Thanks for being here, ya'll. There are a few things going on in my world I wanna tell you about.

One: For the first time in my professional adult life, I am dancing every day. I’m creating performances that happen in front of supportive audiences in a city I’m wild about. Sometimes by myself, sometimes with collaborators.

Two: I’m able to do this because of the support of one tremendous organization in Atlanta called The Lucky Penny. They’re so great. In July of this year they opened what is now one of my most treasured places on the planet, the Work Room

Photo by Jamie Hopper, courtesy of The Lucky Penny

Photo by Jamie Hopper, courtesy of The Lucky Penny

Work Room is a gorgeous dance space, a converted loft in an old industrial complex that’s now outfitted specifically for dance. The Lucky Penny hand-selected eight performance-based artists to have consistent, super subsidized work space to develop their unique art-making practices. It is dramatically shifting my approach to working and the face of performance in Atlanta. 

Three: Making performances is an expensive and time-consuming act.

The traditional model for how independent, professional choreographers make dances goes like this: Choreographer pays between $15-$35 an hour to rent dance studio space, works project to project as quickly as possible, and likely has zero dollars left to pay dancers and collaborators. So unsustainable. So boring. Lucky Penny's Work Room is a radical haven pushing against that model. They encourage art-making as a habit, a daily/semi-daily ritual, instead of a one-off experience contingent on grants and crowd-funding.  They’re really lifting the burden here, and truthfully this is some cutting edge stuff that isn’t happening in other larger cities.

Four: I’m looking for a few special humans who are interested in supporting this stage of my artistic development. People who have previously supported my commitment to wildly and shamelessly creating an artistic life. I’m interested in increasing my hours and fully funding my rent in the Work Room for 2016. About 624 hours of studio time to the tune of $2,700--that shakes out to about $4/hr.  

Easy stuff, couch cushion change, ya’ll. Funding my time in the Work Room means I’ll spend less time juggling three part time jobs and more time doing things like developing a solo practice, making dances with other fabulous collaborators, developing curriculum for sharing movement with adults and children, taking dance classes and professional development workshops, in short dancing every day. 

If you feel inspired, ecstatic, piqued in any way by the above words there is a special place you can go on the internet to support my current efforts. It’s tax deductible and you’ll get those amber warm fuzzy feels knowing your contributing to contemporary art making in the Southeast! Pretty rad, huh?

This is the place: http://www.theluckypenny.org/work-room-artists/

You can see a cheeky picture of me and read some words I wrote about myself.

 

Much love and gratitude,

Melissa