Letter from Peter & Miki

 

Welcome to IMC’s inaugural Curator’s Circle E-Newsletter!

We are thrilled to be able to provide you with our new quarterly communication aimed at providing our most cherished supporters with behind the scenes happenings.

In the 38 years Island Moving Company has been part of Newport and the broader Rhode Island community, we have been fortunate to have gotten to know you. YOU are part of our family of dedicated patrons who recognize the transcendent power of professional dance in our community.

We value your interest and consider you as a dedicated  partner in our mission to create original choreography and multi-disciplinary performance. A partner equally committed to helping in-need students across Newport County and beyond close skill gaps in math & literacy, and to building a proud community that values the importance of a resident, professional dance company and its artists who call Newport home.

As we navigate IMC through the current challenges facing our beloved community, we found that it has been important to remind ourselves of a key value statement that underpins IMC’s mission—and share it here with you.

As an art form and a life practice, dance is kinesthetic – it deeply engages hearts, minds and souls and bridges divides among us. IMC believes creativity is an interactive and collaborative process open to everyone, and is put in practice through inclusion and respect, discipline and emotional connection. It can produce great art, but more importantly, provides us all with a sense of connection and belonging.

This value statement has not only provided the guidelines for the work we produce and present as part of delivering our mission—it also provides the premise under which our entire organization operates.

As a member of our Curator’s Circle, we hope you enjoy this newsletter and find the accompanying articles informative and useful to your understanding of our collective work and IMC’s roadmap ahead. We also hope you will continue to share our new programing and initiatives with your networks and help us spread IMC’s gospel!

Our staff and board remain deeply committed to serving our community-even in the face of great organizational and personal sacrifice necessitated by the current climate. We know we will emerge stronger, wiser and ever resolute, to shape a bright future.

We applaud your continued support and look forward to receiving your thoughts and comments.

With deep admiration,

 

 

 

Peter Bramante                                             Miki Ohlsen

Executive Director                                        Artistic Director

Curator Circle Newsletter

 

 

Behind the Scenes
Demonstrating IMC’s Adaptability, Innovation and Resiliency

Bringing people together for shared experiences, and the healing and transformative power of great live dance and world-class dance education experiences is core to IMC’s work.

Due to current circumstances and the ongoing health emergency, we have had to make some difficult decisions to secure IMC’s long-term financial position, while developing innovative programming and finding new ways to  serve our community and connect with our audiences, students and dance lovers. The following is an abbreviated timeline of key actions taken in response to Covid-19.

IMC has consistently demonstrated prudent management, provided innovative programming, built sustainable earned and contributed revenue, and is committed to employing local artists and arts-professionals, contributing to RI’s cultural and economic ecosystems.

As a result of Covid-19, IMC has had to adapt operations as well as manage program interruptions and cancellations. The actions taken by management include:

Cancellations:
Public Productions:

  • New Works & Repertory Performance Series
    • May 1-2, McVinney Theatre, Providence, RI
  • Family Series-Mother Goose
    • April 30-May 2, McVinney Theatre, Providence, RI
  • IMC’s Junior Company Performance, March 28, Newport, RI
  • Cancellation of Touring Program
    • IMC to Seattle International Dance Festival, Seattle, WA, June

Education Programs:

  • Cancellation of some in-school programs
  • Postponement on March 13 of IMC’s Academy Classes (NAB)
  • Revision of existing NAB classes to on-line, live streaming
  • Summer and Fall Events are presently on hold pending Gov. Raimondo’s May 9 announcement

Personnel:

  • As of March 13, IMC’s 10 dancers were laid-off until further notice
  • As of April 17, 5 Admin staff were furloughed, and 2 took voluntary salary reductions
  • Remaining staff are maintaining key operations–other furloughed staff are volunteering to support new on-line programming.

Summer & Fall Program Plan Forecast:

Special Events

  • Nuit Blanche – Annual Gala. Event format & dates currently under consideration-announcement forthcoming.

Public Performances

  • Newport Dance Festival (Alternate dates under consideration-announcement forthcoming.

(August 12-16th, 2020-may include Guest Artists, Malashock Dance)

  • Repertory Performance Series (Fall 2020-TBD)
  • Site-Specific Spectacles (Peter Pan on the tall-ship Oliver Hazard Perry-Sep 2020-TBD)

Newport Academy Of Ballet (NAB)

  • Pre-professional training ages 8 – adult (streaming instruction until in-person classes resume.)
  • Community Classes ages 3 – adult (on-going streaming classes until in-person classes resume.)
  • IMC Summer Intensive: Invitational as part of Newport Dance Festival.

New Programs and Initiatives:

CLIMB THE WALLS & DANCE!, is IMC’s response to provide original, world-class content for Rhode Islanders longing for creative connection and stimulating content. It includes:

Mitigating loss of revenue while exploring ways to create new revenue sources and/or ways to monetize virtual content currently offered for free, will be critical to IMC’s ability to emerge from Covid-19 with a sound financial position, and a heightened appreciation for the value of dance on the part of our supporters and partners.

Staff and board have created a Preparedness Task Force to review and evaluate State & Local Government data in order to adapt programs and finances as needed, and to revise contingency plans for the remainder of FY 2020 and beyond. We created a financial forecast tool in conjunction with the finance committee to better monitor and anticipate cash flow and resource allocation. This group has also created a “”mothball” scenario in the event that we cannot return to any programming until the 2nd quarter of 2021.

IMC’s cash position is presently stable, though we have had to make a number of significant interim changes related to mitigating losses due to Covid-19. Adjustments include:

  • Deferring dancer’s contract period for @ 8-10 weeks – estimated savings of @ $30K
  • Furloughs & voluntary reductions of administrative staff and salaries – estimated savings of @ $30-65K through 2020
  • Reduction in overhead expenses (25-50% rent reduction, cuts to utilities, maintenance etc.) – estimated savings of @ $12K through 2020
  • Application to available emergency funds:
    • SBA – PPP $120,500 (Awarded-funds anticipated in May or June)
    • SBA- EIDL $10,000 (Submitted-pending)
    • NEA-Cares-Act funds -$50,000 (Proposal pending)
    • RISCA-Cares-Act $8K (awarded on May 5)

Management have been proactive in mitigating potential loss of contributed revenue from donors and have also been aggressively seeking out additional funding opportunities from new funders. To date, IMC has;

  • Received $181,000 in grant awards/commitments (Total FY-19 grants- $103,550)
  • Submitted $212,500 in pending proposals
  • Identified $84,500 in potential proposals and are being prepared, and new prospects researched
  • Gifts from Individual donors is trending up by 20% over the same period last FY.

CLIMB THE WALLS & DANCE!, was initially created to meet a community need—helping people cope with the health crisis by providing access to stimulating content, and ways to connect with each other, as well as to help them stay fit & healthy. It also allowed us to provide our artists with some income.

We will need to understand and adapt summer and all programming — if we can even proceed with a scaled down version — and continually review and revise plans with the safety of our artists, staff, audiences and patrons as our top priority.

Other Notable Organizational developments

  • A new executive director started in January of 2020 and has made significant improvements to systems, operations, and morale. His experience and leadership in conjunction with the board and key staff have proven invaluable during the current climate.
  • IMC concluded its 2019 FY with a $75K surplus. We have upgraded technology to include new computers/workstations, file sharing network & capacity—moving all files to a Microsoft Office/365 cloud-based solution. The improvement allows for better integration, ease of on-site and remote access to files by staff and has increased staff efficiency as well as proved to be a timely investment given the need for staff to work from home.
  • We are presently undergoing the organizations first complete financial audit—having only done financial reviews prior to this year. We anticipate the audit to be concluded in late summer. We are including our last 990  and 2019 year-end P&L as part of this application to the supplemental documents section.
  • With the addition of IMC’s new Executive Director, the Governance Committee has worked to strengthen and diversify the skills and expertise of the board and has added five new members.
  • IMC’s Dancing Through Boundaries-Arts learning program expanded to the Wilbur & McMahon school in the rural community of Little Compton.
  • NAB is currently at capacity and can no longer meet community demand, nor offer classes to all the children who qualify for our scholarship program at our current Charles Street location. In fact, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have had to rent additional space to meet current demand. The ability to offer an expanded schedule of classes for children and adults is essential to IMC’s vision, and a base for our future financial health.
  • We continue to work toward a permanent home in Newport; a regional center for dance and education that can accommodate IMC’s growing needs and meet the area’s growing demand. Our new home will be located in the heart of the community we serve. To date, IMC has raised @ 1.5M of a $5.9M goal.
  • IMC has pulled back temporarily on “hard-asks” related to the campaign during this period but continues to explore ways to identify and cultivate key prospects. Response to the campaign remains positive.

IMC’s proven practice of innovation, adaptation and resiliency – is further evidenced by its organizational longevity, programmatic integrity and operational stability. Board and staff have strived to create an organizational culture focused on learning. Research, evaluation, reflection, and pursuit of best practices across artistic and operational management are woven into daily operations.

We intend to remain valuable to our community by providing high-quality dance through innovative new programming, and by doing all we can so that IMC, and its dedicated artists and staff, will be ready to welcome our audiences, students, and patrons back to in-person programming as soon as its prudent.

PETER BRAMANTE NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

ISLAND MOVING COMPANY NAMES PETER BRAMANTE AS THEIR NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

NEWPORT, R.I. (January 2, 2020) — After a nationwide search, Island Moving Company (IMC) has named Peter Nicholas Bramante their new executive director. Bramante represents IMC’s third executive director and will begin his new role on January 2, 2020. Bramante brings strong leadership skills and over 25 years of experience in the nonprofit cultural sector as an executive, manager, artist and educator. Bramante’s movement work for Rhode Island theatre includes productions at Trinity Rep, The Providence Performing Arts Center, and Perishable Theatre.

Bramante previously served as Managing Director for FirstWorks. His duties included strategy, program/operations, marketing and institutional advancement. In 2010, he developed FirstWorks arts-learning program-initially serving 500 students. By 2016 the initiative benefitted over 4,500 students. Bramante produced FirstWorks participation in PVD Fest, co-wrote and implemented a Dance USA- for Engaging Dance Audiences grant and helped raise $375,000 annually. Bramante also served as a liaison to Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza’s office and Providence’s Department of Art, Culture & Tourism on its signature PVD Fest.

Martha Parker, IMC’s Chair of the Board of Directors says, “The Board of Directors is excited to have Peter Bramante join Island Moving Company as the new Executive Director. He will bring his first-hand experience and knowledge of dance and the Rhode Island non-profit community to our organization. Peter and Miki Ohlsen, our Artistic Director, make a dynamic team; they complement each other in so many ways.”

“This is an exciting time to be joining the leadership team at IMC, Bramante says. I’ve known and admired Miki Ohlsen’s work for many years-and have watched the artistic quality of the company ascend to world-class standards. IMC has evolved into a vital economic and cultural asset to Newport and Rhode Island. I am proud to have been selected to help steward the organization into its fourth decade and beyond.”

IMC’s Artistic Director, Miki Ohlsen says, “I am so excited to be working with Peter as we co-lead IMC into its fourth decade. Peter has been a leader in the arts community in Rhode Island and further afield for many years. He brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise of the dance world and has great experience in leading not for profit organizations into the future. I have no doubt he will be successful with IMC. This is a wonderful opportunity for all of us.”

Bramante grew up in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. He lived in Providence for 24 years and now resides in Tiverton, R.I with his husband. He earned a B.A. in Arts Management and Dance at Roger Williams University. He also earned an MFA in Dance Science and Performance Studies at Connecticut College while enrolled through a full fellowship. An advocate for experiential, arts-based learning, Bramante has held adjunct and associate professorships at Brown University/Trinity Repertory Consortium, Roger Williams University, Rhode Island College and Connecticut College.

From 1984 to 2000, Bramante was a founding member and Co-Artistic Director of Groundwerx Dance Theatre. He created over 25 choreographic works and directed all company productions and educational programs. During his time at Groundwerx, he was recipient of four choreographic fellowship awards from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts and a fellowship from the American Dance Festival. His choreographic work and commissions were presented at numerous universities, theatres and festivals across the country, including Gowanus Arts Exchange, Brooklyn, New York, Juneau Dance Unlimited, Juneau, Alaska and The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.

Bramante provided leadership for the Rhode Island Chapter of the Arts & Business Council (A&BC/RI) by serving as Executive Director from 2000-2010. During his tenure, A&BC/RI expanded local programs and services, created innovative audience development tools and broadened the scope of nationally funded resources aimed at building capacity of R.I.’s cultural institutions. Bramante co-developed and implemented the State’s first centralized, marketing & box office service–ArtTixri.com in 2002–that served over 50 arts and cultural organizations.

In 2010, Bramante oversaw an upgrade to a new generation of the ArtTix platform that allowed for the creation of a centralized, community event calendar consortium comprised of the State Tourism, State Arts Council, Providence Department of Art, Culture & Tourism and Downtown Improvement District presently known today as ArtsNowRI.com.

CONTACT:

Charles Kehres, Company Manager

401-847-4470

charles@islandmovingco.org

CLICK HERE FOR FULL PRESS RELEASE

The dancers are back!

The Island Moving Company began Nutcracker rehearsals today and ended their time in the studio with our traditional staff & dancer lunch up in the IMC office.  We welcomed new dancers Darwin Black, Dwayne Cook and Timur Kan to the Company.  The expanded company has allowed Miki Ohlsen to rethink many Nutcracker scenes, adding characters and modifying roles to freshen the production.  There are still tickets for some of the shows — don’t hesitate to get yours now!

Open for Dancing – each day starts with class

Open for Dancing opens on Wednesday, September 20th with an outdoor yoga class taught by Lisa Hansel on the stunning hillside overlooking Second Beach at St. George’s School.  The class is free and starts at 9am.  On Thursday and Friday mornings at 9 Revka Hovermale will be teaching a barre at the Island Moving Company studios at 3 Charles Street.  Following the early classes, each of the Open for Dancing choreographers will teach a master class at the studios; Mary Scott will teach on Wednesday, followed by Thom Dancy on Thursday and Teresa Fellion on Friday.  The class is free and starts at 10am.  Participation is still open; click here to register for the dance experience of a lifetime.

imc history

Open for Dancing Coming Up Soon!

Island Moving Company’s most joyous festival is coming up September20-24.  Come explore the possibility of participating in the creation and performance of a unique site specific work with a renowned choreographer and collaborating artist.  We’ll be lifting a glass and answering questions at Salvation Cafe on Wednesday, September 6th starting at 5pm.  Open for Dancing offers classes, opportunities to interact with the artists, exciting evening events and of course the thrill of being part of a company of dancers creating new work in iconic Newport landscapes.  Check out the details here.  Performances on September 23 and 24 are all free.  Join us for a fun-filled festival!

IMC Education Programs Honored by Newport Public Education Foundation

Island Moving Company will receive Newport Public Education Foundation’s highest honor, the Noreen Stonor Drexel Partner in Education at the NPEF’s annual event on June 2nd. The award recognizes “the significant contributions the Island Moving Company has made to the students of the Newport Public Schools.”

It was especially touching to find out that we were nominated by our stalwart partner in bringing kids to dance and dance to kids, Mark McKenna, and by our student Malak who began with us at the Pell School, came to our Pell School Class at the studio and now is studying seriously at NAB, dancing on pointe and studying in our summer intensives.

Join us at the celebration!  Tickets, which support the Public Education Foundation’s work, are available here.

 

 

IMC DAY! January 22

BE OUR GUEST!

Island Moving Company begins our 35 year with some exciting happenings.charles-st-door-12-22

Please join us on Sunday, January 22, 2017 to celebrate the acquisition of the Newport Academy of Ballet, as well as our building’s new beautification with the unveiling of new studio photographs by Clint Clemens in our studios, our hallways, and our frontage on Washington Square.

PLEASE FIND RSVP FORM AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST

IMC Day

Sunday, January 22
1:00 – 2:00 
Open Rehearsal with the Children’s Cast of Mother Goose

2:00 – 3:00
Newport Academy of Ballet Open House and Registration for the new term beginning January 30th

3:30
IMC Day Proclamation on Washington Square and Champagne Toast to the new window panels and photos displayed throughout the studio

3:45
Reception in Main Studio

ISLAND MOVING COMPANY and THE NEWPORT ACADEMY OF BALLETeducational-outreach-class

Island Moving Company is pleased to announce the acquisition of the Newport Academy of Ballet, scheduled for the end of this month.   Affiliated with IMC for the past 35 years, the Newport Academy of Ballet employs IMC’s professional dancers as its instructors, shares its building and studios, and is the heart and soul of Island Moving Company’s educational mission.

This new collaboration won’t affect any of the day to day operations of the school nor of the company, but the combining of the two will help strengthen the sustainability of both for many years to come.  We are very excited to begin our 35th year with this thrilling collaboration.

 

New Board Members Join IMC

The Island Moving Co Board of Directors has experienced a significant expansion this season, thanks to the work of Mary Clare O’Grady’s energetic Governance Committee.  At the last meeting, Kristie Feroce, whose background is in finance, and Bill Martin, longtime supporter and Partner for Dance, were welcomed onto the Board.  Recently, Kayleigh Melroy, a physical therapist who volunteers to treat our dancers, was voted on.  They join seven other new members, who represent expertise in arts administration, real estate, finance and event planning as well as networks in the art world, the sailing community and academia.  Since January, Island Moving Co has expanded the board to 20, very happy to welcome Teri Degnan, Mary Kay Koreivo, Kate Bidlack, Martha Parker, Hugh Baertlein, Julie Warburg, Brett McKenzie and Tenley van der Wal.   At the November meeting, the Board was also pleased to re-elect our officers: John La Rocca, Chairman, Kelley Coen, Vice Chair, George Furbish, Treasurer and Ellen Barnes, Secretary.

Kayleigh Melroy and Bill Martin at last summer’s Nuit Blanche

kayleigh-nb16-ahpbill-martin-nb16-ahp-optimized

Newport Nutcracker Open Rehearsal Scheduled for Veteran’s Day 2016

christine-arabian-sullivan015Before Island Moving Company’s Newport Nutcracker at Rosecliff opens the Friday after Thanksgiving, IMC will allow the general public to see how the performance comes together, with a Free Open Rehearsal on Friday, November 11 at 12:30pm.  Our professional dancers and members of our younger “kids cast” will be rehearsing various sections of the Nutcracker for all to take a sneak peek at.   Rehearsal will be finished by 3:00pm.

 

Print