Professional Development Workshop Series


Dance Metro DC’s Professional Development Series aims to help dance professionals increase their capacity and impact within the field of dance. Eight workshop sessions will be offered between May 2016 and July 2017. Session topics will include: budgeting and finance, fundraising and leveraging institutional support, building an individual support network, marketing and publicity for dance, promoting dance through social media, the pros and cons of becoming a 501c3 vs. fiscal sponsorship, and audience development strategies.

Professional Development Program Goals:

  • To provide tools and resources sufficient for business development and capacity building for dance artists
  • To further develop partnerships with other existing support services throughout the DC area

Professional Development Program Objectives:

  • To present eight professional development workshop sessions through 2017 in order to directly address identified needs within the professional dance community in the DC area
  • To enhance existing external dance professional support service offerings within the DC area dance community by partnering with the providers to develop impactful professional development programming

Professional Development Program Workshop Session Description:

  1. Budget and Finance 101: This session will provide some basic tools for accurate budgeting and financial practices sufficient for independent artists, small organizations and arts collectives. With a focus on project-related budgeting, participants will gain an understanding of basic financial principles and budgeting strategies for accurate reporting, compliance and projections.
  1. Writing About Your Work: This session will provide tools to help artists describe their creative work and process and will help artist participants to articulate their artist statements, including why their work is important to media, funders, partners and audiences. This workshop will share specific writing methodologies that can be used to produce accurate, meaningful and persuasive writing about the creative process and its community impact.
  1. Fundraising, Leveraging, and Identifying Institutional Support: This session will provide tools and strategies for Foundation grant research, LOI (Letter of Inquiry) and proposal writing. Participants will be provided with opportunities to draft and receive feedback on LOI and proposal text and will leave the session with specific tools and strategies applicable to institutional fundraising for dance in the DC area.
  1. Building Your Individual Support Network: This session will provide practical tools and strategies for identifying and approaching potential individual donors. Participants will identify their own network of potential funders and create specific goals, objectives and tasks aimed at building relational development over time.
  1. Marketing and Publicity for Dance: This session will provide specific tools and procedures for effectively marketing and promoting dance in the DC area. Participants will engage in a facilitated dialogue with a panel of marketing experts and will have an opportunity to develop and receive specific feedback on an overall project marketing plan.
  1. Promoting Dance through Social Media: This session will provide strategies and tips for effective social media promotional campaigns. Participants will examine the processes of a successful social media marketing campaign and will explore several channels of social media including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat and others.
  1. Is Starting a 501c3 Right For You:  This session will address a specific identified need among many artists in the DC dance community that are currently struggling with this question. Participants will be exposed to the initial filing procedures, compliance issues, benefits and challenges of serving as a 501c3 charitable organization.
  1. Audience Development Strategies: This program will explore strategies for audience development over time.  Participants will engage in a facilitated dialogue with a panel of presenters and performing arts experts that will help to articulate successful strategies that DC area artists could engage with to build their network of audience support.

In addition to the Professional Development sessions identified above, members of the Dance Metro DC board and staff will continue to provide Individualized Consulting services to professional dance artists in the DC area.

Professional Development Program Impact:

This program directly addresses identified needs in the community for the presentation of continued educational opportunities for dance professionals throughout the DC area.