Initial Proposal from the Network
It has become evident in the last few months that the performing arts will be facing budget cuts from 30%-50% on both national and local levels. These cuts will be phased in during the next few years (beginning in 2012). The potential destructive impact of these cuts on the Dutch dance world is a real threat to it's visibility and its viability.
Independent dance-related artists have a significant role in our dance culture. But within the cultural political debate about the arts policy and the distribution of financial means, there is a lack of representation of independent dance-related artists.
It is therefore urgent that we articulate our position and main interests to the Board of Culture (The Raad voor Cultuur), the highest advice board to the national ministry concerning the arts (The OC&W). By adding your name to this petition your voice will be sent directly to The Secretary of Culture, Halbe Zijlstra.
This is an open invitation to join our new process of defining the independent dance production climate for the future. Your support and/or interest in furthering our collective mission will be exercised by signing the petition below.
The purpose of this petition is to collect your support for a Network for Choreography & Related Art. Help us build a new model for the production of independent dance projects that responds to current developments, opportunities and challenges. We ask you to read our motivations, the aims drawn from our preliminary brainstorms and the concept being created for concrete practical solutions. This is merely a beginning of a process in collecting the interests and talents of the freelance dance field. By creating a Network for Choreography & Related Art worthy of substantial support from national and local governmental partners, we embark on a self defining process dedicated to the freelance production of choreography and related arts.
Under the motto “never miss a good crisis” a group of freelance dance artists have made an initial proposal for a Network for Choreography & Related Art. We've based our proposal on dialogues within the field and discussions with representatives from other disciplines. We are stimulated by the new possibilities of technological social exchange, a new economic climate and changes in the attitudes of political institutions. But, we are particularly motivated by our individual needs to innovate and rethink our production modes and interaction with culture. There is a developing cultural trend towards more open, flexible, self-organizing network structures that create their own conditions and reach their own public.
By devising new forms of organization within the freelance dance field, we are responding to and questioning the generally accepted assumptions about closed systems and hierarchical organizations. The new structures, articulated by the open source proposal Network for Choreography & Related Art, minimize bureaucracy, overhead costs, rules and regulations. They maximize creativity, ownership, responsibility and innovation.
What is the Aim?
In this time of drastic change, we see a potential in the artists re-contextualizing themselves and their role in creating a new independent dance ecology. The aim is to give independent dance-related artists a voice in the decision making process, without compromising our artistic freedom. We can seize the moment to redefine the cultural and institutional structures in which we want to function.
This Network for Choreography & Related Art aims to create collective empowerment out of the fragmented independent dance scene. It does not promise a Utopian modernistic unitary solution. This Network is flexible, self generating and opens new possibilities for collaborative exchange between a large variety of interested parties.
The Network for Choreography & Related Art incorporates a plurality of voices. It celebrates differences and has a strong bridging function between artists, projects, facilities, governmental and private partners. The network encourages a variety of exchanges for mutual benefit.
The proposal is about building a new infrastructure with a diverse set of attributes and parameters that increase the capacity for makers and their production partners for new entrepreneurial initiatives based on mutual interest. Our proposal is about generating financial support, from a variety of sources- national and local government, audiences, producers, stages, the private sector and whomever can be attracted to the exchange potentials.
This is a proposal to the dance community in the broadest sense.
A New Climate
The Network for Choreography & Related Art’s organizational form is built on the potency of (self-organizing) entrepreneurial artists to network and exchange from their own strategic interests. It has a transformative attitude by nature.
The artist: The Network model demands a shift in the approach and the function of an independent artist toward more dynamic interrelations. Collectively, the Network for Choreography & Related Art will produce an ecology for research & development, new partnerships, distribution locations and forms for presenting their work. We want to design our own way of reaching interested parties, new stake holders and appropriate audiences for our work.
The relations: The Network’s structure stimulates community building. It connects mutual interests based on less dependence and more balanced relations. It functions by finding and collecting alliances within a large spectrum of partners from governmental to alternative to private. By maintaining close collaborative ties with policy makers and financial partners, the Network will representative body for the communities’ interests.
How: By providing directly linked access between a variety of parties who stand to benefit from the production of dance. The Network facilitates new production and marketing modes, elaborates on existing strategies, and stimulates the distribution of resources through a direct outreach approach toward new audiences and potential stake holders.
- A set of available local conventional or unconventional spaces with open access.
- A minimum of organizational and intermediary support.
- A website with online sources and an interactive network system.
- Collaboration, exchange and peer to peer support.
- New procedures for governmental funding
- New financial models for the realization of more flexible productions.
- Personal artistic and business advise and coaching.
- Commitment between makers, programmers and producers.
- A continuous collaborative dialogue with national and private funders .
- Audience participatory formats.
- A chance to develop the concept and the Network further according to one's own insights.