Since 2015, The Shalleck Collaborative has been sponsoring the keynote and featured speakers at the Performing Arts Manager’s Conference (PAMC), which is a gathering for just that: executives and managers of performing arts centers across the US and Canada, and, well, the people who love them (theatre planners, acoustical consultants and architects). With the sponsorship, I am given the mic for a few minutes to say a few words of my choosing and introduce the speaker. Following here is the Introduction to Dasha Kelly Hamilton at the July 2018 Venue Connect Conference in Toronto:
I’m not nervous about opening for a poet.
I’m happy to be here for episode 5 in a series in which I offer some pseudo-scholarly observations on cultural evolutions and their impacts on venues, with an emphasis on pseudo.
I only have a couple of minutes and there have been SO many world-shifting tidal waves of late and without a doubt looking forward. I was going to weave them into my remarks, but I wouldn’t know where to begin, so this year I’ve decided not to.
Anyway, as an alternative, here’s one antidote, I mean anecdote, from the year: A friend of mine told me a story about taking her daughter on a college visit tour, looking for a good fit in a strong musical theatre program. First stop: the daughter’s first trip to New York, and of course, shows were in order. As they settled into their seats, the daughter’s talent in dance showed through: she had managed in a Broadway theatre’s row and seat, to contort her 5’-9” frame to face completely away from her mother.
House to half; house out; the world went away and the show did its thing. Twenty minutes later, the daughter is enthralled, not only facing forward but now leaning affectionately on her mom.
That’s the kind of change and impact we all signed up for.
Of course, I interpret that moment to have been solely created by the building, and so I immediately dispatched a team of researchers and our Standards for Seating in Theatres for Mothers and Daughters will be out in draft form for next year’s conference.
Now back to our regularly scheduled program.
You will see from Ms. Kelly’s bio, no less that a renaissance person’s career, committed to helping and inspiring others to find their voice, make their way and their place, cause awareness and change, and facilitation with a basis in asking why?
Dasha is a writer, live and broadcast performer, producer, venue owner, teacher, and founder of an arts non-profit, with an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University and a Masters in Marketing Communications from Roosevelt University, living a national career out of Milwaukee.
Ladies and gentleman, Dasha Kelly Hamilton