Reflecting on 2018 - Looking to 2019

I have to admit that the fall report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change made me pause. It’s nothing new…we’ve warmed the planet by 1°C and are on a path toward 3°C, basically meaning we’re running out of time to alter course without consequences we’d rather not imagine. These acknowledgements from a body that errs on the conservative side confirms less optimistic predictions about the future of our life on this planet. Now more than ever we need imaginative thinking and divergence from business as usual practices. The work of Artichoke Dance creates images of the world not as it is, but as it could be, and involves communities in creating these visions.

We see the effects of man-made climate change regularly. In 2018, 8 hurricanes produced $33.8 billion in damages in the Atlantic Basin and 8.5 million acres were claimed by wildfires in the US. A feature in Dance Magazine this year, quoted, “Being engaged in a process, particularly a physical one, helps people to not ignore what they know.” A goal of my work is to drive action, physically, creatively and civically, and it is now more important than ever.

To continue expanding this timely work, we need your support. We have a robust year of programming ahead in 2019 with performances, educational and engagement initiates across the country.

  • We’re returning to the Gowanus Canal, involving people in creative processes focusing on local environmental issues, combined sewage overflow and urban heat island effect being two, and impending community change spurred by rezoning and development. Expanding our programming from 2017, we’ll host a day long festival on Global Water Dances Day with activities and performances that reflect on the present and creatively envision the future. We will again host a series of free workshops, and we’re partnering with area schools to engage and educate students through arts and sciences.

  • Future Currents: The LA River, a parallel project on the west coast with The Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts, academic units at California State University Northridge and local community partners, continues throughout the spring culminating in a festival on campus on April 5.

  • Also continuing is a collaboration with Rider University, modeled after Artichoke’s practice of upcycling materials for productions. This program targets materials for waste reduction on campus, utilizes them to create sets and costumes, and brings together students with Artichoke dancers for creation and performance.

  • Culture Club, a community curated series begun in 2017 highlighting diverse cultural traditions and practices, continues in 2019. In a time of rhetoric aimed to spark fear and division, Culture Club provides an engaging way to learn about cultures and build community through the arts.

Please consider a contribution to our timely and significant work. 20% of our budget comes from individual donors. We rely on your support and have an ambitious year of programming ahead, working to co-create a sustainable world through the arts.

Sending you peace, love, hope, and conviction.