New Report Cites Strong Start-Up Culture of Dance in the City

Publication: The New York Times

Author: Felicia R. Lee

11/15/2011 - Dance organizations in New York City are entrepreneurial and innovative, despite having to scramble for money and rely on part-time, contract and volunteer labor, according to a 30-page report by Dance/NYC, the city’s dance advocacy group, which will be released this week. The group drew on information about 127 nonprofit dance makers and organizations, culled from the statewide Cultural Data Project, which offers detailed data on finances, programs and employment in arts and culture.

The report highlighted a strong start-up culture of dance. The smallest groups, with budgets of $25,000 to $99,000, had low numbers of full-time and part-time staff and relied on significant in-kind resources but still managed a high level of new creations. Nineteen percent of all premieres and 22 percent of all commissions came from companies with budgets in that range. Companies with budgets of more than $5 million were responsible for 15 percent of all premieres and 31.3 percent of all commissions.

“One of the things that is striking is that you have this extraordinary number of contract employees and volunteers,” said Lane Harwell, the director of Dance NYC. “The reliance on part-time workers is a sign of the difficult financial times and it’s an expression of optimism. I’d describe these dance makers are entrepreneurs who are at times working for nothing to achieve a different kind of equity – the public and personal expression of their art.”

Read the full blog post, New Report Cites Strong Start-Up Culture of Dance in the City, on The New York Times' Web site.

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