Author Archives: Julia Kelly


May 2, 2011.  From the team behind the census initiative, here are answers to some frequently asked questions.

Who is being counted in the census?  Our goal is to document how one critical segment of  the workforce in our field is surviving in NYC.  We want to count everyone 21-35 years of age who works in any capacity to support professional dance in New York City, including but not limited to:

  • performers
  • choreographers/creative artists
  • educators
  • representatives
  • managers and administrators
  • designers
  • technicians
  • consultants
  • publicists
  • writers
  • critics

What kinds of questions are asked?  If you are such a worker, the census requests information about what type of work you did in the year 2010, and on what terms.  We don’t want your name or your employers’ names.  It will take 10-15 minutes to complete the census.

Why cut off at 35?   With limited resources and volunteer capacity, we have designed this research to focus intently on one demographic—the Committee’s relative peer group. Recognizing this demographic is one part of a greater whole, we will work to use research findings to make a case for, and craft effective methods for, future research that may encompass the entire New York City dance workforce, and looks forward to community conversations to this end.

How do I know my information will be safe?  How will it be used?  Reassuring fact #1: The research is being conducted pro bono by our partner, the Bloustein Center for Survey Research (BCSR) at Rutgers University’s Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. Continue reading


Here’s the skinny and if you’d like to help in any way, e-mail and let us know!

JComm’s Benn Rasmussen and Julia Kelly yammer about yaks, guerrillas, and our major research initiative—a Dance Workforce Census—with Tim Cynova and Sydney Skybetter of SkyNova:15.

Are you ready to be counted?  Subscribe to the JComm E-Monthly or friend us on Facebook so we can keep you posted.  JComm’s Dance Workforce Census will launch at the top of May.  That’s after you’ve filed your taxes, so being counted will take you all of 10 minutes.  In fact, Lori B. took a beta version in under 7.

Read all about this project HERE. Anyone in the field can get involved– there are all sorts of ways to help.  If you’re interested, please email Julia Kelly, External Relations Manager, at

AND below find some illuminating stuff we’ve been reading, sharing, and discussing as we develop this research initiative.  Continue reading

JComm’s DANCE WORKFORCE CENSUS: Earnings Among Individuals, Ages 21-35

OUR OBSERVATIONS. It has become apparent within our peer group there is a lack of public data on how individuals in the dance community financially support themselves.  This lack of understanding may further beliefs, myths and assumptions that harm the dance economy.  We are acutely aware of the need for an informed and strong workforce and we aim to enable our peers to continue in the dance field, armed with factual information.

THE GOAL. In May 2011 we will conduct a census of workers in dance, ages 21 to 35, to aggregate data on compensation—in dollars or other benefits—for work and contributions to the dance field. While we certainly recognize that individuals aged 21-35 are one part of a much greater workforce, the primary goal of this survey is to quantify the role this demographic—our peer group—plays in the New York dance economy, and the wider economy, by making transparent the wide variety of ways in which these individuals earn a living.

SOUND RESEARCH, PRIVACY AND CONFIDENTIALITY. We are very grateful for the partnership of the Bloustein Center for Survey Researchat Rutgers University’s Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, which is providing the necessary research services pro bono.  The BCSR provides high quality, non-partisan, objective research services to government, academia, the private sector, and non-profit organizations.

Participants’ privacy is our first priority. All census data, collected electronically by the BCSR, will be held on secure, HIPAA-certified servers at Rutgers University.  The BCSR will also preliminarily submit this survey and its methodology for review with the Rutgers Institutional Review Board (IRB), which monitors ethical research, to ensure that protections are in place for security and confidentiality.

READY? All of you out there, ages 21-35: YOU are this study. Please stay tuned in May when the BCSR will be sending out the census via email.  It will be short and sweet and is planned follow tax day, so answering our questions about the year 2010 will be relatively quick and easy.  Your participation is 100% anonymous.

Continue reading

[MEMBER BLOG] Julia: NYSCA needs our support. Today.

New York State Council on the Arts“…and a Happy New Year?” We all know New York State is broke and we’ve been hearing about the mangled budget since it passed, 125 days late, in August.  Cuts to the budget of the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) have been difficult to weather since the recession but recent restructuring, including a 30% reduction in staff, and further cuts, are now really changing the agency as we know it. Continue reading

[MEMBER BLOG] Julia: How the Other Half Lives

Last night I dutifully accompanied my partner to his annual office holiday party.

We spent the evening with Dalis, Matisses, Monets, Picassos, Rothkos, Rauschenbergs…the lot of them.

"Woman with cocktail napkin" (2010)

Granted this was a Google office holiday party.  The engineering team threw down this year at the Museum of Modern Art.  There was a red carpet.  I’d say the event came in a close second behind the 2007 edition—which was epic—at the fabled Rainbow Room. Continue reading