NEA, NEFA grants help bring Forklift Danceworks to WFU

The Forklift Danceworks company, led by Wake Forest alumna Allison Orr (’93), follows landscaping staff on their morning duties.

Wake Forest’s Interdisciplinary Performance and Liberal Arts Center (IPLACe) has been awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New England Foundation for the Arts to help fund an interdisciplinary collaboration with Forklift Danceworks – an organization based in Austin, Texas, that uses creative collaboration to spark conversation and inspire change.

Through a multi-visit residency on the Reynolda Campus, IPLACe has worked to connect Forklift with staff, students and faculty for a community-based art making project celebrating the work of the University’s facilities and campus services team.

Throughout the spring of 2019 and into fall, Forklift choreographers and Wake Forest students, under the direction of Wake Forest humanities professor David Phillips and journalism professor Ivan Weiss, will be job shadowing Facilities and Campus Services staff to learn more about the work they do and their contributions to campus life.  In the fall of 2019, another course, taught by professors Christina Soriano (dance), and Cindy Gendrich (theatre) will continue this work.

As part of these professors’ courses, students will learn more about those Wake Foresters who often work behind-the-scenes caring for the health, well-being, and safety of our campus community. The students will produce a website and multimedia to document their experiences, and many will act as support staff for the performance.

In October 2019, Wake Forest members of the facilities and campus services team will work with faculty and students in theatre, dance, and music to create a large-scale performance highlighting the skill and grace involved in the work of groundskeeping, construction, maintenance, custodial work, and landscaping.  The performance will be held on Hearn Plaza.

Founded in 2001 by Artistic Director Allison Orr (‘93), award-winning Forklift Danceworks presents innovative performance projects with diverse communities. Wake Forest is the second of three universities who are collaborating with Forklift Danceworks.