WHERE IS THE NEXT VOICE? A NEW GENDER EQUITY INITIATIVE IN A STORIED ARTS NICHE
INSIDE PHILANTHROPY: “WHERE IS THE NEXT VOICE?” A NEW GENDER EQUITY INITIATIVE IN A STORIED ARTS NICHE
Written by Mike Scutari of Inside Philanthropy on July 1, 2018, the article “’Where is the Next Voice?’” is one of the few that addresses inequity in ballet by numbers. Scutari writes:
Strange as it may sound, despite the large number of women in the dance field, relatively few contemporary ballet troupes present works by female choreographers. A new initiative courtesy of the American Ballet Theatre (ABT) hopes to change that.
This spring, ABT announced a multi-year initiative called Women’s Movement to support the creation and the staging of new works by at least three female choreographers. Each choreographer will work with her respective group of dancers for a two- to five-week period, receiving guidance and feedback from ABT’s artistic staff.
The announcement comes at a time in which arts funders have been giving more to boost gender parity in fields like classical composition and the cinematic arts. And as far as the field of ballet choreography is concerned, data suggests there is much work to be done. In 2016, the New York City Ballet performed 58 ballets—and not one was choreographed by a woman. That same year, the ABT presented just one ballet by a woman in New York. And more recently, the San Francisco Ballet’s Unbound Festival presented 12 new ballets by 12 choreographers in. Two were by women.
With a subscription to Inside Philanthropy, you can read the full article here.
SEIWERT/COPLEY CHOREOGRAPHER GENDER RESEARCH
A CASUAL STUDY ABOUT WOMEN MAKING WORK THIS UPCOMING SEASON
During the 2012-2013 regular season, Amy Seiwert and Joseph W. Copley conducted research to investigate the apparent lack of female choreographic work featured amongst leading companies. While in rehearsal, Copley cross-referenced GuideStar data with public data on company websites to create a simple display of the public information (seen below)
This work was published by the Cincinnati Enquirer without reference to the pair’s investigation and metrics. The disproportionate amount of male work that season shown in the study of 24 companies did not make national news even with the Enquirer’s mention but serves as inspiration for what we research every day at DDP.
See the study here: Study of choreography by women in companies with budgets over 5 million.
TEAGUE 2016 DISSERTATION
WHERE ARE THE FEMALE CHOREOGRAPHERS? A study on the gender imbalance among professional choreographers working in the fields of classical ballet and contemporary dance.
In 2016, Jessica Teague wrote a dissertation, submitted to City University, to investigate the lack of women working as professional choreographers in both the UK and the wider international dance sector. The research draws together experiences and statistical evidence from two significant branches of the artistic process; the choreographers involved in creating dance and the Gatekeepers and organizations that commission them.
See the study here: Teague: Where are the female choreographers?
DANCE/USA WEBINAR SERIES
DANCE/USA: NAVIGATING MUSIC RIGHTS FOR DANCE 101
Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Find the recording here!
Obtaining music rights for choreography can be complicated, time consuming, and expensive. Gaining insights into the process of securing music rights and licensing for dance is a must for every choreographer and dance manager. This webinar discussed how to navigate the process as a choreographer and/or manager who is new to securing rights.
Corey Fields – entertainment lawyer, legal writer, teacher, and scholar
Eric Wendell – Director, Rental & Grand Rights Licensing at Boosey & Hawkes.
FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES: THE WORKING WOMAN’S HANDBOOK
THE WORKING WOMAN’S HANDBOOK
A collaboration of female writers for The New York Times provides women in the unequal workplace with a new resource: The Working Woman’s Handbook. Readers can tackle imposter’s syndrome, learn to negotiate and bounce back from failure – and how to stand tall before it – and juggle working mom life with the series in The Times’ Smarter Living section.
See the whole Handbook here: The Working Woman’s Handbook
Jessica Bennett’s June 4, 2019 article aids women who want to “learn to dodge the landmines, fight bias and not burn out in the process.” Imposter Syndrome can get to the best of working moms, and overcoming it may be easier than many women think.
Read Bennett’s contribution here: How to Overcome ‘Imposter Syndrome’
Another article from the Handbook, this one by Lauren Smith Brody, entitled “How to Be Mostly O.K. (and Occasionally Fantastic) at the Whole Working Mom Thing,” helps women navigate feelings of guilt and anxiety, negotiate for flexibility and potential paid leave, and more all while working and mothering.
THE DEMOGRAPHICS OF DANCE IN THE U.S.
THE DEMOGRAPHICS OF DANCE IN THE UNITED STATES
Published in the Journal of Dance Medicine & Science (the official publication of the International Association of Dance Medicine & Science), Shaw Bronner and Lise Worthen began with a simple question: How many people in the United States dance?
The study examines the dimensions to the population of dancers, from full-time professionals and choreographers, to instructors and nonprofessional dance participants. While ballet is not explicitly mentioned in this article, we at DDP feel the demographics highlight dance’s scope and the ever-growing importance of seeing women at the helm of major dance activities, companies, and organizations.
Read the abstract and access the full article here.
OVERVIEW: THE U.S. DANCE COMPANIES INDUSTRY
2019 U.S. INDUSTRY STATISTICS& MARKET RESEARCH- DANCE COMPANIES
Published by AnythingResearch in 2019, the market research analysis reveals the current fiscal and operational state of American dance companies. Through examining this report, we can see the positive growth of the industry, which has averaged 4% growth since 2012, as well as the breakdown of expenses.
Perhaps most telling is the following chart:
The second-largest source of expense is officer compensation, which makes up $235,681 while salaries and wages make up $180,545. The report does not break down compensation by gender — though DDP research has revealed that female officers are paid, on average, less than their male counterparts. As the industry grows and salaries and wages are increased, it is absolutely necessary for compensation by gender to level out in equal amounts to each.
Companies that may disrupt the trends revealed in this report are New York City Ballet (as a market leader) and Ballet Arizona (innovator/emerging company). Unfortunately, neither of these companies have been leaders in equity during the past two seasons of dance (see DDP July report).
Purchase the full document here.
LEADERSHIP & THE HUMANITIES
THE SLOW-CHANGING FACE OF LEADERSHIP IN BALLET: AN INTERDISCIPLINARY APPROACH TO ANALYSING WOMEN’S ROLES
Together Lisa DeFrank-Cole and Renee K. Nicholson take an interdisciplinary approach to investigating leadership in ballet in this article for the journal Leadership and the Humanities. Similar to some of DDP’s reports, this article views ballet leadership through the lens of choreography: “Choreographers embody a different kind of artistic leadership, crafting the way audiences view the dancers in the troupe.” The image of ballet and woman in dance is therefore largely shaped by the male experience and viewpoint. The female team of researchers begins with American ballet history to trace the origins of this “outmoded representation” and highlight the future direction of the art form and the roles women may come to play.
Read the article here.
COLUMBIA UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH JOURNAL
DANCING UP THE GLASS ESCALATOR: INSTITUTIONAL ADVANTAGES FOR MEN IN BALLET CHOREOGRAPHY
Published in Columbia University’s Undergraduate Research Journal, Colette Kelly investigates the hindrances within the careers of females in dance. Following the 1992 research of sociologist Christine Williams, Kelly analyzes the “glass escalator” that is a choreographic career for women.
The author writes of the importance of sharing the story of female choreographers, despite the risk of perpetuating the use of a label that, frankly, should not exist. Kelly writes, “Ignoring gender inequality also normalizes it by implicitly accepting it as immutable. This raises a fundamental issue with this study: examining female choreographers perpetuates natural differences schemas. To resolve these opposing forces, [DDP note: choreographer Emery] LeCrone believes that companies need to start taking risks and hiring new people, giving emerging choreographers the resources to create excellent work. LeCrone hopes that the work will speak for itself: ‘When most people come to see a show, hopefully, they’re not thinking that a woman made this or a man made this, but rather that they’re having an experience and perceiving the work’ .” Read the full article here.
The aforementioned research by Christine Williams can be found here. Kelly summarizes: “Williams conducted a study of men in four predominantly female professions: nursing, librarianship, kindergarten teaching, and social work. Williams found that while women in male-dominated occupations tend to face considerable obstacles, men in these predominantly female professions benefited from positive attention and mentorship not available to their female colleagues .”
FARNSLEY 2019 MASTER’S THESIS
OUT OF STEP: A SOCIOLOGICAL FRAMING OF SYSTEMIC INEQUALITY AND THE ROLE OF GENDER IN BALLET
Ballet dancers often lead professional lives that are out of step with the rest of their reality. For women, the intersectionality of issues they encounter means they experience systemic inequality more acutely than their male peers. Strict hierarchy, infantilisation, and male dominance of the profession are features of today’s ballet world which seem to belong to a bygone era, often causing the industry to appear anachronistic. This study places the realities of the ballet world within a sociological framework in order to assess where injustice occurs and what mechanisms operate to keep it in place.
Sarah Farnsley’s experiences from twenty-five years in the ballet world are used alongside formal interviews and a career’s worth of first-hand accounts informally collected from dancers across the U.S. and Europe. This research argues that while ballet as an industry may actively work to maintain inequality, injustice is not essential to the art form. By bringing the lived realities of ballet dancers into public consciousness, this thesis aims to take the dancer out of the realm of fantasy and help her reclaim the worker protections long owed her.
Request a full copy of the thesis here.
MORE TALK OF INEQUITY,
PLUS, STUDY EXPOSES GENDER GAP
WHERE ARE ALL THE FEMALE CHOREOGRAPHERS?
Stella McAuley explores the different aspects of the issues surrounding female choreographers in dance for this opinion piece on Voice. The work reveals that this inequity in dance is not unique to the American dance scene. Writers and dance lovers all over are lending insight to advocate for and empower women.
McAuley specifically references work done by the Gender Project, an early cohort that researched and tackled the gender problem in dance, led by JoAnna Mendl Shaw, who now leads the Equus Project. Some DDP reports follow the research initially performed by the Gender Project, which led the way in the late 90s/early 2000s.
IN THE WORKPLACE
WOMEN’S PROGRESSION IN THE WORKPLACE
Laura Jones, of the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership at King’s College, London, published in October 2019 this report, which aims to:
- Provide an overview of the gender divide in progression in the workplace
- Understand what is known about the barriers and facilitators of women’s progression
- Critically review and synthesise the evidence on which organisational policy interventions have been demonstrated to be successful in improving women’s progression in the workplace
- Identify possible untested organisational interventions which the evidence suggests could be successful
Read Jones’ report here.
SMU DataArts ART MUSEUM GENDER GAP STUDY
JOINT STUDY BY THE ASSOCIATION OF ART MUSEUM DIRECTORS (AAMD) & THE NATIONAL CENTER FOR ARTS RESEARCH (NCAR) AT SOUTHERN METHODIST UNIVERSITY
In 2016, AAMD conducted a survey of its members, collecting data from 210 respondents that included each institution’s operating budget, endowment, the salary of the director (or top leader), the director’s gender, and the self-reported museum type (e.g. encyclopedic, contemporary, etc.). Of these 210 museums, 181 also participated in the 2013 survey, allowing for examination of trends. The study sought to answer three main questions: What is the current state of women in art museum directorships? How has the gender gap in art museum directorships shifted in the past three years? What are some factors that may drive the gender gap? The NCAR and AAMD study had several key findings.
Read the findings here.
Plan International USA & PerryUndem Study
PLAN4GIRLS: THE STATE OF GENDER EQUALITY FOR U.S. ADOLESCENTS
Plan International USA—an independent development and humanitarian organization advancing children’s rights and equality for girls—has published an incisive report on American adolescents and gender equality.
According to Philanthropy Women, “Plan USA commissioned the research and communications firm PerryUndem to complete the study, which drew on data from roughly 1,000 interviews conducted nationwide with girls and boys ages 10-19. The results provide a snapshot on gender equity as seen by the next generation of Americans, and can be used by funders and non-profits to better define gender issues facing young people, and provide focus for programs to improve gender equity.”
Read the report here.
Universidad Católica de Murcia Study
BEYOND THE MYSTIQUE: THE EFFECT OF THE #METOO MOVEMENT IN DANCE
Ana Abad Carlés, explores the effect of the #MeToo movement in dance in this article for the Universidad Católica de Murcia, and, more specifically, she explores how the re-emergence of female choreography in ballet can attribute certain consequences in changes of aesthetics in the art form and the normalisation of women’s repertoire in major ballet companies to the movement.
Carlés interviews figures in the dance world, putting together a study that views the movement in the context of not just qualitative analysis, but also through the lens of quantitative measures aided by our very own research at Dance Data Project®.
Read the article here.
THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF WOMEN & DANCE LEADERSHIP IN TWENTIETH-CENTURY AUSTRALIA
THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF WOMEN & LEADERSHIP IN TWENTIETH-CENTURY AUSTRALIA: DANCE
Written by Jordan Beth Vincent, Victorian College of the Arts
In her 1952 memoir, Dance to the Piper, American modern dancer Agnes de Mille (1905-1993) remarked that dance is ‘the one physical performance open to women that does not carry with it either moral responsibility or physical hazard’ (de Mille, 58). Though she was reflecting on the cultural landscape of early 20th-century America, de Mille’s comments ring true for Australia in the same era. In a country obsessed with sport and masculinity, dance represented a rare opportunity for female self-expression, athleticism and creativity. It was men- and not women- who were forced to legitimise their participation in the art form, a marked difference from other athletic and creative disciplines in Australia. Moreover, dance was generally perceived to be a positive ‘gendering’ activity for girls and women in the 20th century, with the potential to improve their grace, beauty, and femininity. Their participation in dance assured and accepted, women enthusiastically embraced the art form in all its many incarnations.
Read the full article here.
WOMEN’S MEDIA CENTER
WMC INVESTIGATION 2020: GENDER AND NON-ACTING OSCAR NOMINATIONS – FULL REPORT
Women’s Media Center investigates the number of nominations for women in 2020. According to the Center, “Nominations increased in the 92nd Academy Awards, but not by much, according to a Women’s Media Center analysis of the 19 non-acting categories. The overall percentage of female nominees in those categories rose by just 5 percentage points, from 25 percent last year to 30 percent this year, compared to 70 percent for male nominees.
Of the 186 total nominees, 56 are women, 130 are men.
Gender parity in the movie industry got a boost in 2019. Women wrote and directed more profitable and critically acclaimed films than ever before, and more women had significant roles behind the camera as well. Yet that shift was not reflected in the Oscar nominations.”
Read and download the Investigation here.
NEW ENGLAND FOUNDATION FOR THE ARTS
MOVING DANCE FORWARD 2016
NEFA’s 2016 commissioned Metris Arts Consulting to evaluate impact and trends in its National Dance Project (NDP)’s grantmaking data, and to ask the field about current needs through surveys, interviews, focus groups, and a literature review. This publication is the culmination of these efforts, and are intended to provide other divers stakeholders committed to dance.
The analysis include sizes of grant-receiving venues, impact on individual artists, spread of dancers and choreographers by geographical location, and more. Download the full publication of Moving Dance Forward here.
BALTIMORE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
BY THE NUMBERS: FEMALE COMPOSERS
Ricky O’Bannon of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra published the results of a survey he performed to quantify classical music and identify trends that may not otherwise be noticed in the industry. The produced results were staggering and indicated that the gender gap in classical music is even more extreme than its ballet counterpart.
O’Bannon wrote, “Of the 22 largest American orchestras, women composers accounted for only 1.8 percent of the total pieces performed in the 2014-2015 concert season.
Perhaps more worrying, however, is that women composers only accounted for 14.3 percent of performances of works by those living composers who are writing the pieces that may one day enter the regular repertoire.”
Learn more and read O’Bannon’s full research here.
THE ANONYMOUS WAS A WOMAN
HYPERALLERGIC: A NEW EMERGENCY RELIEF GRANT FOR WOMEN ARTISTS OVER 40
A new emergency relief grant, launched by Anonymous Was A Woman in partnership with the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), seeks to address gender and age by supporting women artists age 40 and older who have lost income or opportunities due to the coronavirus pandemic. The new grant will distribute a total of $250,000 in funding, up to $2,500 for each grantee, to eligible women-identifying visual artists in the US and its territories.
A report by the National Endowment for the Arts found that as women age, they earn less and less than their male counterparts. By the time they reach ages 55 to 64, they make only $0.66 for every dollar male artists make. “In many cases, women over the age of 40 carry additional stress as caregivers for both children and parents,” said Susan Unterberg, founder of Anonymous Was A Woman, in a press release.
Read more on Hyperallergic.
FACTS & FIGURES ON THE CREATIVE ECONOMY
NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF STATE ART AGENCIES
The NASAA regularly updates a page of metrics on the creative economy in the United States. Information is divided into 4 categories: Investment and Participation, The Creative Workforce, Creative Places and Innovation, and Cultural Tourism. A few highlights are pasted below, from each category.
- The value of arts and cultural production in America in 2017 was $877.8 billion, amounting to 4.5% of gross domestic product. The arts contribute more to the national economy than do the construction, transportation and warehousing, travel and tourism, mining, utilities, and agriculture industries. See your state’s arts and cultural production value with NASAA’s Creative Economy State Profiles. | Sources: National Endowment for the Arts, The U.S. Arts Economy (1998-2017): A National Summary Report (2020), and U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis, National Data for 1998-2017 (2020)
- In 2017, 54% of the country’s adult population (133 million adults) attended a live artistic, creative or cultural activity. The same percentage of America’s adult population (54%) created or performed art. View a state-by-state comparison of arts participation on the National Endowment for the Arts website. | Source: National Endowment for the Arts, U.S. Patterns of Arts Participation: A Full Report from the 2017 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts (2019)
- [Pre-COVID-19] | There were 5.1 million arts and cultural sector jobs in America in 2017—accounting for 3.4% of all U.S. jobs—which collectively paid workers a total of $404.9 billion. Explore your state’s level of arts employment with NASAA’s Creative Economy State Profiles. | Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis, National Data for 1998-2017 (2020)
- The goals of creative placemaking investments are associated with GDP growth. Cities with high levels of community attachment—the degree of loyalty and affection residents have for their community—also have high GDP growth over time. | Source: Knight Foundation, Soul of the Community Project (2010)
- Foreign visitors to the United States partake in arts and cultural activities. In 2016, 28% of foreign visitors went to an American art museum or gallery, while 16% attended a concert, play or musical. | Source: Americans for the Arts, Arts Facts…Cultural Tourism (2018)
See all of the facts & figures from NASAA here.
UC ANNENBERG INCLUSION INITIATIVE EQUITY RESEARCH
INCLUSION IN THE DIRECTOR’S CHAIR: ANALYSIS OF DIRECTOR GENDER & RACE/ETHNICITY ACROSS 1,300 TOP FILMS FROM 2007 TO 2019
In January 2020, a team of researchers, Dr. Stacy L. Smith, Marc Choueiti, Kevin Yao, Hannah Clark & Dr. Katherine Pieper, published findings on equity among the directors of over 1,000 top films from 2009 to 2019. The findings reveal a stark contrast in counts of men v. women directors. Furthermore, the study found, “Only 13.5% of all helmers across the 13-year sample were from an underrepresented racial/ethnic group.”
Read the complete findings of the study from UC Anngenberg here.
UCLA HOLLYWOOD DIVERSITY REPORT 2020
HOLLYWOOD DIVERSITY REPORT 2020: A TALE OF TWO HOLLYWOODS
The study was authored by Dr. Darnell Hunt and Dr. Ana-Christina Ramón. Michael Tran, Connie Chang, Ariel Stevenson, Kali Tambree, and Aziza Wright contributed to data collection for analyses. A two-part study of the film and television industries examined the diversity of employees and executives on and off camera. According to Part 2 of the study, “The heads of these [film] studios (‘Chair/CEO’) were 91 percent White and 82 percent male. A level down in the hierarchy (‘Senior Executives’), the senior management teams were 93 percent White and 80 percent male.”
Read the entire report here.
MELLON REPORT ON ART MUSEUM STAFF DEMOGRAPHICS
ART MUSEUM STAFF DEMOGRAPHIC SURVEY 2018
This 2018 report follows up on a 2014 survey conducted by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Ithaka S+R, the Association of Art Museum Directors, and the American Alliance of Museums, which measured the demographics of the staff of US art museums. The present survey has found some meaningful progress in the representation of people of color in a number of different museum functions, including the curatorial. It also found an increase in the number of women in museum leadership positions from 2015 to 2018. Nevertheless, the data also shows that progress has been uneven. While trends in recent hiring are encouraging, certain parts of the museum appear not as quick to change, especially the most senior leadership positions.
Read the entire report here.
WELLESLY WOMEN’S CENTER WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP IN RESIDENT THEATRES
WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP IN RESIDENT THEATRES RESEARCH RESULTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
This study examines why so few women hold the top leadership positions in theaters and what can be done to increase their numbers. As such, it is a study of positional leadership within the members of a service organization. It is not a study of the service organization itself, LORT, which administers the national not-for-profit collective bargaining agreements with Actors’ Equity Association, the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, and United Scenic Artists in the US.
The study set out to learn about the experiences of women as they sought leadership positions, to understand the reasons behind the gender imbalance. Confronted with the virtual absence of women of color in regional theaters, the study additionally included a focus on race. It addresses both gender and race to the extent that the data have allowed.
Read the entire report here.