The International Association of Blacks in Dance announces the release of THE BLACK REPORT

The International Association of Blacks in Dance announces the release of  THE BLACK REPORT

Published on July 17, 2020
Cleo Parker Robinson Dance. © Scott Robbins, Geek With A Lens

The International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD) announces the release of THE BLACK REPORT, an organizational and financial health assessment of a representative sample of 30 Black-led dance companies from across the United States. IABD traveled to the cities and communities of these companies collecting financial and organizational data in order to assess the needs of the Black dance sector. As a result of the report findings, IABD is poised to bring to light the innovative methodologies in spite of pervasive and sometimes destabilizing racism as well as systemic financial inequities-utilizing dance as a means of protest, survival and social change. THE BLACK REPORT is available at, and is a free research tool provided to increase awareness of the report's findings. 

KanKouran West African Dance Company. Photo courtesy of the company.

This timely and first-ever research analysis into the value, impact and relevancy of these companies, provides insight into the factors, conditions and similar characteristics of the Black dance sector in comparison to the larger infrastructure of the mainstream dance ecosystem. It compares compensation, dance genres, founder presence, geography, staffing, touring and so much more.This in-depth report also includes important factual data about the many, many contributions of Blacks in dance that are rarely spoken about or included in recognized dance history books.

Forces of Nature Dance Theatre-. Photo by Scott Robbins, Geek With A Lens

"Black Dance companies are not simply cultural and educational anchors in their communities.  They are also Black businesses that provide internships, job training, employment, facilities for rental, schools and / or summer intensives, even social services. PHILADANCO hosted a community library where there was none.  Some produce or co-produce marketing and tourism events, such as city or neighborhood festivals.  Some of these businesses have survived for 30 / 40 / 50 years without the significant support they so richly deserve -- and, is long overdue," said Baraka Sele, Independent Consultant.

This report is a CALL TO ACTION, to move beyond the comfortable conversations, the empathy and understanding, the "woe is me and wringing of the hands." It is now time for the hard work of CHANGE to begin for all who enter this space of trusting the process and implementing real equitable practices in the arts field. Let's dive into The Uncomfortable Zone...

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