Northfield, IL | November 19, 2020 Dance Data Project® (DDP) today announces the social media campaign, Connecting the Dots – #YesThisIsAnArtsStory, designe
Read the full story on Inside Philanthropy.
Northfield, IL | November 19, 2020 Dance Data Project® (DDP) today announces the social media campaign, Connecting the Dots – #YesThisIsAnArtsStory, designe
Read the full story on Inside Philanthropy.
From The Dance Edit newsletter, November 20, 2020:
19 October 2020
Dance Data Project has announced the release of Global Conversations: The View From 30,000 Feet, the third round in a series of virtual interviews. Round 3 examines the state of ballet not only as an art form but also as a multi-million-dollar industry in the United States and a field of endeavor that must quickly adapt to the challenges of a pandemic or cease to exist in the post-COVID world.
“DDP has assembled an all-star group of the most interesting voices currently studying and working in the arts sector and dance in particular,” said DDP Research Director Isabelle Vail. “From producer/reporters and arts journalists, advocates for social justice and systemic cultural change, to researchers in dance and the arts, this diverse collection of forward-thinking individuals are the true thought leaders of the industry.”
Round 3 will feature the series’ first multi-participant interview, with Jennifer Stahl and Margaret Fuhrer of Dance Media in a round-table discussion with DDP Founder and President Liza Yntema and Ms. Vail. Interviews will also touch on the critical role arts journalism plays in the development of a more inclusive and relevant industry with a focus on repairing the gender inequities that the pandemic has deepened on a global scale. For the final interview of Round 3, DDP welcomes the dynamic Executive Director of Dance/NYC, Alejandra Duque Cifuentes. This conversation from The View From 30,000 Feet will engage viewers interested in a deep-dive on important issues like inclusion and service in the arts.
Read the coverage here.
19 October 2020
By Emmaly Wiederholt
An Interview with Elizabeth Yntema and Isabelle Vail at the Dance Data Project®
Dance Data Project® is a nonprofit that promotes gender equity in classical ballet through data analysis, advocacy, and programming. It was founded in 2015 by Elizabeth Yntema as an independent project to address the gender disparity she witnessed at the most lucrative level of the dance world – top ballet companies. Isabelle Vail joined Dance Data Project® in 2017 and now serves as its director of research and development. Here, Elizabeth and Isabelle discuss why assessing ballet companies’ gender inequity through data analysis is key to addressing the issue and changing the field.
How did Dance Data Project® begin?
Elizabeth: I had been involved in a lot of different charity and philanthropy work in Chicago and was successful in raising money for different causes. I eventually joined the board of Hubbard Street Dance and ran their gala before moving over to the board at Joffrey Ballet and running their gala. I began to question raising money for all-male productions. It wasn’t just male choreographers and artistic directors; I wouldn’t see any set, lighting or costume designers who were female. I started to ask questions about why there aren’t more women choreographers. I wasn’t getting any good reasons, but I was hearing inconsistent rationales like, “This isn’t really a problem because the company was started by a woman,” even though that woman departed this earth 30 or 40 years ago. I started doing research and found some reporting on the problem at the NY Times and NPR, but nothing consistent. Amy Seiwert, who until recently was the artistic director of Sacramento Ballet, looked at one season’s worth of data, but the work hadn’t been repeated. I realized that if I was going to make the case that there weren’t enough women in leadership positions, I was going to have to start gathering data.
Isabelle: This was back in 2015 when Liza was operating the project from her kitchen table. She and another woman, Susan West, started building a database, looking at mostly prominent ballet companies around the world on a platform called Airtable, which is an interactive database. They were taking down the names of works being programmed and linking them to different companies and choreographers.
I came on to Dance Data Project (DDP) as an intern to help clean up that database. We realized we needed to condense the data into reports. Simultaneously, Liza was getting DDP incorporated as a 501c3 nonprofit. When we became a nonprofit in 2019, we realized we needed to zoom into the data and start producing reports on different aspects of the data. We published our first leadership report in 2019.
Elizabeth: As Isabelle was saying, DDP started out simple but what we have been attempting to do is to look at the economy of ballet through different lenses. It’s a very big business. One of the things that impedes critical analysis of this art form is the lack of hard data.
Isabelle, what drew you to this work?
Isabelle: I grew up in very small regional dance schools, so my training was rooted in seeing women in the front of the room and admiring them. I wanted to emulate not only their technique, but also their leadership. When I would go away and train in the summer, the people in charge of the programs were men. I didn’t think much about it when I was young; that’s just how things were.
When I went to college, I started exploring more feministic approaches to ballet and realized there’s a disparity in the industry. When I met Liza, she completely blew my mind. Looking at a database full of male names clarified for me how women were at the front of the room in small regional companies that didn’t have much sway in the dance world, but at huge multi-million dollar ballet institutions, there were few women leaders. As I was realizing this, Liza was simultaneously establishing DDP as a nonprofit, so it became less a research hypothesis and more of a legitimate question that could change the dance world. My awareness grew with the organization until it became something I could no longer ignore.
Can you give an overview of what Dance Data Project® does?
Isabelle: DDP started out by looking at companies and their programming and leadership, and that remains the core part of our research. We publish our annual leadership report, which looks at artistic and executive director pay, as well as our annual programming reports, which take the form of a first-look report based on season announcements, and then we take a look at the whole season in our season overview. That’s produced after the season has happened and more data is available. For example, a company might announce an all-female program at the start of the season but don’t have the choreographers or pieces lined up, so that data is preliminary.
We recently branched out into our first global study, which looks at resident choreographers. We also study dance venues, where we look at the programming at various venues like The Joyce Theater in New York City or The Fox Theatre in Atlanta. We also have reports that look at dance festival leadership and programming as well as ballet company boards of directors and trustees. It’s a very comprehensive look at the industry at this point.
How do you see Dance Data Project® evolving or expanding in the future?
Elizabeth: The sky is the limit; I never thought we’d get as far as we have. That being said, I’d like some funding. External validation is great, but I’m going to continue with or without it. What we’ve found most fruitful are academic partnerships, so we’re going to continue to pursue those.
We’d like to broaden into more global surveys and studies if possible. But there’s so much more to be done just in teasing out how big this industry really is. One thing we’ve gotten a lot of good feedback on is providing resources, something we didn’t foresee when we first started. We’re constantly producing new resources in response to the pandemic and economic dislocation. We’d like to be able to do more of that.
I’d also like to see more long-term study and engagement on how girls are taught ballet, perhaps with an academic element looking at the messaging girls are receiving and how the pedagogy and culture in ballet can be changed.
Isabelle: Liza always said that if we produced the numbers, we’d start to see a huge shift in ballet. We’ve seen some incremental shift, but we now realize how change revolves around deliberate tangible engagement. Since our launch, we’ve gone around to companies and advocated face to face. I think that’s going to drive the change going forward, like producing resources that choreographers and others in the field can use to make it more equitable.
Right now, our priority is really publishing more research, using that research to advocate, and making the change happen ourselves.
Read the full article on Stance on Dance.
By Andrew Welsh-Huggins
12 October 2020
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — For many, it’s not Christmas without the dance of Clara, Uncle Drosselmeyer, the Sugar Plum Fairy, the Mouse King and, of course, the Nutcracker Prince.
But this year the coronavirus pandemic has canceled performances of “The Nutcracker” around the U.S. and Canada, eliminating a major and reliable source of revenue for dance companies already reeling financially following the essential shutdown of their industry.
“This is an incredibly devastating situation for the arts and in particular for organizations like ours that rely on ticket sales from the Nutcracker to fund so many of our initiatives,” said Sue Porter, executive director of BalletMet in Columbus, Ohio.
“The Nutcracker” typically provides about $1.4 million of the company’s $2 million in annual ticket sales, against a $7 million budget. That money goes to school programing and financial aid for dance class students, Porter said. It’s the first year since 1977 that the company isn’t staging the ballet in Ohio’s capital.
The cancellations have meant layoffs, furloughs and salary cuts, with companies relying heavily— sometimes exclusively — on fundraising to stay afloat. Beyond their financial importance, “Nutcracker” performances are also a crucial marketing tool for dance companies, company directors say.
Children often enroll in classes for the chance to dance in the performances as mice, young partygoers and angels, among other supporting roles. For adults, the shows are sometimes their initial experience watching live dance.
“It tends to be the first ballet that people see, the first time they experience attending a production, that thrill when the curtain goes up, the hush of the crowd,” said Max Hodges, executive director of the Boston Ballet. “So for that reason it’s a key part of the pipeline in welcoming audiences into the art form.”
After deciding to cancel this year’s live performances, the Boston Ballet will use archived footage of past performances for a one-hour version to be shown on television in New England. The annual $8 million in “Nutcracker” ticket sales accounts for about 20% of the company’s annual budget.
The pandemic has cost the arts and entertainment industry about 1.4 million jobs and $42.5 billion nationally, according to an August analysis by the Brookings Institution.
The economic vulnerability inherent in arts organizations is exacerbated when they rely on a major seasonal event — like “The Nutcracker” — for large portions of revenue, said Amir Pasic, dean of the School of Philanthropy at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.
One silver lining is the opportunity for organizations to improve their online offerings, which could also help open up markets to younger consumers, he said.
That’s the case in Toronto, where the National Ballet of Canada is contemplating future hybrid programming that offers tickets for in-person “Nutcracker” performances and less expensive tickets for those who want to watch it online. The company canceled its “Nutcracker” in August.
“We’re going to build into our model regular capture of content to build a more robust catalogue,” said Executive Director Barry Hughson. “So when we face this at some point in future — hopefully a long way away in the future — we will have solved that part of this equation.”
The cost of the digital equipment needed to record broadcast quality performances has been a sticking point for companies in the past, said Amy Fitterer, executive director of Dance/USA, a dance service and advocacy organization. Now, companies are working on ways to access such equipment to prepare for a hybrid future of performances, she said.
Other cancellations this year include performances by the New York City Ballet, the Charlotte Ballet, the Milwaukee Ballet, the Sacramento Ballet and the Kansas City Ballet, which is forgoing about $2.2 million in ticket sales.
Making it through this season is tough enough, but “if this goes beyond next year, then I think we’ve got some serious issues to attend to,” said Jeffrey Bentley, the Kansas City Ballet’s executive director.
Some companies that canceled are offering online streams of a past performance, such as Seattle’s Pacific Northwest Ballet. Others are offering in-person performances of a sort, such as Atlanta Ballet’s “Drive-In Movie Experience” allowing patrons to watch a filmed past performance from their car.
Still others are proceeding, for now, with plans for live performances. The Eugene Ballet in Oregon canceled its normal four-state tour but expanded its stage offerings from four to 10 performances, with a socially distanced audience of 500 in a 2,500-seat auditorium. The company is shortening performances to 70 minutes, reducing the number of student participants and going without a live orchestra.
“We’re just all trying to be resilient, and our dancers are champing at the bit to get in the studio and start rehearsing things,” said Eugene Ballet Artistic Director Toni Pimble.
Of the 50 dance companies with the largest annual expenses surveyed by the Dance Data Project, only eight were proceeding with in-person performances. Others either canceled, planned to offer streaming versions or still haven’t made an announcement.
Read the full article here.
25 September 2020
The Dance Data Project has compiled an index of ballet companies’ 2020–21 season status updates, with information on cancellations and virtual programming. (dancedataproject.com)
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By Tim Lehnert
6 August 2020
A newly published Dance Data Project (DDP) “Season Overview” report indicates that men choreographed 72 percent of works produced by the United States’ top 50 ballet companies during the 2019-20 season. While the gender disparity is significant; the figure represents an improvement over 2018-19 when 81 percent of works were choreographed by men. Nevertheless, as Read More
By Candice Georgiadis
30 July 2020
GREENWICH, CT, USA, July 30, 2020 /EINPresswire.com/ — Candice Georgiadis, owner of the blog by her namesake, interviews individuals on the cutting edge of hotel, travel, lifestyle and other similar topics. She expands the marketing footprint of individuals and companies with a combination of branding and imaging across social media and conventional websites.
Two recent interviews by Candice Georgiadis bring a wealth of information while at the same time highlighting two companies and the people behind them. Marketing a brand across social media and conventional websites is at the core of what Candice Georgiadis does. She can lay out a solid game plan to get your company/product noticed by the right people, not just generic SEO but tailored to your specific corporate needs/goals. You can reach out to her and the below contact options. Get started now while your competitors are still trying to figure out if they should #reopen yet.
Elizabeth Yntema, President & Founder of the Dance Data Project®
Can you recommend 5 things that need to be done on a broader societal level to close the gender wage gap. Please share a story or example for each.
This is a complex and multi-faceted issue, best approached from a number of angles and pressure points:
1. Don’t work for free: So many female artists, whether its dancers, singers, or
actors, work for free, their theory being that “it will get me seen.” The problem is that they are seen, as not valuing their own work. I found in a previous career, that when I discounted my services or product, I lost respect, and was paid less and later. Hold firm, be pleasant, but decline to work without adequate compensation.
2. Run for leadership: In the case of classical ballet, the dancers’ union (AGMA) came down firmly on the side of the male dancers at New York City Ballet, which had fired them for degrading comments and passing around sexually explicit photographs without the consent of those filmed.(Dance Magazine Op-Ed “What AGMA Got Wrong”) Unfortunately, this is not unusual. When I first started my legal career, working for a management labor law firm, I often encountered situations where the employer would do the right thing and either terminate or discipline a worker for sexual harassment. Then, his buddies in the union, very often a friend who was a shop steward, would file a grievance. The result: Harassers were empowered and the company was completely frustrated in its attempts to enforce a legitimate policy.
3. Pay transparency leads to pay equity: That is the lesson of the BBC Crown pay scandal where it was discovered that Claire Foy, playing Elizabeth, and on screen virtually the entire time, was being paid substantially less than the actor playing her husband, Prince Phillip. The rationale? “Oh, he’s better known because he starred in Doctor Who.” Following those revelations, Parliament enacted legislation requiring companies to give pay scales. Turns out the BBC was paying senior women producers, editors and reporters, far less than their male counterparts. Of course, now there is push back and efforts to create big loopholes, but overall the legislation has transformed Great Britain. Similar legislation is pending in several states. (Paycor: State Pay Equity Laws). One good example is the recent legislation signed by Governor Pritzker outlawing employer inquiries into candidates past salaries. This practice has been found to adversely impact women. Read the rest of the points here.
See the original post from EIN Presswire.
By Candice Georgiadis
28 July 2020
I had the pleasure of interviewing Elizabeth Yntema.
Elizabeth Yntema is the President & Founder of the Dance Data Project®. She is a member of the Board of Trustees for WTTW/WFMT, the Advisory Board of the Trust for Public Land in Illinois and the Board of Directors of the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre. Liza was graduated from the University of Virginia in 1980 and is 1984 graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, where she was awarded the annual prize for Outstanding Contribution to Social Justice. Ms. Yntema is a past member of numerous organizations in the Chicagoland area, including the Joffrey Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Company, Women’s Bar Association, Winnetka Board of the Northwestern Settlement House, the Children’s Home and Aid Society, and the Junior League of Chicago, where she was named as Volunteer of the Year for her work advocating for homeless women and children.
Named to the final full year training cohort of The Philanthropy Workshop (TPW) in 2018, Liza spent a year honing her skills as part of “the next generation of strategic philanthropists.” TPW is a global network of over 450 selected philanthropists, from 22 countries.
Ms. Yntema has underwritten ballets for Sacramento and Pacific Northwest Ballets, the Joffrey Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Company and BalletX, including world premieres by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa (Mammatus) & Stephanie Martinez’s (Bliss!) She has also supported works by Penny Saunders, Robyn Minenko Williams, Amy Seiwert and Eva Stone, as well as Nicolas Blanc and Christopher Wheeldon. Liza was Lead Sponsor of Crystal Pite’s work Solo Echo as part of the celebration of the 40th Anniversary of Hubbard Street Dance Company.
In May 2018, American Ballet Theatre announced the launch of its ABT Women’s Movement, a multi-year initiative supporting the creation of new works by female choreographers for the company. Ms. Yntema, along with the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation and Rockefeller Brothers Fund, was an initial Principal Sponsor for this initiative and continues to support its development. Ms. Yntema recently joined the Boston Ballet’s multi-year initiative ChoreograpHER as a Lead Sponsor. Liza also actively supports the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s choreographic initiative for female students, New Voices.
Thank you so much for joining us Elizabeth! Can you tell us the “backstory” that brought you to this career path?
Iam the product of generations of strong women. My mother was Senior Editor at Atlantic Monthly Little Brown, and I remember visiting her offices as a child. After graduating from University of Michigan Law School, I moved to Chicago, where I worked for a management labor firm. Taking time off from full time work, I spent a great deal of time volunteering, and moved on to more organized philanthropy.
As I looked around not for profit board rooms, I observed that almost all of the important positions, the C-Suite, higher paying jobs, are held by men. It turned into a sort-of “cubicles and windows” test. I would walk into the back offices/working areas of charities, and would discover rows of young women in little airless boxes. When I came across an office with a window, I found it was far more likely to be inhabited by a man. Finally, I would get to the big corner offices, and here the occupants are almost exclusively middle-aged, white men.
I advocate for women and girls in all aspects of my life and work, but I realized that while classical dance is a global, multi-billion a year industry with hundreds of thousands of girls & women heading to class each week, it was also amenable to reform. I have no interest in beating my head against a wall. I want to make real, lasting change, rapidly. With ballet — the timing was right thanks to the #TimesUp and #MeToo movements and with the scandals at the largest US ballet company, The New York City Ballet, I am familiar with the world of classical dance.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began this career?
I think the most interesting story about DDP is how my team has pulled everything together, while working remotely, in such a short amount of time. The more I learn, the more I realize Dance Data Project® is upending how not for profits operate and charities are “supposed to be” run.
We will have produced 8 groundbreaking studies our first year, with a young team (oldest member besides me is mid 30s), dispersed throughout the US. All but my Research Director have other “gigs.” When senior fundraising professionals hear that DDP staff consultants are located in: Seattle, New York, Florida, Nashville, Utah, Chicago and its suburbs, their jaws hang open. However, I recently spoke with Jeremy Edwards, Senior Associate Dean, Harris School of Public Policy, University of Chicago. He also works as a consultant for not-for-profits seeking transformational change. When I described how my team works and traditional fundraisers’ skepticism, he laughed and said that this is how all successful not-for-profits will be run in the future, as it eliminates excess overhead. As I said to him, “we don’t have meetings.”
Picture us in the Summer of 2018: My first hire was off pursuing a career as a consultant in New York City, but still “in the game” and helping us move beyond a data base to a public presence. Her intern, my now Research Director, had just graduated from university, and was pitching in part time, remotely from a small city in France where she taught school. My website designer is in the city, and his graphics wizard is on the West Coast. My amazing administrative assistant, also part time, was holding the fort back home while I was traveling. Committed to hiking the Northern Route of the Camino De Santiago, I ended up with my computer in my backpack, navigating tiny village to even smaller “not really there” places with super sketchy internet. So, everyone was giving feedback and editing from wildly different time zones. Yet, working together, and adjusting for schedules, we produced a gorgeous website featuring important content. DIY in the best possible way. Experimental, kind of out there, but it works.
Read the full article here.
MEET ELIZABETH “LIZA” YNTEMA, FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT OF DANCE DATA PROJECT®. A GLOBAL RESOURCE FOR THE STUDY AND ANALYSIS OF MAJOR NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL DANCE COMPANIES, VENUES, AND CHOREOGRAPHIC AWARDS. SHE IS MEMBER OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES FOR WTTW/WFMT, THE ADVISORY BOARD OF THE TRUST FOR PUBLIC LAND IN ILLINOIS AND THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE CHICAGO SHAKESPEARE THEATER.
Who is Elizabeth Yntema? Define yourself
Introvert/extrovert, a woman with huge amounts of energy but a shameless napper. Poetic and pragmatic, stubbornly moderate in politics and life. Recent science tells us that we are literally different people by age 60 than the person we were at early adulthood.The joy of not being one of those vaunted “old souls” is that this present moment, this life, is teaching me all the time. What brings me the greatest pleasure, is being of use, and making unexpected connections.
I am terrible at math, but have become fascinated by quantum mechanics and string theory, now dipping into science as well as art journals, silencing the voice in my head that tells me I am not worthy, not smart enough, but choosing to gingerly explore the cosmos anyway.
How were you as a kid?
Tiny, uncertain, solitary, with a surfeit of energy. My mother, who worked as a full time professional (unusual for the time), put me in ballet to wear me out and because it was socially acceptable for a young lady (no Title IX back then). Testing revealed ADD, physical activity has always calmed me down and allowed focus and reflection. I loved the discipline, the slow progression, the community of dancers.
Of course, like so many wanna-be ballerinas: I starved myself to dance, and my family grows late in life. So, in 8-9thth grade for example, I was 4’11 and 89 lbs. Everyone else was developing, and I had buck teeth and a bowl cut. I leave it to the imagination how that went. Let’s just say things didn’t change much in high school. However, Winsor School in Boston saved me. All girls, proudly fiercely intellectual, it gave me wonderful academic training and a community of incredibly smart women. I am proud to serve on their Corporation.
You were graduated from the University of Michigan Law School, where you were awarded the annual prize for Outstanding Contribution to Social Justice. Why did you choose that course of study?
To be honest, I went to law school for two reasons: First of all, I had no idea what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. Enrolling in grad school seemed to guarantee respectability and allowed me to delay for 3 more years figuring out what “I want to be when I grew up” (still haven’t worked that one out) Secondly, I came from a highly academic family, extremely distinguished, opinionated. Our dinner table was not about catching up, it was full on, constant “point counter point.” The positive was the discussions were high level and never ever about extraneous surface chitchat. Even as a small child, I was allowed to engage with the adults. The negative side was that even at 9 or 10, offering an opinion meant you were fair game: without proof for a statement, you got shredded. I wanted to understand and be able to use the “language of power.”
I have been “making trouble” since the age of 15. Law school presented an opportunity for advocacy, but as I look back, I wish there had been a focus less on case law, or even trial clinic, and more on dispute resolution. While injustice has always made me absolutely nuts, I also don’t like tearing things down and apart. It’s much harder, but I would prefer to invest in solutions. Once I got to law school, while I was intellectually intrigued by some of it, I pretty much knew after the first year that I didn’t want to practice. But, if you do well, and I was then at the third highest ranked law school in the US, one gets sucked into the prestige, are recruited and end up in a cubicle. My original intention, before I met my husband, was to go back to the DC area and work in an agency or for a Congressional committee, which I think I would have very much enjoyed. Instead I followed my husband to Chicago, knowing no one. My volunteerism began as a way to engage, make friends.
You served as an attorney and lobbyist. After staffing the Tech Review Staff of Speaker Michael Madigan, you enjoyed a stint in public relations/issues management and served as the Director of Governmental Affairs for the Chicago Area Chamber of Commerce, how did you jump from to that point to found your company Dance Data Project®?
Mike Madigan is considered by many to be the single most powerful state wide politician in the US. While mayors and governors have come and gone, he has endured. While I don’t agree with most of his policies, and he is commonly referred to as on a level with Voldemort (He Who Shall Not Be Named), I had an incredible experience working for his Tech Review Unit. I literally loved every second of the experience, and he was a great boss, totally fair and zero issues with women. He just wanted the work done, and I delivered. Getting an insider’s view of “the sausage being made” was invaluable. He actually let me draft legislation, and this is back in 1985, for “parental” not maternity leave. Dealing with an avalanche of bills coming in over the transom, with about 30 seconds to read, decode/flag, and determine what to do, was superb training, as was briefing legislators who had no interest or background on a bill, bringing them up to speed as quickly as possible by laying out the salient facts and where their interests lay.
I wasn’t happy toiling away for a big firm, so jumped off the law firm path before many of my contemporaries then worked for what is now the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce as well as Edelman Public Relations. After children, I moonlighted at a not for profit think tank. Great experience, loved most of my colleagues, got to decide in great measure where to focus priorities, and learned more about interacting with the media and doing in depth governmental budget analysis.
Read the full interview here.
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