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2016-2017 Impact Report

Dear Friends, 

At first glance, it might not seem like much has changed—in the 2016-17 Season we brought 23 of the world’s leading artists and ensembles to our stage; our K-12 education and community outreach programs were vibrant and inclusive; and we continued to serve our campus community through master classes, low-cost student tickets, and connecting our visiting artists with classrooms and public spaces.

But look more closely and you’ll see that Meany Center has grown into a nexus of creative research, innovative performance and learning through the arts. Through our Mellon Foundation-funded Creative Fellowships Initiative in collaboration with the UW arts academic departments, we supported the creative process of several fellows in dance, theater, music and digital arts. We also worked closely with vertical dance company BANDALOOP to explore strategies for building demand for dance among next-generation audiences on campus—an issue that is critical to the future of the performing arts across the country.

Through our visiting artists program, we explored topics of local, national and international significance: for example, three of our programs in the 2016-17 Season explored different aspects of Muslim identity: Mark Morris’s Azerbaijani-inspired Layla & Majnun, French-Algerian dance company Hervé Koubi and Tunisian singer Emel Mathlouthi. The dance company Step Afrika! was part of our community-wide celebration of important African-American artist (and former UW professor) Jacob Lawrence whose seminal work, The Migration Series, chronicled the mass movement of African-Americans from South to North between the two world wars.

What we have accomplished in this past year has set the precedent for all we hope to achieve going forward. We are grateful for your support so far, and look forward to continuing this journey with you next season and beyond.

With Gratitude,

Michelle Witt
Executive and Artistic Director