Artistic / Executive Director, MOTOR Facilitator
Operations Assistant, Performer, MOTOR Facilitator, Childcare
MOTOR Facilitator, Childcare
Project Discussion, MOTOR Facilitator
Artistic / Executive Director, MOTOR Facilitator
Operations Intern, Puppeteer
Performer, MOTOR Facilitator
Project Discussion and Development, MOTOR Facilitator
Art is vital. We engage art as a fluid, undefined, questioning and questing force in society.
The body is vital. Live performance connects us to our lived, physically grounded reality.
We believe in somatic education. We believe in the value of pain for growth. We believe in stepping out of the quotidian to find a greater range of possibilities. We believe in an audience active and engaged, drawn into their own proprioception, feeling their full aliveness. We believe that aesthetics are how values show up in the work.
Our goal is to develop the consent and trust to create safe(r) space for the critique that might be at times difficult, but vital to growth. We seek to practice integrity with our audience, our collaborators, and all whom we engage. We value all individuals and all bodies equally. We believe in compensating all collaborators equally, artistic directors included. We create work to be accessible to all audiences, especially financially, while at the same time advocating for and educating about the true cost and worth of live performance.
ANTI-BIGOTRY ETHICS & PRACTICES
We recognize that Khecari is able to do business in Chicago in the manner it does due in part to:
– The Unites States’ genocide, ethnic cleansing, and land theft of the many Indigenous American Indian tribes
– The structure of economic wealth in the United States that was built upon the institution of slavery
– The institutionalized racism that grew out of slavery and has become entrenched in Chicago
– The invisible appropriated labor of women both in and out of the dance field
– Exploitation of fossil fuels and an economic structure premised on disposability and pollution
We are asking, how can we take regular action now, and also consider these questions not finished, so that we don’t shelve them as “solved”? We are building a continually evolving set of practices that can make redress a part of doing business.
ACCESSIBILITY STATEMENT OF WELCOME
We welcome all people with disabilities to our events. If you require a specific access service to fully participate or have any questions about accessibility, contact Cristina Tadeo at email@example.com. Please be in touch as soon as you know you would like to join us so we can make sure we have the accommodations ready for you on the day you will attend. We look forward to meeting you.
Khecari is based in Chicago/Zhigaagoong and is an Arts Partner in Residence at Indian Boundary Park. The region was historically a crossroads whose inhabitants included the Sauk, Fox, Miami, Illinois, Kickapoo, Mascouten, Wea, Delaware, Winnebago, Menominee, Mesquakie, Ho-Chunk, and particularly the Ottawa, Ojibwe, and Potawatomie, collectively referred to as the Council of Three Fires.
Through military invasion and subsequent treaties, these Indigenous Peoples were made to cede the land. The name “Indian Boundary” references a line drawn by the 1816 Treaty of St. Louis, which ethnically cleansed the lands southward. The state of Illinois has had no reservations nor official tribes since the 1833 Treaty of Chicago, but some Native people continued to live in Illinois as original inhabitants and countless others immigrated here from elsewhere. Chicago is now the home of people representing many different tribes and nations.
We recognize with grief that our use of this land is premised on that colonialist tragedy, and with gratitude the ongoing presence of native people in Chicago. We are grateful to you and to this land that continues to sustain us all.
In 2016 we initiated an ongoing dialogue on how best to name and speak to honor the history of the peoples who lived here, to recognize the colonialist tragedy that befell them, and to recognize the ongoing presence of native people in Chicago. We welcome and invite dialogue and debate about this issue in general and about how we are seeking to address it. If you or someone you know would like to be a part of this conversation, please let us know or send them our way. For more information about the movement we referenced when creating this statement, visit U.S. Department of Arts and Culture. #HonorNativeLand
In addition to the fact that the name “Indian Boundary” denotes a line created to ethnically cleanse the area, there is also imagery within the fieldhouse that may be triggering to many, in particular to Native Americans and Jews. We want to notify people in advance as a trigger warning, and to affirm Khecari’s anti-racist stance.
The Indian Boundary Cultural Center fieldhouse was created in the height of the 1920s whitewashing that romanticized and appropriated American Indian cultures. Ostensibly Native images and symbols abound in the building but were designed by the architect, Clarence Hatzfeld, a second generation American of German ancestry. There is no evidence that Hatzfeld’s choices of these images came from any particular knowledge of any Native cultures. We understand also that Native peoples did not choose these representations or participate in the design of the fieldhouse.
Included in this decor are symbols called whirling logs in some Native nations, which look almost identical to the Nazi hakenkreuz, more commonly refered to as swastikas. There is also no evidence that this choice came from sympathy with the Nazi movement, which had at that point been established but had not yet accrued mainstream power in Germany. We have been told that Hatzfeld included these symbols in the decor based on his assumption of Native American decorative symbology. We recognize that many people in the Western world see these markings as hakenkruez/swastikas and not whirling logs due to the appropration of this symbol by Nazis and that many people have a deep and visceral loathing of this symbol based on the atrocities commited by the Nazis, a feeling we understand and share. We understand that this symbol has a rich and positive history for many traditions around the world, though some people have now eschewed their continued use out of solidarity with Jews, Roma, and others who suffered under the Nazis. Other people have chosen to try and reclaim the symbol from the abuse that it has suffered and return it to its sacred meanings for their cultures. The fieldhouse itself has been designated a Chicago Landmark, so the symbols are unable to be removed or altered by the park’s supervisor, staff, or resident artists. If you would like to be in touch with us and join our continued work around this topic or have some questions on how we can accommodate your visit to the space, please reach out.
We feel it is crucial to pay all our artists equally and to keep shows financially accessible. In truth, dance ticket sales cover roughly 20% of production costs. The rest is realized through individual donations and grants.
In order to advocate for the true worth of live performance, we created a ticketing structure to demonstrate the actual costs:
In this way a full price ticket shows the price at which no fundraising would be needed. While we encourage those who can afford it to support live performance at this level, we also are active in our grant writing and fundraising efforts in order to offer subsidized tickets to the public. Therefore a given show might have tickets available for $10, $25, $75, $150, and $300.
Dancers often work for free, or receive stipends that amount to less than minimum wage. Jobs paying $10-$20 per hour are quite rare and highly sought after. We recognize that dance, and the arts in general, suffer from poor and declining funding. However, there are many in the dance industry who get paid much more: lighting or costume designers, administrators or consultants. Dancers or choreographers may have as much or more training, experience, or expertise as higher-paid members of the dance community, and often give more time to the development of the work.
Khecari has an equal pay policy and is committed to paying a living wage. Directors, admin staff, dancers, designers, consultants; everyone who works with us receives the same pay rate. This is both to practice fairness and equally honor the time, energy, and commitment of those with whom we work, and also to educate and advocate. We’ve found that often people are unaware of this situation. Audience members or donors may have no idea, and are often grateful to know how their support is being utilized toward equity.
“This 75-year study concludes the strongest predictor of well-being is not income or class: it is income equality, and good relationships.” (from Giorgos Kallis‘ Degrowth)
A New Movement: Despite Diminishing Funding that Threatens its Future, Dance in Chicago Soars. And Now is the Time for Equity to Take Wing. | NewCity
Top 50 2020 Players | NewCity
Celebrating 2019 : A Community-Sourced List | Rescripted
Top 5 Chicago Choreographers of 2016 | NewCity
Top 50 2016 Players | NewCity
Top 7 Dance Performances of 2015 | Windy City Times
Best of 2015 | NewCity
Top 5 Game Changing Dance Makers 2015 | NewCity
Best of Dance 2014 | The Chicago Tribune
Top 50 Performers 2012 | NewCity
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Khecari is a 501c3 organization. We are a community of artists and audience, donors and volunteers, partnering with foundations and community organizations. We are run by a Board of Trustees. Please contact us if you are interested in joining the board or would like further information. Non-profit organizations’ records are always publicly available.
Julia Rae Antonick
The BYOBoard is a group of individuals committed to furthering Khecari through surplus resource contribution, ambassadorship, community, and hard work. Based on principles of alternative/community/sharing economies, the BYOBoard personifies prosperity as deep community action vital for a thriving artistic company in today’s funding, presenting and political landscapes. This community of supporters bring their own unique assets to support Khecari as they are able and willing without the strict expectations that the Board of Trustees flourishes under. BYOBoard Members contribute as best suits their interests, experience, and resources without overdrawing their current time and capacity. Some examples of BYOBoard contributions are teaching a pro-bono movement practice, co-hosting a fundraising party, lending use of a pickup truck, volunteering cleanup after an event, providing a therapy session to artists on a project, or putting out social media invites for a show to their friends. Members commit to one such contribution per year (and are welcome to do more), and agree to being emailed with requests when Khecari is seeking something specific (with the understanding that Members can always say no to further commitments).
Current BYOBoard members are Lauree Hersch Meyer, Lauren Kunath, Kate Fiello, Anna Minkov, Amanda Maraist, Michael Macdonald, Kara Brody, Ali Lorenz, Emma Casey, Katie Call, Amy Ornee, Precious Jennings, Maggie Kast, Julia Antonick, Jonathan Meyer, Chih-Hsien Lin, Luke Greeff and Muffie Connelly.
Want to join? Sign up here.