COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

 

 

Skywatchers

 

ROLE: GREEN PROJECT MANAGER

www.abdproductions.org

Founded by Anne Bluethenthal, Skywatchers is program of ABD Productions. Skywatchers is community arts program and ensemble which foregrounds the lives and stories of people living in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco. Since 2010, Skywatchers has been collaborating with Tenderloin residents as storytellers, co-creators and performers, sharing performance pieces that reflect the richness and complexity of their stories, and are often set in the Tenderloin National Forest. 

Silvestre Technique Training 

ROLE: PARTICIPANT 

www.silvestretraining.com

 

Photo by Hélio Oliveira

 

 

In 1982, Rosangela Silvestre began the early stages of developing the Silvestre Technique, which over time has progressed into a series of exercises - "conversations with the body" - working to prepare body, mind, and spirit for dance. 

 

The Silvestre Technique is a continuously evolving contemporary dance technique with the objective of conditioning the dancer through physical and expressive training - regardless of level or previous experience.  

The Silvestre Technique brings to dance training a connection with the physical body and its connection to the Universe, which Silvestre calls, "the Body Universe."   The Body Universe is symbolized by three triangles formed on the body. 

Photo by Hélio Oliveira

Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance 

COURSE: POSTGRADUATE DIPLOMA IN COMMUNITY DANCE

 

www.trinitylaban.ac.uk

 

 

In 2014, I completed Trinity Laban's Postgraduate Diploma in Community Dance course.

 

Trinity Laban’s long-established program has been successfully supporting skilled practitioners into the profession for 30 years.

This unique vocational program offers a rigorous and in-depth dance training for becoming a dance leader or facilitator. On this program students:

- Train as a dance artists, working on technical skills and artistic development.

- Develop the knowledge and skills to teach dance in a variety of settings with different kinds of people.

- Learn about the practicalities of planning and delivering projects in community settings, and the networks and agencies that support community dance provision.

- Study the core principles of community dance, how it happens, and its impact on individuals and communities, and its place in the wider artistic and social setting

 

Urban Roots

ROLE: DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS

www.urbanrootsatx.org

 

 

Urban Roots uses sustainable agriculture to transform the lives of young people and increase access to healthy food in Austin. Founded in 2007 as a program of YouthLaunch, Urban Roots trainsitioned to become an independent non-profit agency in the fall of 2011. 

 

Urban Roots provides paid internships to Austin youth, age 14-17, to work on a 3.5 acre urban sustainable farm in East Austin. Each year, Urban Roots has a goal of growing 30,000 pounds of produce with the Urban Roots community of youth, community volunteers and staff. They donate 40% of the harvest to local soup kitchens and food pantries and sell the other 60% at farmers' markets and through their CSA program. 

 

The Guiding Principles of Urban Roots:

1. We provide a High Quality, Transformational Experience for youth and community members.

2. We celebrate “Rigor” and Meaningful, Hard Work.

3. We build Strong Relationships.

4. We cultivate Intentionality in our work.

5. We engage our work with a Spirit of Celebration and Joy.

6. We Honor and Respect Diversity.

 

Urban Bush Women

ROLE: PERFORMANCE PARTICIPANT

www.urbanbushwomen.org

Founded in 1984 by choreographer Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Urban Bush Women (UBW) seeks to bring the untold and under-told histories and stories of disenfranchised people to light through dance. UBW does this from a woman-centered perspective and as members of the African Diaspora community in order to create a more equitable balance of power in the dance world and beyond.  As UBW celebrates its 30th Anniversary year, they continue to use dance as both the message and the medium to bring together diverse audiences through innovative choreography, community collaboration and artistic leadership development

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CORE VALUES

Validating the Individual: Each individual has a unique and powerful contribution to make.

Catalyzing for Social Change: UBW's work intends to help people make sense out of the world and prepare to take action in it.

Building Trust through Process: A transparent process of artistic and managerial leadership builds and nurtures trust.

Entering Community and Co-Creating Stories: Each community is unique and has the answers it seeks to uncover.

Celebrating the Movement and Culture of the African Diaspora: UBW is committed to highlighting the power, beauty and strength of the African Diaspora.

Recognizing Place Matters: We recognize that being part of, responding to and contributing to the overall well-being of our home community, Brooklyn, is of the utmost importance.

Dance Exchange

ROLE: PERFORMANCE PARTICIPANT

www.danceexchange.org

The mission of the Dance Exchange is to create dances that arise from asking: Who gets to dance? Where is the dance happening? What is it about? Why does it matter? 

Dance Exchange is an intergenerational company of artists that creates dance and engages people in making art. They serve as an incubator for creative research, bringing ideas to action through collaborations that range from experts in the field of dance to unexpected movers and makers. Through these exchanges they stretch the boundaries between the studio, stage, and other environments to make dances that are rooted in the particularity of people and place.  They recognize the body and movement as an essential resource to understand and investigate across disciplines. Through local, national, international, and online projects we gather and create community to contribute to a healthy and more sustainable environment.

 

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WWOOF Brazil:

Recanto Natureza Divina

 

ROLE: WWOOF MEMBER/ FARM VOLUNTEER

www.wwoof.org 

www.wwoofinternational.org 

WWOOF Brazil  is affiliated to the International WWOOF Association, and is a part of a world-wide effort to promote organic farming, sustainable agriculture and responsible consumer habits. It links travellers with organic farms in Brazil, offering WWOOF members the opportunity to learn by doing. 

 

Recanto Natureza Divina is located Bahia's National Park - Chapada Diamantina, near Igatu. In Recanto, permaculture and biodynamic farming practices are used to culivate and maintain hundreds of fruit trees and vegetables, including pinanaples, mangoes, ipín, bananas, coconuts, passion fruit, guava, tomatoes, xuxu and avocadoes. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In June 2013, I created an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for my upcoming relocation to London. At the time, I was preparing to begin my student career at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, and hoped to inspire others to support my education by describing my interest in dance accesibility. 

 

This campaign video well represents my interests in movement and community dance. 

Every Body Can Move

Indiegogo Campaign, June 2013

 

 

 

 

Forklift Danceworks Leaps & Bounds

ROLE: CREATIVE MOVEMENT INSTRUCTOR

www.forkliftdanceworks.org

 

Forklift Danceworks celebrates the extraordinary in the ordinary by creating original performances inspired by the movement of everyday life. By engaging a diverse body of participants and audience through its performances, outreach programs, classes, and workshops, the company empowers all people to be actively engaged in the creative process. 

Founded in 2001 by Artistic Director Allison Orr, Forklift Danceworks actively engages wide and diverse communities through the creation of unique dance projects featuring all kinds of people. Using the movement that comes from daily life as the choreographic starting point and casting community members as the primary performers in these projects, Forklift presents dances in intimate theaters to massive outdoor venues. With past projects in over 20 various communities, previous dances have included City of Austin sanitation workers, City of Austin firefighters, Venetian gondoliers, two steppers on the steps of the Texas Capitol, guide dogs and their owners, and most recently Austin Symphony Conductor Peter Bay. 

 

Through our unique style of community-based dance making, Forklift seeks to broaden access to contemporary dance, engage wide and diverse communities, and spark the creative spirit.

Invasion of the New Grrl Order

 

 

 

 

 

 

ROLE: ASSISTANT CHOREOGRAPHER

www.forkliftdanceworks.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

a dance with 100+ teen & pre-teen grrls

April 25, 2012

The Terrace of the Long Center

Directed by Allison Orr with Musical Direction by Emily Marks

Assistant Choreography by Leigh Gaymon-Jones

Live Music by the Coathangers with DJ Mahealani 

Commissioned by the Fusebox Festival

 

Inspired by the Riot Grrrl and women’s punk movement, Invasion of the New Grrrl Order featured 100+ teen and pre-teen girls in an outdoor performance on the grounds and terrace of the Long Center to kick off the 2012 Fusebox Festival. Accompanied by the celebrated punk band The Coathangers and Austin-based DJ Mahealani, the performance featured original poetry and performances by the participating girls. The dance concluded with a grand finale to Bikini Kill’s Rebel Girl after which the girls reveled in smashing 100 homemade paper mache guitars. It was awesome!!!

 

Listed as a Top 10 Dance of 2012 by the Austin Chronicle. Reviewer Jonelle Seitz writes, “Allison Orr’s sweaty crush of girl-rockers and disparate groups thwarted attempts to approach it from a single perspective.”

 

The Trash Project

ROLE: STAGE MANAGER

www.forkliftdanceworks.org

Forklift Danceworks celebrates the extraordinary in the ordinary by creating original performances inspired by the movement of everyday life. By engaging a diverse body of participants and audience through its performances, outreach programs, classes, and workshops, the company empowers all people to be actively engaged in the creative process.

 

The Trash Project, the company's large scale-production with the City of Austin Sanitation Department, was named the #1 Arts Event of 2009 by The Austin-American Statesman, the #1 Dance Event by the Austin Chronicle, Most Outstanding Dance Concert by the Austin Critics Table, and is the subject of a feature-length documentary film entitled “Trash Dance” which received Audience Awards at Full Frame and Silverdocs Documentary Film Festivals and Special Jury Recognition at SXSW Film Festival. The company’s work has been recognized for numerous years as The Austin Chronicle’s top Dance and Theater events.  Allison Orr has thrice been named the year’s most outstanding choreographer by The Austin Critics Table and as the Austin Chronicle’s “Best Movement Illuminator” in 2012.  Forklift has garnered national attention with features in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Dance Magazine, Texas Monthly, BBC Radio, The National Geographic Channel and NPR. 

 

Forklift’s ongoing community-based educational programs serve people who may not have access to dance any other way. Body Shift, in collaboration with VSA Texas, is currently the nation’s only ongoing program in mixed-ability dance. Leaps and Bounds provides free creative movement classes to children from low-income backgrounds and has served more than 5,000 people since its inception in 2001.   

 

Neighborhood Charter School

ROLE: INSTRUCTIONAL AIDE; LONG-TERM SUBSITUTE TEACHER; AFTER SCHOOL CARE PROGRAM COORDINATOR

www.atlncs.org

The mission of the Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School (ANCS) is to create a community of deeply engaged families and educators working to foster extraordinary levels of student achievement in an inclusive, constructivist learning environment that values every individual and prepares students to be effective citizens in a diverse global society.

ANCS seeks to create a vibrant, dynamic and unique learning experience that uses the Common Principles of the Coalition of Essential Schools to engage every student, stimulate intellectual curiosity, and facilitate academic excellence and achievement.

KLRU Community Advisory Board

 

ROLE: BOARD MEMBER

www.klru.org

Since its inception, Austin’s own community licensed public television station KLRU, has brought exceptional educational television to the Central Texas community. This non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization is made possible through support from our members.

KLRU’s mission is to present quality multimedia content that engages people in the thoughtful exchange of ideas, the expression of the arts, and enjoyable lifelong learning opportunities. Through the creative use of content, KLRU is making the greater Austin area the most vibrant, informed, and engaged community in the country.

 

The KLRU Community Advisory Board is composed of up to 30 individuals who reflect the diverse interests, concerns, organizations, issues and populations of the Central Texas community.

The JUSTICE Project

ROLE: PARTICIPANT, DANCER

www.facebook.com/groups/493783280633796/

The JUSTICE Project was founded by and continues to be led by Darla Johnson and Nicole Wesley. The JUSTICE Project celebrates the authentic artistic voice and embraces the transformation that arises at the intersection of self and community, revolving around dialogues of social, political and personal responses to justice. It is an experiential and community-oriented interdisciplinary performance work created and developed collaboratively within a designated group to ignite the individual artistic spirit and to enliven a deeper sense of kinship from personal to global perspectives. The Justice Project is the inspirational result of the collaboration and research by Darla Johnson and Nicole Wesley who have successfully staged performances with the University of Northumbria, Newcastle, England, Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia and Austin Community College in Austin, Texas. Johnson and Wesley are strongly rooted in their diverse communities where they have created work, separately and together, exploring issues of race/racism, body image, gender, culture and maturation.

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web design by Leigh Gaymon-Jones

photography by Shannon O'Neill Creighton