Dance/NYC Hosts its Seventh Annual 2016 Symposium (#dancesymp)

Dance/NYC Hosts its Seventh Annual 2016 Symposium (#dancesymp)

Published on January 19, 2016
Dance/NYC Symposium 2015. Photo courtesy of Dance/NYC.

Featuring Keynote Speakers Misty Copeland, Virginia Johnson, Edwin Torres, and Darren Walker

Dance/NYC 2016 Symposium

When: Sunday, February 28, 9:00 a.m-6:00 p.m.
Where: Gibney Dance Center, 280 Broadway (enter at 53A Chambers), New York, NY 10007
Tickets: $50 and Up. To purchase, contact Dance/NYC at 212.966.4452 or visit Dance.NYC.

Dance/NYC, New York City's leading organization dedicated to promoting the knowledge, appreciation, practice, and performance of dance in the metropolitan area, today announced its seventh annual 2016 Symposium happening Sunday, February 28, 2016, at Gibney Dance Center's newly renovated downtown location, as well as a Disability. Dance. Artistry. Pre-Symposium on February 27. This Symposium is the only full-day gathering of dance leaders and supporters in the metropolitan New York City area. Four of today's leaders in the arts serve as the convening's keynote speakers: Misty Copeland of American Ballet Theatre, Virginia Johnson of Dance Theatre of Harlem, Edwin Torres, the Acting Commissioner of New York City's Department of Cultural Affairs, and Darren Walker of the Ford Foundation. (Complete schedule is available below.)

This year's Symposium invites participants to explore questions of community and economic development, education, and technology that are central to the future of New York's cultural sector. "In seeking answers to these questions, we will also extend organizational initiatives focused on increasing racial equity and access and inclusion to the arts for disabled New Yorkers," says Lane Harwell, Executive Director, Dance/NYC. "Underpinning the work is an commitment to identifying, removing, and preventing inequities in the cultural sector and in helping artists advance social justice."

During the Pre-Symposium on Saturday, February 27, Dance/NYC will release findings and recommendations from its new report, Disability. Dance. Artistry., host a screening of the groundbreaking film, Invitation to Dance, and unveil new online resources to drive access and inclusion for disabled New Yorkers. (Visit Dance.NYC for more information about this evolving initiative).

More than 400 attendees will gather for panel discussions, case studies, interactive workshops, individual legal and management consultations, a networking lunch, and more. Some of the day's highlights include discussions about education led by Dance Educator and Advocate Jody Gottfried Arnhold; trends in New York's creative sector led by Adam Forman of Center for an Urban Future; public spaces for dance led by Susan Chin of Design Trust for Public Space; topics concerning racial equity with Holly Sidford of Helicon Collaborative, Amy Fitterer of Dance/USA, and Camille A. Brown of Camille A. Brown & Dancers; and more.


(schedule subject to change)


Ford Foundation President Darren Walker.

Keynote by Ford Foundation President Darren Walker (9:00-10:00 a.m.)

New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) Diversity Initiative (10:10-11:10 a.m.)

DCLA Acting Commissioner Edwin Torres will review the agency's new report based on the results of a survey distributed to hundreds of cultural organizations in 2015. The report identifies trends and highlights areas in which the cultural sector succeeds in cultivating staffs and leadership that reflect the communities they serve, and possible strategies for addressing challenges and promoting the field's most effective efforts to cultivating the diverse cultural leaders of the future.

PS Dance!
Dance Education for Every Child! Dance Education in Every School!
(10:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.)

This session takes the staring point of the new documentary PS Dance! as a way into creating a future where dance education is available for every child and in every school. Curated by dance educator and advocate Jody Gottfried Arnhold, it brings together the voices behind PS Dance! and future educators committed to realizing universal dance education. Participants will discuss approaches to "increasing arts education and cultural activities in the schools of [each] city school district," which is included as one mandate for cultural planning for the City of New York recently required by the New York City Council. They will also discuss developments and opportunities at the Department of Education to expand arts instruction, and recommendations from Dance/NYC's new report, Discovering Disability, to enhance instruction for disabled students.

Screening of PS Dance! Dance Education Documentary (10:15-11:10 a.m. | Discussion 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.)

Featured Speakers:
Jody Gottfried Arnhold (moderator), Dance Educator and Advocate, Executive Producer PS Dance!
Patricia Dye, Teacher, PS Dance!
Joan Finkelstein, Dance Education Consultant, PS Dance!
Ana Fragoso, PS Dance!; Director of Dance, NYC Department of Education Catherine Gallant, Teacher, PS Dance!
Michael Kerr, Teacher, PS Dance!
Michelle Mantione, Arnhold Graduate Dance Education Program, Hunter College
Nel Shelby, Producer and Director, PS Dance! Ani Udovicki Teacher, PS Dance!

Dance Theatre of Harlem Artistic Director Virginia Johnson (center) and ABT Soloist Misty Copeland (right). Photo copyright:

A Conversation with Misty Copeland and Virginia Johnson (12:30-1:30 p.m.)

Creative New York (1:45-3:00 p.m.)

In June 2015, the Center for Urban Future published its second Creative New York report, which tracks trends in New York's creative sector over a ten-year period and offers recommendations for real estate affordability, government funding and support, economic and community development, and diversity and inclusivity. This session, moderated by the researcher Adam Forman, puts members of the report's advisory board into conversation about the study's findings and its implications for dance artists and companies. What role does dance play in New York, and how can it lead?

Featured Speakers:
Adam Forman (moderator), Senior Researcher, Center for an Urban Future Patricia Cruz, Executive Director, Harlem Stage
Rick Luftglass, Executive Director, Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund
Potri Ranka Manis, Founder and Artistic Director, Kinding Sindaw Melayu Heritage Deirdre Scott, Executive Director, Bronx Council on the Arts
Linda Shelton, Executive Director, The Joyce Theater Foundation
Sami Abu Shumays, Deputy Director, Flushing Town Hall

Dance for Public Space (3:15-4:45 p.m.)

In May 2015, the New York City Council adopted legislation requiring a comprehensive cultural plan for the City of New York that addresses "the needs of artists and communities with respect to the creation of public art in public setting." Moderated by Susan Chin, Executive Director of the Design Trust for Public Space, this future-focused session engages dance artists in a conversation about how public space can advance the art form and people of our city. What are the field's needs and opportunities with respect to public space that can be supported by the plan?

This session will be followed by a performance from Brother(hood) Dance! Collective co-founded by panel guest and Dance/NYC Junior Committee member Ricarrdo Valentine.

Featured Speakers:
Susan Chin (moderator), Executive Director, Design Trust for Public Space
Simon Dove, Executive and Artistic Director, Dancing in the Streets
Ana "Rokafella" Garcia, Co-Founder & Director of Full Circle Productions, Breakdance Pioneer
Jennifer Monson, Artistic Director, Interdisciplinary Laboratory for Art, Nature, and Dance (iLand)
Peter Trojic, Dancer, Heidi Latsky Dance
Ricarrdo Valentine, Dancer and Choreographer, Dance/NYC Junior Committee

Photo by Chantal Cough-Schulze/Courtesy of Dance/USA.

Voices on Race and Dance

These sessions bring together leading national voices on race and dance in order to explore and foster solutions. These sessions are meant to build upon one another; however, it is not mandatory to attend all.

Philanthropic Approaches to Advancing Racial Equality (11:20 a.m.-12:20 p.m.)

This session will spotlight select funding initiatives underway to address racial justice and equity in dance and the larger cultural sector. What role can funding play? What more can be done? Moderated by Holly Sidford, President at Helicon Collaborative.

Featured Speakers:
Holly Sidford (moderator), President at Helicon Collaborative
Sage Crump, Program Manager - LANE, National Performance Network/Visual Arts Network
Laurie A. Cumbo, New York City Council Member - District 35
Maurine Knighton, Senior Vice President for Grantmaking, Nathan Cummings Foundation
Hoong Yee Lee Krakauer, Executive Director, Queens Council on the Arts
Judilee Reed, Program Director, Thriving Cultures, Surdna Foundation
Katie Steger, Senior Program Associate, Arts and Cultural Heritage, Mellon Foundation Risë Wilson, Director of Philanthropy, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation; Advisory Committee, The New York City Cultural Agenda Fund

National Voices: Embodying Equity and Inclusion at Dance/USA (1:35-2:35 p.m.)

Dance/NYC works in alliance with Dance/USA, the national service organization for professional dance and shares its core values of equity and inclusion. This session will:

Explore Dance/USA's actions to-date in the areas of equity and inclusion - where the organization is now and what new activities are underway;

Highlight examples of dance companies across the U.S. that are leading the way on imbedding equity and inclusion throughout their organizations;

Offer a safe space for discussion with the session attendees.

Featured Speakers:
Amy Fitterer (moderator), Executive Director, Dance/USA
Denise Saunders Thompson, Executive Director and Chair, International Association of Blacks in Dance; Trustee, Dance/USA
Mina Matlon, Director of Research and Information Services, Dance/USA; Co-Founder, Plural
Jaamil Olawale Kosoko, Dance Artist, Anonymous Bodies; Trustee, Dance/USA

Diversity and Inclusion in Dance Education (2:40-4:10 p.m.)

Curated and moderated by Camille A. Brown, this session engages participants in a collective discussion around issues of diversity and inclusion in dance education. What schools and organizations are "bright spots" for inclusion? How do we begin to reimagine curriculum that is inclusive (on a national/international level or across a broader scale)? What can teachers and educators do to instigate change? Using leaders in the field as featured discussants, this conversation aims to specifically address cultural equity in dance education.

Featured Discussants:
Camille A. Brown (moderator/curator), Founder and Artistic Director, Camille A. Brown & Dancers
Ananya Chatterjea, Artistic Director, Ananya Dance Theatre; Professor, University of Minnesota
Theresa Ruth Howard, Founder,
Joan Finkelstein, Executive Director, Harkness Foundation for Dance
Zazel-Chavah O'Garra, Artistic Director, ZCO/DANCE PROJECT

Camille A. Brown teaching a free social dance in NYC. Image courtesy of the Artist.

A Journey through Juba and Other Social Dances (4:15-5:00 p.m.)

Rooted in the African-American vernacular, this movement workshop with Camille A. Brown celebrates the power of African-American social dance and its impact and influence on American dance forms. Using JUBA ("pattin juba") as a jumping off point, participants are taken on a social dance journey through time. From "the wing" to "the whip," attendees investigate the ways communities used movement as a way of protest, liberation, and/or healing. By learning about the past, it is Camille's hope that the spirit of expression through movement is embodied in our present day - providing the individual with a platform to celebrate their identity. All levels and all ages are welcome.

"Black Jones," a Performance by Brother(hood) Dance! Collective (5:00-5:30 p.m.)

Performers: Orlando Zane Hunter, Jr and Ricarrdo Valentine

City Agency Partnerships

This session will feature discussions between dance artists and/or companies and representatives from New York City government agencies exploring how partnerships are successfully formed and maintained and how they can be mutually beneficial and

supportive. It will consist of a series of 15-minute one-on-one or small group discussions between a dance artist or company and a representative from a City agency. Each discussion will focus on the same three (3) questions and will be followed by a 15-minute Q&A. (Some sessions will include performance)

Discussion Session and Performance
(11:00-11:40 a.m.)
Commissioner Victor Calise, Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities Heidi Latsky, Heidi Latsky Dance

Discussion Session
(11:20-11:50 a.m.)
Commissioner Donna Corrado, Department for the Aging Naomi Goldberg-Haas, Dances for a Variable Population

Discussion Session
(1:40-2:10 p.m.)
Ana Nery Fragoso, Department of Education with Lakai Worrell, Purelements: An Evolution in Dance

Discussion Session and Performance
(2:45-3:25 p.m.)
Harriet Taub, Executive Director, MFTA (Materials for the Arts) with Edisa Weeks, Artistic Director, DELIRIOUS Dances

Discussion Session and Performance
(4:15-4:55 p.m.)

It's Showtime NYC! (IST)

Ian Bassin, Former Deputy Advisor to the Mayor
Sarah Marcus, Director of Education at Mark Morris Dance Group Aviva Davidson, Program Director, It's Showtime NYC!
Kester "Flexx" Estephane, Dancer with It's Showtime NYC!
(List in formation)

Portrait of Sydney Skybetter by Safety Third Productions.

Dance with Technology: Silicon Alley Meets Silicon Valley

Join Sydney Skybetter, Payal Kadakia and Robin Zander as they talk technology, one- on-one, with some of the smartest, crankiest, most brilliant and most cantankerous minds in the dance and technology industries from both Silicon Valley and Silicon Alley. Dance/NYC is partnering with Stanford-founded Design for Dance on this discussion series to share learning and catalyze innovation

Sessions curated by Payal Kadakia, ClassPass, The Sa Dance Company (10:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.)

Featured Speakers:

Shira Dickstein, Consultant, Capacity Interactive
Theresa Ruth Howard, Co-Founder, Museum of Blacks in Ballet
Jes Nelson, Dance Outreach Lead @ Kickstarter
Mark Travis Rivera, Founder and Artistic Director, marked dance project
Diya Vij, Digital Communications Manager, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs
(List in formation)

Sessions curated by Sydney Skybetter, Edwards & Skybetter | Change Agency (1:00-3:00 p.m.)

Featured Speakers:
Keira Chang, Manager at Kate Weare Company, Hacker
Catie Cuan, Dancer at the Met Opera, Cultural historian of gestural interfaces in virtual reality
Thomas DeFrantz, Professor, African and African-American Studies and Dance, Duke University
Jason Tseng, Fractured Atlas
Andre Zachery, Artistic Director, Renegade Performance Group
(List in formation)

Sessions curated by Robin Zander, Design for Dance (3:15-5:15 p.m.)

Featured Speakers:
Anna Botelho, Google
Wen Dombrowski, MD, Resonate Health
Amy Cueva, Founder and Chief Experience Officer Mad*Pow

Consultations and Workshops

Legal Clinic
(10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m., sign up is available in-person on the day of the event)

The Legal Clinic, organized by DNYC Board Member Elissa D. Hecker offers 30- minute individual consultations with arts and entertainment attorneys who are volunteering through the Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law and Intellectual Property Sections of the New York State Bar Association. Attorneys are prepared to discuss legal issues concerning entertainment, intellectual property (i.e. copyright and trademarks), licensing, corporation/incorporation, and collaboration agreements, among other issues. The Legal Clinic will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.; sign up is available in- person on the day of the event, from 9:00 a.m.. Registrants who wish to participate in the Legal Clinic should bring a copy of their most recent tax returns.

Smart Bar Consultations and Financial Clinic (101) (2:00-5:00 p.m.)

SmART bars are individual strategic consultations that follow the National Performing Arts Convention model. Drawn from the Arts and Cultural Consultants Network (ACCN), Nonprofit Finance Fund's Advisory Services, and other partners, SmART bar tenders will respond to any range of questions-from board and fundraising issues to fresh business and marketing ideas-providing tailored recommendations and direction to further resources. Financial topics covered include better budgeting techniques, crafting your financial story, communicating with and through financial reports, balancing money with mission, effective capitalization, investment strategy, and more. Sign up available at the event.

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