In a dress, a woman poses and smiles,
Program Director, Dance

After postponing for a year, NEFA is excited to officially kick-off Regional Dance Development Initiative (RDDI): New England Now

For over 15 years, RDDI has worked to leverage and expand on existing regional resources, foster vital networks of dance artists, presenters, and communities, and to provide artistic career growth opportunities for regional dance. Its purpose is to increase the scope, visibility, and viability of dance activity and help to build, transform, and address systems regionally that haven’t centered artists as leaders in their respective communities. 

With RDDI: New England Now, we seek to cultivate a culture of abundance for New England-based dance makers steeped in recognition of their various contributions, honesty around regional contextual barriers, and equity and accountability related to future aspirations for the New England arts ecology. The program is comprised of three connected components: the Professional Development Lab, the Intersections Summit, and the New England Now Platform.  

Each component of RDDI: New England Now is designed to help a cohort of 12 New England-based dance makers articulate their practice and strengthen partnerships between New England-based artists and cultural organizers. Given the unexpected shift in timeline, we are using this blog to share new programmatic updates and important reminders.

Professional Development Lab 

In partnership with Bates Dance Festival  
Land of the Wabanaki Confederacy, Abenaki, Arosaguntacook Peoples (Lewiston, ME) 
July 25, 2021 – August 1, 2021 

As we prepare for the first component of RDDI: New England Now, the Professional Development Lab, it is our pleasure to introduce the RDDI: New England Now Faculty who will co-lead this week-long immersive and introspective experience. They each represent facets of the regional dance landscape’s strengths and opportunities as we amplify new ways of collective building towards artists thriving.  

Meet the RDDI: New England Now Faculty 

Intersections Summit  

In partnership with Redfern Arts Center at Keene State College  
Land of the Wabanaki Confederacy, Abenaki, and Pennacook Peoples (Keene, NH) 
NEW DATES: September 29, 2021 – October 2, 2021 

Originally scheduled as an in-person gathering at Keene State College, the Intersections Summit is a curated convening designed to amplify the leadership that dance plays regionally alongside industries New England is known for, such as education, the sciences, and political and social organizing.  

As a result of deep reflection, and desires to have the Intersections Summit be more inclusive and accessible, we decided to shift the event to a virtual experience. We believe this will offer more opportunities for the larger regional dance community to participate and exchange in intentional dialogue. The Intersections Summit will be free and open to the public.   

Specific times and speakers to be announced by September along with registration details. 

New England Now Platform 

In partnership with Institute of Contemporary Arts/Boston (ICA) and Global Arts Live  
Land of the Massachusset and Pawtucket Peoples (Boston, MA) 
March 18, 2022 – March 20, 2022 

RDDI: New England Now Platform, the final component of RDDI: New England Now, will be a weekend of public performances and conversations with the New England Now Artist Cohort and six additional New England-based dance artists identified by the cohort to participate in the Platform. 

There will also be small group sessions designed to support deeper dialogue between participating and curated artists with regional curators, presenters, producers, regional advocates, and cultural organizers who will identify and influence immediate and long-term planning needed to better support regional dance makers in the future. 

Special Thanks

A special thanks to RDDI: New England Now Consultant, Michèle Steinwald, and the NDP Team, Cheri Opperman and Kristin Gregory! Our work collaboratively to build and refine this experience while navigating the unknown with great determination and care will be a strong pillar towards the transformative impact we envision for both New England-based dance makers and the regional dance ecology.


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The Aliad Fund at the Boston Foundation