Shaping the Festival’s Future

Greetings from the NC Dance Festival!

It’s almost May, which means that plans for the next season’s NC Dance Festival tour, which begins in September, are well-underway! The touring artists have been selected and announced, schedules are being worked out with our host sites around the state, and we’re working on marketing, social media, and advertising plans.

This season will be our 26th season, and that’s pretty remarkable, I think. The Festival has been able to connect dance communities and artists across the state, has brought more attention to modern dance and its variety, and has provided an important platform for NC choreographers to show their work, teach, and introduce themselves to new audiences.

But it’s also clear that the landscape for dance in North Carolina is changing, and is already very different than when the Festival started. For me, that signals that it’s time to take a close look at the Festival and think about how it might need to change in order to adapt to and participate in the current North Carolina dance scene.

So, while we’re mobilizing for the 2016 season, which won’t look significantly different than past years, in structure, anyway, we are also starting a larger process to envision the possibilities for the future.

While I can’t say much at this point about our developing ideas, here are a few points that have emerged as organizing ideas:

*Maintaining a statewide presence and identity is important.

*We can do more (and plan to!) to nurture real, substantial relationships between dance artists.

*Each city is different and so, a “one-size-fits-all” structure may not be the way to go.

One of the most important parts of this process is talking to you–dancers, choreographers, teachers, audiences in NC–or more precisely, listening. We have already started conversations with dance artists in several communities around the state, in an effort to learn more about the current character, challenges, activities, and needs of each of these dance communities. We will continue these conversations over the next several months, and we want to invite you to give your input. In fact, we NEED your thoughts, feedback, and insights to help us grow and evolve.

Would you take a few minutes to give us your thoughts? Please feel free to share this survey widely with other NC dance artists. Click for survey

If you’d be interested in joining a focus group of dance artists in your area to continue thinking about this with us, send me an email at

Thanks for taking part in this process, and I look forward to sharing updates with you as the conversation continues!

photo_anne_morris–Anne Morris, Festival Director

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