Sunday, May 15, 2016


For those of you who don't know me, I'm Meredith and I'm approaching my junior year as a dance student at UArts. This summer I'm working for Eryc Taylor Dance which is a ten-year-old contemporary ballet company in New York City. I wanted to learn about both the creative process and all the other aspects of how the company is maintained, so I'm working with Eryc and the company manager in their daily operations in addition to observing rehearsals and the choreographic process. 

I started on Monday, so this has been my first week working. I will not attend rehearsals until next week, so right now I've just been learning a lot about the non-performative aspects of running a nonprofit company. I've been working with Quickbooks, an accounting and financial management software that allows you to manage finances, expenses, and income. I've also learned how to use Philantrack, a software that organizes, saves, and auto-fills grants, and Grantstation, a service through which you can search for grants. 

It's strange to be living away from home in a situation that's not oriented around a group of peers (such as a summer intensive where everyone goes to class together and sometimes lives in the same housing), but I am becoming more accustomed to it. Searching for housing for three months in New York was definitely harder than I expected. It's incredibly expensive (especially compared to Philly) and location is very difficult. I'm working a few blocks from Times Square, and finding somewhere that was a half hour or less subway commute and not an illegal sublet arrangement for $1,000 or under a month was incredibly challenging. I'm living in a residence hall for students and interns on the Upper West Side, but my parents found this after we had spent weeks searching and they raised their prices several hundred dollars per month about a week after I had committed (luckily this didn't affect me, as I had already reserved a room and paid, but it goes to show how expensive housing is here). 

Overall, my first week has taught me a lot about both what goes into running a dance company, running a nonprofit in general, and living/working as an artist in New York City. It is wonderful that creative work alludes the same attachment to currency that other profit-driven work holds, but this makes it a lot more difficult to orient with how the rest of the world is structured. It's hard to have an organization that isn't inherently about making money but needs money to be able to continue to operate. It's useful to be learning more about this now so I can have a better idea of what the realities of the dance world are. Overall, it's been an exciting, if slightly overwhelming week, and I'm looking forward to learning more with the weeks to come.

No comments:

Post a Comment