Letter of Support for Ausdance NSW
As you may or may not know, Ausdance NSW currently has no organisational funding for 2021. We have written this open letter of support from the dance sector explaining the services we provide. Please read the below letter and if you would like to be part of the list of singatories, click here and fill in the live document with your name, position and/or organisation, postcode and suburb to add to the community of individuals and organisations we support. Please read and reply to this email, if you would like to add yourself to the list of signatories. We would very much appreciate your support.
Feel free to share with your colleagues and anyone else working or training in the dance sector who you think may be interested in supporting Ausdance NSW at this critical time. Please note, they do not have to be members of Ausdance.
Thank you very much in advance.
AUSDANCE NSW OPEN LETTER
To Whom it May Concern,
This letter pledges our support of our peak body, Ausdance NSW and their important and relevant work to us and the broader NSW dance sector. Ausdance NSW support us and the broader NSW dance sector through their advocacy, advice, programs, events, professional development and capacity building of the sector. Some key examples of that work are:
- DAIR, Dance Artist In Residency Program, for development and creation of new work to include;
15-20 weeks live / digital and hybrid residencies
Create Space Residency Program for Dancers with Disability
NASIDA space residency specific to First Nations Artists (FN artists also have access to all other DAIR’s and all programs)
All come with staff support and advice before, during and after the residency, and an external mentor
- Facilitated sector meetings e.g Independent artists, organisations and companies and to include a new focus area:
CALD and artists of colour network, self-determined led by a working group, currently over 100 participants to address provide opportunities for information, opportunities and
- COVID 19 re-opening in dance guidance notes and further support on-going support
- Member Services to include; one to one meetings, Advice, guidance, promote their work, support with grants, Auspicing, special deals on dance insurance, products, tickets and access to all programs.
- Professional Development, PD and Building connectivity and capacity of the sector some examples include:
Professional Arts Learning Series PD for artists, teaching artists and companies.
Webinars, addressing key learning needs and topics online to enable greater access.
Ausdance in Conversation podcast, online to enable greater access.
Ausdance NSW’s core business is to consult with dance communities and support the sector through advocacy across the state. This ongoing support includes daily support of dance professionals through advocacy, enquiries and their public program. Weekly, Ausdance NSW responds to roughly 50 enquiries and requests for support, including but not limited to, enquiries concerning COVID safety, insurance, auspicing and artist service requests, in-kind or reciprocal marketing assistance, grant writing questions and guidance and dance studio support.
However, at the height of the COVID 19 health and economic crisis, enquiries doubled as the needs and concerns for the sector suddenly grew. A large proportion of these contacts were from dancers, companies and studios who were new to Ausdance NSW. Steered by these conversations and the increasing and different needs of the dance community, the Ausdance NSW team quickly developed new resources and provided brokerage assistance as well as our arts administration services. Most significantly, in collaboration with the Ausdance national network, they produced the Return To Dance Guidelines. This resource was pivotal for the dance studio sector but also small to medium organisations, because it enabled all studios and companies across the state to re-open safely and viably in the ongoing recovery period from COVID. As dance studios remain subject to intermittent closures over the next few months and years, this document is vital. Ausdance NSW continues to liaise with the NSW Health Department and undertake advocacy and support work for studios.
Ausdance NSW’s program addresses many areas of focus responsive to specific communities in the dance sector who need support such as independent artists, small to medium dance organisations, tertiary dance education, dance studios, creative ageing, youth dance, and community engagement in dance. For independent dance artists, their 8-year-old Dance Artist In Residence program has become a flagship staple in the diet of emerging dancemakers and choreographers across NSW, assuming an integral role within the ecology that supports the development of independent dancers and new dance work in NSW. From Ausdance NSW’s relationships with specific communities, they convene formalised sub-sector groups including the Tertiary Dance Network, Creative Aging Network, the Racial Equity in Dance Working Party (new in 2020), Dance Studio Advisory Group (new in 2021) in NSW. Indeed, as a result of the pandemic, these new focus groups emerged as well as key priority areas including cultural equity in dance for dance professionals of Colour, access and inclusion in dance for Deaf and Disabled dance students and professionals, the inclusion of commercial and freelance dancers in Ausdance NSW’s advocacy and sector support of dance studios specifically. These groups’ experiences of marginalisation in the dance sector were only magnified by Covid-19. Through self-determined consultations with these groups, Ausdance NSW has prioritised these areas for development. This responsive, sector-facing ‘refresh’ of Ausdance NSW’s relevance to the sector they serve, feeds into their planning and programming for 2021 and beyond.
We unequivocally believe that a peak body representing dance in NSW is essential to the artform moving forward. Particularly in times of crisis, when artists, studios and companies are experiencing massive losses in revenue, the Ausdance NSW team – interconnected to a web of dance communities across Australia thanks to the Ausdance national network in particular – continues to play a critical part in building capacity, providing information, developing resources, identifying opportunities and advocating in the dance sector.
We encourage the panel to support Ausdance NSW as a means of investing in the role of dance across the state now and into the future.
Ausdance NSW Members and the broader NSW Dance Sector (click here to view and add your signature)