Global Water Dances receives Ann Arbor Awesome Foundation award

The Ann Arbor Awesome Foundation‘s monthly $1,000 mini-grant was awarded to Global Water Dances on November 6, 2016, for the upcoming Global Water Dances community dance event in Flint.

Global Water Dances celebrates water and life through the art of dance with an awareness of environmental actions. Global Water Dances has had a vibrant history for seven years. It has staged three worldwide events in 2011, 2013, and 2015, with a fourth event planned next year. One day, every two years, over 80 cities from around the world participate in the Global Water Dances event. From Beijing, China to Zadar, Croatia, choreographers take on local water issues through workshops, dance activism and dialogue.

Ann Arbor Awesome Foundation trustees present Global Water Dances Flint team members with their $1,000 mini-grant.

Ann Arbor Awesome Foundation trustees present Global Water Dances Flint team members with their $1,000 mini-grant.

Flint, MI will host its first-ever Global Water Dances event on June 24, 2017 at Riverbank Park. The event will be structured in four parts. The first section, “Ritual,” is an opening ceremony specific to each site. The second section, “Local Dance,” will be a dance created by choreographers from the area, using locally-based music, related to the river and recovery efforts. The third section, “Global Dance,” features simultaneous choreography done by all the performers worldwide to the same piece of music, connecting participants and audience globally. The fourth section, “Participatory Dance,” encourages audience participation in a simple movement sequence.

Shawn Lent, social practice dance artist and program director for the Chicago Dancemakers Forum, is organizing the event. Leading up to the event, Lent and other dance artists are conducting community dialogue workshops through the arts in Flint. Partners in Flint include Karen Mills Jennings and students at the Flint School of Performing Arts, Emma Davis at the University of Michigan-Flint, and artists Peggy Mead Finizio, Adesola Akinleye and Alisyn Hurd.

The Ann Arbor Awesome Foundation is the Ann Arbor chapter of the Boston-based micro-philanthropic organization known as the Awesome Foundation. Each fully autonomous chapter supports awesome projects through micro-grants, usually given out monthly. These micro-grants, $1000 or the local equivalent, come out of pockets of the chapter’s “trustees” and are given on a no-strings-attached basis to people and groups working on awesome projects.

ÆPEX Access receives Ann Arbor Awesome Foundation award

The Ann Arbor Awesome Foundation’s monthly $1,000 minigrant was awarded to ÆPEX Contemporary Performance on October 2, 2016. ÆPEX Contemporary Performance is southeast Michigan’s only professional music concert presenter focused on new classical music. The Awesome Foundation funds will be applied towards the ÆPEX Access project, a public art endeavor that augments ÆPEX’s typical concert presentations with free, simulcast viewing stations across downtown Ann Arbor. ÆPEX Access will debut this concept during an October 28th concert at Ann Arbor’s First United Methodist Church, and test it for future applications.

Ann Arbor Awesome Foundation trustees present members of  ÆPEX Contemporary Performance with their $1,000 minigrant.

Ann Arbor Awesome Foundation trustees present members of ÆPEX Contemporary Performance with their $1,000 minigrant.

ÆPEX Access will use social media applications, such as Periscope, to broadcast this concert to at least three sites chosen for their physical accessibility and technological capabilities. At least one site will be outdoors, which will require new equipment and staff. However, ÆPEX will also choose sites that already have video and sound systems, and that are known for hosting viewing events, such as the theater at the downtown Ann Arbor District Library.

ÆPEX Contemporary Performance will promote ÆPEX Access, but also anticipates this initiative will generate spontaneous interactions with this concert. The goal of ÆPEX Access is making classical music performances more accessible to Ann Arbor’s art- and music-loving public. Not only will ÆPEX Access help the October 28th concert reach listeners beyond its venue’s physical boundaries, it will also intensify the listening experience for the live audience at the church, as they will know others across Ann Arbor are enjoying the same performance.

ÆPEX Access will yield a communal art experience impossible to achieve by traditional means. ÆPEX Access will give hundreds of people in the Ann Arbor community a chance to experience ÆPEX Contemporary Performance’s world-class concert production at no cost, simply by taking a walk, or by making a regular visit to their favorite local establishment. By making the world’s best newly composed music public, ÆPEX Access holds the potential to facilitate countless meaningful and unexpected art interactions for people across downtown Ann Arbor.