Saturday, November 22, 2008

To Share or Not To Share...a post about future posting

As i get less and less free time on my hands (and inversely - hopefully - more paid work) I've been thinking more and more about what i want to post, and how I want to go about artifacting this year. Is it more important to show what we're doing in rehearsal every week on a regular basis? Post discussion-starters of my views on a piece or current event? Tell you about what the AOMC is doing? What is the reader most interested in? Who are the readers, anyway? And what postings challenge me the most, to think and re-think, to create more and better or maybe just less more softly.

These are the questions in my head.

What I'm feeling right now, is that there's been a lack of "idea" and "dance world" posting, although it has been fun to spend more time on the videos. Part of my dissatisfaction with posting videos is that it feels like the urgent artist has become sort of a tv station - more of something to watch when you're bored or interested rather than an online place of dialogue and ideas. Being a tv station is fine - and i'm always excited to hear that someones been watching our rehearsal clips or keeping up to date with the company - but it's not so fulfilling to me, as it ends up being more about regurgitation and less about challenging myself via reflection. So, unless I hear a rallying cry to keep the videos coming with the frequency that they have been (and by all means, if you feel that way, please, rally cry away) I'm going to start posting a little bit more about big questions, dance business, company issues, etc.

One of the questions in my mind for the last few days has been about home much information to "give away" on this site. The NY dance world, because of economy and size if nothing else, is cutthroat in terms of finding funding, support, dancers etc. and part of me wants to hold any "advantage" that i might think i have close and secret. But the bigger (better?) part of me wins over: the only way to evolve the dance economy is through open exchange of information, and an acknowledgment that we're all in this together, even if we end up fighting against each other in the end for the funding.

My stance dance-wise has always been one for a sort of forced evolution: i'll be open about what i'm doing. When i think it's brilliant, when it's not so hot, when it's a secret and when it's obvious. If this should help another individual do better or make better work (be it the dance work of the business work) then my only option as a working artist if i want to compete in search of funding is to find ways to make myself better. Then i'll tell you what i did and how i did it, and hopefully the cycle will continue.

In my work founding the A.O. Movement Collective in 2006, and in the subsequent two years that we worked with CrossCurrents Dance Company, one of the most helpful resources that was provided to me was simply old documents: bills, budgets, grant applications, fundraising letters. While i want to discourage copying or direct formatting, having somewhere to start (a place from which to say "yes, this works" and "well, this might work better") was immensely helpful. Even now as I work on our third fundraising mailing, I scour the web to find resources that will help us raise more money: how do the big arts orgs (DTW, the Kitchen, etc) fundraise online? What language do they use? What about sample letters from non-dance charities? Any useful tricks to be learned there? Let's be honest, we can all use as much help as we can get. And even if it means that i'll have to work harder, i would like to be one of the many providing it.

So in the near future, i'll be posting (among videos and quandaries) some specifics about how the AOMC is run, how we're fundraising, and business strategies. Hopefully, dear readers, some of you will find it helpful or at the very least, interesting. I also encourage you to post your own responses, either with feedback or comments on what i've posted, or posting your own samples.

Later today: a breakdown of the AOMC's first fundraiser, and what it says about future efforts.


jpheiffer said...

I like the videos every now and then. Just to keep an update. Not that frequent, but if there is anything really cool you want to show us or if there is something you have questions about I like that.

Sarah A.O. Rosner/The AOMC said...

cool. thanks for the feedback.
my videographer is a little MIA till Jan 14th, but i'll try my best to have some videos after that.

I'm wondering (especially after seeing Richert's show) about the idea of secrecy right now. Does it feel more fulfilled to have some things be a surprise? Or is it better to see beginnings so you have somewhere to go?

I will, as in all things, try to strike a balance.