Letters to the Editor

Artistic loss

April 11, 2011


To the editor:

I’m saddened at the pending elimination of the 940 Dance Company at the Lawrence Arts Center. This group has operated as the only professional modern dance ensemble in Kansas. The closing of 940 represents a blow to not only dance, but to our state, and to all of the arts.

The 940 Dance Company began in 1987 as the Prairie Wind Dancers. The company has danced on our stages (and some delightful alternative performance spaces) for over two decades. Currently, Susan Rieger serves as artistic director of 940. During her four-year tenure, she has brought innovation, choreographic excellence and thought-provoking ideas to not only the stage of the LAC, but to schools and theaters across the state and even a 940 performance in Mexico. The company has employed talented, energetic, qualified dancers. The loss of this company would leave a void in the artistic landscape of Kansas.

One would like to see an effort to support the continuation of this unique, professional dance legacy in Kansas. Perhaps arts center Executive Director Susan Tate could sponsor a targeted fundraiser, downsize the company, endeavor to increase bookings in the area or seek a permanent sponsor.

I hope the 940 Dance Company’s performances of “Red” on April 14 and 16 will not be the farewell concert.


Brock Masters 6 years, 9 months ago

Apparently not many other people feel the way you do or I suspect the company would not be going away.

Ken Lassman 6 years, 9 months ago

My understanding is that funding could have been procured had the Arts Center decided to allocate funds this direction. It instead decided to place those assets elsewhere to support other activities of the Arts Center. So it is legitimate to ask the Arts Center administration as to why they chose to shut down their support of the dance troupe and divert its funding elsewhere.

overthemoon 6 years, 9 months ago

Indeed. The arts center seems to be moving away from supporting the arts in favor of putting on swank parties, the cost of which are prohibitive to the very people who have supported and built up the art center for years. Fund raising is important, but alienating a good portion of the artists in town is perhaps a mistake.

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