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The keyword was “relationship” and the key phrase was “relationship building” at the 2013 Dance/NYC Symposium this past Sunday. Clocking in at nearly 8 hours of dance industry talk, I left 890 Broadway and the new (expanded) Gina Gibney Dance Center on the 5th floor with a substantial, however hopeful, headache. In my first attempts to unpack what was discussed at the panels I attended, it was easy to pinpoint a recurring focus on building and maintaining real relationships within the dance community and beyond. With that theme in mind, I will be blogging in dispatch form each day this week in order to bring the most relevant topics, ideas, and debates about the state of relationships and dance to our online community in the most concise way possible…

DISPATCH #1: Jen Abrams of Our Goods, a bartering social network for artists (think Materials for the Arts PLUS babysitting, French lessons, photography, studio space, etc.), spent the entire symposium day helping the dance community make asset maps in preparation for building bartering relationships.

What do you have? What do you need? This is all you need to know to get started.

Asset maps in Studio 5-2. Once you create a profile on you can type in your own lists of haves and needs.

Could this be your first step to building a new relationship in your communities (dance, art, city)? Might this be a way to secure a resource whose lack is holding your dance company or career back? Is this a way to move from starving-in-your-garret-syndrome to relative artistic comfort? Or will it waste your most precious resource…time?

Sign up, have a face-to-face exchange of some essential labor or object, and then comment here about whether or not you think this is a valid and/or valuable way for you to engage other artists and support your work.


Written by Candice Thompson

After more than a decade in Brooklyn, Candice Thompson is now an Atlanta-based artist and writer. Prior to dancing with the Milwaukee Ballet Company and ad hoc Ballet, she trained with Kee Juan Han at the School of Ballet Arizona and NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She founded LOLAstretch Dancewear in 2000 and has designed costumes for a variety of theater and dance companies across the country. She recently received a masters degree in Literary Nonfiction from Columbia University’s Creative Writing Program and more of her dance writing can be found in the pages of Dance Magazine, Pointe, and Dance Teacher.