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Dance/NYC #ArtistsAreNecessaryWorkers Conversations in Review

August 15, 2020

New York – After 12 weeks, Dance/NYC closes the  #ArtistsAreNecessaryWorkers Facebook Live Conversation Series. This has been one strand of the public campaign towards demanding the acknowledgement, representation and integration of dance and arts workers into the city’s future post-pandemic. 

Beginning on May 21, these conversations highlighted the importance of the arts ecology, pointed to current challenges and offered considerations on our way forward as a field. Dance/NYC hosted 12 such events with 50 speakers across various roles: dancers, performers, choreographers, agents, curators, arts educators, administrators, city officials, technologists and many more. With an audience of over 1K unique live attendees, the topics covered disability justice, studio practice, digital futures and the future of touring, performance venues and festivals. The final conversation: Dance As Dignified Labor, further emphasized Dance/NYC’s commitment to advocating for dance worker rights and wellbeing.

“I couldn’t be prouder of our #ArtistsAreNecessaryWorkers conversation series,” said Candace Thompson-Zachery, Manager of Justice, Equity and Inclusion Initiatives, Dance/NYC. “The discussions we’ve had over the past three months have brought together some outstanding members of our community and built a crucial foundation for activating change across the dance ecology. And this is just the beginning-we vow to continue to amplify the importance of arts workers and are excited for what’s next.”

Special thanks to funders at the Howard Gilman Foundation, the Mertz Gilmore Foundation and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts.

The #ArtistsAreNecessaryWorkers Campaign Is Not Over
You can continue to TAKE ACTION:  
1. Sign on to the latest advocacy actions including arts relief, PPP loan forgiveness and small businesses, and supporting the H.R. 40: Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act. 

2. Join Dance/NYC’s weekly field-wide calls that address the field’s questions, needs, and plans for the future ( which will continue after our summer break on September 3rd).

3. Amplify the 12 the #ArtistsAreNecessaryWorkers Conversations by sharing and re-experiencing the videos from our Facebook page [not captioned] and growing list on our Youtube channel [captioned]. 

4. Visit Dance.NYC/ArtistsAreNecessaryWorkers/Tune-In for a full recap. 

Lastly, we hope you will take some time to fill out our post-series survey. Your feedback helps us to improve overall programming as well as learn more about the nature of our constituency to continue to serve the dance field with integrity and intention. 

Video credit:
Editor: Ellen Maynard
Composer: Jacob Psenicka
Campaign Graphic Design: James Monroe 
Featured: #ArtistsAreNecessaryWorkers Conversation Speakers
Video submissions for the #ArtistsAreNecessaryWorkers Campaign
Full list of submissions here

#DanceIsDignifiedLabor #DanceWorkforceResilience
#dancenyc #nycdance

#ArtistsAreNecessaryWorkers Campaign Video   
More than 150 videos were received from a cross-section of dance workers in all disciplines from choreographer to educator to administrator to fundraiser to be used in the campaign, including Alice Sheppard, Andrea Miller, Donald Borror, Eduardo Vilaro, Ephrat Asherie, Herman Cornejo, Josh Prince, Lane Harwell, Maleek Washington, Marjani Forté-Saunders, Mark Morris, Tiffany Rea-Fisher, among many others. Full list available here.

Artists serve New York City at every level: leading tourism, strengthening education, fueling the economy, and ensuring our health, wellness and imaginations. With this in mind, Dance/NYC has initiated a series of actions to highlight the importance of arts workers; build and amplify solidarity as a dance community and across the arts sector; and reimagine a world that is just, equitable, inclusive, and abundant.

For reimagining our world
For moving toward an equitable future
For celebrating our diverse cultures
For maintaining our humanity
For strengthening education
For caring for our families
For fueling our economy
For showing the beauty of movement
For sustaining our emotional health
For demanding justice
For rebuilding New York City
As a dignified workforce

To learn more about why Dance/NYC is advocating for arts workers visit:

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 justice, equity, and inclusion into all aspects of the organization. It works in alliance with Dance/USA, the national service organization for professional dance. Dance/NYC serves a wide variety of constituents: 5,000+ individual dance artists, 1,200+ dance-making entities, 500+ nonprofit dance companies, general public and visitors to New York, students, educators, and researchers, public and private funders, and government and civic leaders. For more information, visit www.dance.nyc.


August 15, 2020