[Member Blog] Kaylen Ratto: It’s time for a Town Hall

The Dance/NYC Junior Committee is presenting a very special ‘Town hall’ format event in exactly two weeks called, “Navigating the Terrain: Obstacles and Solutions for Today’s Dance Artist in New York. You can RSVP for the free event here: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/1498418811.

But first, let me give you some background on why we chose this very pertinent topic. A conversation I feel like I have been having with my dance friends in NYC and outside of the city for years is how difficult it is to live and work in this city as artist. The complaint is not new and the media articles abound about how the cost of living has increased for all New Yorkers, which makes being an artist that much more challenging. In addition, labels such as “emerging”, “mid-career”, “mature” or “established” make dancers wonder which category they are currently in and if they even wish to follow an unspoken expectation to continue moving up the ladder.  Are we expected to keep up with the Jones’ even in art? Then again, most of us do not want to be in corporate America or live an ordinary life, so who says that we have to follow a well-beaten path at all? Can’t you create your own career trajectory? Who says you have to make work at such and such venue for such and such many years before you can apply for such and such grants or receive such and such coverage or award? Well, lot’s of people and institutions.

The point is, let’s have a conversation about it. Let’s talk about where we are as a community at all levels of experience and acclaim and figure out some solutions to help us all be a bit more satisfied, engaged, and respected, in hopes of finding our happy place in this great dance town.  Supposedly, it is spring (I know the upcoming snow storm might suggest otherwise). With this new season, let’s have a fresh start and plant the seeds to a blossoming garden full of wonder, inspiration and a very supportive, dynamic community.Will you join us at our Town Hall?

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