A Statement from Earthdance to Participants and Presenters from Earthdance Interim Executive Director and Board
To begin, Earthdance is honored and excited to support and collaborate in the development and presentation of the Future of CI Conference. We are grateful to all the presenters, the participants, and especially to the organizing team; Thank you for all the work, care, and effort you put in.
This statement is in response to the requests made and questions asked by the white ally group presenting at the Future of Contact Improvisation (CI) Conference, as well as other presenters and participants who rightly want to know where Earthdance stands as an organization in regards to Equity & Access as well as past and current harms done by Earthdance as an organization and community.
EARTHDANCE LISTENING SESSION: Sunday April 25th from 5:30-7pm
A space for participants to ask questions, share concerns and experiences with Earthdance representatives. A space for Earthdance to listen, respond, and aim towards accountability
Details HERE, join us in the Cafe Zoom Room
Recognition of Past & Present Harms
The essential themes of the conference: EQUITY AND ACCESS and A CHANGING WORLD are of immense importance and focus to Earthdance as an organization. We, the Earthdance Board and the Interim Executive Director, acknowledge that Earthdance has in particular failed BIPOC participants at times in the past and in the present. We are working to repair past harms and systematize anti-oppressive practices moving forward in order to support future harm reduction.
Earthdance recognizes that anti-oppression work is an ongoing process, one that must be diligently and continually addressed. To learn more about some of the initiatives, view Equity & Access Initiatives on our webpage.
Sharing of Proceeds
One of the initial driving forces to host this project was to create financial support for Earthdance while coping with the incredibly challenging impacts of COVID-19. The focus, however, swiftly became defined and much broader, on the themes, content, and creating a platform for voices to be heard. These aspects are the important and fundamental focus and reason for the conference; Earthdance's focus is not on creating the most “income” from the event, rather it’s on helping support awareness, engagement, and impact with the themes.
In relation to the Future of CI specifically, the conference was created with a donation/sliding scale in recognition of the diversity of economies CI dancers live in around the world. We do not have a single fee structure for participating in this event. Instead of focusing on high entrance fees to ensure sufficient income, we supported/created rates that are accessible so the attendance is ideally accessible across demographics. Earthdance has committed to the costs of presenting the Future of CI, and hopes that it will generate income above and beyond those costs. If that is not the case, then Earthdance will bear the loss. Hopefully there will be income above expenses, and if that is the case, then Earthdance intends to direct 10% of any income directly to BIPOC dancers and artists; those recipients will be chosen by BIPOC community members with support from the Equity & Access committee. We may or may not publicly announce who the recipients are based on the recipient's desire to be anonymous and their consent.
Earthdance Current Financial Situation
Some participants also asked for greater transparency regarding Earthdance’s financial need in relation to hosting the Future of CI event. Overall, Earthdance is in a challenging financial situation. The COVID pandemic has eliminated the majority of our income, yet ongoing costs for our physical facility, and a reduced staff continue. We have also been completing necessary building code related renovations during 2020 and 2021. Our operations in 2020 lost $123,000 and we spent a further $240,000 on required building renovations. We survived by borrowing an additional $340,000 from our mortgage and received two government loan programs. In early 2021 we received a retroactive grant to help cover a significant part of those losses.
In 2021 our operations continue to generate losses, with a lack of clarity about when we can fully re-open for on-site events, and when things will return to full levels of activity. While we continue to use borrowed funds as well as some ongoing government support programs, we are reliant upon generating revenue from online events, as well from donations to help cover ongoing costs.
What comes from and after the Future of CI Conference?
Earthdance is excited about what may arise out of and after this conference. What encounters, connections, provations, discussions will continue to inspire and connect you all? It is our intention to create follow-up events that support continuation of these conversations and give a platform for voices to be heard.
A few things in progress:
- May 16th Taja Will and Brian Evans will be hosting a BIPOC Affinity Space. Details to come, check our Facebook or Website.
- Feedback Form: We want to hear what went well and what we could do better next time, and what are your interests in moving forward.
- Follow-up Team: There will be a conference follow-up team to review and reflect on what are the next steps? If you attended a significant number of events and are interested to join this team, please fill out the Conference Feedback Form and indicate so.
- An additional Earthdance Listening Session for partipicants to ask questions or share thoughts as a follow-up from the conference. Details to come, check our Facebook or the calendar.
With Gratitiude & Excitement,
Spirit Joseph Interim Executive Director
and the Earthdanc Board of Directors