Scope and arrangement
The Danspace Project records document over three decades of dance performances produced by, or affiliated with, the Danspace Project, as well as document the day-to-day management of an arts non-profit. The records include administrative files, including the files of the Board of Directors, financial records, development files, and production material. The bulk of the material consists of production material including general season files and artist files used in the curation and production of performances by season.
Video recordings from the Video Archive Project were donated to the library separately and are cataloged individually at the Jerome Robbins Dance Division.
The Danspace Project records are arranged in four series:
- 1974-20058 boxes
Series I is arranged into two subseries: Office Files and Board of Directors. Office files are arranged in alphabetical order. Correspondence primarily represents the work of the directors and contains correspondence with vendors, staff, audience members, press, artists, and funders. Final reports are narrative and include lists of performances, publicity and reviews, and Danspace's obstacles and milestones for each season. For year-end reports regarding fiscal matters, please see Series II Financial Records. The 'Dilemma' folder regards a fiscal crisis faced by Danspace in 1983 due to difficult funding times, inflation, and increased expenses. 'May We Quote You?' was an informal survey project of choreographers and dancers who had performed at Danspace from the project's inception on how their involvement with Danspace has affected their work. The Silver Series was a photography exhibition celebrating Danspace's 25th anniversary. Board of Directors files are arranged alphabetically by material type. Meeting files contain agenda, correspondence, financial reports, and comments on past meetings.
- 1977-200612 boxes
Series II is divided into general financial records and records of the Umbrella Program. General financial records are arranged by fiscal year and contain monthly, quarterly, and yearly fiscal reports, bank statements, invoices and petty cash receipts, and box office statements. Audits were usually done annually, and examined the statements of assets, liabilities, and funds. Box office statements list artist, performance date, audience numbers, and ticket sales, including reduced, TDF, and comp tickets. Invoices were submitted by, and represent the work of, box office managers, technical directors, and lighting directors. There is a gap in records from 1999-2004. The Umbrella Program files are arranged alphabetically. The Umbrella Program was created so that Danspace could function as the fiscal agent for artists who were funding and producing their own works. On behalf of the artists, Danspace managed their not-for-profit financial reporting and assisted in collecting and distributing funds.
- 1982-200515 boxes
Series III is arranged by funding type, and within that, alphabetically. Though Danspace did collect revenue from ticket sales, it sought to give a larger potions of ticket sales to the artists by underwriting Danspace's operating costs through corporate donors, foundation grants, and government funding at the city, state, and national level. Additionally, Danspace hosted and sponsored benefits and special events throughout the year. Danspace also produced limited edition prints by Jenny Holzer (1988) and Robert Mangold (1991) which were sold to collectors. Files in this series contain grants and grant materials, event budgets, proceeds, thank-you letters, donor lists, notes, and production materials.
- 1974-199837 boxes
Production files are arragmed into three subseries: Danspace Productions, the Bessies Awards, and the EVENTS Program. Danspace Productions make up the bulk of this series and reflect performances produced by Danspace. Files for this subseries are arranged in chronological order by season, and alphabetically within each season. Records prior to 1979 are fragmentary and contain only one file of general information. Later seasons are more robust and contain correspondence, artist files, press releases and news clippings, and programs. Artist files are arranged alphabetically by choreographer or company and are interfiled with files pertaining to special events like the annual Artist Advisory Board showcase, the Food for Thought benefits, and festivals like Dive-In. Artist files contain correspondence, biographies, fliers, photographs, press releases and news clippings, and project proposals. Programs and press releases include original drafts and mock-ups. Unsorted material includes programs and news clippings.
The Bessies Awards were a New York-based dance and performance award that was founded in 1984 to recognize exceptional work done by directors, choreographers, and dancers. The award was named after noted dancer and choreographer Bessie Schonberg. Danspace presented the Bessies, along with Dance Theater Workshop and the Dance Department of Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School, from 1995-1997. Files contain nomination lists, Bessies committee files, event information, nomination lists, and meeting minutes.
The EVENTS Program allowed choreographers to produce their own performances using the Danspace facilities. Artists would submit a performance proposal, and if accepted, would pay Danspace for use of the space, administrative assistance, and access to the Danspace mailing list and bulk mailing permit. Files for this subseries are arranged by season and contain correspondence, biographies, box office statements, fliers, photographs, press releases and news clippings, and project proposals.