Findings from the Dance Industry Census - Dance Informa USA



State of NYC Dance: Findings from the Dance Industry Census, presented by Dance/NYC

State of NYC Dance: Findings from the Dance Industry Census, presented by Dance/NYC

The dance service organization Dance/NYC has announced its upcoming research performance event, State of NYC Dance: Findings from the Dance Industry Census, in partnership with Chelsea Factory, curated by Alejandra Duque Cifuentes, and in artistic partnership with Sydnie L. Mosley Dances and Ladies of Hip Hop. The event will be held in-person on Tuesday, December 12, 2023 with doors opening at 5:30 p.m. at Chelsea Factory, 547 W. 26th Street, New York, NY 10001, with some elements live streamed via YouTube Live. To RSVP, visit Dance.NYC/StateofNYCDanceEvent. Online registration will close on December 11, 2023 at 4:00 p.m. ET. On-site registration will also be available.

The evening is structured as a research performance event and community gathering that aims to share insights from the research report of the same name—a culmination of Dance/NYC’s Dance Industry Census and Roundtable Discussion Series. Using dance as a core storytelling tool, it will include performances and interpretations by Sydnie L. Mosley Dances and Ladies of Hip Hop, remarks by members of the DWR Advisory Group, and a seated community meal.

Dance/NYC will unveil up-to-date data to equip individual dance workers, entities, and supporters with the resources and tools to advocate for meaningful change in policies and practices that directly impact the industry and its diverse set of workers, businesses, and organizations and a new vision for dance in the New York City metropolitan area.

“This is a sobering time for Dance/NYC, as we gather the dance field to dig deeper into conversations that have existed for decades around the economic realities of dance workers,” said Candace Thompson-Zachery, Dance/NYC Director of Programming and Justice Initiatives. “We are eager to share the results of the Dance Industry Census through the soon-to-be-released report and offer clearly outlined actions that must be taken to get the industry closer to the equity that is often talked about in abstract terms. The timing of this could not be more crucial, as we are at a critical point in our industry here in the City and metro area, and nationally.”

Led and authored by Strategy and Research Consultant Alejandra Duque Cifuentes and Research Consultant Carrie Blake, the report and its consequential analysis form a more comprehensive picture of the dance workforce—who they are, where they are, how they are making dance and what they need to thrive—and will be an important guide for Dance/NYC’s Dance. Workforce. Resilience. (DWR) Initiative. The report will be available in full on December 12 on Dance/NYC’s website.

“Too often research reports are released and they remain on shelves begging to be enlivened,” offered Duque Cifuentes. “Through this event and our collaboration with two dance companies, dance and dance workers will be at the center of how this data is revealed to our community.”

Dance/NYC’s hypothesis leading into this study and the larger initiative was that issues of financial inequality (low wages, inconsistent pay, unfair contracts, etc.) prevent dance workers from reaching their full creative potential. Stakeholders from across the field—including dancers, directors, administrators, funders and public officials—will consider the findings, what they mean for the future of the dance industry, and what actions they can take in support of a thriving dance ecology.

Simultaneously, Dance/NYC will launch a new online portal, the DWR Hub, as a go-to resource for the dance industry and wider arts & culture sector in the NYC metropolitan area. The site will support individual workers and entities through accessible and relevant resources to foster inclusionary and equitable practices, leveraging Dance/NYC’s identified role as a conduit, and collective voice for dance in the metropolitan area.

The research report, event, and hub are all components of Dance/NYC’s current Justice, Equity and Inclusion initiative, Dance. Workforce. Resilience. (DWR), focused on addressing economic inequity and strengthening the dance ecology. Through a number of activities, the DWR Initiative aims to directly serve the whole sector, including those communities not previously served through non-profit interventions in the field such as individual dance workers, fiscally sponsored groups and projects, and for-profit dance entities. The first phase of the Initiative focuses on the dissemination, collection, and analysis of research with the Dance Industry Census and subsequent release of the report. The second phase, beginning in 2024, will focus on the implementation of recommendations and actions based on research findings.

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