statement: suspension of public class programme
We regret to announce that Dance House Glasgow will not be programming public classes in the new term (from April 2018). For all the valued members of the Dance House Glasgow community we are writing to update you on our current operational status and how you can help secure our future.
Dance House Glasgow has served the urban population of Glasgow for over 20 years, defined by a holistic and inclusive approach to supporting both the community and professional dance sector in Scotland. Central to the organisation’s vision is providing access and enjoyment to dance by offering high quality dance experiences to people of all ages and abilities, for whom there may be barriers to participating. Our approach to lifelong learning reflects our programme’s capacity to embrace people of all ages coming to dance for the first time, from pre-school attendees who visit our Boogie Babies classes to performances in care homes for participants living with dementia.
Dance House Glasgow also plays a crucial role in supporting and strengthening the professional dance sector in Scotland achieved through a series of initiatives including residencies, creative labs and dancer development intensive training. In the past year alone we have engaged over 2500 participants with regular weekly arts activity across 8 constituencies offering transformative cultural activity, talent development and training opportunities as well as pioneering models of participatory activity. We provided freelance employment for 46 artists in the delivery of these programmes and engaged 60 artists from across Scotland with professional development opportunities.
As you may be aware, Creative Scotland recently decided not to include Dance House Glasgow as part of its Regular Funded network of organisations, which provides art vital three-year funding for their operation and activities. You may also be aware that Dance House Glasgow is the only organisation of its kind in the UK that does not operate from its own studio base. For the past decade, we have been working with partners Y Dance, Independ-dance, Aerial Edge and Surge towards the development and opening of a world class facility for the development of Street Theatre, Circus and Dance in Glasgow, led by WASPS. The Briggait Creation Centre was set to act as a hothouse for talent development, collaboration and cross artform working for community participants and established international artists alike. The realisation of the Centre would have provided a home for our activities and facilitated the expansion of our creative learning work as well as providing a dedicated hub for our Professional Programme and unique collaborative opportunities, alongside our partners. Crucially it was also to offer one of the few fully accessible and purpose built spaces for community participants and professional artists with physical disabilities allowing us bring inclusive arts activity to an even wider audience. For reasons entirely beyond our control, this development is no longer going ahead which leaves us without a home and this is the primary reason why our public classes will not go ahead for the foreseeable future.
As a valued part of the extended Dance House Glasgow family, we wanted you to know that we are committed to looking to the future and are working with our Board of Trustees and other funders to establish a way forward form these recent blows, and this includes an ongoing dialogue with Creative Scotland about alternative funding possibilities so that we may continue to deliver our ambitious community and professional programme of work. From April 2018, we will enter a transitional period where specific aspects of our programme will continue, so although our public classes are on pause, there are still opportunities to get involved, including Glasgow Youth Dance Company for talented dancers aged 13-21, Still Dancing our company of older dancers aged 55+, Boogie Babies, and Bus Stop, our programme for young people currently operating in Milton, Scotstounhill and Bridgeton.
As we consider our future and the vision and ambition with which we have contributed to Glasgow and the wider dance sector thus far, we will also continue to work with our partners and Glasgow Life to realise the ambition for a home for dance in Glasgow for professional dancers and participants alike.
While we do this there are ways that you can help our cause:
- Write to your MSPs, Councillors and MPs and tell them how vital Dance House Glasgow is and share your personal stories on how our work has impacted you, your community, or your artistic practice and development. You may also wish to mention the need for a home for dance in Glasgow and how that would impact on you or your work. You can find out who your MSPs, MPs and Councillors are here.
- You can donate directly to Dance House Glasgow through our website. All money donated helps us to continue our community projects, where we work with diverse groups to ensure that everyone- no matter their background- has access to dance and a healthier lifestyle. You can find out what your donation can help us provide and donate directly here.
- Dance House Glasgow is registered for Easy Fundraising. Any purchase that you make online through Easy Fundraising (be that purchases on Amazon or Tesco or anything else) generates additional income for us- with no extra cost to you. You can find out more about the process and connect your online purchases to Easy Fundraising here.
We would like to thank you all for your messages of support and remain committed to realising a revitalised future for the organisation and all that it serves. We will keep you updated with all of our upcoming plans and hope that you will continue to dance with us, now and in the future.
Ailsa Mary Gold
Artistic Director/Chief Executive