Our transition initiative began in Fall 2020 to re-envision Velocity’s future. Our goal in this initiative is to fully center artists, and in particular, BIPOC artists, in four key areas: programming, leadership, organizational processes, and allocation of our space and financial and other resources. Transition projects in progress include a mission + vision update; Velocity Faculty Artist Circle; Velocity Artist Index; and Space Acquisition, Fundraising and Arts + Tech committees open to community members.
We have moved out of our space at 1621 12th Ave due to financial hardship brought on by the pandemic and government-mandated closures but we are continuing our programming online and in partnership with others. The board and leadership made this decision to prioritize sustaining the people and programs that are central to Velocity’s mission.
Over the past two decades, as we have grown alongside all of you and built on the legacy of all the artists who have made this place, we continue to advocate for dance as an essential component of our city’s cultural vitality, and more importantly, as a form of resistance. These changes will allow Velocity to be more responsive to your needs as well as to live on in the next twenty-five years!
Fox Whitney becomes Interim Artistic Director
Fox Whitney came onboard as Interim Artistic Director this summer during a critical time of transition for the organization. After acting as a consultant in the spring after the shutdown happened, Erin invited Fox to collaborate with her as Interim Artistic Director specifically to help lead a Transition project and bring the Velocity Artist Think Tank to life as well as program educational programming and plan for digital and hybrid events. His experience as a former Velocity Artist in Residence, presented artist and faculty member was vital in understanding how to begin to approach evolving as an organization and continuing to prioritize Velocity’s artist-centered approach while planning for the future.
“Thank you Erin Johnson and the Velocity team for inviting me to be an important part of this transition project. Think Tank Artists, thank you for joining me in this work and for all you do for Seattle and beyond! Big virtual hugs to all the supporters and artists in Seattle for welcoming me in and supporting my ideas with gusto! Velocity has been an integral part of my artistic journey and I look forward to supporting Velocity’s persistence and growth as a much needed presence in the artistic ecology of Seattle.”
– Fox Whitney
“We are deeply grateful to Fox for his vision and leadership, and inspired by all of the artists that launched this transition through our first Think Tank process for Velocity. These artists brought an expansive energy that knocked us out of our Zoom fatigue and brought us to a place of radical imagination and care. There is still so much to do, and we are in the thick of change. Still, we can’t wait to get more people involved in the generative transition of Velocity, so that we can together create the Seattle dance landscape that artists deserve.”
– Erin Johnson
Velocity transitions out of Capitol Hill space
We have transitioned out of our space at 1621 12th Ave due to financial hardship brought on by the pandemic and government-mandated closures. The board and leadership made this decision to prioritize sustaining the people and programs that are central to Velocity’s mission. We will continue artistic and educational programming online and in partnership with other spaces and organizations in 2021, while we lay the foundation for the future of Velocity.
You can read the full announcement here.
Think Tank 1.0
The first iteration of the Velocity Artist Think Tank happened this October as a part of the Fall 2020 initiative to plan for Velocity’s future. For over 20 years we have grown our community and built on the legacy of all the artists who have made this place. This Think Tank continues that practice by centering artists’ ideas, valuing them as thought leaders and advocating for dance as an essential component of our city’s cultural vitality and as an exciting aspect of liberation. This Think Tank 1.0 and future Artist Think Tank conversations engaging with an expanding network of artists will inform how Velocity responds to the community’s needs as well as inform the organization’s plans for the future as we continue implementing our mission to provide a platform that values liberation, connection, curiosity and collaboration. Starting with incorporating their ideas into updating our vision, mission and values, these artists’ input will be central to future planning as we address the needs of our artists, in particular to BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ artists, in our programming, leadership, space use and distribution of our financial and other resources.
Velocity Think Tank Artists
Angel ‘Moonyeka’ Langley
Naomi Macalalad Bragin
Neve Kamilah Mazique-Ricardi
Erin Johnson, Fox Whitney and Kim Powe
Seattle Office of Arts & Culture’s Cultural Facilities Fund
Velocity Faculty Artist Circle
The Velocity Faculty Artists Circle (VFAC) meets regularly to address questions and concerns about class, hear updates from Velocity faculty + staff and brainstorm ideas together to improve the Velocity class experience for participants and faculty alike. The circle is a supportive space that invites feedback from faculty + staff regarding their experiences as educators and administrators.
Kaitlin McCarthy helped us develop the Reciprocity Practices framework. You may see other classes or workshops that have this label on our schedule. This means that the teacher is choosing to donate some or all of the income from the class. We’ll tell you in the description what org you’re supporting with your dancing!
Velocity Artist Index
The Velocity Artist Index will gather and share information about Seattle dance + performance beginning with Velocity artists and events and growing to include Seattle area artists and events at large.
Beginning with collecting and archiving information about our organizations history and the history of Seattle movement arts, the index will also work to archive artists from historically underrepresented groups ( BIPOC, LGBTQIA+).
The index will contain information on artists, past events and performances and draw intersections with wider issues (social justice, art movements, etc). The index will collect writing, images, video and audio documentation from artists and organizations.
This resource is intended for artists, art lovers, educators, researchers, donors and anyone interested in the rich history of Velocity and Seattle dance and performance.
Velocity Advisory Committees
These committees are a new tier in our organizational structure where board members, staff, and community members can meet on a regular basis throughout the year to work on projects that affect change within our organization and in our broader dance community. They are project-focused, and meet at various frequencies, some meeting as often as twice-monthly, and others meeting quarterly. Currently, they meet online through Zoom but may transition to in-person meetings when safe.
Velocity staff and board instigated these specific groups in 2021 based on the needs we identified in this transitional year, and we expect this process to evolve as we learn more. Our goal is to increase community and artist involvement in decision-making, build structures that operate with transparency and accountability, and encourage collaboration at the governance level of the organization.
- Art + Tech
- Artist Index
All committee meetings are open to all, and we encourage community members interested in getting more involved in Velocity to attend a meeting that sparks your interest. To be a regular member of the committee we ask for a commitment to attend as many meetings as possible, and no less than four meetings per year.
To register join a committee or speak to staff about this program please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org