Dance making is a difficult task. It takes hours of rehearsal, decades of training and access to big empty spaces as prerequisite to creating something to perform. As a performing art, an audience is required and place for them to gather. All for a fleeting evening that must be recreated for the next piece or performance.

While Boston is home to a vibrant dance community, dance makers are on their own to wear the many hats of creator, renter, promoter, videographer, audience developer, brand maker, accountant and fund raiser. While dancers are on their own to commit to their craft while earning a living, usually not related to dance.

Boston Moving Arts Productions (BMAP) lightens the administration and production load for dance makers while providing well-paid dance opportunities to dancers.

Specifically, BMAP has three areas of production support focus:

  • Help raise funds for making dace through grant writing and grant reporting and management
  • Take the financial risks in producing shows while fostering non-dancer audiences
  • Provide branding and marketing collateral in the form of video and still images

BMAP's current focus is producing regularly scheduled performances targeted to specific audience experiences.

Unfortunately, dance art cannot be completely supported through ticket sales alone. The artist requires additional funds, usually in the form of grants to create new work. BMAP provides support to dance makers through grant writing. The artist defines what they want to do and which grant they wish to pursue. BMAP will research the grantor, thoroughly discuss the intent of the artist and write the grant.

So far the following grants have been successfully awarded since 2017:

  • $50,000 in Live Arts Boston grants from The Boston Foundation
  • $10,800 in NEFA grants
  • $2,000 in Assets for Artists grant from Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art
  • $14,820 in S&R Foundation Washington Award

“Men who leave their money to be distributed by others are pie-faced mutts. I want to see the action during my lifetime.” —George Eastman (Brought photography into the mainstream)

There is no such thing as altruism. Even the most generous and anonymous gifts bring delight to the giver in their obscurity. For the philanthropist, having an impact is the greatest reward.

The job of a Foundation is to convince philanthropists that their work is meaningful and effective. The job of the grantee is to be effective.

The successful outcome of an artist who has received grant funds not only achieves the desired outcome of the artistic work but also enables the grantor to prove the money they collect from philanthropists is effective. This works, however, only if there is accurate, consistent and intriguing communication with the grantor. Unfortunately, with all the other hats worn by the dance maker, this communication often falls off.

BMAP fills this gap. BMAP grant management consistently updates the grantor on artistic progress with enticing images and reports on how money is being spent, which builds trust with the grantor. With BMAP grant management, the dance maker can focus on making art while BMAP focuses on collecting and preparing communication with the grantor. This includes periodic budget vs actual reports.

Unless specifically arranged with the grantor, all communication is sent from the grantee bolstering her or his reliability and professionalism with the grantor.

A satisfied audience member is one whose expectations have been met. This does not preclude any form of dance or even any state of completion. It does, however, require accurately communicating the experience an audience will have in observing a piece. This takes focused attention to branding and audience matching.

A satisfied audience member will want to see more dance. An expanding audience for dance brings more dance funding, which in turn enables dancers to prioritize dance, creating a expanding dance capability and better performances.

Better performances create more satisfying audience experiences expanding audience participation.

BMAP curates shows that are tailored to specific audience experiences. It's primary focus is on the non-dancer audience member who may have seen a classical ballet show but possibly never seen contemporary, modern or other dance styles.

BMAP's current audience experience focus is shows that are rich in emotion and/or beautiful.

BMAP strives to pay artists the highest possible rate at a sustainable rate. The form below provides a mechanism to estimate the amount BMAP is able to pay for a piece to be presented. The show run will be Friday and Saturday evenings at the Boston University Dance Theater. Included in this payment is:

  • high definition photographs
  • high definition video
  • public relations
  • marketing
  • lighting designer
  • stage management
Length of piece in minutes:
Number of dancers/performers:
Is choreographer also a performer:

Per dancer pay:
Choreographer pay:
Total payment for piece:

A central ingredient to setting audience expectation is high quality images, both still and video that accurately capture the audience's perspective of the piece and evening. As such, BMAP provides photography and videography services specifically for creating promotional material as opposed to choreographic documenation.

The following are examples of rehersal and promo reels

The following are examples of rehersal and promo reels

Every year, BMAP curates a show, in which one piece is commissioned and the remainder are presented. In keeping with its mission to elevate the dance profression, artists in commissioned pieces are payed $20/hr for every hour from rehearsal to costuming in addition to the presentation pay calculated above.

The website serves as the audeince-centric portal for these shows.

The following are examples of commissioned work

  • Community Chreographed by Kelley Donnovan and presented March 16th & 17th, 2018 at Dance Complex
  • Love Choreographed by Jenna Pollack and presented November 8 and 9, 2019 at Boston Center for the Arts
  • Work Choreographed by Whitney Schmanski and presented November 2 and 3, 2018 at Boston Center for the Arts

David Orr
Boston Moving Arts Productions
219 West Street #2
Hyde Park, MA 02136