Dance Discourse Project #19

Re-imagining Our Cultural Commons: Making Spaces for Dance

Hosted at [freespace] in San Francisco, CounterPulse and Dancers’ Group invited the public into a discussion of the tactics, modes and imagination that live performance artists and organizations are using to adapt to and access space in a rapidly changing Bay Area. The conversation was moderated by Dancers’ Group’s Michelle Lynch Reynolds along with panelists Kay Cheng and Tina Chang of the Market Street Prototyping Festival; Ilana Lipsett, co-founder of [freespace] in San Francisco; Julie Phelps, Program Director at CounterPulse; and Elizabeth McSurdy and Maryanna Lachman, collaborating members of Oakland’s SALTA. Together, the panelists investigated innovative—oftentimes radical—strategies for providing artists space for researching, developing and presenting performance work.

Video here
Audio podcast coming soon

Tue, Aug 12, 2014, 7:30pm
[freespace], 1011 Market St, SF

Download the press release

Panelists Biographies

The Market Street Prototyping Festival honors San Francisco’s ongoing commitment to ensuring ideas gathered through a collective, community-based effort will be incorporated into the planning and design process of public space. In spring 2015, the San Francisco Planning Department, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and the Knight Foundation, along with other partners will work together, increasing their collective capacity to transform Market Street into
a public platform showcasing up to 50 of the most exceptional ideas for improving San Francisco’s main thoroughfare, increasing the connection people have to each other and to various neighborhoods in the City.

Ilana Lipsett is a community mapper and co-founder of [freespace], a participatory cultural and arts center that started in San Francisco. She has worked with non-profits, tech companies, and the city of San Francisco, bringing people from different backgrounds together to make the community stronger – through events and pop-ups. A seasoned community organizer, she spent five years in Washington, DC organizing low-wage workers and running successful campaigns at local, state and federal levels. She holds an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio Graduate School, and she is passionate about building community in urban settings and providing space and tools for people to re-imagine their cities.

SALTA is a collective of seven dancers who curate a free monthly mobile performance series in Oakland. SALTA is in ongoing conversation with other makers, watchers, spaces, curators and collectives. They approach curation as an experiment in: dancers making space for dance to happen, trying new formats of presenting and thinking about performance, supporting people to try things out, and being open to surprises. Other projects include establishing a touring network, writing about dance, and opening a presenting, research, and artist-in-residence space called the Omni. They are invested in feminism, collaboration and dance parties.

Julie Phelps is the Program Director at CounterPulse. She joined the CounterPulse staff in July of 2008 after receiving a BA in psychology from Macalester College (St. Paul) and working as an independent producer and curator. As Program Director of this multi-faceted organization Julie preserves an intentional imprecision and multi-missioned agenda, maintaining a hybrid life as a producer/curator/programmer/community activist. As part of her work at CounterPulse Julie has led the design and implementation of numerous innovative programs and initiatives including moving from a rental house to all curated programming, launching community engagement programming with low income populations, and instigating international and national exchange projects and presentations. In addition to her work at CounterPulse, she has toured extensively nationally and internationally as a dramaturg and performer with Keith Hennessy’s Turbulence (a dance about the economy). She also had the honor of performing with legendary Meg Stewart in her work Auf Den Tisch.