The Dance Career Endowment Fund (DCEF) draws attention to aspects specific to the dance profession
Launched in 2015, the Dance Career Endowment Fund is the only initiative that actively supports professionals in the field of dance, physical theatre and circus before and during their career transition process in the Czech Republic. Its small team is dedicated to supporting artists who are active in the performing arts – dancers, physical theatre actors and new circus artists.
The original intention to focus primarily on the situation and conditions of change related to the transition of artists from an active stage career to another profession, and to operate solely in the role of a transition centre, was subsequently reconsidered by the Fund, who also decided to support performers during the first stage of their artistic career, i.e. their artistic career. This was mainly in response to the common situation of contemporary dance dancers as well as new circus artists who have faced difficulties in being professionally active on a continuous basis in the Czech Republic, and thus covering their economic needs and ensuring a social stability. A second career presupposes the existence of the first. Therefore the Dance Career Endowment Fund will organize practical seminars and workshops that help, for example, guide independent artists through fundraising, PR, and strategic project planning and management, thus supporting the success of their projects.
Another successful activity of the Dance Career Endowment Fund is the dissemination of information about specific aspects of artists’ activities related to the fact that their main work tool is their body. These aspects also need to be explained to the dance professionals themselves, so that they are aware of their own professional context and are able to make the right decisions at each stage of their career. Representatives from the Fund talk to students at conservatories and organize practical workshops on specific topics with the support of active professionals. They promote the topic on social media, publish articles on the Fund’s blog through traditional media channels and at various professional events. Recently, there was a shared practice program at the international Summer Letná Festival in Prague in dance and circus which was attended by acrobats from France and Canada.
However, it is necessary to create public awareness of these topics and also in the context of politics and public administrations. Discussions about the social status of artists are almost non-existent in the Czech environment. Unfortunately, the public shows no interest in the topic, and ideas about the life of artists are full of misinformation and stereotypes. The DCEF reaches out to the public through a variety of activities such as fund-raiser dance performances in Czech theatres. The proceeds from these events are used by the DCEF to finance services it offers to dancers, performers, mime artists and acrobats which include coaching or personal and psychological counselling.
The Dance Career Endowment Fund is the only organization in the Czech Republic that pays constant attention to the situation of artists from the dance, physical theatre and new circus sectors.
In 2018 it received the PEARLE* Award in the category of SKILLS/TRAINING/LIFELONG LEARNING.
Chair of the director board
Dance Career Endowment Fund