What's New at DHC

Libby Smigel receives Dixie Durr Award!

Pictured: Libby Smigel and Judith Hamera

Libby Smigel, executive director of Dance Heritage Coalition, was awarded the 2014 Dixie Durr Award for Outstanding Service to Dance Research by the Congress on Research in Dance. This peer-nominated award recognizes "the indispensable aid rendered the field of dance studies by people who sustain existing structures, institutions, and organizations for dance research." (CORD website) Libby accepted the award, presented by Judith Hamera, at the joint conference of the Congress on Research and Dance and Society of Dance History Scholars in Iowa City on November 14, 2014.

For more information on the Dixie Durr awards, visit the Congress on Research in Dance.

Announcing Artist-Driven Archives!

The Dance Heritage Coalition is pleased to launch "Artist-Driven Archives," a new blog advancing a vision of archives as a vital component of dance-making.

The blog features cases studies of artists exploring innovative ways to document, preserve, and enhance their creative legacies. Along with video, audio, images, and posts, the site includes notes on focus groups hosted by the Dance Heritage Coalition and background on the Artist-Driven Archives project. Users are invited to submit questions, comments, and ideas to the site.

"Planning Artist-Driven Archives" addresses the dance field's need for a new vision of how its heritage can be preserved through the involvement of artists in developing their own models to document their legacies and creative processes. In November, 2013, the Dance Heritage Coalition convened artists, archivists, arts presenters, and dance scholars in three focus groups to explore visions, models, and challenges for artist-driven archiving. This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

The blog, which will regularly add new case studies, is intended to continue and expand the conversation. Initial case-studies feature David Gordon, Bebe Miller, and Sarah Maxfield.The Dance Heritage Coalition is grateful to the artists who have contributed to this project.

Visit Artist-Driven Archives and take part in the conversation!

Dance Heritage Coalition announces 2014 Fellows

IMLS Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program supports third year of Fellowships

April 2, 2014

The Dance Heritage Coalition (DHC) has named the 2014 recipients of Fellowships in Dance Preservation and Archives for master's degree students, supported by a generous three-year grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

The 2014 Fellows are Brittany Austin, Heather Darnell, Natalie de Almeida, Katherine Isham, Ellen LeClere, Keahiahi Long, Lotus Norton-Wisla, and Ailina Rose. Year 3's eight finalists were selected from a large applicant pool of highly qualified candidates and represent the geographic, ethnic, and cultural diversity of the field's young professionals, as well as the diversity of interests encompassing digital collections, traditional dance forms, audiovisual preservation, and community engagement.

The fellowship program will kick off with a week of orientation workshops and site visits for the cohort, held for a second year in the dance- and library-rich city of Chicago. Fellows will receive training in dance-related librarianship and archival practices at one of the DHC's nationally distinguished dance archives, a practicum placement at a smaller dance collection like a dance company or historical society, and travel to national conferences. Fellowships for Summer 2014 are $10,000 each.

This grant was the first time that this IMLS program had supported a dance-specific project, and only two other previous awards in the history of the grant program had singled out performing arts librarianship. "Dance is a part of our nation's rich cultural heritage," said Susan Hildreth, IMLS Director. "It is important that we share this knowledge and ensure these valuable resources are available to the widest audiences."

DHC Executive Director Libby Smigel observed, "This new crop of fellows is ready to take on the challenges of helping an underfunded field save and share their multiformat legacy materials. Each of their applications demonstrated a strong connection to the arts as well as a range of personal and professional talents that will help carry forward the important work of Susan Hildreth's words."

View bios of this year's Fellows.

See the blogs of the previous two summers' Fellows.

Read the IMLS news announcement.

2014 Fellowship Placements

American Folklife Center, Library of Congress - Lotus Norton-Wisla, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Dance Notation Bureau - Natalie de Almeida, University of California, Los Angeles
Houghton Library, Harvard University - Heather Darnell, University of Maryland
Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival Archives - Brittany Austin, San Jose State University
Museum of Performance + Design - Keahiahi Long, University of Hawaii
Museum of Performance + Design - Ailina Rose, Pratt Institute
Newberry Library - Katherine Isham, University of Texas, Austin
University of Minnesota - Ellen LeClere, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Read the full press release