The covid-19 pandemic, along with the new abolitionist movements sparked in part by the death of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others, has caused a reckoning inside of the performing arts.
Exposing both the structural fragility of the u.s. arts funding landscape as well as fundamental problems with the ways in which institutions and grant programs support [or don’t support] new ideas, new and marginalized voices and artists generally.
The loss of access to physical studios to train, teach and rehearse, as well as the closure of many small and mid-size performance venues, many of which may never re-open, has required dance and performance artists to look inward in new ways at how and why we build dance today and what we want the future to look like.
This moment asks us to work together to not just survive this dark period but to fight for fundamental change so that we do not go back to systems and ways of working that were not serving us or were deeply problematic. To manifest fundamental changes in the dance landscape that overtly support anti-racism work, indigenous rights, visibility for trans and queer artists and new strategies to promote safety and access for all.
As a festival that at its core is an experiment in community building, the sharing of physical space and what is means to teach and dance together today, Lion’s Jaw has decided to cancel our event in 2020. We will however be scheduling some panel talks and an online event or two during early and mid October. Details about those events will be posted soon.
In the meantime, over the last 4 months, we have donated any funds we had raised pre-pandemic to the National Bailout Fund and turned our social media platforms into an amplifier and platform for BIPOC-focused dance and activism.
Like so many of you, we are taking this time to look at where we stand today as curators, artists and teachers, and to imagine what new-futures we might build together.
We encourage all of you to remain active and engaged, not just in this work but inside the many fires that are burning right now on the social justice and environmental fronts. We will see you in the streets, at the voting booth and in the studios soon.