“True inclusion means surrendering some artistic authority. It can also mean creating something that unabashedly trades on emotions rather than the heady conceptualism that’s crafted for only a few to understand. And none of that is easy for an arts world that — however liberal its veneer — ultimately equates artistic excellence with exclusivity. What’s still prized by the cultural establishment is the art work and the performance piece that obfuscates its own meaning and buries its emotion.” – Jeanne Claire van Ryzin


“Still, this pool trilogy is different, connected directly to a civic crisis and the communities it affects, bringing that community into the process, listening, providing a forum for expression, and increasing visibility. And it’s done in the most artful way imaginable.” –Cindy Widner, Curbed

The Creative Independent

“It was good for us all to be reminded that even though we might not think we’re using our imagination every day, it’s still there, and we don’t have to give up our creativity. We can still access it, even if it’s something that feels hard to do.” –Allison Orr, interviewed by T. Cole Rachel

Arts and Culture Texas – July 2017

“It’s this call to action that makes Bartholomew Swims different from any prior Forklift work. In past projects…the goal was to reveal the hidden figures that keep Austin operational, highlighting their hard work. Bartholomew Swims, on the other hand, is intended as a ‘catalyst for moving people forward in a direction on something that matters to them,’ said [Forklift Associate Artistic Director Krissie] Marty.” – Claire Christine Spera

Arts and Culture Texas

“Convention is not a part of Allison Orr’s vocabulary. The Forklift Danceworks artistic director has carved out a particular niche in the site-specific performance world of Texas—one that draws attention to the people and systems that keep our communities ticking, often without thanks or notice. This is Orr’s specialty: bringing the invisible to the forefront.” –Claire Christine Spera, Arts and Cuture Texas

Austin Woman Magazine

“… Austin choreographer Allison Orr has persuaded the unlikeliest of folks to collaborate with her. Now Orr’s back at it again with another concept-busting dance performance. This time, the founder and artistic director of Forklift Danceworks has enlisted the people that keep our lights on and our AC running—the employees of Austin Energy.” – Julie Tereshchuk, Austin Woman Magazine

KUT 90.5

“In the face of disheartening news, Orr offers a chance to dance.” – Audrey McGlinchy, KUT (June 2017)

Engaging Matters

“The [Trash Project] took the day-to-day work of an unappreciated and unrecognized city department and made it into an art form that won several awards. As the men and women in collections now pick up trash, recycling, brush and bulky items, and clean the streets we have a sense of pride. The public now comes up, saying they saw The Trash Project, and asks our employees for autographs.”  – Jermaine Defreeze, a Maintenance Worker Leader

“These “ordinary” people are important contributors to our society and important to our well-being. (Remember why Dr. King was in Memphis when he was assassinated?) For the arts to make a contribution to their sense of well-being and to the wider community’s appreciation of them is a powerful, important thing to do.”  – Doug Borwick, Engaging Matters, Arts Journal Blog

The Austin Chronicle on “Solo Symphony”

“Man, you think you know an artist. Then along comes a project in which this artist takes you somewhere you didn’t expect to go, reveals a side you hadn’t seen before.”  – Robert Faires, The Austin Chronicle

Il Nuovo Venezia on “The Gondola Project”

“Delizioso.” – Il Nuovo Venezia