Stuck in the Middle

Toronto, Tuesday November 9th 2010 – Commissioned by the Alliance of Independent Mid-Career Dance Creators (AIM-CDC), Stuck in the Middle is an in-depth look at the working lives of 14 independent mid-career Toronto-based dance creators.

Prepared by Shannon Litzenberger, the much-anticipated report reveals common trends, challenges, opportunities and the collective impact of participating artists. Recommendations point to a need for change, reflective of the changing environment in which artists are working. An outdated working model, conflicting values between stakeholders, and a critical need to develop audiences at home and abroad are affecting the career growth and potential success of dance creators.

The report provides valuable data and information on the general condition of this group of independent mid-career dance creators; a potential indication of the general condition of indie dance creators in the wider sector.

  • “In their last cycle of activity, 14 artists engaged a total of 194 individuals and paid out over $357,000 in salaries and wages.”
  • “The average annual income reported by respondents was approximately $18,130.00. On average, they earn 78% of their income from dance-related activity, though notably, more than half of respondents reported earning 100% of their income from dance related sources.”
  • “Artists volunteer time in virtually every aspect of their business. For every paid hour, an additional 36 minutes of volunteer time is required to realize a cycle of activity. This does not include time volunteered by board members.”
  • “Artists spend less than 50% of their time on artistic activity.”

AIM-CDC is a collaboration of 8 independent dance creators in Toronto (Kate Alton, Susie Burpee, Tanya Crowder, Allison Cummings, Susanna Hood, Sasha Ivanochko, Meagan O’Shea and Heidi Strauss) who came together to share stories and exchange ideas on how to improve their working lives. Its members began an informal exchange in December 2009 and formally organized the Alliance in April of 2010. This commissioned report is a first effort to work collectively to achieve common goals.

Through a strategic partnership with Canada’s National Ballet School, Canadian Children’s Dance Theatre, Dance Ontario and the Dancer Transition Resource Centre, AIM-CDC commissioned this case study to examine, in detail, the common challenges, needs and opportunities they and their peers were (and are) encountering in the advancement of their artistic careers.

Here’s a feature article on the report via The Dance Current.

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  1. pippineddu - Mar 19, 2011

    this is a great post!

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