Community Engagement

World Premiere of Cassie Meador’s How To Lose a Mountain


Dance Place

Washington DC

March 16, 2013 at 8 p.m.

March 17, 2013 at 7 p.m.

Click here for tickets

This Spring, Dance Exchange Artistic Director Cassie Meador examines loss and gain, risk and reward, and the distances travelled by our stories, our stuff, and ourselves, in How To Lose a Mountain. The National Performance Network commissioned stage production is part of a multi-year choreographic project, which included a 500-mile walk and community engagement tour last spring.

One year prior to the How To Lose a Mountain world premiere, Meador investigated the resources that power by walking from her home in Washington, DC to a site of mountaintop removal in West Virginia. Along the way, she and Dance Exchange artists visited power plants, led movement and outdoor education workshops called “Moving Field Guides,” and collected stories from community members in workshops called “500 Miles/500 Stories.”

During this past year following the walk, Meador and her artistic collaborators returned to the studio to build the evening length work that addresses issues of use and reuse, of living in the now and honoring our past, of what we lose when we gain and what we gain when we lose. The piece features a few additional voices, including that of a 200-year-old piano that will play an unconventional role in How To Lose a Mountain.

How To Lose a Mountain is a National Performance Network (NPN) Creation Fund Project co-commissioned by John Michael Kohler Arts Center in partnership with Dance Place, Dance Exchange and NPN. For more information:

This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Art Works.


John Michael Kohler Arts Center
Sheboygan, WI

April 25, 2013

Call for Applications: Negotiating Routes: Ecologies of the Byways- Part IV

This post comes to you from Cultura21

khoj_logo3-300x133Deadline: 5th February, 2013

Khoj is inviting applications from artists, artists groups or professionals for the Negotiating Routes: Ecologies of the Byways – Part IV project.

All projects proposals must tackle issues of ecology and should have an interdisciplinary approach that emphasizes both research and community engagement. Projects should be site-specific and should preferably be located in peri-urban or rural places within India.

Applications for the Negotiating Routes project should be submitted to applications [at] khojworkshop [dot] org and should include the following:

An artist biography & images of previous projects

  • A concept note
  • A note explaining how the project will be executed
  • A project budget of up to Rs. 1,50,000. The budget should include travel, accommodation, allowance (up to 10% of total project budget), research, production & installation costs.
  • A brief note outlining strategies for reporting the project

Open to Indian citizens or foreign citizens who have been residing in India long term.

Click here for further information about the project and the application process.

Reposted from Khoj International Artists’ Association newsletter.

Cultura21 is a transversal, translocal network, constituted of an international level grounded in several Cultura21 organizations around the world.

Cultura21′s international network, launched in April 2007, offers the online and offline platform for exchanges and mutual learning among its members.

The activities of Cultura21 at the international level are coordinated by a team representing the different Cultura21 organizations worldwide, and currently constituted of:

– Sacha Kagan (based in Lüneburg, Germany) and Rana Öztürk (based in Berlin, Germany)
– Oleg Koefoed and Kajsa Paludan (both based in Copenhagen, Denmark)
– Hans Dieleman (based in Mexico-City, Mexico)
– Francesca Cozzolino and David Knaute (both based in Paris, France)

Cultura21 is not only an informal network. Its strength and vitality relies upon the activities of several organizations around the world which are sharing the vision and mission of Cultura21

Go to Cultura21

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More Water

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

Another interesting project around water.

Watershed: Art, Activitsm and Community Engagement is a programme organised by Raoul Deal and Nicolas Lampert looking at Milwaukee and the Great Lakes Basin.  There are three phases spanning 1) community outreach, 2) public interventions, and 3) exhibition.

There is an interesting video about Colleen Ludwig’s piece in the exhibition and the work she has been doing around touching.

Another of the works addresses corporate power/politics and there is an excellent pdf download of info which is embedded into the artwork in the exhibition.

ecoartscotland is a resource focused on art and ecology for artists, curators, critics, commissioners as well as scientists and policy makers. It includes ecoartscotland papers, a mix of discussions of works by artists and critical theoretical texts, and serves as a curatorial platform.

It has been established by Chris Fremantle, producer and research associate with On The Edge Research, Gray’s School of Art, The Robert Gordon University. Fremantle is a member of a number of international networks of artists, curators and others focused on art and ecology.

Go to EcoArtScotland


The Bamboo Curtain Studio has been actively supporting creative talents for the past 15 years.  Within our four reused spaces, we have been celebrating the arts and empowering the lives of over 200 local and 30 international artists, with much sharing across communities, collaborating regional and exchanging international.

Since 2009, Bamboo Curtain Studio (BCS) has launched an ‘Emerging Artists Program, to serve the local and international cultural practitioners, by providing one-month free exhibition or residency space.

After the successful results in 2009 and 2010, we are very happy to announce the open call of 2011.  We’ll again provide 6 opportunities for, exhibition space, production residency, visiting residency, and/or curatorial research for 2011.  We especially welcome applicants working in any of these three fields: cross discipline arts, ecology and environment, and community engagement projects.

All projects selected by our jury will be offered either a free exhibition and/or residency for up to one month.  However, successful candidates will need to cover their own travel and living cost during their stay in Taiwan.

Who can apply:

  • artist / curator / researcher / culture worker/ arts professional
  • open for all age, media, and nationality


  • Community interaction,
  • dialogue between art and environment / ecology,
  • Cross discipline arts

How to apply:

Please send the following materials before 2010/12/12 to

(please highlight your application as “Emerging Artists Program 2011” on the email)

  • Project plan within one page of A4
  • Outreach plan
  • Resume and portfolio (link or website)
  • Name and contact information of one reference person/organization from your country.

The selected artists will be informed by email on the 25th Dec, after the jury committee makes the final decision.

The Bamboo Curtain studio is thankful for the support by the “New art spaces program” of the National Culture and Arts Foundation in Taiwan.

Besides this ‘emerging artists program’, we welcome you to apply BCS residency any time, please enquire about costs and dates of availability of our venues ( attachment below).

Bamboo Curtain Studio is located next to a subway stop, and is only 30 minutes from downtown Taipei.  It is a converted chicken farm with four studio cum residency complexes and three outdoor spaces, with facilities and equipments for various performing and sculptural / ceramic arts.

margaret shiu, director

Bamboo Curtain Studio and  Bamboo Culture International

We have been Celebrating Arts and Empowering Lives for the past 15 years!

Come join us!

e mail

tel 886 2 88093809

Arcola Theatre: setting a standard for resourcefulness?

Kudos to London’s Arcola Theatre for the announcement of their new plan to further green the theatre, putting sustainability at the centre of its work. The impressive thing about Ben Todd and his team at Arcola’s plan is it’s not just about bricks and mortar – though they do have the support of Arup’s sustainability experts on that; it’s about successfully integrating the theatre into the wider enviroment as a kind of signpost for more fundamental change. As Todd said in the launch document: “Wrapped around the main stage will be dynamic spaces to accommodate our ever-growing environmental sustainability and community engagement programmes.”

And the other, even more impressive thing, is that they’re putting much better funded arts institutions to shame with their implementation of this plan.

I’ve just been sent the book Theatre Materials, edited by Eleanor Margolies. There’s a good quote in there from Todd from the original Theatre Materials conference back in the spring about why theatre can be so successful at these initiatives – something that really fits with ourDesign team’s ideas of resourcefulnes:

“There is a big fear that theatre can’t go green because it costs too much money, but theatre has always operated with minimal resources. Theatre people are incredibly resourceful and theatre has always proven that it can operate with very little money. Theatre knows how to get things done.”

Let’s do the show right here, folks!

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology

Earth Matters On Stage: Wrap-Up

It’s been more than a week since the final days of this year’s Earth Matters On Stage EcoDrama Symposium. I returned from Oregon to be immediately eaten alive by my other life: just coming up for air now and able to digest some of the great happenings and events. Hence this giant post.

The picture above is from day nine : that’s Ian Garrett and Naseem Mazloom of the Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts chillin’  on the lawn of the University of Oregon. After nine very full days of lectures, workshops, panels and a staged reading of Theresa May’s intense play Salmon is Everything, we  needed a break.

The very full final weekend  started off with an early-morning video conference with a UK contingent hosted by the  Ashden Directory. The overseas contributors overcame the fuzzy video and iffy sound quality of our current technology by preparing  a short film.

In it, several leading environmental artists, administrators and thinkers passed the philosophical baton by asking questions like: “How far is art worth the damage?” and “How can we reunite culture and agriculture through performance?” The room was brimming with ideas after that, and it was all we could do to get a few notions exchanged across the Atlantic before time ran out. Watch the video: do it now.

The stimulating conversation continued the next day with a panel called Theater’s Double Helix: Green Building and Sustainable Community Engagement.  Tim DuRoche and Creon Thorne of Portland Center Stage discussed their mecca of a green theatre: the folks from CSPA discussed their future mecca of sustainable practice.

Easily one of the most fascinating panels of the week, however, was the Northwest Theater Town Hall Meeting on Place/Community/Theatre. In it, Artistic Directors and administrators from a wide swath of Pacific Northwest Theaters (Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Teatro Milagro, and the Lord Leebrick Theatre, to name a few), discussed how they strive to best serve their communities.

Issues of race surfaced, and not timidly (quote from Valerie Curtis-Newton of the Lorraine Hansberry Project: “Why does the marketing sound like an anthropological expedition? White people! Stop trying to sell me to other white people!”). The idea of non-local community also came under discussion (45% of OSF’s audience is from the SF Bay Area: the internet creates seas of non-geographic communities: PCS had Scrooge “twittering” during A Christmas Carol). All in all, great perspective from a group of seasoned professionals.

Somewhere within these ten days I led a panel and a workshop: there were also many, many other worthwhile performances and presentations (including a short play starring a Cedar Tree). Over the next few months I’ll do retrospectives of works I’ve missed: stay posted.

Garrett and I had to miss the last day to get back into California for work. We left exhausted, but excited about the future. The Earth Matters On Stage EcoDrama symposium was a kind of turning-of-the-soil, great groundwork for things to come. Thanks to the University of Oregon, Damond Morris, and Theresa May for making it happen.

Some ecology and performance links:


~Platform London

~Hester Reeve

~Simon Whitehead

Go to the Green Museum

Dance Partners for CPR

Reprinted from New York Press:
“The Space Age” by Andy Seccombe, February 11, 2009

Daniel S. Burnstein

It’s hard to imagine New York bereft of artists.

Few absences would dull the city’s reputation more convincingly. And yet a bleak economic climate, ever-escalating rents and living expenses make the likelihood far from intangible.

From crisis comes camaraderie however, as demonstrated by a new nonprofit performance space in Williamsburg, the Center for Performance Research (CPR) which opened its doors this week.

The facility has a variety of selling points: It’s the first environmentally conscious space of its kind in Brooklyn; it aims to promote community engagement and education; and it’s co-founded by two of the city’s most respected names in dance, Jonah Bokaer and choreographer John Jasperse.

The three-year collaborative project opened for operations Feb. 2 and welcomed its first renter, the Trisha Brown Dance Company. And for Jasperse, the facility has arrived at a critical time.

“I truly feel that this is a last stand in terms of artists really being able to work affordably in New York City,” he says, having observed the displacement of artists since his arrival in the 1980s. He explains that it’s no longer a just a question of artists moving from Manhattan to Brooklyn to avoid rent increases—the situation is more urgent. “It’s really gotten to a density where there’s a question about whether artistic process can really remain local,” he says.

Bokaer echoes such concerns, outlining how CPR’s name itself embodies the much needed resuscitation of the city’s arts centers. “Part of the reason why we called it CPR is the acronym can be read as a response to crisis,” he says. The gentrification of areas like Williamsburg has displaced artists and longtime residents and Bokaer describes how the “condo craze” has made the area a treacherous one for local creatives. Even since his involvement establishing CPR began in 2006, many local arts spaces have had to close due to soaring rents. In fact, the facility’s location is surrounded by the new generation of real estate. “You look around this one block radius, there’s nine condo developments,” he says.

Amidst the hyper-evolution of New York real estate, the aim of the facility is to provide “a new model for sustainable arts infrastructure in dance and performance” and the green-friendly nature of the 4,000-square-foot space is a key element of that. Located on the ground floor of Greenbelt, a building designed with specific environmental initiatives in place, CPR is zoned as a community facility. The building’s upper four floors are residential, the sale of which subsidize CPR’s nonprofit space.

Greenbelt is in fact Brooklyn’s first private green development to qualify as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold project, LEED being a certification program that ensures the creation of high performance green buildings. Bokaer outlines how it has been developed according to strict guidelines, with longevity, minimal emissions and low energy costs in mind.

“A theater or performance space usually uses light, sound and video, which all consume an enormous amount of energy,” Bokaer says. “We’re going to be saving probably about an eighth of the power of a normal theatrical facility.”

Engaging with CPR’s philosophy of providing an affordable, sustainable facility, a variety of ensembles has expressed interest in the venue. Artist Robert Wilson will be developing a work there for the Guggenheim in April, CPR is currently in discussions with the new media enthusiasts at Bitforms Gallery and Israeli artist Iri Batzri may also use the space. So too, Jasperse will prepare projects at the facility and Bokaer plans to develop “a duet studying memory” there, a commission for the National Academy of Sciences.

“I think our appetite for what performance research will look like is pretty vast,” Bokaer says, explaining that the $6-$15 hourly rental fees at CPR are an obvious draw. “It’s a public program so we’ll probably have a great diversity of renters.”

The financial structure behind CPR is also an anomaly. Bokaer’s Chez Bushwick Inc. and Jasperse’s Thin Man Dance Inc. are the parent companies of CPR and have made the facility economically viable (along with funding from the Department of Cultural Affairs).

“It’s very rare for dance organizations to partner in general but also in terms of real estate,” says Bokaer. CPR is unique in this manner as it’s unusual for dance and performance organizations to own their facilities. Indeed, the Trisha Brown Company recently closed its studio and the Paul Taylor Dance Company will lose its Soho facility (and home for 20 years) in April to an expanding Banana Republic store.

“There you have historical legends of American modern dance who do not have adequate work space,” says Bokaer. “That’s another reason this is a dynamic project because [CPR] puts that issue in the foreground and it says ‘Dance needs space. And it needs permanent space in New York.’”

Undoubtedly CPR represents a new model for performance centers and how dance companies operate, deterring from traditional American models which tend to be characterized by a single choreographer with a singular vision. “I think that a dance company can be a different thing now,” says Bokaer. “It can be a cultural organization, or a space, or it can have a larger generative power.”

Jasperse, who’s been a friend of Bokaer for almost a decade, affirms the importance of the partnership, explaining that neither of their organizations could have established CPR individually. “I firmly believe we’re going to demonstrate the power of this kind of model,” he says. “We’re taking a risk. But hopefully we will serve as an example that defies certain ideas of where real estate and arts organizations are necessarily headed in the city.”


Go to the Green Theater Initiative