Scope and arrangement
The Valerie Rochon Papers primarily consists of materials related to the development of the African-American Dance Directory. Most of these materials focus on the years between 1983 and 1987. The first mailing for the project went out to companies in 1984 and the preliminary edition of the directory was published in 1986. Materials include correspondence, administrative information, financial information, source information on dance companies and supporting arts agencies, and clippings.
The collection also includes a minor amount of personal materials and a small number of clippings related to African-American and minority-based cultural development, arts, and politics.
The Valerie Rochon papers are arranged in two series:
- 1973 - 200016.5 boxes
Valerie Rochon designed the African American Dance Directory as a comprehensive resource for, and regarding, African American dance companies performing modern, jazz, tap, ballet, and African Folkloric dance. The project was supported by the New York Foundation for the Arts as well as by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Rochon envisioned a directory that would equally be a dance resource and a marketing tool for the profiled companies and individual researchers. The directory was designed to contain detailed information on all African American dance companies as well as sponsors, and funding agencies. In addition, Rochon planned to commission original essays and art for the directory. In 1985, the directory project published an edition of the newsletter Movements. This newsletter was to serve as an information exchange between the African American dance community and the general public through essays and listings. It does not appear than another edition was ever published. Ultimately Rochon was unable to complete the directory as envisioned; however, a preliminary edition containing partial information was published in 1986. Materials in this series correspond to all aspects of the development of the African American Dance Directory. Rochon’s labels were maintained wherever possible.
- 1978 - 19961.5 boxes
This series contains materials unrelated to the African American Dance Directory. Materials include personal correspondence, an early resume, and a headshot as well as information related to Valerie Rochon’s working relationship with Eno Washington. Materials also include loose clippings and a scrapbook primarily focused on African American cultural, political issues and apartheid. The scrapbook materials were housed in a 1976 published blank book titled The Nothing Book.