As choreographers, we are inspired by the movement of everyday life. We at Forklift Danceworks have made dances with over 25 groups of people who aren’t typically considered dancers—from firefighters to warehouse employees, sanitation workers to electric linemen. Choreographed by Allison Orr and Krissie Marty, our dances are always free to attend with live original music by Graham Reynolds and production design and lighting by Stephen Pruitt.
My Park, My Pool, My City
Three years ago, we embarked on our most ambitious civic project yet: My Park, My Pool, My City, a multi-year collaboration with Austin’s Parks and Recreation Department Aquatic Division and several East Austin neighborhoods. Featuring lifeguards, Aquatic Maintenance staff, and neighborhood pool users, the project amplifies civic engagement, addresses equity, and impacts city policy through a collaborative creative process.
Year 1: Sparking Conversation
In July 2017, Bartholomew Swims highlighted the work of teen lifeguards and Aquatic Maintenance staff and told the success story of Bartholomew Pool, rebuilt in 2014 after a dramatic structural failure in 2009.
Year 2: Building Alliances
Dove Springs Swims/Nadamos Dove Springs, presented in July 2018, showcased neighborhood residents and pool users alongside Aquatics staff in a joyous celebration of the public gathering space of Dove Springs Pool, in a community that has come a long way through their own organizing efforts.
Inspiring Passion and Support for Our Beloved Pools
My Park, My Pool, My City has built a lot of momentum in the first two years: In November 2018, Austin voters passed a $149 million bond for parks and recreation projects by over 80% — including $40 million for Aquatics! Givens Pool is now slated for renovations.
Year 3: Looking Back to Move Forward
Now, we turn to Givens Neighborhood Pool, built in 1958 for the black community of East Austin in an area that is currently facing rapid gentrification and displacement. Through interviews, community gatherings, and performance, Givens Swims will gather and share the stories of pool users past and present. We will celebrate the rich history surrounding this cultural treasure as the neighborhood begins to vision the future of its pool.
Why We Need Your Help
We're raising $15,000 to pay community members to create and perform in Givens Swims. From neighborhood teens to community elders — the story of Givens Pool will be told by the people who have long lived, worked, and played at this historic place.
Help us make the most of this incredible opportunity to bring Austin together. Help us activate these vital community gathering places and empower communities to take ownership of their pools. Join us in celebrating the history and envisioning the future of our city pools! Help us make art for EVERYONE!
More About the Creative Team
Allison Orr, Founder and Artistic Director, creates award-winning choreography with unlikely performers ranging from sanitation workers to forestry technicians to Venetian gondoliers. Building on her background in anthropology and social work, over the past 20 years Allison has honed a methodology of ethnographic choreography that engages community members as co-authors and performers in the creation of large-scale civic spectacles. She was a 2018 Doris Duke United States Artist Fellow and was named Best Choreographer of 2016, 2017, and 2018 by the Austin Chronicle.
Krissie Marty, Associate Artistic Director and Community Collaborations Director, works in the mediums of dialogue, participation, and collaboration to make dances with people who aren't traditionally considered dancers. She created and directed RE Source (2016), featuring the employees and machinery of a Goodwill recycling warehouse. Her community-based choreography has been made in partnership with Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, The Kennedy Center, Stratford Circus (London), Chateau de Cazals (France), and Adugna Dance Company (Ethiopia). She is a Master Teaching Artist & Trainer with the Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts.
Together, Allison and Krissie have co-directed PowerUP, Play Ball Downs Field, Afoot! A Marching Band Extravaganza, The Trees of Govalle, Bartholomew Swims, Served - Williams College, and Dove Springs Swims / Nadamos Dove Springs.
Risks and challenges
With two years of successful performances energizing us, we are moving into Givens Swims with momentum and enthusiasm. We are committed to presenting this dance as a free show, and we are also determined to pay our artists and participating neighborhood residents for their work. The aesthetics of our work employs high production value, in-the-moment directorial choices, and live musical scoring on a large scale that requires funding partners.
Collaborative dance making is what we know and love—help us with the fundraising! The sooner we raise the money, the sooner we can get back to making this the amazing dance we know it can be. Help us share the history of Givens Pool and the stories of the people who use and maintain it!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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