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About this Project

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An irreplaceable dance treasure:

Project History

In the Fall of 1999, the Dance Heritage Coalition solicited nominations for America's Irreplaceable Dance Treasures: the First 100. Over 900 nominations from across the full range of American dance artistry, forms, and traditions were submitted and vetted through a three-stage process of selection committees made up of experts from across the country.

From 2003 to 2009, the Irreplaceable Dance Treasures were celebrated in a national touring exhibition through a collaborative exhibition to which the DHC archives contributed still images and video clips. This exhibit, which opened at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts (New York City), traveled to Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival (Becket, Massachusetts), the Museum of Performance & Design in San Francisco, and the Ohio Cultural Center in Columbus (in association with the Theatre Research Institute at The Ohio University). This national tour garnered interest of hosts outside the DHC archives: later the exhibition was sponsored by Dance Bridge in Boulder and the Denver Public Library (in association with the Carson-Brierly Dance Collection at the University of Denver), both in Colorado, and a final installation at the Hofstra University Museum, Hempstead, New York.


Online exhibition designed by Brittany Austin.
Original online exhibition designed by Johanna Seltzer.

Blurbs and captions written by Norton Owen, Lynn Garafola, Liz Jackson, and Imogen Smith.

This exhibit was funded by generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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