Dance Discourse Project #21

Dreaming The Future Landscape
Thu, Jan 14, 7:30pm
Center for New Music, SF

DDP and the FRESH Festival joined forces to ask expansively, poetically and pragmatically: what can a future dance ecosystem be? And, how can the act of dreaming the future help us clarify what we should be acting on in the now? The current ecosystem is experiencing massive shifts, both from the wave of disruption caused by the tech boom and responses to it, including the increase in the City of San Francisco’s budget for the arts, advocacy by Arts for a Better Bay Area (ABBA), the establishing of the Community Arts Stabilization Trust (CAST), and the work of city supervisors and agencies.

Modeling a collaborative approach, DDP/FRESH invited a diverse panel of dance artist-activists, and activist policy-makers to come together to dream, envisioning a future far off-shore in order to illuminate possible realities and the actions needed to create them. Breaking down into small groups, we considered what resources, contexts, spaces, and communities would support our individual and collective visions.

Check out and add to our resource list for this event. Video from the event will be posted here soon.



Krissy Keefer, Artistic Director, Dance Brigade – In 1975, Dance Brigade’s Artistic Director Krissy Keefer co-founded the Wallflower Order, the national’s first feminist dance company. Wallflower toured the nation for nearly a decade, and staged many of Keefer’s original pieces before large, enthusiastic and predominantly feminist audiences. Keefer developed a new kind of modern dance/theater that was stylistically rooted in the martial arts, in female athleticism, and in social justice issues. Keefer co-founded Dance Brigade in 1984 as a feminist dance company to carry forward her activist feminist vision. In 1998, when the dance company leased Dance Mission Theater in the heart of San Francisco’s Latino/a Mission District, Keefer added significant producing, community building, instructional and artist support programs and created a thriving artist-led dance center serving up to 18,000 multi-cultural audience members and youth and adult students each year. Her original evening-length dance/theater pieces, produced in San Francisco and toured nationally and internationally, continue to explore social issues such as war, poverty, global warming and breast cancer from a feminist perspective. She is currently the artistic director of Grrrl Brigade a dance and drumming empowerment program for 270 girls 8-18. She also runs a rural artist retreat center in Mendocino County and conducts ongoing teaching and choreographic relationships with dancers in Santiago, Cuba. In 1997 at Brady Street Dance Center, she co founded the first dance festival specific to gay and lesbian choreographers, The Lesbian and Gay Dance Festival. Keefer’s grants and awards include San Francisco Magazine’s Arts Achievement Award for Dance, the Bay Guardian’s “Goldie’s Award, and six Isadora Duncan Awards. Her work had been featured in numerous publications from Deborah Jowitt’s The Dance In Mind to the newly published Fore Mothers of the Women’s Spirituality Movement, Elders and Visionaries.

Katherin Canton earned a Bachelors of Fine Arts from California College of the Arts (CCA), with an emphasis in Community Arts through a studio practice in photography and textiles. During her time at CCA, she become the administrator and Community Collaborations Director at the volunteer-run arts center Rock Paper Scissors Collective (RPSC). With RPSC she developed the funding, business and partnership processes that resulted in the program being awarded over $80K during her tenure. For the last decade she has also worked in Arts Education and Youth Development through Youth Art Exchange (formerly Out of Site), as a youth advisory board member, class and darkroom assistant, and teaching artist. Most recently as the Administrative Gallery Coordinator with Pro Arts, she was the lead on: membership/artist services, business/operations, event management, and volunteer/intern management. Affiliations include, the KONO (Koreatown Northgate) Community Benefit District, the Oakland Makers, the co-founding the Oakland Creative Neighborhoods Coalition, and the Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco. Canton is currently the Network Coordinator with the Emerging Arts Professionals SF/BA and the Organizer for Arts for a Better Bay Area. She strives to be a resource/connector for the Bay Area arts community and is seeking to further develop the intersection of Creative/Cultural Expression and Urban Policy. Arts for a Better Bay Area (ABBA), is a coalition of San Francisco arts practitioners invested in quality of life, creative expression, cultural equity and vibrant neighborhoods.

Ebony McKinney has extensive experience in grant making, arts management, and community development. Most recently she consulted with entities such as The African American Art & Culture Complex and The Sprout Fund on capacity building initiatives. McKinney was also one of the co-founders of Arts for a Better Bay Area, a grassroots movement that developed 2015-2016 budget and policy recommendations for the City of San Francisco which resulted in a historic increase of $7M for the city’s individual artists and small and mid-sized arts organizations. Additionally, Ebony co-founded Emerging Arts Professionals/SFBA, a network focused on leadership development for next generation arts and culture workers. She has held positions with The Britdoc Foundation in London, The San Francisco Arts Commission, Intersection for the Arts, and the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater. Ebony has also participated in grant review panels for the California College for the Art’s Center for Art & Public Life, the National Endowment for the Arts, the San Jose Department of Cultural Affairs, the Oakland Cultural Affairs Commission and Americans for the Arts/Joyce Foundation’s Emerging Leader of Color Fellowship. McKinney was a part of the Emerging Leader Council of Americans for the Arts, where she co-chaired the Engagement committee with Emily Spruill Labows, Director of Office of Cultural Affairs of the City of Virginia Beach and the Emerging Ideas committee with Ian David Moss of Createquity and Fractured Atlas. She currently serves on the Citizen’s Advisory Committee of Grants for the Arts/San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund and the board of directors of Pro Arts Gallery in Oakland, CA. Ebony holds a BA in Communications from Chatham University and MA’s in both Cultural Entrepreneurship and Visual Anthropology from Goldsmiths, University of London. She is currently a program officer with the San Francisco Arts Commission.

Xandra Ibarra is an Oakland-based performance artist from the El Paso/Juarez border who performs and works under the alias of La Chica Boom. She uses hyperbolized modes of racialization and sexualization to test the boundaries between her own body and coloniality, compulsory whiteness, and Mexicanidad. Her practice integrates performance, sex acts, and burlesque with video, photography, and objects. As a community organizer, Ibarra’s work is located within immigrant, anti-rape and prison abolitionist movements. Since 2003, she has actively participated in organizing with INCITE!, a national feminist of color organization dedicated to creating interventions at the intersection of state and interpersonal violence. She lectures courses at San Francisco Art Institute and presents her academic and performance work at various bars, theaters, universities and museums. Ibarra’s work has been featured at El Museo de Arte Contemporan?eo (Bogota?, Colombia), Popa Gallery (Buenos Aires, Argentina), Joe’s Pub (NYC), PPOW Gallery (NYC), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (SF), and The Burlesque Hall of Fame (Las Vegas) to name a few. She was awarded the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Award, ReGen Artist Fund, Theater Bay Area Grant, and the Franklin Furnace Performance and Variable Media Award.