Over the past several years, our work has led us to colleges and universities, linking the performing arts field with the creativity of campuses around the country. From managing a funding program for colleges to support artists’ residencies to facilitating forums on campus-artist collaborations to lecturing on arts management topics, we’ve learned firsthand about the power of the “creative campus” and have built strong relationships with universities.
Dance/USA’s National College Choreography Initiative and the American Masterpieces Dance-College Component Grant Programs
Designed, managed, and evaluated these programs, which support collaborations between guest artists, colleges and communities around the country.
What was to be a single round of funding for colleges, to bring guest artists into their departments, blossomed into three rounds of support and a complimentary program that focused on restaging and reconstructing historic dance works. In its first two rounds, 86 grants supported 141 new and restaged works for 20,000 students; audiences numbered over 175,000. Based on documentation and evaluation of the program, a third round of NCCI funding was added. An offshoot of this program, AMD-CC supported colleges through two rounds of funding.
Held National Forums including Workshop on Artist-College Collaborations: New Models for Planning, Negotiation and Curriculum and NCCI: From the Campus to the Real World and Back Again in cities across the country.
Through the NCCI Initiative, we facilitated a series of national forums with artists and faculty, inspiring dialogue about dance curriculum in university programs and about creating partnerships between artists, faculty, universities, and students.
Produced four publications on the NCCI program.
We documented the success of residencies at university programs around the country through the NCCI program in three different publications -- National College Choreography Initiative: Supporting the Past, Present and Future of American Dance; National College Choreography Initiative: Encore: A Year of Success; and National College Choreographer Initiative: Bringing it Home – A Third Wave of Creative Collaboration. In addition, based on the lessons learned from the program Callahan conceived of, produced, and edited Dance From the Campus to the Real World (and Back Again): A Resource Guide for Artists, Faculty, and Students. As the culmination of four years of activity, this guide is designed to benefit faculty, administrators, and emerging and professional artists, as well as the next generation of dancers throughout the country. The book responds to a major trend: colleges once again are primary sites for the dance field’s development. “Residencies 101” guides artists and faculty in planning and implementing projects. “Universities 101” guides those who are considering faculty positions on what to expect and ask. “Real World 101” orients young dancers (and faculty) to what life will be like once they graduate from college and begin a career.
Through the NCCI and the AMD-CC programs, we provided technical assistance to hundreds of colleges over the multiple years of these funding programs.
Guest Lectures and Trainings on College Campuses
Evaluation trainings have been held on multiple campuses including for the Creative Campus Initiative at the University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa), at the University of Wisconsin (Milwaukee), and at George Mason University (Fairfax, VA) for its arts management graduate program.
Callahan has spoken to students at numerous colleges about transitioning into the professional dance world, including The George Washington University, UNC Greensboro, and Bates College.
Callahan’s texts – Dance From the Campus to the Real World (and Back Again): A Resource Guide for Artists, Faculty, and Students and Singing Our Praises: Case Studies in the Art of the Evaluation – are used as text books in university programs across the country.
Wrote a position paper for the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography, a national dance and choreographic research center based at the Florida State University. Leadership from FSU expressed an interest in establishing a model for dance that would bring greater national visibility to the campus by forming ongoing collaborations with artists of the highest caliber. Preparations for housing the Center were extensive – including upgrading facilities with $17 million in retrofitting and creating what is considered one of premier facilities for dance in the United States. This position paper supported MANCC programs, which capture the interest of the dance field and encourage the creation, dissemination, and documentation of new knowledge in choreography in a Research One university.