NEWPORT’S RESIDENT CONTEMPORARY BALLET ANNOUNCES
NEW SERIES OF STREAMING AND ON-DEMAND PERFORMANCES
IMC announces performance dates and tickets on sale for its new spring repertory production of TOGETHER IN THIS DREAM- Dancing Through The Digital Divide.
Live streaming performances are scheduled for March 5 & 6 at 7:30 pm, and recorded encore performances will be made available through On-Demand streaming starting March 11. Tickets including both the Live & On-Demand productions are $35, and $20 for On-demand only tickets are on sale now at www.Islandmovinco.org.
The program features two world premiere works, one, “Skeleton Crew” from IMC’s Associate Artistic Director, Danielle Genest, and a new work by guest choreographer, Mark Harootian, entitled “Steady Grip”. Genest has also set a previous work “Venus and a Crescent Moon” on IMC for the first time. Rounding out the program are restaged works from Colin Connor, Rodney Rivera, and IMC’s Artistic Director, Miki Ohlsen.
The show will be approximately 60 minutes in length and Live Stream performances will engage creative conversations with artists & audience members immediately following the performances on each of the evenings. The performances will be live-streamed from the Newport Congregational church as part of an on-going partnership between IMC and the non-profit organization that operates the space and oversees the partnerships educational & performance programs in the space.
Island Moving Company (IMC) is pleased to share the enclosed information regarding our Summer Dance Intensive for 2021 as well as notice for Open Company Auditions.
Founded in 1982, Island Moving Company (IMC) is a non-profit, professional, contemporary ballet company whose mission is to build the cultural, educational and economic vitality of Newport County, RI through dance creation, performance and education.
IMC is dedicated to the development and performance of original choreographic works, and has commissioned over 120 new dances from modern and contemporary ballet choreographers, as well as a dozen, original musical scores.
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
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:
- 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
- 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
- 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:
- Nuit Blanche – Annual Gala. Event format & dates currently under consideration-announcement forthcoming.
- 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:
- live-streamed movement classes – launched 3/23 (M,W & F 12:30-1:00) Click for schedule
- Performances – Great Dance in Great Places – premiered 4/2 (Weekly; Thurs-Suns) Click for schedule
- IMC’s Newport Academy of Ballet (NAB), initiated virtual classes 4/13 (As previously scheduled)
- NAB started new live-streamed adult classes May 4 (Weekly-Tues, Wed, Thurs, Sat) Click for schedule
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.
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 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.
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!
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.