The Dance Heritage Coalition, an alliance of the nation's major dance collections and housed in the Music Division of the Library, has been awarded a grant for $90,000 to pay for the conservation and preservation of three unique collections that represent important aspects of American dance artistry and traditions.
These collections are the Katherine Dunham Archives (African American), located in East St. Louis, Ill.; the Halla Huhm Dance Collection (Korean American), located in Honolulu; and Cross-Cultural Dance Resources (Native American, Eleanor King, Gertrude Kurath and Joann Kealiinohomoku collections), located in Flagstaff, Ariz. The grant, which will be matched by $90,000 in private funds, will assist in the preservation of photographs, moving-image material, costumes and musical instruments.
Coalition President Sali Ann Kriegsman noted: "Each collection is a community-based, grassroots organization that plays a vital role in the vitality of its community, and this support will allow the DHC to provide technical assistance to these extremely worthy, yet fragile, dance archives."
The grant comes from a preservation program, Save America's Treasures, sponsored by the White House Millennium Council in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The National Park Service administers the program.
On July 7, President Clinton announced the Dance Heritage Coalition grant along with three others, including one shared by the Library's American Folklife Center and the Smithsonian Institution.
"We are thrilled that the highly competitive program chose to include America's dance history among its awards," said coalition Chairman Vicky Risner, who is head of Acquisitions and Processing in the Music Division at the Library. "We believe the three archives selected for this preservation grant are emblematic of the tremendous need for support for dance preservation and of the diversity of America's dance experiences."
The Dance Heritage Coalition serves as an institutional think tank and national advocate for documentation, preservation and access issues facing arts and cultural organizations, artists, educators and libraries. Elizabeth Aldrich serves as director. Members of the coalition, other than the Library of Congress, are the American Dance Festival, the New York Public Library Dance Division, the Harvard Theatre Collection, Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, Ohio State University, Lawrence and Lee Theatre Research Institute; and the San Francisco Performing Arts Library and Museum.