Founded by Jmy James Kidd and Rebecca Brooks (2005), organized by Laurie Berg and Liliana Dirks-Goodman (2009-2020), and currently organized by Laurie Berg, Shana Crawford, Kadie Henderson, Jordan Lloyd, Larissa Velez-Jackson, and Jessie Young, AUNTS, is a roving platform for dance and performance based on the core values of inclusivity, collectivity, and resource sharing. AUNTS works within the frame of contemporary performance to provide artist practitioners opportunities to develop their work through live performance and teaching. AUNTS creates spaces for artists to try out ideas in a live performance setting, providing space, time, food and an artist stipend for each event. The model encourages building lasting artist to artist systems of support within and beyond each event.
Through the AUNTS apparatus, artists (from the NYC contemporary dance community and beyond) come together to share the same space at the same time, negotiating the simultaneous presentation of their work in relationship to one another. Often taking the form of an immersive live event, audiences are free to move through AUNTS, engaging with as many or as few of its offerings as they like, choosing their own path through the event and creating their own experiences through chance encounters. The whole could be viewed as a work independent from, but no more/less important than, its individual constituent parts. Since 2005, AUNTS has organized over 60 events and hosted more than five hundred artists from all disciplines and at various points in their careers.
AUNTS has organized pop-up events at dozens of spaces all over New York City, nationally and internationally. Partnering with a variety of public venues, arts organizations and unusual repurposed spaces, ranging from a boat show on the famous Clipper City schooner, to St. Cecilia’s Convent a former convent-turned art space. AUNTS has partnered with art organizations such as The New Museum, Whitney Museum, ACE Hotel, Pulitzer Arts Foundation (St. Louis, MO), Beach Sessions Rockaway, Berkeley Art Museum (CA), The Chocolate Factory, La MaMa, Movement Research, TAMTAMTAM (Berlin, Germany), NADA, The American Dance Festival, Chashama, Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church, and Arts@Renaissance a part of St. Nick’s Alliance (Greenpoint, Brooklyn)
AUNTS continues to evolve and expand to hold space for artists working under the circumstances and in the context of now. Allowing an artist’s work to be cared for – and seen – as it passes through the AUNTS model and into its next iteration.