Poor Dancer's Almanac: Managing Life and Work in the Performing Arts

Overview

Combining how-to information with voices of working artists, Poor Dancer's Almanac is an essential resource tool and source of inspiration for all independent artists—choreographers, performance artists, dancers producers, managers. Created in 1975 and revised again in 1984 this handbook has come to serve as one of the most crucial references for the arts community. In the most up-to-date and comprehensive edition yet, a broad range of issues affecting performers and producers is addressed, interwoven with newly ...

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Overview

Combining how-to information with voices of working artists, Poor Dancer's Almanac is an essential resource tool and source of inspiration for all independent artists—choreographers, performance artists, dancers producers, managers. Created in 1975 and revised again in 1984 this handbook has come to serve as one of the most crucial references for the arts community. In the most up-to-date and comprehensive edition yet, a broad range of issues affecting performers and producers is addressed, interwoven with newly added, more personal contributions from major figures in the performance world.
Organized and compiled by Dance Theater Workshop in New York and authored by more than fifty leading professionals in the field, Poor Dancer's Almanac offers in-depth discussions of everything from personal livelihood to professional career development, from medical care, housing, and unemployment insurance to management, touring, and legal issues. Each chapter is followed by an appendix containing extensive and varied listings, giving names and addresses for finding internship programs, videotaping, flooring, grant-writing, and reference publications. Although centered on New York the Almanac includes lists of resources and contacts for many other states—California, Washington D.C, Illinois, Minnesota, North Carolina, Texas, Florida, and Ohio. An entirely new section has been added dealing with health issues and the crisis of AIDS.
In personal anecdotes and essays various performers offer their own insights and stories—both of struggles and of successes—to bring to life the practical realities of working in the arts. We hear from Merce Cunningham, Eric Bogosian, Karen Finley, Paul Zaloom, and Bill T. Jones, among others. Illustrated with original drawings by Janie Geiser, this thoroughly revised and updated edition of the Poor Dancer's Almanac will continue to serve as one of the leading sources for those concerned with managing life and work in the performing arts.

Selected contents
The Financial Realities of Performance Art From Studio to Stage Promoting Your Performance What is Management?
Budgeting Funding AIDS Explained Action Medical Insurance for the Arts Psychological Issues for the Dancer

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Originally published in 1976 and revised in 1983, this third expanded and updated edition is particularly relevant today. With keen competition for limited arts dollars, independent performers need all the advice they can get. This book should help. More than 50 professionals present detailed information on topics ranging from how to locate performing space to writing a press release to filing tax forms. Interspersed with the nitty-gritty of production, management, personnel, finances, and healthcare are personal glimpses of the life of an artist as written by established performers like Eric Bogosian, Guillermo Gomez-Pena, and Karen Finley. Each chapter is followed by an appendix listing additional resources. Although this book is a project of the Dance Theatre Workshop in New York City, it will be useful to any independent performer in any region. Recommended.-- Joan Stahl, National Museum of American Art, Washington, D.C.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822313199
  • Publisher: Duke University Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/1993
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Pages: 380
  • Sales rank: 560,987
  • Product dimensions: 5.97 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.09 (d)

Meet the Author

David R. White has served as Executive Director and Producer of Dance Theater Workshop in New York since 1975. He was formerly a dancer with and Producing Director of the Kathryn Posin Dance Company, as well as a pianist with Laura Dean Dancers and Musicians.

Lise Friedman, editor of Dance Ink magazine, danced with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company from 1977 to 1984.

Tia Tibbitts Levinson, Director of Operations and Community Affairs at Dance Theater Workshop, is on the supervisory board of the Artists Community Federal Credit Union.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Foreword
Introduction
Ch. 1 Beginnings
No Mistakes 3
No Einstein or Mozart on Mercer Street 6
The Financial Realities of Performance Art 8
Ch. 2 The Show
From Studio to Stage 15
Video 28
Hitting the Road 33
Dixon Place 34
Promoting Your Performance 36
The Inequities of the Fame Game 47
Regarding Dancers and Publicity 51
Ch. 3 Taking Care of Business
What Is Management? 69
The Structure of Your Operations 74
Unemployment Insurance 95
Food Stamps and Welfare 97
Taxes and Record Keeping 98
Retirement Plans 99
Legal Issues 101
Budgeting 114
Federal Funding 137
State Funding 149
Local Funding 156
Foundations 158
Corporations 162
Support from Individuals 165
Loans 166
Ch. 4 The Marketplace
The National Marketplace 181
Foreign Intrigues: Artistic Opportunity and Realpolitik in the International Marketplace 210
Ch. 5 Health Aids
AIDS Explained 237
Life Support Systems 242
What is Safer Sex? 243
HIV Testing 244
Health Care: A User's Manual 245
Action Medical Insurance for the Arts 252
Psychological Issues for the Dancer 253
How Should an Injured Dancer Look for Medical Care? 259
Ch. 6 Community: The Body Politic
for women who dance: thoughts about body image 268
Cross-Cultural Performance Strategies 272
The Parachute Fund 273
I Am Encouraging People to Really Feel 275
On Arts Education 276
Multiculturalism: A Double-Edged Sword 278
Talking Dance 280
Ch. 7 Many Places, Many Dreams
Austin, Texas 287
Florida 287
North Carolina's Triangle 288
Washington, DC 290
Brooklyn, New York 292
From Lower Manhattan to Central Ohio 293
Ohio 294
Chicago 295
Minneapolis 297
Minnesota 298
San Francisco 299
San Francisco Bay Area 299
West Coast 301
San Diego 304
Directory 309
Contributors 345
Index 353
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