Hi! My name is Ben Pryor, and I’m the Curator and Producer of American Realness, a festival of dance and performance opening its seventh season January 7-17, 2016, at Abrons Arts Center in New York City. Since its inception, the festival has been heralded as a champion for boundary-pushing artists working at the forefront of experimental choreographic practice and contemporary performance in the US. This year, we’re asking for your help in raising $15,000 of our total $200,000 budget, so that we can use 100% of our box office income to pay the artists, technicians and festival staff, the human labor that make American Realness the amazing festival it is.
Six years ago, I created American Realness in partnership with Abrons Arts Center as new festival offered in conjunction with APAP, the annual Association of Performing Arts Presenter's Conference. American Realness is now one of the many January in NYC consortium partners, comprised of sister festivals including The Public Theater's Under The Radar Festival, Performance Space 122’s COIL Festival HERE & Beth Morrison’s PROTOTYPE, American Dance Platform at The Joyce and GlobalFest among others and performing arts convenings including International Society of the Peforming Arts (ISPA) and Chamber Music America.
Every January, arts presenters from around the US and all over the world converge on New York City to see new performances at these festivals and build relationships with artists they’ll go on to curate and program at their venues, festivals and institutions. American Realness sought to create a platform for the presentation of new dance and contemporary performance that was reshaping the boundaries of these artistic forms. In its first year, American Realness was the most buzzed about event of the 2010 APAP conference, and was cited as #1 in ArtForum’s Best of Dance, 2010.
Over the past six years, American Realness has grown from a small 3-day collection of shows into a major internationally recognized festival. We’ve presented an incredible range of artists including: Miguel Gutierrez, Trajal Harrell, Ann Liv Young, Eleanor Bauer, Dana Michel, Ivo Dimchev, Tere O'Connor, John Jasperse, Jennifer Monson, Yvonne Meier, Maria Hassabi, luciana achugar, Jack Ferver, Liz Santoro, DANCENOISE, Jillian Peña, Big Dance Theater, Larissa Velez-Jackson, Jen Rosenblit, Big Art Group and Keith Hennessy among others, and have expanded our programming from performances to include workshops, talks, parties, events, and since 2014, the work of a few international artists each year. Our upcoming season, opening January 7th and running through the 17th, is no exception. We’re gearing up for a fantastic lineup of artists and events, and will be announcing the performance program and other events throughout this campaign. So far we have announced works including:
Be sure to stay tuned in to catch details about everything coming up.
It takes bravery to create this kind of work, and it also takes support. While the performance community is well-known for making our work happen on a shoestring budget, a festival of this size and ambition needs real funding to exist. The aim of this festival isn’t to turn a profit for itself—it’s about creating a thriving community: bringing audiences and artists together, enriching New York’s performance ecology, supporting innovative work and helping to give those works a larger life beyond its own stage.
One of the founding goals of American Realness was to shift the model of the pay-to-play APAP scenario, providing opportunities and support for artists to present their work to the national and international performing arts marketplace as a means to further their careers and increase visibility for and the general life of their work. The program has been instrumental in helping participating artists generate over $800,000 in new revenue from national and international performance engagements.
A donation of any size grants you membership to the House of Realness. Benefits grow as your donation increases. See rewards to the right for more details!
EVERYONE who donates is invited to come by the festival and get their very own screen print on any BYO Item of their choice. Backers $35 and up will receive a limited edition "MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE" season 7 screen print on the item of their choice.
If you would prefer to make a tax-deductible donation, please visit this site, and check the "I would like to make this donation in honor or memory of someone else" box and enter American Realness on the next page in the "Honoree/Recipient" information fields. Contact [email protected] with other questions.
Music by Miguel Gutierrez, Motion Graphics by Anthony Scudese, Video by Marin Sander-Holzman | Marin Media Lab.