Dance Afrikana presents Kuumba: A Celebration of Afro-Dance
Leadership structure/team: If the project is a collaborative effort, please list the names of the leadership team and very briefly describes the roles of each. If an individual project, please say so.
This project is being presented by Dance Afrikana, LLC and organized and curated by its founder and artistic director, Lindsay Gary.
Does the project have an advisory board outside of the leadership team? If so, what is its primary function?
What is the project's name?
Dance Afrikana presents Kuumba: A Celebration of Afro-Dance
Describe the project, including primary medium:
Dance Afrikana presents Kuumba: A Celebration of Afro-Dance is a dance presentation that celebrates Kwanzaa through one of its seven principles called Kuumba. Kuumba is Kiswahili for creativity and its purpose is to leave the community “more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.” The presentation will showcase dance companies performing pieces that both represent Africa and the African Diaspora as well as embody the principle of Kuumba.
What is the project's duration?
This will be a one-day event taking place annually on the sixth day of Kwanzaa (Kuumba)--December 31st. The show will be from 5-7:30 p.m. The full duration of the project including fundraising activities and executing the project will be one year.
Where will the project take place?
The project will take place at Midtown Arts & Theater Center Houston (MATCH) in Matchbox 2. It is located at 3400 Main Street, Houston, TX. 77002.
Who is your primary audience? How will the project affect its primary audience?
The primary audience is members of the Houston community who would like to celebrate and learn more about Kwanzaa. Although many artistic performances are geared mostly towards artists, this show is designed to expose the greater Houston community (including families and a myriad of ethnic groups) to Kwanzaa and Afro-Dance.
Please include a link to your Website/Social Media page:
Please provide a brief description of your artistic background:
Lindsay Gary is a multi-disciplinary professional dancer with over twenty years of dance and performance experience and six years of choreography and creative direction experience. Inspired by Katherine Dunham's theory of memory of difference, Lindsay uses dance performance, dance-making, and dance education to inform, connect, and empower the African Diaspora. Her specializations include modern/contemporary, traditional and contemporary African dance, Caribbean dance, Afro-Cuban, Brazilian samba, jazz, tap, ballet, and hip hop.
Lindsay graduated from the University of Houston in 2012 with a BA in history and minors in dance and business. In 2015 she completed her MA in history and MPA in public policy from Texas Southern University. She has trained with prestigious companies and choreographers including the Silvestre Technique Training Institute (Brazil), Movement of the People Dance Company (NYC), and Urban Souls (Houston). In addition to this, Lindsay has not only travelled the world studying dance but has also performed on nationwide tours with Cirque Zuma Zuma (Africa’s Cirque du Soleil), and as a choreographer and background dancer for Nigerian Afrobeats artist Korede Bello, Trinidadian Soca artist T-Rock, and Solange Knowles. Lindsay is a sought-after dance teacher and has taught master classes locally and nationwide.
She is the co-founder of Pretty Cultured’s Movement Passport, a dance intensive that highlights dances of the African Diaspora and uses art to speak on social and cultural topics, and the founder and creative director of Dance Afrikana, a professional dance company that exists to connect and celebrate Africa and the Diaspora through dance. She has received numerous awards and recognition for her work including becoming a 2017-2018 Artist in Residence for Dance Source Houston which culminated in an evening-length production of her original choreography “Eleggua,” as well as being accepted into Fresh Arts’ Artist INC program for artist-entrepreneurs.
Please briefly discuss your experience in: Curating, fundraising, event planning, budgeting, marketing, and design:
I have nearly ten years of professional fundraising and nonprofit experience. I worked for RuffaloCody at the University of Houston fundraising call center for three years. During this time, I raised over $20,000 from parents and alumni for various university programs. In addition to this, I have fundraised for several different projects and organizations including The Re-Education Project, a 501(c)(3). I helped fundraise hundreds of dollars to start its summer program for children and to plan and curate its events including a black history tour of Houston and annual gala. I was also president of the NAACP where I planned and organized voter outreach programs and events, and oversaw the organization’s budget and marketing. In addition to this, I recently presented my first evening-length dance piece at the Barnstorm Dance Festival 2018 and assisted with social media and email marketing to promote the show, and planned a budget for my production grant.
-What is the project's mission? What are your goals for your project?
The mission of Dance Afrikana presents Kuumba: A Celebration of Afro-Dance is to curate a space for the Houston community to celebrate and learn about Kwanzaa and Afro-dance.
The goal of Dance Afrikana presents Kuumba: A Celebration of Afro-Dance is to add to Houston’s current Kwanzaa celebrations by providing a space for people of the African Diaspora to connect with and celebrate their heritage through dance, while also providing an artistic platform for dance companies, choreographers, and performers of color. Furthermore to spread awareness about Afro-culture, history, and Kwanzaa.
Why do you think fiscal sponsorship with Fresh Arts is the right fit for your project?
Fiscal sponsorship with Fresh Arts is the right fit for this project because Dance Afrikana is a small and new dance company (LLC) that would greatly benefit from the support of this organization, specifically through obtaining grants to for Dance Afrikana presents Kuumba: A Celebration of Afro-Dance. Without this assistance, it would extremely difficult to support such a show. Furthermore, this project aligns with the mission of Fresh Arts as it will not only showcase local dancers and dance-makers but will provide them with a stipend for their work as well as enable Dance Afrikana to generate revenue on a larger scale. Lastly, this sponsorship would help us to achieve our mission and goals.
Please outline any fundraising plans:
I’ll fully utilize the sponsorship by applying for various grants, as well as obtaining individual fundraising, and planning fundraising events (described below) to help support the project. I am open to various grants including two that have already been identified including the Houston Arts Alliance Festival Grant and the Wachovia Wells Fargo Grant. Both of these grants require organizations to be non-profits or fiscally sponsored so this fiscal sponsorship would create eligibility for the project.
Dance Afrikana will also host three dance workshops to help raise funds for the show. The first workshop will be an Afrobeats Dance Workshop on Friday, January 18th from 7-8:30 p.m. The second workshop will be a Soca Dance Workshop on Friday, February 22nd from 7-8:30 p.m. The third workshop will be a Heels Dance Workshop on Friday, March 29th from 7-8:30 p.m. The workshops will be held at Rising Stars Academy and the tickets are $15 online and $20 at the door. The goal is to raise at least $300 from each workshop for a total of $900. These funds will be used for costumes and props ($300) and theater rental ($600).
Are there any specific grants for which you plan to apply?
I am planning on applying for the Houston Arts Alliance Festival Grant and the Wachovia Wells Fargo Grant but am open to others also. I have spoken with Houston Arts Alliance and they accept fiscally sponsored organizations and I’m awaiting confirmation from Wells Fargo however there is nothing listed online that states otherwise.
To which specific expenses will the contributed revenues be applied?
The contributed revenues will be applied to stipends for the performing artists/dance companies ($1450), marketing ($400), light and music technicians ($600), house/stage managers ($204), box office staff ($28), photographer ($450), videographer ($450), and rehearsal space ($120).