TRUCKing Dance to the Southern Tier with Bridgman/Packer

Year: 2018-2019
DanceForce Member: Lois Welk
Artists: Bridgman/Packer
Community Partners: Arts of the Southern Finger Lakes; Rockwell Museum – a Smithsonian Affiliate, Johnson City; Schorr Family Firehouse Stage, Johnson City
Audience: 360
Counties: Broome, Steuben

TRUCK is a unique dance event, staged in a panel truck, complete with a tented seating area for the audience, sophisticated digital imagery and expert dancing from two talented veterans of the stage- Art Bridgman and Myrna Packer. When TRUCK comes to town the energy of a circus or carnival is in the air. Because the artists provide their own pop-up venue, it is the perfect project for sites that do not have access to a traditional dance performance venue, creating an opportunity to launch a first-time partnership with the Rockwell Museum in Corning and to continue a relatively new partnership with Schorr Family Firehouse Stage in Johnson City.

In addition to building new partnerships, we wanted to attract new audiences. TRUCK easily lends itself to this goal for a variety of reasons – a 20-minute format, multiple shows in an evening, family-friendly content, evocative visual imagery, playful music AND the buzz that is created, literally, as the “tent goes up” in the parking lot next to the Rockwell or the Schorr Family Firehouse Stage. In Johnson City, in addition to the three performances of TRUCK, the artists set up an Interactive Video Playground that was accessible between and before performances. This aligned with a summer theater camp being held at the Firehouse Stage, and all of the campers were involved in exploring the Video Playground. There was so much interest that the artists generously opened the Video Playground a day early so the students would have more accessibility. In Corning, two new partners were engaged with the DanceForce – Rockwell Museum and TheARTS of Southern Finger Lakes. The event was coordinated with Urban Arts Crawl, a monthly gallery stroll on Market Street. Planning meetings with the Rockwell initially involved the former Director of this Smithsonian Affiliate museum, a strong show of interest and support. The ARTS of Southern Finger Lakes picked up some technical costs, hosted a reception for the artists, spread the word through social media, and provided staffing during the event.

Across the two sites, we collected a total of 116 audience surveys.
93% of respondents rated the artistic quality of the performance either Very Good or Excellent. 100% answered YES! to the question: Does this experience inspire you to see more contemporary dance?

The schedule:
Wed. July 25, 2018 Performances: 5:30pm, 6:30pm, 7:30pm
Johnson City, NY Schorr Family Firehouse Stage
Before, after and between performances, the public was invited to experience an interactive video environment.

Fri. July 27, 2018 Performances: 5:30pm, 6:30pm, 7:30pm
Corning, NY Rockwell Museum
In conjunction with Corning’s Urban Art Crawl and with additional support from The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes and The Rockwell Museum.