Alabama Dance Council and Wideman Davis Dance receive APAP ArtsForward grant of $50,000 to support collaboration with Selma partners for Migratuse Reimagined

April 6, 2022 – The Alabama Dance Council is pleased to announce that it has received a grant from the Association of Performing Arts Professionals as part of its new program, APAP ArtsForward, which supports the performing arts field’s safe, vibrant, and equitable reopening and recovery. Through the generous support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, APAP ArtsForward awarded $2.065 million to 47 partnerships between presenting organizations and artists.

The Alabama Dance Council presented Wideman Davis Dance’s premiere of Migratuse Ataraxia at the Klein-Wallace plantation house in Harpersville during the 2020 Alabama Dance Festival. Migratuse Reimagined is the next iteration of this project. The artists intentionally shift the journey from spaces of enslavement to those of Black liberation and empowerment through a mobile, performative intervention. Participants will travel a walking tour route where they will encounter the artists’ responses to historic Black structures through large scale projections, sonic environments, and live performances that speak to Black futurity.

The engagement will take place in Selma, Alabama, with multiple site visits to continue the artists’ and presenter’s practice of working deeply in community with local community partners. These include the Black Belt Community Foundation and Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation partnership, the National Voting Rights Museum, journeysforthesoul.com, and By the River Center for Humanity. Community engagement will involve virtual and in-person components to build relationships culminating with outdoor walking tour performances.

As venues reopen, tours resume, and audiences reconnect, APAP ArtsForward grants will fuel collaborations between APAP presenter members and partnering artists/ensembles. The APAP ArtsForward program awarded 47 grants to APAP presenting organizations working in partnership with an artist or ensemble. The program placed priority on funding small and mid-sized presenting organizations with operating budgets of less than $5M, and, as part of a growing movement to promote greater equity between presenter and artists, at least half of the grant funds will be distributed to artists over the course of their engagements. As the performing arts collectively recovers, grantees will also participate in peer gatherings.

“We are thrilled to be selected as a grantee of the APAP ArtsForward program,” said Rosemary Johnson, Executive Director of the Alabama Dance Council. “I am looking forward to working with Wideman Davis Dance and our local partners as we return to live engagement activities and performances in a safe environment. I am especially excited about being in community again to connect artists and audiences.”

“These 47 partnerships represent a shift in the ecosystem among artists and presenters, as well as the spirit of APAP’s 10/20/30 Pledge,” said Lisa Richards Toney, President and CEO of APAP. “Thanks to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, as we emerge from the biggest challenge in our field’s history, artists, working with presenters, producers and agents, can lead the way.”

Selected by a panel of experts in the performing arts field, the 47 grantee collaborations support a variety of presenting organizations, a diverse array of artists, and a broad range of approaches to reopening. A complete list of grant-supported collaborations can be found here.

APAP ArtsForward was inspired by the intensive exchanges that emerged during the pandemic among peers and working groups in the arts field, including APAP’s Building Ethical and Equitable Partnerships Working Group. The program was conceived of to build and reinforce a sustainable arts ecosystem with business practices that respect artists, support presenters, and underscores the interdependence and safety of all those involved in performance engagements. In addition to direct grants, APAP ArtsForward will provide a range of services to support the performing arts field’s transition toward reopening its venues safely. Learn more here. Building on APAP’s long history as a regranting organization, ArtsForward’s design and activities are informed by a national team of multidisciplinary and culturally diverse advisors and peers, including artists, agents, and presenters.

About APAP, the Association of Performing Arts Professionals
The Association of Performing Arts Professionals is the national service, advocacy and membership organization for the live performing arts field. APAP is dedicated to developing and supporting a robust performing arts presenting, booking and touring industry and the professionals who work within it.

About the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation believes that the arts and humanities are where we express our complex humanity, and we believe that everyone deserves the beauty, transcendence, and freedom to be found there. Through our grants, we seek to build just communities enriched by meaning and empowered by critical thinking, where ideas and imagination can thrive.

About the Alabama Dance Council
The Alabama Dance Council is a statewide service organization working in partnership with the Alabama State Council on the Arts. We are a statewide network of people who are inspired to make, teach, share and experience all forms of dance as a powerful way to move toward a more just society. We believe that dance emboldens every body to connect, build community, and transform the experience of being human.

About Wideman Davis Dance
Wideman Davis Dance is a dance organization co-directed by Tanya Wideman-Davis and Thaddeus Davis that utilizes interdisciplinary collaboration to examine, create, and be inspired by Black life, existence, and imagination. We reflect the Black experience that is rooted in American Southernisms, even as it moves beyond the geography of the South. We research and make work to understand the social, economic, and political traditions that are historical in nature but current in their practice through
movement, visual art, technology, film, and environmental studies. We create a space for truths to be told, rupturing the silence of denial, and retelling history about the African American experience while
referencing the present and future.

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