Director’s Note

By Wayne Hazzard

November 1, 2009, PUBLISHED BY IN DANCE

I feel restless, maybe even a bit complacent. Believe me, I have plenty of tasks to accomplish and paperwork that I avoid addressing. The feeling has nothing to do with my job, which I adore, especially the daily interactions with artists, their projects and all the challenges inherent with making art, making dances. Maybe this malaise has more to do with remembering the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake and that I am writing an article that reflects on the past 25 years of this organization, a history that is intricately entwined with my personal story, blurring the boundaries between work and my day-to-day life. Maybe this disquiet can be described or attributed to the artists’ life?

I am at an age that it is vital to ask for help. I don’t know about you but my gut reaction when I do ask for assistance is to perceive my need as a weakness. Without going all psychotherapist, I know that this way of thinking is some messed up %#*t.

While wallowing in my melancholy I decided to shake things up and asked the staff for help in finishing this month’s note. Here is how they readily responded:

Shae Colett, Outreach Coordinator: I often tell people I am the luckiest person to be working for Dancers’ Group and involved in such an amazing dance community, especially since I am fresh out of college. I also find asking for help to be a necessity. As an emerging leader I am looking to gain the most knowledge I can and to be as engaged as possible. Therefore, for me, the only way to do so is by not being afraid to ask for help.

Jorge Rodolfo De Hoyos Jr., Administrative Agent: Potentiality. As a performance artist in the Bay Area I live in overwhelming abundance (of people, ideas, resources, natural/artificial space, etc.). I need to take in this abundance, organize, learn from, and direct it, then give it back. Art/Life-making.

Maureen Walsh, Communications Director: In the past it’s not been my nature to step up to the plate and really get in the game, at least career-wise. But as I’ve been sifting through the Performing Diaspora artist’s blogs and working with the writers of this issue, I’m realizing that the most earth shattering events usually stem from a collaboration of two unlikely forces. So I’m not promising a grand slam or a World Series Trophy in the near future, but I’m here, I’m on your team, and I’m catching what you are throwing.

Evangel King, Bookkeeper: I read In Dance and I feel our community speaking. I send out information to our ever-growing fiscal-sponsored members. I see them not only growing in numbers but also in their belief in themselves as valuable artists. All this helps me nurture those dreams and possibilities waiting in the wings.

Kegan Marling, Program Director: I love natural disasters. They are reminders of our compassion, our dignity and our sense of community. They challenge us to rise beyond ourselves and to let go of the clutter and distractions in our lives. So I say, let the work we create be as unsettling, as motivating and as unifying as an earthquake.

That’s what I am talking about—how lucky can an organization be? The inspiration to wrestle with my disquiet is back.

This article appeared in the November 2009 issue of In Dance.

Wayne Hazzard is a native Californian and as a co-founder is proud to continue his work with the Bay Area dance community as the executive director of Dancers’ Group. Hazzard is a leader in the service field who is known for his work with fiscal sponsorship and on new program development. Hazzard had a distinguished 20-year career performing the works of many notable choreographers including Ed Mock, June Watanabe, Emily Keeler, Aaron Osborne, Joe Goode and Margaret Jenkins. Coinciding with his life as a dancer, Hazzard has and continues to work as an advocate for dance.