Author Archives: brighidgreene

The Junior Committee Blueprint

Dance/USA 2012 Annual Conference

Come Wednesday you’ll find members Brighid, Eveline, Hollis, Kathleya, and Maria in San Francisco for the Dance/USA Conference as presenters and representatives of the Dance/NYC Junior Committee! We are honored, thrilled, and cannot wait to share our findings with the national dance community. Please join us and follow along!

Join us for our presentation!
The Junior Committee Blueprint:
Establishing a Local Network for Dance Professionals
Thursday, June 28, 2012
2:30 pm – 3:45 pm
YBCA Novellus Theater Lobby

Follow our journey during the conference!
Twitter: @DanceNYCJComm, #blueprint, #DUSAconf
Website:  www.dancenyc.org/juniorcommittee
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DanceNYCJuniorCommittee

Working hard on our presentation!

Dance/NYC Junior Committee at the Dance/USA Conference!

JComm Member Blogger of the Week - Brighid Greene

 

 

Two weeks from today will mark the arrival of the Dance/NYC Junior Committee in San Francisco for the Dance/USA Conference! Hollis, Maria, Kathleya, Eveline, and myself have been working hard to develop the Junior Committee Blueprint- a guide to establishing, connecting, and mobilizing the existing junior demographics in other cities. Dance/NYC just recently posted this blurb about our trip and endeavors on their website.

A few things I’m looking forward to:

  • Sharing San Francisco, my home city, with my New York family
  • Presenting at a conference for the first time
  • Meeting dance leaders, advocates, performers, administrators
  • Enjoying Blue Bottle Coffee
  • Wearing sweaters
    Mark Twain always said “The warmest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco”
  • Attending other “The Power of Documentation” lecture

But mostly, I’m looking forward to sharing our Blueprint.

We’ve learned an incredible amount in these past few months of development. As much as I’ve learned about the Junior Committee’s history, our structure, our methods, and our growth, I’ve also gained a great appreciation for my peers. If it were not for their strengths and participation, the committee would not have the same involvement and impact in our community.

On behalf of the whole committee, I am thrilled to present our Blueprint. If you know anyone in San Francisco or if you will be there, please come say hi. You can find us here…

The Junior Committee Blueprint: Establishing a Local Network for Dance Professionals
Thursday, June 28, 2012
2:30 pm – 3:45 pm
YBCA Novellus Theater Lobby

…or traversing the halls and attending other panels at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and ODC.

Onward to West Coast we go!

In My Backpack

JComm Member Blogger of the Week - Brighid Greene
This morning I left my apartment with my backpack full of an array of goodies-my MetroCard, my copy of the Vanity Fair July issue, and my Junior Committee notebook. From 9:30am-5:30pm I was at work and by 6:00pm I was at the Dance/NYC Town Hall: Connect the Blocks: Resource Sharing in NYC Dance. Tonight, I returned home still with my backpack and MetroCard, with my Vanity Fair but intrigued by an article on Marfa, TX, with my notebook but with 9 less blank pages,  and now with contact information for a carpenter. Looks like the cubby system I wanted to build on my wall might happen after all!

Featuring Jen Abrams- Co-Founder of OurGoodsTamara Greenfield- Executive Director of the Fourth Arts Block, Alexa Bradley- Program Director of On the Commons, and Rob Handel- Managing Director of 13P, this evening was about resource sharing and as Dance/NYC so aptly stated, “What happens when we make dance using resources other than dollars?” At the end of the evening,  Jen Abrams led a quick, interactive barter session to implement some of what we had learned over the course of the evening. Everyone in the room defined three of their haves, what you have to offer (on yellow post-it notes) and three of their needs, what you need (on blue post-it notes). All of these were posted to the wall for perusing which explains how Phoebe from the Fourth Arts Block saw my need  for a carpenter and why I now have a business card in my backpack which I did not have this morning and was in desperate need of.

I’m thrilled to have walked away with plans to build a cubby system as is the clutter on my dresser. And I’m thrilled to now be active participant in resource sharing.

This got me thinking.

Recently, I’ve become interested in alternative funding opportunities and the development of systems that require creative revisions of tradition driven approaches. Although resource sharing suggests a system that exists without money, these exchanged goods still have value.

How are bartered goods represented in a budget, a tool used to track value? Income denotes actual money. In-Kind donations are one time gifts. Bartered goods are sort of both- gifts that speak the language of quantity but not in the dialect of money. Although bartered goods can be placed in an In-Kind line and most likely are, this misrepresents their value.

Exchanged services require formed relationships that extend over the period of time necessary until completion. Value metrics are developed to moderate the exchange. Communication skills are gleaned. Personal skill sets are evaluated. A bartered line item implies a conscious effort to fully comprehend available resources, essentially, a cultivated approach. Ideally, I think we should have a separate column for bartered goods in a budget. Bartered line items express dedication and investment to a potential funder because they show how the artist personally values their work. It is also in line with the old adage, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. Establish a bartered relationship that first produces good work based on the strength of each individual and the relationship can then yield money in the future.

I have many more thoughts on this, but essentially I think we must turn towards these creative structures to innovate antiquated funding traditions. It was noted that a barter system can influence the type of art you are creating because it more clearly defines your resources. If this is true, I wonder how we are expected to make innovative work by funders if our their granting systems are regressive?

During the hands on barter session the crowd mingled. I voiced these ideas a bit with Lane, Director of Dance/NYC and Alexa Bradley. I must say, it was much easier to articulate this concept in conversation than it has been to write. I attribute this to the layered nature of exchange, as well as to my inability to use hand gestures while writing. Being said, I hope my transparency invites you to think this through with me- share your thoughts, as you may have what I need! 

How to Make a Job

JComm Member Blogger of the Week - Brighid GreeneI’ve been a college graduate as of this past May. While in school, I was not worried about getting a job. I had been so well versed in the career of a freelance dancer that I was prepared to bounce around from one project to another through careful design. Seven months later, I can genuinely say that I am actually surprised to have a consistent part time job that is directly related to dance. I am surprised not because I didn’t think it was possible, but because the circumstances that led to my job were far more fortuitous than my imagined career.

Understanding and expecting that I would have many jobs, I was ready to see my moleskin calendar (see my earlier member post) covered in pencil markings, carefully fitting in each commitment like you fit furniture into an NYC apartment. This is true and this has happened. But rather than see this as a burden, I’ve grown to appreciate this lifestyle. It is fast paced like this city and that resonates. But more importantly, it is flexible. It is moveable. It is like dance itself.

In the wake of Occupy Wall Street, I had someone ask me if I went down to  protest. My answer was no, because I would have cost me my job. For some that was the point, to fight the system that provided lucrative jobs. For me, the point was to go to work and fight the system that expected I wouldn’t have a job. I also realized the beauty of an artists career path. Rather than be stuck pining for a career that functions between the hours of 9-5, we can work instead from 5-9 on either side of the day. Not only is our product creative, but the way in which we structure our day can be creative. Our Sundays might actually take place on a Thursday. If I were to rename each day in my calendar based on what the day felt like, my TGIF would be on a Wednesday.

Back to that surprised feeling. I listen to NPR every morning when I get up. Sometimes its full of quaint stories. Sometimes I wake up to not so uplifting news. I know its a lucky day when I wake up to the BBC hour at 9am because that means I got to sleep in. Other times, I know I’m going to be late when the BBC hour comes on and I’m still packing my lunch. But in the past few months, I’ve felt lucky regardless of the BBC hour. So much of the news is focused on unemployment. And thats when I realized, wow, as artists we make our jobs because we make our work.  We don’t only create dances or paintings or music or films or sculptures, but we create the environment that makes it possible for these mediums to exist. As a a Junior Committee, we hope to nurture this environment so that each and every dancer in NYC can “make.”

 

 

How to Feel Connected

JComm Member Blogger of the Week - Brighid GreeneAs dancers and artists living in New York City, time management is crucial- there have been times where my day is scheduled by the minute. Often, we have multiple jobs with rehearsals or meetings that fluctuate from week to week, making for an inconsistent schedule that is impossible to remember without help. I’ve taken to the hand written calendar, keeping my moleskin close to my side at all times. Looking back at the weeks of insanity compared to the weeks of ease helps to keep my efforts in perspective. There was a great article in the New York Times a few months back about the difference between old fashioned paper calendars and the calendar that syncs to every device thanks to iCloud. Although I realize that I can loose my little black calendar, (the finder will get some cookies if they return it to me!), something about that peril makes the events seem more real. My busy life feels more connected because I can visually see everything that I do. Perhaps my paper calendar is just a tool to harness this connection. But I think it is important for each of us to figure out what brings our busy life together, what can act as the through line.

So the question for my reader, what kind of calendar do you use?