Alison Cook Beatty Dance performs at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Times Square, New York, N.Y. The Fleet for videography and photography
Now, fast forward to late 2020. It’s winter, many of us are bored, and our lives and rituals are still affected by COVID-19. The long cold months ahead seem drab and dreary, but some warming moments began to emerge. Over four months starting in December of 2020, Alison Cook Beatty Dance production performed Winter Wonderland, a brilliant and moving five-part series. The choreographed winter-themed dances were filmed in various parts of New York City, with one of the most moving dances performed at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Times Square. This spring, Broadway Presbyterian Church formed a year-long partnership with Stephanie Nelson Dance (SND). By the summer of 2021, SND will rehearse, hold classes, and film performances at the church.
Build and Borrow
A rapidly growing program, NYC Dance in Sacred Places is a success story for many reasons. Yes, it solves problems for artists and sacred places. However, the program also generated several important learnings, brought communities closer, and formed new relationships. But more can be done to expand and grow the program nationally.
“It was extremely helpful, not only for potential dancer connections, but for any space use considerations.” —Rev. Heidi Neumark, Trinity Lutheran Church
Congregations large and small have an opportunity to lean into dance or music, art showings, or other creative arrangements if that feels right. Consider marrying the tools and fundamentals of this program with out-of-the-box thinking to create new partnerships. Space-matching is smart and in its most basic form is a great way to utilize space, engage the community, and close opportunity gaps felt by the community at large. NYC Dance in Sacred Places truly demonstrates the value of identifying and nurturing the best space-matching opportunities for congregations and artists in any community. And one day soon, that community could be yours!
To learn about NYC Dance in Sacred Places, please visit sacredplaces.org/nyc.