Dance/NYC Launches #ArtistsAreNecessaryWorkers Campaign

Dance/NYC Launches #ArtistsAreNecessaryWorkers Campaign

Published on May 18, 2020

While Advocating for Dance Representative on Arts, Culture, and Tourism Sector Advisory Council

Dance/NYC announces the launch of #ArtistsAreNecessaryWorkers, a new online and social media campaign dedicated to the acknowledgement, representation and integration of dance and arts workers into the decision-making processes that will envision the future for New York City post-pandemic.

Dance/NYC is in conversation with the Office of the Mayor, City of New York, to advocate for a dance representative on the City's Arts, Culture, and Tourism Sector Advisory Council, as well as the city's marketing and partnership organization, NYC & Company, to request dance field representation on The Coalition for NYC Hospitality & Tourism Recovery.

"As advocates for the dance field and the many diverse folks represented therein, Dance/NYC demands a place for our constituency in the conversations about the future of our community, and the arts as a whole as plans for re-emergence from the effects of COVID-19 are put into place," said Alejandra Duque Cifuentes, executive director of Dance/NYC. "We are working to effect meetings to ensure that our voices are heard in the planning process. To that end, we are in conversations with the Office of the Mayor, as well as our vast array of constituents, to act as thought leaders in the field. Our video shares the remarkable cross-section of our population, and our new Facebook Live Series will help to shed light on the issues facing not just dancers and dance-makers, but artists as a whole."

#ArtistAreNecessaryWorkers 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, Josh Prince, Lane Harwell, Maleek Washington, Marjani Forté-Saunders, Mark Morris, Tiffany Rea-Fisher, among many others. Full list available here.

And Dance/NYC rolls out a new Facebook Live Series featuring conversations with arts workers, beginning May 21.

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

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.

Beginning May 21, Dance/NYC will host a twelve-week Facebook Live Series of transparent conversations with arts workers: highlighting the importance of the arts ecology, pointing to current challenges and offering considerations on our way forward as a field. These conversations will be launched on Thursday, May 21 and then will occur every Tuesday from 5:30pm - 7pm ET from May 19 through August 4, 2020 on Dance/NYC's Facebook Page.

Aaron Loux of Mark Morris Dance in Mozart Dances. Loux is a Dance/NYC Campaign Artist Participant. 
Photo © Ken Friedman


We Are Needed to Reimagine our World Post-Pandemic.

As we look to the future post-COVID-19, New York City artists must be at the forefront of relief efforts and in working towards recovery. Witnessing the devastating impact this moment is having on our dance and artistic community, generations of compounded inequities have become more evident since this crisis began. The dance community continuously remains adaptable, vibrant and resilient. Nonetheless, arts workers must be financially sustained as we look to the future of our city and recognize that artists as our cultural bearers will be crucial in ensuring that NYC thrives again. These visionaries will craft our way forward and must be included in conversations about how we safely return to our workplaces and sustain growth in the near future.

We Contribute to The City's Economy.

The dance community in New York City attracts and exports talent around the world, drives local tourism, and is central to some of the City's most popular and lucrative cultural attractions- including Broadway. Dance/NYC's State of NYC Dance and Workforce Demographics Report has revealed that the dance sector contributes over $300 million to the City's economy, even as dance remains the discipline receiving the lowest amount of funding in arts and culture. Post 9/11, the cultural sector was crucial in stimulating the economy, particularly around driving tourism. We are the connective tissue across industries, from journalism, to wall street, from education to health and mental services. Our expertise positions us as significant contributors to the preeminence of our cultural capital. 

We Bring Vitality to Our City's Children, Families, and Generations. 

Artists play crucial roles in providing social services to our most vulnerable, embodying entrepreneurialism and leading innovative thinking. As you may know, Mayor de Blasio announced significant cuts to the city's budget, particularly impacting arts and culture, and the department of education -- both vital services that ensure the well-being of children, families, and older New Yorkers. This triage has worsening ripple effects for arts workers themselves and the communities they serve. During this time of pandemic, artists, organizations, and arts educators have provided necessary virtual programming that has allowed us to process our collective grief, stay motivated and engaged, and imagine our City post-pandemic. This work is necessary and must be recognized as such. 

We Model the Diversity of New York City.

Our work and organizations in dance celebrate, employ, and serve a diverse group of New Yorkers: We are people of color, disabled people, transgender and gender-nonconforming people, women-identifying and immigrant people, and people living in poverty. We are the birthplace of hip hop, salsa, and modern dance. We are places of preservation of folkloric and culturally specific dance forms. We are performance venues, presenters, educational institutions and festivals. We are New Yorkers dancing barefoot, on point, taps, sneakers, and Broadway. We are community organizers and administrators, educators and therapists, large organizations, and small community collectives. Together we represent over 5,000 individual dance artists, 1,200+ dance-making entities, and 500+ nonprofit dance companies.

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.

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