by Jacob Niedzwiecki
(reprinted with permission)
Performance photos by Vish Hansa, featuring the cast of Jacqueries, Part 1
I’m at a point in my career where I’m getting asked more and more frequently, “Are you incorporated?” As I see it, I have been lucky enough to avoid that fate. As a young artist, I watched several creators go through that process only to emerge with an incredibly cumbersome organizational armature that actually made it harder for them to make work. Since leaving the National Ballet in 2007, I have fiercely defended my independence and my creative initiative. But I also can’t overlook the way that my relationships with established companies (large and small) have made my independent career possible.
One aspect of the startup environment that I think might be useful is the idea of accelerators. These are VC-funded organizations that provide working space, organizational support, and some funding for batches of promising young startups. The relationship is almost always for a limited period of time: the idea is to give teams a chance to work for an intensive period in a really supportive environment, and to make sure they’re working in daily proximity with other teams. It’s basically a chance to try something really ambitious (and maybe fail), with support in place to make failure a badge of honour and immediately amplify successes.
Read Part II of this series