To Produce the Next Generation of concert dancers and musical theatre artists.
If the reader has seen a professional modern/contemporary dance performance in Central Florida, chances are the presenting company originated out of The Center for Contemporary Dance. When the organization opened its doors 15 years ago, just 1 local modern dance company existed. Responsible the explosion of contemporary dance in the area, the organization's Residency Program has incubated, supported and produced 13 of the area's modern/contemporary dance companies, including the majority of those appearing at critically-acclaimed events such as Orlando Fringe Festival, National Dance Day Orlando and The Shift. The organization's achievements in artistic excellence and significant contributions to the area's artistic landscape are evidenced by a now vibrant display of contemporary dance.
The Center has earned a solid reputation for delivering innovative and inclusive works that move and inspire audiences—in addition to being featured on PBS, FOX News and local television networks, many of the organization's works have been commissioned by universities, corporations and City leaders. Central Florida wants to experience work by culturally-diverse artists, and The Center for Contemporary Dance has taken responsibility for creating that platform.
The inclusive nature of the organization enables it to create fascinating works with dancers of all backgrounds. The organization has produced works like Unheard Insight, featuring blind and deaf performers; Colours of Courage, which explores the history of African Americans; and Seeking, one of many community-based shows featuring at-risk youth. It is our belief that dance should be experienced by anyone who wishes to know the art. Everyone deserves to be self-expressed and if a person—no matter their shape, color or limitation—feels passionately about dance, we have a responsibility to provide a platform that cultivates that passion.
Blending dance and community outreach makes sense to The Center for Contemporary Dance. The organization has been able to create successful programs that serve aging adults, persons with special needs, underserved children, minority populations and Title I Schools. All this is possible because of the support we receive from a team of people that cares about the concept of Community. The greatest challenge facing the organization is securing involvement from influential supporters and Board Members interested assisting the organization in maximizing its efforts; to address this challenge, activities and recommendations by the Board Development Committee are the organization’s top priority for the 2016-17 season.
The organization's 2016-19 Strategic Plan provides The Center for Contemporary Dance (CCD) with a road map for the next three years, identifying Five Strategic Directions and Goals:
1. Audience Development and Growth
2. World-Class Performances
CCD is in a unique position in that it supports and represents several professional dance companies with the capability to produce excellent art. Goal: CCD will further enhance its reputation as a producer of excellent art that is recognized as significant, relevant and engaging by industry professionals and the community at large.
3. Outstanding Education Programs
CCD is committed to further refining its in-house and community education programs for the purpose of achieving greater credibility and recognition. Goal: CCD will further enhance the quality, content and diversity of its education programs and become a nationally-recognized, fully-accredited school of dance.
4. Achieving Financial Vitality for the Purpose of Expansion
CCD is committed to developing and implementing successful and ongoing fundraising and revenue-generating efforts that lead to the organization to a position of financial vitality. Goal: CCD will establish itself as a financially robust organization capable of fulfilling its mission, realizing its vision and supporting a future for its artistic, educational and public service endeavors.
5. Continuing Education in Capacity Building
CCD is committed to investing in ongoing training and education for its leadership team and Board in the area of capacity building. Goal: CCD will continually enhance and invest in the capacity building skills of its leaders, staff and Board Members through continuing education, allowing personnel to effectively achieve CCD’s development goals.
Strategies for the 2016-17 season include:
2. World-Class Performances
4. Achieving Financial Vitality for the Purpose of Expansion
Education in Capacity Building
For the 2016-17 season, the organization will primarily use the following indicators to track its success in reaching long-term goals:
Increased Program Attendance: Ticket sales and attendance records are analyzed for each production/program. Audience surveys are used to evaluate participant responses, as well as identify audience demographics and economic impact of programs.
Increased Program Interest: Phone and email inquiries from potential new audience members/students are analyzed daily, with follow-up by staff occurring within 24 business hours. Traffic on the website and social media platforms is used monitor promotions and advertising campaigns. Public response to press and media coverage are also evaluated.
Increased Organizational/Programmatic Support: The Board Development, Fundraising and Finance Committees of the Board collaboratively meet monthly to review budgets and ensure the organization is operating in a fiscally responsible manner. Together, these Committees, monitor, discover and/or following-up on sources and further cultivate relationships with current donors. The success of new fundraising campaigns, donor recruitment strategies and planned giving efforts are evaluated by the Fundraising and Finance Committees.
Enhanced Education Outcomes: The success of in-house and community dance education programs is evaluated by highly-skilled, well-educated industry professionals; public school programs are further evaluated by academic educators, ensuring that programs support school curriculum with improved student outcomes in both academic and behavioral arenas. Student examinations are conducted at the organization’s school of dance bi-annually and include both a written and technical component. Student success is further measured by their performance in international dance competitions, and their ability to secure placement in respected university dance programs and/or gain professional dance employment.
Enhanced Expertise: Enhanced expertise of faculty and staff by way of continuing education is evaluated by the Director of Education and Artistic Director, both of whom possess Masters Degrees in their field. Opportunities for faculty and staff to receive continuing education are offered consistently across the season; each faculty and staff member is required to attend no less than 4 workshops each year in arts education, management, capacity building and/or marketing. Board members are required to attend no less than 2 workshops each season, and also play a key role in discovering new education opportunities for the board, faculty and staff.
The School of Dance and Musical Theatre Studies includes all public dance and musical theatre classes, workshops, master classes and pre-professional programs offered at The Center for Contemporary Dance. Led by mature, educated industry professionals, each with no less than 10 years of teaching experience, school programs operate in accordance with National Standards for Dance Education and provide instruction in classical, contemporary and cultural dance to more than 400 students each year. Lead educators all have a Masters Degree in dance education. In 2015, the school added a Pre-Professional Musical Theatre Program to meet the needs of a growing population of musical theatre students; the evening Pre-Professional Dance Program has been in place since 2006 with a day program for homeschooled students added in 2016. Enrichment and preparatory classes are open to students of ages 2 to adult; specialty classes for students with special needs have been in place since 2011.
In addition to making improvements in the technical and artistic aspects of dance and musical theatre studies, students who participate in community classes, workshops and learning programs gain a deeper understanding of and appreciation for contemporary dance traditions and an understanding of emerging trends in the performing arts. In 2015, 100% of students reported improvements in their technical and artistic abilities as a result of their studies at The Center for Contemporary Dance. 96% of students express increased understanding of contemporary dance traditions/history as a result of their participation in education programs. In 2015-16, 100% of the school's college-aged pre-professional students were accepted in university dance/performing arts programs, including those at Point Park University, New York University, University of California Los Angeles and Syracuse University.
The School supports the development of emerging artists through exceptional training in classical ballet, modern dance and musical theatre studies, including jazz, tap, music, voice and acting. Pre-Professional Programs in Classical Ballet/Modern Dance and Musical Theatre are designed to prepare serious-minded students ages 10-18 for entry into both university programs and careers in the arts. Preparatory programs begin at age 2, facilitating an appreciation, discipline and foundation for future studies in dance and the performing arts. With a comprehensive curriculum and a faculty of experienced professionals, the school has trained thousands of students since 2001, including those who have gone on to enter prestigious university dance/performing arts programs. Graduates of Pre-Professional Programs can be found working with renowned professional companies, including the Martha Graham Dance Company, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Cirque du Soleil and Nimbus Dance Works.
Program evaluation is primarily conducted through student, parent and faculty surveys. In order to ensure compliance with the National Standards for Dance Education and to track student improvement, classes are also observed and evaluated by the Director of Education on a monthly basis. Formal exams for ballet, modern and pre-professional students are conducted bi-annually.
The Arts in Community Program includes all arts-education and enrichment programs offered by the organization through Central Florida's public schools and community organizations. Programs include curriculum-based dance/musical theatre residencies, lecture-demonstrations, workshops and performances, often developed and led in collaboration with hosting organizations. Serving more than 5,000 students each year, including 2,000 at-risk youth, the program has been in place since 2004. Engineered to broaden access to arts-education, engage young and underserved audiences in the arts and fill gaps in public school arts curricula, curriculum-based programs can be found listed on United Arts of Central Florida's Arts & Culture Access site at www.uaartsed.com. Services vary in duration, from a single workshop or performance to extended collaborations.
Arts in Community Programs are carefully-designed endeavors with customized outcomes, benchmarks and endpoints. As such, each project has its own unique set of data; however, all Arts in Community projects share the common goals of: 1.) providing an education in dance and/or musical theatre, 2.) cultivating creative expression and enhancing artistic ability, 3.) improving quality of life in areas of self-esteem, academic performance, literacy or social/cultural awareness. For 2015, 98% of all those served by an Arts in Community Program expressed an increased understanding of and appreciation for dance; 97% reported improvements in their technical and artistic abilities; 90% reported a greater sense of self-confidence and social/cultural awareness; 82% of academic educators reported improvements in student academic performance and overall focus. Of the more 1,200 participants surveyed, 100% stated they would participate again if the program were offered.
Each Arts in Community Program caters to the specific needs of the population served. Customized programs have been developed for blind and deaf persons, public school educators interested in using the arts to improve student learning, and city leaders in need of programming that celebrates minority culture. All programs are planned in accordance with the National Standards for Dance Education. Of the participants served, at least 90% will express increased knowledge of dance, improvement in self-confidence, academic performance, technical development and/or a deeper understanding of the history/culture explored in a particular program.
Planned, monitored and evaluated with each collaborating community organization, program evaluation is primarily conducted through participant, faculty and leadership surveys. Long-term projects that extend beyond a single event also involve regular evaluation to measure participant progress over the course of the program. Depending on the goals established for a particular program, areas evaluated may include participant self-esteem, technical improvement, learning, academic improvement or social development. Program leaders from all participating organizations also evaluate projects in areas of collaborative process, challenges/opportunities for improvement and overall effectiveness.
Implemented in 2007, the Residency Program supports emerging choreographers and contemporary/modern dance companies in the creation and presentation of new work. The program provides mentoring in business/production management, artistic development and access to rehearsal and performance space at little or no cost to participating artists. The primary goal of this incubation program is to cultivate modern/contemporary dance in Central Florida by mentoring artists into self-sufficient producers of new work; over the past 10 years, the Residency Program has supported more than 350 artists and 13 contemporary dance companies, resulting in the presentation of no less than 170 new dance works. Prior to the implementation of the organization's Residency Program, contemporary dance was virtually absent from the Central Florida arts scene. Today, Central Florida has a thriving contemporary/modern dance culture that is indisputably attributed to the organization's Residency Program.
Artists accepted into the Residency Program begin producing and showcasing new work within one year of entering the program. By expediting the period between business start-up and independent operation, program participants more quickly become employable artists equipped with the skills to successfully achieve long-term stability by producing marketable, socially-relevant creative work. For 2015, 100% of artists supported by the program publicly presented at least one new dance work in less than 12 months of program entry. 25% of artists accepted into the program in 2015 are now independently-operating arts organizations, earning professional work and regularly presenting new work to the Central Florida community.
Emerging choreographers and dance companies are often faced with the difficult challenge of finding the support and funding that will allow them to develop, produce and market new work. In many instances, lack of support leads to the disintegration of important art works and the defeat of visionary creative leaders who were never given a chance to succeed. Access to a supportive, knowledgeable network of dance and arts-management professionals is critical to the success and long-term stability of new artists. Of the artists entering the Residency Program, 98% will become distinctly marketable companies and/or artists, capable of strategically and independently managing all aspects of business and creative production.
The Residency Program is assessed by formal evaluation four times each year. Evaluations are completed by the organization’s artistic/administrative leaders in collaboration with each resident artist, and are used to determine each artist’s success/growth in the following areas: creative, financial, business management/leadership and overall company development. Evaluations are also used to identify areas where program participants may require additional support so that collaborative plans of action may be developed. Program success is additionally determined by a separate annual evaluation that measures the degree of independence achieved by each participating artist; the number of artists who out-grow the program and become independent arts organizations is a direct measure of program success.
Since 2001, the Production and New Works Program has produced more than 280 contemporary and classical dance works and musical theatre performances, reaching over 70,000 local and visiting audience members of all backgrounds. Works produced through the program include the organization's annual season of dance as well as experimental showcases and large-scale collaborative productions that reflect the cultural and creative diversity of our community. Each year, works produced through the program draw powerful media attention, and directly support more than 250 exceptional artists in fields that include dance, visual arts, technical design, music and writing. Over the past 15 years, the program has supported the production of new works from Moore Dance Project, U-Turn Dance Company, Patelworks Dance Theater, Mary Love Dance Projects, Coby Project, DRIP, Dawn Branch Works and dozens of independent choreographers.
Choreographers, artists and companies supported by the Production and New Works Program demonstrate a commitment to producing diverse, relevant, high-quality work. Since 2001, more than 70,000 local and visiting audience members have attended events produced through the Production and New Works Program. From an annually-produced season of dance to special performance projects, the Program stages contemporary and classical dance works as well as musical theatre performances. For 2015, 100% of the artists supported by the program publicly presented at least one new dance work. Surveys from audience members indicate that 98% expressed a desire to experience more contemporary dance presentations like the one attended. 86% of all audience members stated they had learned something new about history or culture through the attended program.
The Production and New Works Program is assessed by formal evaluation at the start, mid-point and close of each timeline established for each work. Evaluations are completed by artistic/administrative leaders in collaboration with each supported artist, and are used to assess and address: achievement of established project goals, program impact, challenges/solutions, budget management, creative management and future project support. Program success is additionally determined through audience surveys and analysis of ticket sales.
The budget assigned to Residency Program represents the value of Program benefits, and no actual dollars are exchanged. Educators and administrators donate their time and talent to these programs to maintain their operation; in turn, program participants contribute back to the organization through work-study or class/workshop instruction. One of the primary goals of the organization is to secure ongoing funding for this Program through private donations, grant funding and corporate sponsorship.
A key goal of the organization is to develop a diverse, working Board of Directors with the talent and influence required to support the leadership team in enacting a multi-tiered strategy that includes:
The Board Development Committee is diligently working to discover new supporters for the organization and its activities are being given top priority by the organization’s leaders for the 2016-17 season.
While the organization maintains a highly collaborative spirit where contributions from all team members are encouraged, limited resources necessitate the management of all programs and projects by the organization’s two co-founders, who also serve as artistic and executive director. With their full-time working hours primarily volunteered, the co-founders/directors remain steadfast in their commitment to the organization’s growth and have demonstrated that success does not require access to limitless resources; great achievements can be realized through creative management, collaboration and the harnessing of like-minded supporters of the organization. Even with limited resources the organization continues to:
>Produce history-making professional concerts that reflect the cultural and creative diversity of our community, including groundbreaking works that feature blind and deaf dancers, document African-American history, celebrate Indian culture and integrate the visual and movement arts
>Annually provide 5,000 Title I public school children access to innovative arts-education programs that integrate the dance arts with academic lessons in history, sociology and science
>Annually support 30 aspiring dancers through the Youth Scholarship Program, designed to give talented, underserved youth access to professional training and academic tutoring
>Host the area’s first formal Resident Artist Program, which has supported and mentored 13 of the area’s 15 established contemporary/modern dance companies
>Train dancers for successful entry into some of the most prestigious university dance programs in the nation
The company’s leaders are working to further maximize the organization’s impact and realize that, in order to do so, the following goals must remain top priority:
>Develop a working Board of Directors with the talent and influence required to support the organization in realizing its creative, strategic and financial goals
>Provide fair compensation for the current directors and an additional full-time director who will assist in maximizing the impact and effective management of current programs
>Secure greater funding from corporate sponsors, private donors and granting agencies; the organization is seeking a qualified Board Member to serve as Director of Development.
>Employ consistent and creative marketing strategies to bring greater community awareness to the organization and its mission; the organization is seeking a qualified Board Member to assist with the implementation of marketing strategies.
The organization’s Fundraising Plan, Marketing Plan, Management Succession Training Plan and Policies and Procedures are continually being refined and adjusted to include a pointed plan for meeting the above goals.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
The organization's top funding sources include:
2015-16 Major Contributors
To ensure financial growth and stability, key elements of the organization’s strategic financial plan involve:
1.) Collaborations with community partners (theatres, universities, fellow arts organizations, etc.) to reduce programming expenses and contribute to audience development.
2..) Ongoing consultation with a non-profit strategist who is assisting the organization to diversify revenue streams and secure additional corporate support, and
In order to achieve long-term investments in the contemporary dance arts, any and all contact with the public is viewed as both an opportunity to self-promote and a responsibility to educate. Whether the organization schedules post-show dialogues with performers or launches a new funding campaign, these efforts are strategically linked to what is socially, culturally and creatively relevant in the minds of the people. Ultimately, this strategy allows the organization to introduce contemporary dance to the public while setting the stage for an ongoing, mutually-beneficial relationship.
With this concept in hand, the organization is proactively cultivating audiences that support the organization, our industry and Central Florida’s cultural future. For example, The Center for Contemporary Dance purposefully showcases socially and culturally diverse dance works in order to:
1.) Increase the function of dance as a tool for evaluating history, preserving culture and promoting wellness, and
2.) Recruit deeper support from the widest possible audience base by presenting a broad spectrum of culturally identifiable dance works.
In doing so, The Center for Contemporary Dance is cultivating active relationships with the arts in our culture, increasing demand for and support of contemporary dance in Central Florida, and creating greater opportunities for administrative, artistic and organizational growth.
Central Florida Foundation 800 N Magnolia AvenueSuite 1200 Orlando, FL 32803 p. 407.872.3050 f. 407.425.2990