Dear Earthdance Community,
You may be wondering why we decided to change the names of our New Year’s Jam and July 4th Jam to “Winter Jam” and "Summer Jam" this year. Let us explain…
As a multicultural organization, movement center, and community gathering place, we’re recognizing more and more our need for frames of reference that welcome a diversity of experiences. The names of our two biggest seasonal jams—“New Year’s Jam” and “July 4th Jam”—while holding many positive associations and conjuring up important memories for people, have also been reflective of Anglo-American reference points that limit which people and cultures may feel recognized and welcome.
We're interested in expanding our ability to see and hear one another in all of our unique constellations of culture, heritage, and place of origin. That's why, this year, we’re trying out “Winter Jam,” “Spring Equinox Jam,” “Summer Jam,” and “Falling Leaves Jam” to reflect the vibrant four seasons we experience here in Western Massachusetts. Added to this will be specific themes, changing year to year, to bring extra flavor, focus, and aliveness to each jam.
We hope to invite more opportunities for dancing with the land in its distinct seasonal expressions and sharing land-based practices for celebrating what each season has to offer. Bring your cultural traditions for marking Summer's growth and abundance at the Summer Jam 2020! And note that celebrations of the Gregorian New Year as well as the U.S.'s Independence Day are still enthusiastically invited for all who wish to celebrate at the annual Winter and Summer Jams.
There are many ways that reference points such as the name of an event can create and perpetuate cultural norms. As Earthdance begins to understand, in both gentle and jarring ways, our own part in a history of white hegemony, we’re taking steps to ensure that the culture we create and perpetuate has a place for all. We hope you can get on board with these efforts. We'd love your support in making this an easeful transition that helps Earthdance continue to be a positive catalyst for change!
With deep gratitude,
Earthdance Contact Improvisation Committee & Staff