This Fall, Forklift artists supported six students at Wesleyan University to embed with Physical Plant employees, working alongside plumbers, movers, HVAC mechanics, and energy managers. The semester culminated in shared creative presentations for the students’ Environmental Studies class.
Forklift Danceworks is one of 26 cultural organizations in Austin, TX to have received an unrestricted grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies as part of the Arts and Innovation in Management Program.
Forklift Danceworks is honored to have been awarded “Special Recognition” in Preservation Austin’s Merit Awards for My Park, My Pool, My City.
“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
“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
“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
“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 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