Monday, August 24, 2009

Thoughts from Friday's meeting from Angela

Today's meeting was very interesting. I am always happy when a group of dancers get together to discuss how to improve the state of dance in Atlanta. Thank you, Claire, Ali, and Sue for getting the ball rolling...It needed to happen!

As I was driving home, I thought really hard about some of the things that were discussed at the meeting, and the thing that resounded with me the most was Blake's comments about the purpose of the organization.

I know that with so many of us at the table, we will have different visions and goals that we would like to see out of an organization such as this one. And...I think the focus of each of our organizations drive the emphasis for each of us.

The thing is, if this is a group for all of metro Atlanta, the three or four places that we suggested for our dance tables to be present, all represented a demographic that may potentially overlap. People that go to the Book festival, Alliance to see Twyla, Cobb Energy Center, and Castleberry Hill area aren't the same people that go see "For Colored Girls" at the Southwest Arts Center (where True Colors just sold out 5 weeks of shows). We are already unintentionally not targeting a really large demographic of Atlanta. A demographic who does support the arts, just not dance. Who has money...and doesn't spend it on dance. I think the Southwest Arts Center (which is Fulton County) would be a big advocate for our organization...Dawn Axam rehearses and uses that space for performances...Does she know about these meetings?

An idea that I thought of is maybe before the next meeting, we can each take an area of metro Atlanta and see what is needed out of a dance service organization. For instance, Decatur will need something different in terms of Dance visibility than the City of Atlanta. Cobb County (Marietta/Kennesaw) will need something different than Hapeville (South of the airport)...etc. Yet, all of the regions need to benefit from our organization, right?

Additionally, if you couldn't tell...LOL...I don't think we should name the organization Atlanta Dances. I just think we should try our hardest not to anger anyone in the dance community that we are trying to serve. I can tell you first hand that in the mind of the owners of these dance businesses it would feel like a slap in the face. It would be like naming this organization "Several Dancers Collective" or something like that. If we can avoid that I say, "let's"

Just some more food for thought, as we are in the planning stages...So glad that the ball is rolling! Can't wait to see where it goes...

Angela Harris
Executive Artistic Director
Dance Canvas


  1. Angela,
    For your comment about the places we were suggesting for the Dance Table, we were choosing places that those of us who were at this particular meeting were already going to be. Since we're currently having to do all this on a volunteer basis, this makes sense. I'm excited when I get the emails from True Colors saying they're sold out and/or extending a run for their shows, but having a Dance Table at every arts event in Atlanta is something we can't possibly do at this stage. We'll keep in mind trying to expand as we go.

    The name issue, I was ready to go in a direction that has nothing about "Atlanta" or "Dance" in the name, (I thought we could call it "SPRING") but it does become unclear what we're talking about at first glance. It may be unavoidable using those words, if we want a name that says clearly what we're about. It remains a topic of discussion so please think of some other possibilities and let everyone know!

  2. Oh, and I forgot to say that as for looking at all the areas of Metro Atlanta, I think we do that if we have people at the meetings come from those areas. They will obviously be representing their needs from that place. It's just a matter of finding time when more people can meet, or getting them to join in to the online "meeting" that this blog is trying to create!

  3. Sounds like a great meeting!! I totally agree with Angela; being inclusive is critical to remaining relevant to the community and our supporters, and it is a challenge! Speaking of which, can anyone attend the meetings? Are the dates posted here in advance? Best to all! Melanie (Zoetic)

  4. We haven't standardized anything about the meetings yet either. We're bringing what we talked about Friday to the FCAC meeting to continue if people want. Otherwise, we can look at a monthly meeting generally perhaps? It's something else to be determined and will depend on when people are available etc.