Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams last week kicked off NYC Dance Week by showing off his moves and releasing a report to encourage the growth of dancing in Brooklyn.
The report dubbed, All the Right Moves: Advancing Dance and the Arts in Brooklyn, highlighted contributions of dance and examined the challenges facing artists in the borough.
Adams found that dancing lower obesity, according to the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) 59% of Brooklyn adults are obese. Adams also cited findings from research from Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York, Inc. that dancing helps children succeed in school.
A 2015 report from the Center for an Urban Future, also in the report, found a 20 percent increase since 2006 in attendance at events organized by local cultural institutions, benefitting the borough’s business community.
The report found that one of the challenges facing the local arts community was the absence of diversity — fewer than half of the individuals working in dance in Brooklyn are people of color, based on 2000 United States Census data.
In addition, funding for the arts has decreased dramatically in New York City in recent years, including by 37 percent from the New York State Council of the Arts (NYSCA), 15 percent from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), and 16 percent from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA).
To overcome these obstacles, Adams laid out a series of recommendations that urge the City to develop a comprehensive plan that will create affordable spaces for artists and promote diversity in the arts. Some of those plans included designating vacant or City-owned properties as affordable spaces for artists and cultural institutions and enhanced training for dance organizations to focus on anti-racism and diversity. Furthermore, Adams expressed his intent to establish an arts task force as a venue for artists to collaborate and discuss cross-sector issues.
Adams said you can hear the sound of Brooklyn’s diversity in the rhythms of salsa in Sunset Park, soca in East Flatbush, hip-hop in Bed-Stuy, and ballet in Brooklyn Heights.
“Whatever the music, dance is a binding force for One Brooklyn. We must maintain the pulse of positive energy that emanates from dance in our borough, not only as a lasting tribute to the victims of the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando but as a lasting commitment to the vitality and unity of all Brooklynites,” said Adams.
“NYC Dance Week is a chance for the young and young at heart to enjoy the many benefits of dance, such as improved physical fitness and creative expression, and my recommendations for advancing arts in the borough are a call for the City to focus its policies and resources on maintaining the vibrancy of our cultural landscape, which makes it possible for Brooklyn to be a safe place to raise healthy children and families,” he added.
The announcement of the report by Adams, which kicked off NYC Dance Week, was followed a public demonstration of dance that he hosted yesterday. NYC Dance Week is a 10-day, five-borough celebration with local studios opening their doors to the public for free or discounted dance, fitness, and wellness classes and exhibitions.
For a schedule of NYC Dance Week 2016, click here.