Dance News: Dance/NYC Releases "Immigrants. Dance. Arts: Data on NYC Dance Research"

Dance News: Dance/NYC Releases "Immigrants. Dance. Arts: Data on NYC Dance Research"

Published on December 17, 2018

The Study Is The Second Research Deliverable Of The Immigrants. Dance. Arts. Initiative.

Main Photo Credits: RU-DANCE-NY, Calpulli Mexican Dance Company, Mala's Odissi.

Today, Dance/NYC releases Immigrants. Dance. Arts.: Data on NYC Dance, prepared in collaboration with the Immigrants. Dance. Arts. Task Force. The study follows Dance/NYC’s New York City’s Foreign-Born Dance Workforce Demographics (2018) and is the second research deliverable of the Immigrants. Dance. Arts. Initiative, aimed at extending the role of artistry in fostering the inclusion, integration, and human rights of immigrants in the New York City area. With leadership support from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the report examines the current needs of metropolitan area immigrants in dance within existing data sources to generate knowledge and opportunity for social progress and the art form. This work sets the stage for deeper inquiry and action by Dance/NYC and key stakeholders and advocates for more thorough and consistent demographic data that will catalyze change in immigrant matters and dance, locally, nationally, and globally.

Visit Dance.NYC for the full report at Dance.NYC/IDAData2018.

The data-driven findings suggest key opportunities for the dance community—dance practitioners and supporters—and call for investing in immigrant artists, audiences, and cultural workers; and expressly, equitably, and continuously including immigrant rights among diversity, equity, and inclusion matters throughout the sector. Dance/NYC aims to recognize immigrants’ long-standing and meaningful contributions to the dance ecology; narrow the gap between immigrants and the resources that they need to continue promoting the knowledge, appreciation, practice, and presentation of dance; galvanize the artistic, funding, and service communities to engage in this work; and by extension, contribute to the movement of immigrant rights.

“I am thankful to Dance/NYC for compiling this important data as a means to advance the inclusion of immigrant communities in our city’s dance and creative sector. This report will serve as a useful blueprint as to how the City can better support dance education for English Language Learners in public schools, empower immigrant artists and organizations, and engage immigrant audiences across all five boroughs. We must also continue to invest in professional development to ensure that diversity and inclusion are reflected in our dance workforce. Our city’s state of the art dance programs and resources must be accessible to all immigrant New Yorkers,” said Chair of the NYC Council Committee on Cultural Affairs Jimmy Van Bramer.

“Whether it’s stepping or ballet, folk or modern, immigrant dancers from across the five boroughs keep our city moving towards being an even more inclusive and welcoming place to live and create,” said Bitta Mostofi, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. “We are proud to work alongside Dance/NYC and contribute to this report, working to make sure no dancer, in any ZIP code or neighborhood is excluded from reaching their full potential. We would like to congratulate Dance/NYC on the release of their timely and critical report, which will serve as a useful guide for organizations and agencies looking to expand their abilities to serve even more immigrant New Yorkers.”

“Ongoing and active support for New Yorkers who hail from all over the globe is an essential commitment in the CreateNYC cultural plan. We applaud Dance/NYC for its continuing focus on amplifying the voices of underrepresented populations, and for its interpretation of CreateNYC as a catalyst for advocacy. In NYC, a city of immigrants, it is particularly important that we seek out, honor, and support the creative expression of those who were born in other countries. This report quantifies the level of underrepresentation of immigrants in the dance world as artists and audiences. Though the numbers are sobering, they give us much-needed awareness and a useful starting point from which we can only grow as a cultural sector and as a city,” said Tom Finkelpearl, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

"Dance/NYC’s thoughtful and thorough study of New York City’s foreign-born dance workforce is a major boost to the City’s creative immigrant population and our creative sector,” offers Ben Rodriguez-Cubeñas, Program Director, Culpeper Arts & Culture, Rockefeller Brothers Fund. “The report will help guide cultural leaders, funders, and advocates, in reaching and supporting the many diverse immigrant communities that ensure the City continues to be one of the most vibrant cultural cities in the United States and the cultural capital of the world."

Immigrants. Dance. Arts.: Data on NYC Dance.


The report offers recommendations to dance makers and companies, public agencies and institutional funders, and art service providers, with the aim to foster collaborations among constituents and engage immigrant New Yorkers, at every level. They include:  

• For dance makers and companies to: proactively support immigrants rights by fostering inclusion via their internal and public facing organizational practices; welcome immigrant audiences through targeted programming and strategic communications, among others; offer immigrant workers opportunities through equitable hiring practices, awareness around legal issues, and offering sufficient compensation; and foster immigrant leaders and networks through board recruitment, volunteer opportunities, peer learning, and research data.

• For public agencies and private funders to: invest resources toward immigrant dance making by developing immigrant-specific arts programs and expanding funding to include immigrant-led efforts and groups; transform internal practices by offering multilingual content on accessing funding, training funding decision-makers on immigrant matters, reforming data-gathering practices, and exploring intersectional frameworks; and strengthening collaboration between arts funders and funders focused on immigrant rights, racial justice, and equity.

• For arts service providers to: discover and address needs by advocating for better better data sources on related demographics, sustaining constituent dialogue, and exploring opportunities to expand fiscal sponsorship services for immigrant artists, among others; increase access and build networks by enhancing communications practices to welcome immigrants and using technology to promote immigrant artists, among others.

• The study acknowledges the absence of crucial data sets and offers detailed points of further inquiry with the goal of encouraging the creation of more robust research. Advocating for and urging stakeholders to invest time and resources in better demographic research is a vital step toward strengthening dance making by immigrant artists and organizations, building dance education programs for immigrant students, engaging immigrant audiences and audiences for immigrant artists and groups, and nurturing the careers of immigrant artists and cultural workers.

New York City’s Foreign-Born Dance Workforce Demographics (2018).

Prepared by: Julie Koo, Vice President, TDC, in collaboration with the Immigrants. Dance. Arts. Task Force

Immigrants. Dance. Arts. Task Force: Natalia Aristizabal, Make the Road; Pelenakeke Brown; Kamala Cesar, Lotus Music & Dance; nora chipaumire, company chipaumire; Abou Farman, Art Space Sanctuary; Sabrina Fong, New York City Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs; Ana Nery Fragoso, New York City Department of Education, Office of Arts and Special Projects; Felicity Hogan, New York Foundation for the Arts; Pontus Lidberg; Maureen Loughran, Center for Traditional Music and Dance; Alberto Lopez, Calpulli Mexican Dance Company; Hussein Smko, Battery Dance; Candace Thompson-Zachery, Dance Caribbean COLLECTIVE; Dr. Layla Zami, Pratt Institute, Oxana Chi Dance

This study was made possible with leadership funding from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Dance/NYC research is supported, in part, by the City of New York, Bill de Blasio, Mayor, and the New York City Council, Corey Johnson, Speaker, through the Department of Cultural Affairs, Tom Finkelpearl, Commissioner; and by the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Dance/NYC thanks the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs and the initiative task force for their partnership.

The Dance Enthusiast Shares News From The Dance World And Creates Conversation!
For more FROM THE PRESS pieces, click here.
If you have important news to share, please send an announcement or press release to!

Related Features

View More Features