Celebrating the Arts – National, State and Local!

Collage of 10 images representing different art forms

President Biden issued a proclamation designating October 2022 as National Arts and Humanities Month in celebration of the significance of the arts, humanities, and museum and library services to our nation.

The Proclamation includes the announcement of a new Executive Order which seeks to integrate the arts, humanities, and museum and library services into policies, programs, and partnerships throughout the Federal government to tackle the greatest challenges of our time. It also includes a directive to reestablish the President’s Committee for the Arts and the Humanities, which is planned for the coming months.


Mass Cultural Council Logo

Congratulations to the Mass Cultural Council, recipient of the 2022 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Agency Award from The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA). In 2021, Mass Cultural Council developed its first Racial Equity Plan, which outlines internal and external actions to ensure programs and resources are accessible and delivered equitably across the sector. Recent efforts include training staff and council members in diversity, equity and inclusion; hiring its first director of people and culture, as well as four outreach coordinators to work with BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and/or people of color) communities that have been historically un- or under-funded; and, with a one-time COVID-19 relief program for Asian American and Pacific Islander cultural organizations, developing new tools and outreach strategies to connect with constituents in their preferred language.


Expand Massachusetts Stories 2022 written in white over a monochrome photo collage.

Boston Dance Alliance is delighted to have received a grant to support a public-facing project on dance and disability through Mass Humanities’ Expand Massachusetts Stories initiative.

BDA Board members – and members of the BDA Dance and Disability cohort — John Ying and karen Krolak will be advisors on a “a modular video library of oral histories and performance footage of Massachusetts dancers with visible and invisible disabilities. The video will be shared in a series of online and in-person events at venues such as public libraries and community centers, with dancers and humanities scholars present for each conversation. The project will Expand Mass Stories by providing a combination of personal testimony, examples of artistic self-expression, and scholarly frameworks for thinking about how these dancers fit into the changing definition of disability and the historic fight for disability rights.”

Other project advisors include Alex Green, a scholar with disabilities who is a visiting fellow at the Harvard Law School Project on Disability, whose work focuses on the history of disability institutions in the United States, and noted choreographer and filmmaker Victoria Marks, who chairs the UCLA disability program and its Dancing Disability Lab.

Other great dance projects funded by Mass Humanities in this cycle include..

·        Cassandre Charles/The Black Arts Sanctuary who was funded for the development of geo-located audio tour and a launch event for Black History Month 2024. The launch event will include a panel discussion and viewing of a mini-documentary of the creation of a walking tour.

·        The Flavor Continues, whose project The Torchbearers: Massachusetts’s Street and Club Dance Community Stories is a series of interviews that looks deeply into the lives of the pioneers and cultural bearers of the various street and club dance communities in Massachusetts.

·        Emerson College’Elma Lewis Living Stories Project: Documenting Stories about Boston’s Black Luminaries in the Arts, Education, and Civil Rights digital archive of words, images, audio recordings, films, or artistic creations from community members who answer the call, “What Miss Elma Lewis taught me.”


Rituals for Resilience poster with information on the event and a photo of Betsy Miller kneeling and watching another dancer roll on the floor. They are both smiling.

The Dance Complex welcomes Betsy Miller Dance Projects facilitating their first Reflection, Healing & Movement Series event of the season. In this hour + long workshop titled RITUALS FOR RESILIENCE, Betsy will share elements of a larger body of creative practice work featuring vehicles for self-care, creative expression, and community consciousness, guided and aimed for participants at all levels of experience. Monday, October 3, 6 PM.


Large ensemble in traditional Polish attire, open their arms wide on a stage and step forward.

Śląsk Song and Dance Ensemble performs “around the world in 80 minutes” at the Hanover Theatre Conservatory in Worcester. The Ensemble is named after the Silesia region (‘Śląsk’ in Polish), and the name of its founder. For decades, the Ensemble strove for perfection and mastery. Tuesday, October 4, 7:30 PM


Drumfolk poster with photo of dancer on stage raising one arm and stomping on the floor to create rhythm.

When Africans were forbidden to use their drums, the beats found their way into the body of the people. Inspired by the Stono Rebellon of 1739 and Negro Act of 1740, Drumfolk is a thrilling, percussive exploration of American history, placing a spotlight on the rhythmic cycle of life that bonds us. Performed by Washington D.C.-based Step Afrika! at the Emerson Cutler Majestic Theatre Wednesday, October 5 – Sunday, October 16.


Danza Orgánica logo.

Ohke Kah Nippi Mehquontamūonk / Earth and Water Memory, a new film about the indigenous relationship to earth, water, and memory is screened Thursday, October 6 at 5:00 PM and 6:30 PM, with artist talk at 7:00 PM at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. It is produced and directed by local artist Mar Parrilla, featuring performances and choreography by Parilla, Jenny Oliver, and Andre Strongbearheart Gaines Jr., and cinematography by Daniel Callahan and Aric Crow Peña.


Flamenco dancer in long red dress crosses wrists above head.

Omayra Amaya Flamenco Dance Company returns to Boston with Flamenco Dance Workshop Intensives at The Dance Complex. Learn flamenco dance technique, dance and music structure, as well as traditional and contemporary forms of flamenco. To register, email omayra@omayraamaya.com, include your full name and email address, specify which workshop you are taking, then submit your payment. Workshops run Thursday through Sunday, starting Thursday, October 6, and ending Sunday, October 16.


Colorful drawing of a dancer leaping over another that is curled up with arms up.

We Move in Color is a musical revue that captures the African American narrative through the visual art of painter Paul Goodnight, photography of Lou Jones, and the work of dancer/choreographers Sheryl Thomas, Maurice Chestnut and Maxine Lyle. Thursday, October 6, 7-9 PM at the Strand Theatre, 543 Columbia Road Boston.


Three dancers lunge over their left pointed toes while pulling a fourth dancers arms. All four dancersa wear nude tight costumes.

Boston Ballet presents My Obsession, a program that explores our obsessions, devotions, and idols, featuring George Balanchine’s Apollo and Allegro Brillante, Helen Pickett’s 月夜Tsukiyo, and the encore of Stephen Galloway’s DEVIL’S/eye to music of the Rolling Stones. My Obsession runs October 6–16 at the Citizens Bank Opera House.


"IMC Newport's Contemporary Ballet forty-first season" written in white over a black background with 6 images of previous company performances

Island Moving Company opens this week with Points of Departure, world premier works by female choreographers Tania Pérez-Salas, Francesca Genovese, Danielle Genest and Colleen Cavanaugh, Thursday, October 6 – Sunday, October 9 & Thursday, October, 13- Saturday, October 15 at the Newport Congregational Church, 73 Pelham Street, Newport, RI.


Crowd dances around marching band playing trumpets and other instruments

The HONK! Festival of Activist Street Bands returns October 7-9. Featuring the irresistible sounds and spectacle of outrageous and unruly brass bands and percussion ensembles, accompanied by gigantic puppets, flag twirlers, street dancers, stilt walkers, hula hoopers, and bike ballets, all events are free. Come for the music, make some art, march in the parade, build community, and stand up for social justice.


Multiple couples dance together embracing each other.

Join the Folk Arts Center of New England at their Oktoberfest International Dance and Music Weekend from October 7, 4 PM to Monday, October 10, 1 PM  at in the Hulbert Outdoor Center, in Fairlee, Vermont. Dance staff this year includes Joe Graziosi leading Greek dance and Andy Taylor-Blenis and Tom Roby, teaching  Hungarian dance.


Three duets of dancers wearing earth toned costumes. The person in front crosses their Right leg over left while the person in the back reaches their arms underneath the front-person's arms and gesture as if they were serving them something to eat/drink.Boston Dancemakers Residency Showcase presents Kimberleigh A. Holman/Luminarium Dance’s Common Circus, a three-ring exploration of the mundane, in which common tasks and notions will be shown through a lens of performance and spectacle. As a pandemic’s worth of at-home time passed, Kim Holman found herself focusing on the tasks and motions she repeated regularly, fantasizing about the site of utmost spectacle—circus—and questioning what it would be like to throw such rote tasks as making a simple cup of coffee into the three-ring environment. Friday, October 7, and Saturday, October 8, 8 PM at the Plaza Theatre.


Foundry building, people walk on the side walks around the Foundry and the sky is blue with sparse clouds.

Eclipse Fusion Boston and many other Boston-area dance organizations including Balter DanceBluesy Tuesy, Blues Union, Boston Lindy Hop, New England Soul Line Dance Network (NESLDN), and local instructors such as Lumyr Derisier are hosting a dance extravaganza at Cambridge Foundry’s grand opening. Expect pay-what-you can lessons and socials as well as performances and time to meet other dance community members! Indoor classes in both the new theater and dance studio with air conditioning and sprung wood floors! Saturday, October 8, 12-8 PM at the Foundry, 101 Rogers Street in Kendall Square


Dancing on the charles promotional graphic with concentrical circles in different shades of yellow resembling a sunset. The graphic also includes a bridge and trees along the riverside.

Dancing on the Charles 2022 Season Closer Enjoy one last outdoor dance party! Food to purchase by Los Tacos De Papo.  Music includes The Wig & Pete Ahern, Weekend Escape Plan/Audio Architects, cakewalk, Keep On Boston/Soulfull Sunday, Jayms Joyce and so much more! Saturday, October 8, 3-11 PM.


A dancer horizontally on the floor holds another dancer's chest up.

North Atlantic Ballet presents Myths & Legends, featuring The Firebird and Scheherazade’s 1,001 Arabian Nights. Saturday, October 8, 1 & 6 PM, at The Cabot Theater, Beverly, MA.


Photo od Harvard Square filled with people and tents.

The Harvard Square Business Association hosts the 43rd Annual Oktoberfest  Sunday, October 9, 11 AM – 6 PM. (Rain date  Sunday, October 16.) Come be a part of this unique, irreverent, family-friendly annual tradition where musicians and spectators “reclaim the streets for horns, bikes and feet!” Find more information on their entertainment schedule filled with dance on their website.


Thrillah in the Rivah poster with event information over a dark background and a splash of red in the center.

The return of THRILLAH IN THE RIVAH 2022 comes to the Narrows Center for the Arts, 16 Anawan St, Fall River, MA. The hip hop jam planning committee consists of Taylor Lomba, Pheaktra Sambun, Tina “Tea” Sambun, Lang Sang and Jay Wong in partnership with The Flavor Continues Sunday, October 9, 12:30-7:30 PM. Battles start promptly at 1:30 PM


Indigenous Peoples' Day written in black over a yellow background. Image of indigenous' boots at an exhibit below.

Danza Orgánica performs Liminal Space at the MFA’s Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Mar Parrilla’s new work in development explores temporal and physical liminal spaces as the crucial spots where transformation takes place. Monday, October 10, 11:15 AM and 1:00 PM at the Shapiro Family Courtyard. Free.



Black and white image of femme-presenting person wears a long dress and sits with legs crossed, arms rest on top thigh. "Club Drosselmeyer" written in yellow over the photo.

Green Line Stomp: Club Drosselmeyer is an immersive, interactive theater experience set in a 1939 night club owned by the wealthy and eccentric Heir Drosselmeyer. The show includes a main story, several performances of various art forms, social dancing, puzzles, and more. Club Drosselmeyer is written and directed by Kellian Pletcher and has a cheeky take on the Nutcracker theme.  Apply to be part of the cast before the end of the day on Friday, October 7.


"Idea" written in orange, "swap" below, written in light blue.

Idea Swap is Back! Back in person for its 20th year, the Idea Swap at Mechanics Hall in Worcester is the annual event for New England-based presenting organizations and touring artists to network and share ideas for touring projects.This is your opportunity to initiate conversations with colleagues, develop programming ideas, and build ongoing relationships with peers and artists. Save the Date November 2; early registration deadline is Friday, October 7.


Jo-Mé Jr. Company Audition poster with audition information over an orange background and a photo of six dancers facing a river, holding on to the rail and lifting their rightv legs straight behind them.

Audition for Jo-Mé Jr. Company! As a part of the company, you’ll get a chance to tour and perform, take classes, train, learn choreography and rehearse. For more information email info@jo-medance.com. Audition takes place on Sunday, October 9, 5 -7 PM at 725 Harrison Ave, Boston.


Rauschenberg, a pale male-presenting person with grey hair, smiles at the camera and places right hand over left.

Rauschenberg Dancer Emergency Grants applications are open!
This program provides one-time grants of up to $5,000 to professional dancers in need, who have a dire financial emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences. Their aim is to allow dancers to move forward and gain stability by providing up to three months of essential expenses. You must demonstrate an urgent and critical need for emergency support. Deadline October 14.

Rauschenberg Medical Emergency Grants provides one-time grants of up to $5,000 for recent unexpected medical, dental, and mental health emergencies to artists in financial need who are practicing in the visual arts, choreography, and film/video/electronic/digital arts. Deadline: October 28.


Six people stand in the Cyclorama space at BCA as one of them extends their arm to one of the areas of the wall in front of them and opens their hand. Large canvases are spread out on the floor with pink and blue paint on them.

OPEN CALL to Boston BIPOC, Immigrant, New American artists and their collaborators! BCA’s ACTivate Residency will award two individuals or two small groups of artists a seven-day residency to create site-responsive work in the historic Cyclorama. The work can be performative and/or visual in nature and is meant to activate Boston’s artists and our spaces. Application deadline: October 30, by 11 PM.


Commonwealth Ballet logo

Commonwealth Ballet Company is looking for two male dancers for the roles of Nutcracker, Snow King, and Arabian. Nine performances run the weekends of Nov. 25-27 and Dec. 16-18. All studio rehearsals will be held at Acton School of Ballet.  Email artistic.director@commonwealthballet.org for further details.


The performing arts connection logo: name written in pink with a blue falling star over the writing.

The Performing Arts Connection in Sudbury seeks an Acro teacher for Mondays, 4:15-7:15 PM. Enjoyment in teaching at every age and level as well as the ability to communicate effectively is a must. They seek career-minded, long-term employees who have a stand-out work ethic and desire to grow.


EPIX Dance Convention written in white in the center of a golden circle over a black background.

Epix Dance Convention announces their convention Sunday, December 11 at the Chicopee, MA, Castle of the Knights. The event will include knowledgeable dance educators, along with prizes and  scholarships for students and dance studios. REGISTER NOW to secure your spot which are reserved on a first come first serve basis.


Elton John and Britney Spears turned a group of dancers loose in colorful Mexico City environments to renew “Tiny Dancer” — with a cameo appearance by Donald Byrd.


The dance season is definitely underway and Indigenous People’s Day in Massachusetts is ahead on Monday, October 10.

Let your dancing feet honor the ground  that has been and continues to be stewarded by the Massachusett, Nipmuc, and  Wampanoag peoples. To learn more, check out the Native-land.ca interactive map.

Best wishes,

Debra Cash, Executive Director