Ballo Conservatio: Dance Conservation (Photography Piece)

Executive Summary:

As the world evolves, humans are slowly beginning to understand the disturbing impact their carbon footprint has on the planet’s resources. How can we grow this understanding? How can we lure individuals into thinking differently about the sustenance of our home, The Earth? I believe an effective way to increase the public’s awareness of sustainability is to change its perception of a person’s relationship to the planet. Art can do that. Art can change perceptions. It can create unexpected relationships. Art can take common notions and change them into evocative images.

The University of Washington is a gorgeous campus surrounded by the beauty of a wide range of ecosystems that require the care and attention of the University’s students, faculty, staff and organizations. The grounds are well maintained and respected. The educational activities that take place on the campus are held in highest regard. But how can we bring the inner workings of every day into sharper focus? Are all Huskies thinking responsibly and thoroughly about recycling, consumption and more environmentally sensitive alternatives in their daily living activities?

Celebrated local photographer, Steve Korn, and choreographer and graduate student, Joseph Blake, will team up to work with three UW undergraduate dance majors to create powerful visual moments of humans interacting with renewable resources––such as paper, water, recyclable dishware, etc. As is clearly evident in the accompanying images by Korn, he knows how to make inanimate objects come alive and he masterfully engages the viewer on an intimate, human level with texture, light and shadow.

The proposed project is absolutely possible and necessary to provide a new and unique way to integrate the arts, community and the concept of sustainability. Support from the Dance Program, Meany Hall for the Performing Arts, and faculty sponsor, Hannah Wiley, is a statement of community effort. The project will be an artistic endeavor that will span a period of a month considering the time it will take to shoot, edit and frame. The exhibit of the works will be year-long or permanent. The projected costs for an exhibit as such will cost approximately $5350.

Student Involvement:

The proposed project will include two undergraduates and one graduate dance student from the Dance Program for the photographic portion of the project. By engaging in this process, the undergraduates will have the opportunity to work alongside a former professional dancer who maintained a decade long international career in the arts community. In addition, the students will have the opportunity to work with renowned photographer Steve Korn. Working in a professional photo shoot will be an experience that will be very useful to them in their future dance careers. It will also expose them to a very different way of using the language of dance to create art. The attached images demonstrate Korn’s work with past University dancers. The thought behind the series will be that the red fabric in photo below would actually be a natural resource, such as paper.

This opportunity offers the students behind the scenes experience in artistic collaboration, contributes to their résumés and expands their understanding of non-profit work. As the graduate student/choreographer of this project I will maintain the role of Project Manager. I will oversee funding scheduling, initiate conversations with gallery directors, obtain project approvals, choreograph for the photo shoot, and mentor undergraduate students. I will also be responsible for publicity and public education regarding the exhibits.


Education & Outreach:

The final outcome of this proposed project is an aesthetic reminder of humans’ responsibilities to the planet, the campus and the community. The series will raise issues of sustainability that encourage recycling, connect the effect of humans’ involvement to nature and cultivate awareness our planet earth as home.

The culmination of the project will be a three set series of six photos that will be displayed at the Odegaard Library, the HUB and Meany Hall Theatre Lobby. These venues have been selected for the volume of students, faculty and visitors who travel through these establishments on a daily basis.

The proposed opening of the installation will occur in October. This will not only coincide with the internationally celebrated month of sustainability, but also the opening of the dance program’s highly anticipated annual performance season, Chamber Dance Company (CDC). Celebrating the opening of the company’s performance will also include the opening of the proposed project. Hannah Wiley, the founder and director of CDC, has generously offered the lobby space as a temporary gallery for this project. Annually, the performances have included 2,000 viewing participants. After CDC closes, Meany Hall for the Performing Arts, will include our work (space allowing) with a quarter-long installation of work from the School of Art in the Meany Hall gallery. This will allow for a larger volume of students and visitors to witness the message of the work over a longer period of time.

After the Fall Quarter the project is in current talks to be presented at Odegaard Library and the HUB.

For each series there will be an observational sheet and “drop box” that will allow for gallery strollers to reflect upon their interpretation of the work provided, as well as contribute solutions for how the arts and community can better affect change in support of sustainability on campus. I will collect, collate and publish these results on my website:

Environmental Impact:
  • Food
  • Living Systems and Biodiversity
  • Waste
  • Water
  • Environmental Justice
Project Longevity:

Following approval of the proposal and with sufficient funding this installation will be a permanent work that can be used across campus for years and years. The hope is that the work will be a jumping off point for future collaborations between the university arts community and the Campus Sustainability Fund. As of now, the proposed date for the premiere is Oct 15th with Chamber Dance Company season. After CDC closes, Meany Hall for the Performing Arts, will include our work (space allowing) with a quarter-long installation of work from the School of Art in the Meany Hall gallery. The current discussion is hanging the work for larger volumes of the community to view at Odegaard Library and the HUB throughout the 2016-2017 academic year.

Environmental Problem:

Many individuals are extremely conscientious about the role they play in sustainability. Others are less engaged, or have never been galvanized to be actively involved. This project targets the latter–– the people who have not been energized by the current arguments about the need for sustainability. This project puts a human face on the issue. It will be looking in a graphic, human language at how a person may be lured into thinking about recycling, consumption and environmentally responsible behavior.  This project literally looks at sustainability through a different lens.

The photographs will illuminate and raise issues of sustainability through human interaction. Each photo will bring to light the relationship that we, as a society, have with the world around us. The viewers will witness a “dance” between humans and natural or man-made resources: the interconnectedness between mankind and organic or manufactured elements. Hopefully these compelling juxtapositions will engender reflection and conversation, and kindle positive action. 

Explain how the impacts will be measured:

For each series there will be an observational sheet/questionnaire and “drop box” that will allow for gallery strollers to reflect upon their interpretation of the work provided, as well as contribute solutions for why they feel the arts and community can better affect change in hopes of success for sustainability on campus.  

For example, the questionnaire will include:

·      The average amount of time that he/she considers their contribution to the campus sustainability

·      Does the artwork offer new light to the human connection that we have with our natural resources?

·      Would he/she share the power of the installation with others across campus to offer change to how he/she considers sustainability?

·      How else might the arts community on campus and Campus Sustainability collaborate to offer future change?

·      What is his/her personal effort to create change when considering campus sustainability?

The opportunity for this conversation will allow for outcomes not already proposed, as well as consideration for future projects. 

Total amount requested from the CSF: $5,350
This funding request is a: Grant
If this is a loan, what is the estimated payback period?:


ItemCost per ItemQuantityTotal Cost
Project Manager (Blake)$200
Dancers/Models (UW Dance Majors)1752$350
Photographer800/day3 days$2400
Photo Editing15/hr60 hrs$900
Printing (posters,flyers)$149
Paper & Plastic$0
Clean-up Supplies$50
Student Fringe rate- UG18.80%$66
Student Fringe rate- ASE (Grad Student)17.70%$35

Non-CSF Sources:

ItemCost per itemQuantityIn-KindBudget Justification
Choreographer/Art Direction$1000/day3 days$3000For photo shoot
Hair Stylist$400For photo shoot
Flyer Posting Services$0Will use UW volunteers
Marketing$200Chamber Dance Company program- donated ad space
Rehearsal studio space$0Will use no-fee UW venue
Reception refreshments$150Will seek donated items
Costumes & make-up$400For photo shoot
Reception supplies$50Collaborating with Chamber Dance Company
Rehearsal venue space$0Will use no-fee UW venue
Project Completion Total: $9,550


TaskTimeframeEstimated Completion Date
Proposal SubmissionApril 22, 2016
Contact dancers and photographer (confirmation of schedule)May 31, 2016
Meeting with photographer, Artistic Director of CDC and dancers about scheduleJune 15, 2016
Meet individually with dancers about individually themed shotsJune 30, 2016
3 day photo shoot, obtain materials, and reserve studio spaceJuly 01-30, 2016 (dates yet to be confirmed)
Photo editing, printing and framingAugust/September
Prepare observational sheets, prepare announcements, contact university paper, finalize installation detailsLate September/Early October
Reception and Gallery PremiereOct 13- 16th, 2016