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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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/Zhigaagong and is an Arts Partner in Residence at Indian Boundary Park. The region was historically a crossroads whose inhabitants included the Saux, Fox, Miami, and Potawatomie. Through military invasion and subsequent treaties, the Potawatomie 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. While many Native people continued to live in Illinois, and many others immigrated here from elsewhere, the state has had no reservations nor official tribes since the 1833 Treaty of Chicago.
We recognize that the fact that this land is now available for our use is a result of this history. In 2016 we initiated a still in-progress 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
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, 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.