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Announcing Black Artists Space to Create

Black Artists Space to Create logo

The New Dance Alliance Board, Advisory Board, and staff are honored to announce the launch of the Black Artists Space to Create Residency

The Summer/Fall 2020 selected artists are Johnnie Cruise Mercer, Leslie Cuyjet, and Angie Pittman

Johnnie Cruise Mercer

Leslie Cuyjet

Angie Pittman

Learn more about the artists

About the Residency

The Black Artists Space to Create Residency is a pilot project offering three Black artists a residency at Modern Accord Depot in Accord, NY. Each will receive a two-week residency with unlimited access to a dance studio and full living space. Residency schedules will be determined by the individual needs of the artists, who will also receive a stipend of $2,000. New Dance Alliance (NDA) is offering this space for resting, dancing, creating, healing, grieving, laughing, and breathing. There is no expectation of production and artists will not have to present new work at the end of this residency. The artists were selected by a core team consisting of NDA staff and board members.

The residency project was created in response to current movements within the dance community and the movements they are building upon. As an artist services organization and presenter, NDA has been guided by the core question: What does it mean to center and support Black artists in this field? NDA understands the stark reality that Black people are currently navigating not one, but two pandemics: one is new, and one is 400 years old. Covid-19 and racism are both disproportionately affecting Black life. In light of this, “we wish to radically reimagine what it means to serve Black artists right now and to do so in the specific spirit of reparations,” says NDA Board President Fernando Maneca. “We call in abundance as we reimagine modes of leadership and hand over the keys to Black artists as a way to confront the scarcity mindset currently afflicting non-profit organizations.”

Announcing our Residency Director: Angie Pittman

We are excited to announce that Angie Pittman has been hired as Residency Director. An NDA advisory board member since 2018, Pittman helped conceive of the residency project and will lead it into future iterations.

“While we are honored to offer this residency program, we understand that the ideas around it are not new and not ours,” says Pittman. “As a Black artist working with a white-led organization, I want to make sure we credit the countless Black, femme scholars and activists who have called for the equitable payment of Black folks. I also want to call attention to how Black artists have historically shaped our nation’s imagination, language, and humanity so we want to use this residency as a way to value and amplify that tremendous work.”

Check out our article in The New York Times!

A Space for Black Dance Artists to Create in the Hudson Valley

“When the staff, leadership and advisory committee of the New Dance Alliance gathered to draft a letter in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, the group soon realized that words wouldn’t be enough to demonstrate the organization’s commitment to racial justice. “It became really apparent to us that, unless we were backing it up programmatically, whatever we were writing was hollow,” Fernando Maneca, the president of the Dance Alliance’s board, said in an interview.”

Read full article

This pilot project was made possible
by a generous contribution from an anonymous donor

Black Lives Matter

New Dance Alliance stands in support of the Black community. NDA’s initial aims were to support an artistic community that has limited institutional resources and to provides that community with increased opportunities to share experimental works with the public.

We recognize our change is necessary and late. We promise to fight back against systemic racism in our own organization and help hold other arts organizations accountable. We will deepen the work of bringing forward the voices of black artists.

As you know, June is typically the time of year when most non-profit arts organizations embark on fiscal year-end campaigns. In light of recent events, we are postponing our campaign, and instead of asking you to donate to the following organizations. A comprehensive list of places to donate can be found here. Thank you to Joy-Marie Thompson for putting this together.

These are our first steps in working towards anti-racism. We will be instituting other initiatives in the near future.

Sincerely,

Karen Bernard, Executive Director & Artist
Fernando Maneca, Board President
Staff: Julia Antinozzi, Olivia Palacios, Emily Goucher
Board: Maja Lorkovic, David Shapiro, Lisa Parra
Advisory Board: Tara Bernstein, Robert Knowles, Thea Little, Linda Meaney, Angie Pittman

Performance Mix Festival

Performance Mix Festival “The most elaborate festival of the unpredictable,” (The New York Times), is a jam-packed program of local, national, and international artists with new perspectives on how we experience dance. Stay tuned for details about Performance Mix Festival’s 35th Anniversary, to be held in spring 2021. Learn more >

LiftOff

Ongoing Workshop and Residency Program

LiftOff is an NDA program offering residencies and workshops in which performing artists develop the creative and business aspects of their work. The LiftOff Creative and Project Development Residencies and Workshops are facilitated by Karen Bernard, Artist, and Executive Director of New Dance Alliance and guests. Learn more >

Karen Bernard

Upcoming Performances & Residencies

Karen Bernard has a history of creating solo dances that challenge audiences to engage in a specific reality of everyday life issues contextualized into a heightened performative experience. Learn more >

NDA Studio Program

All NDA Studio Programs are free. Learn more about our LiftOff, Satellite, Work Session and Black Artists Space to Create programs. Learn more >