September 21, 2019, 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM ET


Cross Street Studio, 160 Cross Street, Middletown, CT 06457

RDDI New England Now Pre-Lab Community Forum and Professional Development Workshop

Co-Hosted by Wesleyan's Center for the Arts and the Wesleyan Dance Department

The New England Foundation for the Arts’ Regional Dance Development Initiative (RDDI) is a program of the National Dance Project (NDP). The purpose of RDDI is to increase the scope, visibility and viability of dance activity in and across regions in the United States.

RDDI New England Now is designed to strengthen and elevate visibility for New England dance makers as a direct response to findings from two gatherings with New England Choreographers and New England Dance Cultural Organizers hosted in 2017. 

To secure a spot in the forum, we recommend registering by September 16, 2019.

Join us for an informational session to learn more about the seventh iteration of RDDI focused on the alignment of New England resources, relationships, and opportunities in support of New England dance makers.

NEFA staff and Regional Advocates will share context on the developing RDDI initiative and discuss thematic priorities of the RDDI Lab to be held in 2020 at Bates Dance Festival (applications available in December).

The day will conclude with a Professional Development Workshop facilitated by Deborah Goffe. See below for full description.


  • 9:30 AM - 10:00 AM - Arrive & Mingle
  • 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM - RDDI Context
  • 12:00 pm - 1:00 PM - Lunch
  • 1:00pm - 4:00 PM - Professional Development Workshop with Deborah Goffe

Note: Coffee, tea, and light refreshments available in the morning as folks arrive. Lunch will be provided, please include dietary information with registration.

Deborah Goffe's A Turn of the Head: Mapping Our Own Arts Ecosystems

New England dance artists are extraordinarily resourceful strategists in their efforts to cultivate and sustain artistic practice outside perceived cultural centers. Often in response to geographic, classed, raced, gendered, sexed, and institutionally-biased systems of marginalization, artists are adept at bending component parts of their arts ecologies to their wills. In so doing, they define alternative means by which their work manifests in the world. What might it mean to acknowledge the value of those alternative strategies, and affirm the cultural abundance of our practices, our relationships and networks, and our places? In this workshop, we will employ ecological frameworks to engage group discussion and mind-mapping processes to bring our interconnected networks into focus. Perhaps in doing so, we will begin a process to see each other with greater clarity and generosity, reframe our relationship to institutions, and leverage those networks more dynamically.

Community Forum and Workshop Access Notes

  • Legal identification (ID) is not required to attend the event. Restrooms are all-gender and accessible for those using mobility devices.
  • Mobility Access: Cross Street Studio and the CFA Theater are accessible to those using mobility devices. There is a ramp from the parking lot to Cross Street Studio.
  • ASL Access: It’s helpful if you can please let us know if you need ASL services. Please email: Fcoffey@wesleyan.edu; Lpatey@wesleyan.edu;
  • Please let us know If you have any other access requests or questions by emailing or calling: Fcoffey@wesleyan.edu; Lpatey@wesleyan.edu; 860-685-5581.

New England Now is made possible with funding support from the Boston Foundation, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Aliad Fund at the Boston Foundation. 

Performance Opportunity

Taylor Mac: A 24-Decade History of Popular Music (Abridged); September 21, 2019 at 7:30pm. CFA Theater, Wesleyan University.

For the last 20 years Taylor Mac—who uses the gender pronoun “judy”—has created performance events that provoke and embrace diverse audiences. At Wesleyan, judy will perform the Connecticut premiere of the highly immersive and outrageously entertaining abridged version of A 24-Decade History of Popular Music (2016), a subjective history of American culture and dysfunction since 1776. The show highlights various musical styles and artistic voices, ranging from murder ballads to disco, Walt Whitman to David Bowie.

Tickets must be purchased separately: $35 general public; $33 senior citizens, Wesleyan faculty/staff/alumni, non-Wesleyan students; $6 Wesleyan students, youth under 18. This performance is expected to sell out.

Accessibility note: The CFA Theater is accessible to those using mobility devices. There are handrails and ramps throughout the main house. Main theater doors are manual pull doors. Accessible restroom is located on the ground level of the theater. Accessible parking is located on Washington Terrace.

Additional Opportunities

  • A Conversation with Taylor Mac Friday, September 20, 2019 at 6:00pm Memorial Chapel, 221 High Street, Middletown FREE! / Moderated by Sean F. Edgecomb, Assistant Professor of Drama at The City University of New York’s Graduate Center and the College of Staten Island, who is currently co-editing a volume on the work of Taylor Mac with David Roman. (Accessibility note: there are steps leading up to the front entrance of the building. There is an entrance for those using mobility devices located at the Zelnick Pavilion. Doors have power assist entry. Accessible restrooms located on the lower level, with elevator access)
  • Queer Cocktail Hour, Saturday, September 21, 2019 5-6pm, Conspiracy, 350 Main Street, Middletown / Join fellow audience members for a pre-show drink at Conspiracy in Middletown - drink and food specials available to patrons with a ticket to the show. (Accessibility note: this space may not be fully accessible to folks using mobility devices. The restaurant is located on the second floor. The building does not have an elevator. Please contact Conspiracy for more information: 860-236-0211)