Behind The Scenes
eMERGING through a commitment to innovation and unparalleled artistry!
Bringing people together for shared experiences, and the healing and transformative power of great live dance and world-class dance education experiences has never been more important that during the past 9 months!
Due to the ongoing health emergency, we have had to continually make, and revise program and operational decisions to secure IMC’s long-term financial position, while finding new ways to serve our community and connect with our audiences, students and dance lovers. From IMC’s studios to our offices, a culture of openness and responsibility characterizes every interaction. Ideas are valued no matter where they originate.
IMC’s rapid and thoughtful response to the COVID-19 pandemic provides strong evidence for the organization’s adaptability, as well as its ongoing importance and benefit to the community we serve.
CLIMB THE WALLS & DANCE! was IMC’s initial programmatic response to the COVID-19 crisis and was implemented March 19, 2020 and included original, world- class dance education and performance content for Rhode Islanders. CLIMB THE WALLS & DANCE!, (CTW&D) was 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 and healthy. It also allowed us to minimize staff furloughs, and provided company dancers and our teaching artists with some of their teaching income.
Additionally, it was important for us to explore how IMC could navigate the new challenges of presenting artistic programming and educational content originally built for live, in-person consumption, to new, virtual platforms.
IMC was successful in securing funding related to mitigating impacts of the pandemic from various federal & state programs Including:
- SBA-PPP forgivable loan program, ($120K)
- NEA CARES Act funds ($50K)
- RI State Arts Council’s Cares-Act Funds ($8K)
- SBA-EIDL grant ($10K)
- SBA-EIDL loan ($150K, held in reserve)
- State of RI: Commerce RI Take It Outside Program; ($15K)
As the pandemic continued, IMC applied Covid related funds to keep our staff employed—and created streaming productions of artistic programming. When the Governors’ phase 3 reopen plan was implemented, IMC pivoted again to provide free, physically distanced, outdoor performances in public parks during the summer, developed an original, innovation short film, created new & restaged repertory work for outdoor stages, and are now finalizing a major adaptation of its beloved holiday favorite.
The following is an abbreviated outline of key program and organizational initiatives undertaken in 2020.
- Where in Newport is IMC? (Outdoor, free micro performance in Newport Parks (Thursdays, July-Sep)
- Salvation & Salsa: Free adult Salsa lessons, outdoors (Salvation Café, Jul & Aug)
- Out of Ruin Dance film: Premiere & screenings (Oct)
- eMERGE! Repertory Production at Blithewold (Oct)
- Through Her Eyes – A Newport Nutcracker Reimagined (Premieres Dec 10) and includes;
- 3rd Annual Encore Awards Honoring Philip Pelletier of Newport Preservation Society)
- Holiday celebration in partnership with Bowen’s Wharf & public film screenings (Dec 10-13)
- RIPBS-TV 36 Partnership & Broadcast of Through Her Eyes – A Newport Nutcracker Reimagined (Dec 18 &20)
- New, extended social studies curriculum based on Through Her Eyes – (deploying in March 2021)
- Collaboration with St. John’s Church, Christmas on the Point streaming performance (Dec 21-Jan 3)
- Presented the first-ever, virtual– Annual Gala: Nuit Blanche; Tous Reunis, which netted $70K and reached new viewers from around the country
- Revision of existing NAB classes to on-line, live streaming (April-June)
- Return to in-studio classes and abbreviated summer intensive (July)
- NAB adaptation of fall/winter session
- Addition of Congregational Church as additional studio/class space
Other Notable Organizational Developments
Management has been proactive in mitigating potential loss of contributed revenue from donors, been aggressively seeking additional funding opportunities, and been planning strategic and structural refinement of key operational practices. To date, IMC has:
- Strategic Panning
- Planning for new Sep-Aug Fiscal Year cycle, beginning Sep. 2021 to realign contract & production seasons
- Succession planning for Artistic Director underway, Miki to retire 2022
- New 3-yr strategic plan process deployed in 2021
- Operations & Fiscal:
- 2019 990 completed and filed year end retained net earnings of approximately $100K
- Completed first-ever Audit (Final, board approved draft available in Dec)
- Hired new School Director
- Increase foundation grants by over 89% ($118K) over 2019 (does not include Covid grants)
- On track to match or exceed individual giving/annual fund
- New Co-Chairs of Advancement Committee & two year outlook
- FY 21 & 22 planning (40th Anniversary/New Building opening)
- Cap Campaign Updates
- Raised over 1.5M of 6M goal to date / in process to raise additional $1.5M for first quarter 2021
- Permitting process with City restarted after Covid-19 stalled all meetings – Final plan review & close on property anticipated in first quarter 2021
We intend to remain valuable to our community by providing high-quality dance through innovative new programming. While we adapt our timeline to account for the current climate brought about from Covid-19, we are happy to share our most recent Impact & Vision Statement for our new home. Click here for the animated PDF.