Dance/NYC, a nonprofit group that promotes data and appreciation of dance in New York City, is on a mission to depend each dance employee — from choreographers to ballet lecturers to Colombian folkloric dancers — and dance group in New York City and its surrounding areas. The census shall be among the many largest undertakings of its form within the performing arts, the group mentioned.
The challenge, which begins on July 20, seeks to perceive who makes up the dance work drive and the social and monetary hardships that these staff face. The knowledge will assist establish financial gaps and alternatives for honest wage requirements and different insurance policies throughout the sector.
Alejandra Duque Cifuentes, the group’s govt director, mentioned that to tackle financial inequality and gauge the well being of the trade, “we need to look at it from the vantage point of individuals, because helping workers create healthy, thriving businesses creates healthy, thriving industries.”
The objective, she added, is to “create tools that are systemic, and that can address inequities across the sector.”
Duque Cifuentes mentioned she hoped the survey would land within the palms of each dance employee, pointing to the pervasive Shen Yun commercials throughout New York City for instance of the kind of visibility Dance/NYC hopes to obtain.
Like the U.S. census, the method to outreach is complicated and multipronged: Organizers plan to disseminate printouts throughout town with QR codes that hyperlink to the survey; set up kiosks at dance occasions and festivals; accomplice with neighborhood organizations and unions; promote on social media; and, just like the federal census, rent staffers to make old school cellphone calls and to knock on doorways to attain as many dance staff as doable. Data shall be collected by means of Oct. 31 and the analysis shall be made public in June 2023.
The group selected the time period “dance worker” to embody the entire labor throughout the “economy of dance,” Duque Cifuentes mentioned. That definition contains lighting, costume and scenic designers together with instructing artists, accompanists and dance directors, fund-raisers and researchers.
The concept for the initiative was born within the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, when employers within the arts had been struggling to make payroll and dancers discovered themselves out of labor inside a matter of weeks. Duque Cifuentes mentioned seeing individuals’s livelihoods collapse as they questioned the way forward for the dance trade supplied a right away case examine for why labor protections had been “needed more than ever.”
In a 2021 study, which surveyed greater than 1,000 dance staff concerning the impact of the coronavirus on the trade, Dance/NYC discovered 72 p.c mentioned they wanted cash for housing and 75 p.c had filed for unemployment since March 2020.
“What surfaced during the pandemic was, ‘We need health and we need quality of life,’” she mentioned, noting that Indigenous individuals and other people of coloration suffered the most important losses of revenue within the sector. “This initiative is the reflection of individual dance workers saying enough is enough.”
In addition to establishing wage requirements and employee protections, Duque Cifuentes mentioned the info would assist information the group’s grant-making efforts and advocacy work.
“Our desire is to, with our findings, address some of those systemic inequities head on and to really tear the veil,” she mentioned. “We want to have the data that backs up those stories that we’ve been hearing for decades.”