DISPATCH #2: Movement as Food @Dance/NYC ‘s #dancesymp (osium)

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DISPATCH #2: During the Bringing Entrepreneurship to the Arts Panel, Zlato Fagundes, referenced Minnesota’s Springboard for the Arts CSA (Community Supported Art) as a new business model for presenting dance.

Is this the blind art date we have all been looking for? Like when you are surprised with sunchokes or garlic scapes one week and a whole new delicious consciousness is awakened by the unfamiliar aromas in your kitchen?

Could this be the perfect model for creating a tighter-knit, super-local community around a choreographer’s work?

Would the concept of pre-selling a dance show as part of a CSA share/season free choreographers up to take more risks with their work?

Well, we don’t have to wonder. Springboard has CSA kits for artists who are ready to try something new. And at least right now, NYC and her varied boroughs and hoods are not represented on their map of up-and-coming CSA’s in the USA. Who will be bold enough to try this and let Dd into the process? Accepting nominations below.


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  • rebecca

    “Could this be the perfect model for creating a tighter-knit, super-local community around a choreographer’s work?”
    I’m not sure…it could be. But it seems to me that the community is already so tight-knit, in a way.
    The audience for dance is fairly small, mostly consisting of family and friends of the participating artists.
    I find it hard to believe that people would want to invest so much money up front for performances. And the not-knowing-what-you’ll-get thing already exists for people buying performance tickets, in a way that it doesn’t for visual art collectors buying work–I would argue. Although I suppose you never know what someone will make.
    Last thought: I think people are also more inclined to invest money in a material good, rather than an experience (like a performance.) So I think the member shares would need to cost less. Again, there’s an issue of limiting the audience, rather than widening it, with a price like $300.

  • candice

    I think it is tight knit as far as dancers supporting other dancers, but I am referring to the neighborhood community being brought to the local choreographer and strengthening the network around dance from there. I don’t really think that there are a lot of local people (unrelated to dance or a dancer) in Greenpoint, Brooklyn supporting performances at Center for Performance Research from just looking at a postcard, for instance. And I think there is potential to engage that local audience by packaging a performance with material art goods. I think the Springboard price tag of $300 includes several items, events, and performance experiences when a choreographer is included in the CSA group. In that way, choreographers could be broadening their audience by being included on a program of diverse art offerings.

    It is true you never know what you are going to get with a live show, however, from the choreographer’s point of view this model might also take some of the pressure off the marketing the particulars of a show to get people interested. The audience has already invested in the artist, and so are just coming for the surprise. At least if you don’t like the performance, you aren’t stuck with it like you are with a material good.

    Lastly, I think this is a model for developing artists and neighborhood communities to support them on a micro level. But who is to say that someone who buys a share in a multi-discipline CSA is not more likely to buy a ticket to NYCB or the NYLA if they were pleasantly surprised by that local dance experience?

  • Lara

    I am extremely interested in trying this in Newport Beach, CA.

  • stephanie

    I do agree that the dance-community is already tight-knit and we support each other as best as we can. However, I also agree that this ‘community,’ which organizations like Springboard for the Arts is trying to create, probably aim to branch out beyond the already established dance relationships. Creating ways to engage with our audiences and show how relevance and potency of our art form could be key to building a healthy future for the dance industry.

    I’m probably biased, but I think Ballet Nouveau Colorado/Wonderbound (www.wonderbound.com) is an excellent example of striving to build a larger local community, composed of dancers, musicians, visual artists, film makers, as well as the guy or girl standing right next to you at the grocery store.

    Both Rebecca and Candice bring up valid points. Yet, people spend exuberant amounts of money on concerts, going to the movies, going out to eat — these are all experiences, ones that can often cost more than a dance performance. So, now the question is, how can we show our local communities that dance is worth investing in? How can we build that community?

    Lara, I would love to hear if you decide to test out this concept on the West Coast. Please keep us posted.

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  • […] winter I attended the DanceNYC symposium where I was drawn to the Bringing Entrepreneurship to the Arts panel. Most of the discussion seemed to revolve around ever more administrative tasks for choreographers […]

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