to promote an inclusive culture at their organizations.

Featured Speakers:

  • Christine Bruno, Disability Advocate, Inclusion in the Arts
  • John McEwen, Executive Director, New Jersey Theatre Alliance

Key Considerations for Interns, Volunteers, and Part-Time Employees
1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., Studio B, Capacity: 30

Join attorney Rachel S. Philion as she outlines the distinctions between volunteers, interns, and employees, and the importance of classifying them appropriately. This workshop will review best practices for using volunteers and interns, and for managing part-time employees.

Featured Speaker:

  • Rachel S. Philion, Attorney at Law, Associate & Co-Head of the Wage and Hour Practice Group, Proskauer Rose LLP

National Dance Advocacy Workshop
1:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m., Studio D, Capacity: 70

Now more than ever, the dance field must be ready to advocate on the issues that impact the performing arts field. What are the big issues that we should pay attention to? How will our priorities fare under a new administration? In what way can artists, arts administrators, and audiences engage in advocacy and activism to support art-making? Gain an understanding of the key federal issues that impact dance and how you can become an effective arts advocate.

Featured Speaker:

  • Brandon Gryde, Director of Government Affairs, Dance/USA

Collaborative Development Workshop
2:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m., Studio B, Capacity: 30

Finding your next major donor or performance opportunity can be tricky, but it doesn’t have to be as hard as you think. This workshop explores creative strategies for increasing board engagement, building your donor base and expanding performance opportunities. Through unique collaborations your next golden opportunity could be just around the corner.

Featured Speakers:

  • Denise Roberts Hurlin, Founding Director, Dancers Responding to AIDS (Moderator)
  • Sarah Cardillo, Development Officer, Dancers Responding to AIDS (Moderator)
  • Andrea Miller, Artistic Director, Gallim Dance
  • Hillary Kooistra, Company Manager, Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion

Legal Clinic
Sign up: 9:00 p.m. to 10:00 a.m., Consultations: 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Studio G

The Legal Clinic, organized by Dance/NYC Board Member Elissa D. Hecker offers 30-minute individual consultations with arts and entertainment attorneys who are volunteering through the Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law and Intellectual Property Sections of the New York State Bar Association. Attorneys are prepared to discuss legal issues concerning entertainment, intellectual property (i.e. copyright and trademarks), licensing, corporation/incorporation, and collaboration agreements, among other issues. The Legal Clinic will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.; sign up is available in-person on the day of the event, from 9:00 a.m.. Registrants who wish to participate in the Legal Clinic should bring a copy of their most recent tax returns.

SmART Bar Consultations
Sign up: 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., Consultations: 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Studio G

SmART bars are individual strategic consultations that follow the National Performing Arts Convention model. Drawn from the Arts and Cultural Consultants Network (ACCN), Nonprofit Finance Fund’s Advisory Services, and other partners, SmART bar tenders will respond to any range of questions—from board and fundraising issues to fresh business and marketing ideas—providing tailored recommendations and direction to further resources. Financial topics covered include better budgeting techniques, crafting your financial story, communicating with and through financial reports, balancing money with mission, effective capitalization, investment strategy, and more. Sign up available at the event.

Featured Consultants include:

  • Claudia Zelevansky, Consultant and Coach, Martin Vinik Planning for the Arts LLC/ CZ Coaching
  • Elizabeth Lewis, Brand Manager, Optic White Toothpaste, Colgate-Palmolive
  • Elizabeth Zimmer, Dance Critic, The Village Voice
  • Elyssa Dole, Open Innovation Consultant, SecondMuse
  • James Monroe, Designer/Strategist, Monroe&Co
  • Janice L. Shapiro, Executive Director, Moving for Life
  • Lauren Gibbs, Founder & Director, LG Capital for Culture, LLC
  • Lauren Pearl, Consultant, TinyBizWiz Consulting
  • Stephanie Spindell, Consultant, Spindell Consulting
  • Susan Stedman, Principal, Nonprofit and Philanthropic Management
To the left, you can see the Red and Black Parsons Dance logo, in the middle, a dancer is jumping through the air, his body turned away, but his face looking towards us. The right shows text displaying 'Nov 30 - Dec 12,' 'Buy Tickets,' and The Joyce Theater logo.

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