Looking Ahead

Looking Ahead in 2023

In 2023, L.A. Contemporary Dance Company (LACDC) took a planned pause from outward-facing activities and producing in order to take the necessary time to consider our deeper purpose as an organization. This allowed us the space to chart the best ways in which we serve our audiences, students, contributing artists, and community at large.

Here is an update of where we are today: August 2023

Announcement of New Mission and Value Statements!

As we bring our hiatus activities to an end, we are excited to officially announce our new mission and values statements that will guide us in the next steps of this journey. These statements are a result of reflecting on the past, and recognizing how we can best serve as an organization moving forward.

L.A. Contemporary Dance is a performance company dedicated to showcasing the artistry of L.A. in live and digital experiences. We curate creative environments that harness the power of the collective, promote a sense of belonging, and champion exploration and learning without judgment. In our programming, we share a restlessness of soul and desire for connection with our collaborators and community.

We value…

  • The humanity and lived experiences of those with whom we share space
  • The unique strength of a collective vision and collaborative spirit
  • Anti-racist practices to address ongoing racism experienced in the arts and society at large
  • Environments that encourage learning without judgment; Discovery over mastery
  • People who build positive environments and provide others with a sense of belonging
  • Strong relationships, foundations, and structures that support creative endeavors
  • Producing and creating opportunities for artists to share their voices and connecting people through our craft
  • Artistic work as a service, not just a product
  • The effort necessary to grow and improve, and embrace change as a part of our process
  • Questions, discussions, and constructive dialogues that build trust, and lead to greater understanding and compassion for each other
  • Respect for all forms of expression and art-making in dance and beyond

We are still in a mode of questioning, considering, learning, and growing, but our roots feel solid and our vision for the future feels evolutionary. We deeply appreciate and honor those that have contributed to our 18 year history and the incredible things created, learned, and developed during that time. This history and strong foundation helps us recognize the gaps in our thinking and respond to the current state of society to better understand how to serve Los Angeles as an arts organization.

When Artistic Director Jamila Glass spoke to the students and audience of the Summer Intensive showcase this year, the following statement resonated broadly: “At LACDC, we value discovery over mastery.” We are eager to discover new ways to move and be moved, to experience dance in its full breadth and to welcome people to our work with an emphasis on art as a public service not a product.

As an organization, we will continue to question:

  • How do we invite you in at all stages of a process to dialogue, learn, and impact the outcomes?
  • How do we be of service to your creative livelihood and emotional health?
  • How do we nurture the voices and expressions of artists, students, and audiences to be vibrant and bold, and celebrate our unique stories?
  • How do we embrace the necessity and beauty of mistakes, vulnerabilities, and unknowing in order to discover something new?

At the end of August, the Board and Leadership will meet to culminate our scheduled hiatus activities, synthesizing our findings from the past six months of meetings and deliberations. Many of the areas of focus from our hiatus have already resulted in significant shifts and actions including the rewriting of our mission, drafted value statements and tenets, and wage adjustments across the organization. We now look forward to the opportunity to see how we can bring our new mission and values to life with all of you.

Jamila and Executive Director Napoleon Gladney are making final plans and preparations for launching our 2023 season beginning in October 2023. As a Board, we look forward to supporting the season launch and hosting events to provide opportunities for you to reconnect and engage with the organization.

We will also be participating in our first series of Anti-Racist Dramaturgy workshops with Practice Progress. The entire organization will be involved, and a public workshop via zoom will also be offered for anyone interested in taking part with us. More information will be coming soon about the workshop - so stay tuned!

Thank you for your grace, support, and for allowing us the time to understand our purpose on new levels as an organization. We look forward to reconnecting with all of you soon!

With appreciation,

LACDC Board of Directors

Kate Hutter Mason, President
Michelle Jolly, Vice President
Casey Cowan Gale, Treasurer
Elisa Smith, Secretary
Ramon Valdez, Board Member
Clifton Smith, Board Member

Meet the people who have been working together during this hiatus: LACDC Board Members + Artistic Leadership - Jamila Glass & Napoleon Gladney

Read Kate's original hiatus announcement for more information.