Support dance project [and then we must be]

Hello Community!
My name is Audrey Johnson and I am raising funds to support producing my work “ [and then we must be] “ a dance performance set to premiere at Counterpulse in San Francisco this June. The work is a dance performance, ritual, and research process that centers Black American practices with land, plants, and food. Supported through an artist residency at Counterpulse, I have been creating in the studio since January of this year, collaborating with two other incredible movement artists, with sound and visual collaborators supporting the work as well.
The dream for this work initially grew from a vision and spiritual call to deeply study and be in practice with my own Black contemporary and ancestral traditions with food, plants, and land. Through this residency process, it has become clear that [and then we must be], as it is now, is the first iteration of a larger vision that will include performances, interviews, meals, storytelling, and medicine. I feel excited and called to continue the research we have begun this year, and see this performance as a jumping off point for a journey and labor of love and divine work. [and then we must be] is the prayer and incantation. The prayer to allow oneself to be “broken open.” And to make it through after being broken open, to the other side intact.
At this time, I am asking community for financial, energetic, and word-of-mouth support. I am creating this work entirely self-funded, as a young independent artist. Through the residency I have received through Counterpulse, I have a modest stipend and production budget, and some income from ticket sales; however this amount of money in total does not fully cover what it would take to simply pay myself sufficiently for the hours and creative energy I am putting into this work. Beyond that, I am working with collaborators who are giving their brilliance and presence to this work, and so I am prioritizing all my existing funding towards paying them.
Another aspect of my community ask for support is that I was unable to give energy to apply for additional grants during the residency period, due to experiencing a pretty impactful flare-up of post-concussive syndrome, which I am still healing from now. With that, during this residency, my time has been spent on creation, healing, and supporting myself and this project through working. I have had additional medical expenses to pay for due to needing (expensive but supportive) care through my concussion. I am doing well now, and am happy about it! (So much gratitude to everyone who has supported my healing process through showing up in my life!) However, this financial support now will also create an immense amount of ease for me to continue on my healing path, and have the capacity to continue this work moving forward, without draining my own resources (financial, energetic, and physical).
As the show approaches, I am hoping to raise $4,000 by the end of June to support this upcoming performance, and, ensure that this project can continue.
These funds will directly go towards:
  • Rehearsal and Performance fees for the project’s two dance collaborators, and myself.
  • Sound and Visual collaborator fees.
  • Performance documentation expenses
  • Support for dancer travel/commute expenses
  • Performance materials such as food, props, costumes
  • Financial ease for myself after this performance concludes, so that I may be able to dedicate energy towards securing future residencies, grants, and support for my art.
If this project is something you feel called to contribute to, I deeply thank you! Contributors will receive a thank you from me, a blessing, and some photos from the show.
If you are unable to support financially right now, I understand, and send blessings your way still! I also deeply appreciate sharing and spreading the word, both about the gofundme and the show! Word-of-mouth work is real, and something I graciously accept.
On that, if you are local to the Bay Area, please please come thru to the show! We perform Thursday through Saturday June 2-4, and 9-11 at Counterpulse. You can read more and get tickets here:
Thank you for reading this and supporting this work!
(Movement collaborators (from L to R) Laila, Bay Laurel, and me at our first group rehearsal earlier this year!)
with deep gratitude.
~~ audrey johnson
you can read more about my dance work at my website here:

This work was developed through the CounterPulse Artist Residency Commissioning Program and is made possible by support from the Ken Hempel Fund for the Arts, Facebook, Kenneth Rainin Foundation, the Zellerbach Family Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, Emmet R. Quady Foundation, and CounterPulse members.


Audrey Johnson
Emeryville, CA

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