Being a Creative Incubator

Strategic Action Plan

Five-Year Goal

UNCSA will guide and support the development and prototyping of breakthrough artistic works.

Objectives & Suggested Strategies

Increase student and, where appropriate, alumni opportunities for artistic and entrepreneurial exploration.

  • Clearly define the mission and scope of creative incubation.
  • Approve and employ a case statement to develop the resources (time, money, space, etc.) required to implement creative incubation.
  • Approve and implement the curation process for projects.
  • Define and empower the leadership team for creative incubation.
  • Prototype 1 or 2 generative student or alumni projects to evaluate processes.
  • Integrate with TSKIA, EOSP, CDI, Arts Management, and other programs, where appropriate, to achieve maximum impact.

2016 – Spring Update

Becoming a creative incubator means UNCSA will partner with elite and up and coming artists in becoming a place where a new generation of artistic creation can be nurtured, allowing our students unique opportunities to be involved with high-level generative endeavors.

The current plan is to focus this work in summers; in the upcoming school year, Deans will identify and select 2-3 Creative Incubation Projects from across all schools, and identify resources that might be beneficial to projects seeking to use this time to develop their work. These projects will receive funding (current estimate is $20,000 per project), and have a residency working period in the summer of 2016.

2017 – Update

Expand Artistic & Entrepreneurial Exploration
Leaders: Susan Jaffe, Carl Forsman

UNCSA’s new Choreographic Institute includes both the Development Residency and the Professional Residency. Dean Jaffe and former UNCSA Dean of Dance Ethan Stiefel, both former principal dancers with American Ballet Theatre, are the first professional residents who will work with invited professional dancers from June 12-23. These professionals include three dancers from Houston Ballet II, four dancers from American Ballet Theatre Studio Company and one UNCSA alumna. Stiefel will be choreographing a new work.

Four emerging choreographers, including two UNCSA School of Dance alumni, are the inaugural participants in the Choreographic Development Residency starting June 19 and ending on July 21 with a performance danced by our summer intensive students.

The alumni residents are Kyle Davis, a 2008 high school graduate and a soloist with Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Mari Meade, a 2006 high school graduate and 2009 B.F.A. recipient who is founder and artistic director of Mari Meade Dance Collective in Brooklyn. The other residents are Charlotte Griffin, a native of Durham who studied at Juilliard and is assistant professor of dance at the University of California at Irvine, and Marielis Garcia, who studied with Alvin Ailey and Twyla Tharpe and leads her own dance production company in New York.

2018 – Update

Expand Artistic & Entrepreneurial Exploration
Leaders: Susan Jaffe

In March 2018, Dean Jaffe invited four professional mid-career choreographers from Boston Ballet, Charlotte Ballet, freelancer Helen Pickett, and Brian Brooks, choreographer for Wendy Whelan to perform at UNCSA. The evening consisted of a working rehearsal with 8 principal dancers from the companies listed above followed by the full performance of the works in the second half of the evening. This performance was created to raise awareness of the Choreographic Institute for our Winston-Salem audiences to help them see UNCSA as a leader of creative incubation in the dance world. Every year this institute offers in-kind gifts of approximately $40,000 per choreographer to enable them to be steeped in creativity and create a work on our summer intensive students during our five-week summer program. At the beginning of the performance Dean Jaffe announced the launch of a million-dollar fundraiser initiative to create an endowment for the institute to continue with the Professional Residency and to expand into Motion Capture, Projection, VR and other performance elements. These new initiatives will involve CDI and the School of Filmmaking.

For the summer of 2018, we will not offer the Professional Residency but have four choreographers lined up for the Development Residency (Contemporary Choreographer Melissa Bobick, Contemporary Choreographer William Isaac, Contemporary Ballet Choreographer Suzanne Haag, Contemporary Ballet Choreographer Eryn Renee Young)Helen Pickett will return to mentor our four choreographers, and the music development class will be led by Michael Rothkopf. A course on costuming will be led by the School of Dance’s Marissa McCullough, and the lighting course will be led by Adam Taylor, assistant lighting director from UNCSA’s Campus Performance Facilities. 

2019 – Update

Expand Artistic & Entrepreneurial Exploration
Leaders: Susan Jaffe

On April 28th, 2019, Dean Jaffe invited three professional mid-career choreographers from American Ballet Theatre, Ethan Stiefel, James Whiteside, Gemma Bond, and luminary freelance choreographer, Helen Pickett to perform in a gala evening to celebrate the Choreographic Institute of UNCSA. Ms. Jaffe also contributed a pas de deux that evening. The evening consisted of a working rehearsal in the First Act with nine dancers (principals, soloists, and corps de ballet) from the companies listed above followed by the full performance of the works in the second half of the evening. The dancers taking part in the performance were: Isabella Boylston, Stella Abrera, James Whiteside, Catherine Hurlin, Cassandra Trenary, Elizabeth Truell, and alums Blaine Hoven Ben Ingel. Our famous alumna Gillian Murphy also took part in the performance as the Master of Ceremonies. Ms. Murphy and Mr. Stiefel will give birth to their first child in June.

The evening gave Dean Jaffe and the professional dancers the opportunity to emphasize and recognize UNCSA as a leader of creative incubation in the dance world; this year College Magazine named UNCSA’s dance program #1 in the country for choreography. The performance (which included a Q&A) offered the performers and choreographers the opportunity to discuss with the audience why new and innovative choreography is so essential for the growth of our art form. 

Every year the Choreographic Institute offers in-kind support of approximately $40,000 per choreographer to enable them to be steeped in creativity and create a work on our summer intensive students during our five-week summer program. At the beginning of the performance, Dean Jaffe discussed the million-dollar fundraising initiative designed to build an endowment for the Choreographic Institute that enables us to continue building the Professional Residency and to expand into Motion Capture, Projection, the use of Drones in choreography and other performance elements. The new initiatives for this year involve the School of Design and Production and the School of Music.

During the opening remarks, Dean Jaffe announced a new and generous spendable gift of $25,000 from Barry and Lynn Eisenberg for the institute to reinstate the Professional Residency for the summer of 2020. The Professional Residency brings to campus eight Studio Company members from all around the country to assemble in our studios for two weeks to work with a choreographer in the creation of advanced choreography at the professional level.

In the summer of 2019, we will not offer the Professional Residency but have four choreographers lined up for the Development Residency. These choreographers are: contemporary choreographer Alexander Brady, contemporary choreographer and alum Andrew Harper, contemporary ballet choreographer Ja’Malik, and contemporary ballet Choreographer Marika Brussel.  Helen Pickett will return to mentor our four choreographers, and Michael Rothkopf will lead the music development class.  A course on costuming will be led by the School of Dance’s Director of Costumes Marissa McCullough, and a lighting course led by our luminary alum Al Crawford, lighting director of the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater.  Working with Drones and Projection courses will be added to this summer‘s program led by an associate of Dean Michael Kelley. The students will also be taking workshops in some of the technical modalities the choreographers will be learning which will allow for a more comprehensive experience for both choreographers and students. 

 

Future Years

  • Work closely with partners (CDI, TSKIA, SECCA, Arts Council, State and Regional authorities) to ensure broad accessibility and impact.
  • Rent facilities to generate revenue.
  • Re-brand the library as a Creative Learning Commons.