The field center is a residency center for arts practices that serves as a resource for working artists at all stages of their career to focus on their work, develop their teaching and performance practices and build stronger collaborative relationships with one another. Through working together we help to create and curate structures, solutions and events that inspire equitable, environmentally and socially sustainable practices, interrogate systems, drive creativity, inspire learning and encourage courageous exploration.
We work towards cultivating the arts ecology in the United States while bridging gaps between differing ages, human identities, and borders between people and practices in both the local, national and international communities. We work to create a place that appreciates difference and is rigorous, improvisational, intuitive, healthy and original.
The field center does not tolerate racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia or xenophobia.
We are also dedicated to understanding and unpacking the potential for those things inside of ourselves as a society, as organizers and as individuals.
Artists need to take risks and explore edges to create work, however people first need to find and feel safety in order to take those risks and that safety is cultivated slowly and deliberately over time inside of spaces that support and cultivate dialogue, equity and transparency.
This particular moment asks us to work together to not just survive, but to work toward fundamental change so that we do not go back to systems and ways of working that were not serving us or were deeply problematic and to manifest fundamental changes in the dance landscape that overtly support anti-racism work, indigenous rights, visibility for trans and queer artists and new strategies to promote safety and access for all.
The fragile ecology of arts funding in this country and the steady losses of physical studios to practice, teach and rehearse,
as well as the losses of countless small and mid-size performance venues over the last few years has required artists to look inward into how and why we build work today and what we want our future to look like.
As an institution that at its core is an experiment in community building, an interrogation of the systems we live within, and an exploration of what it means to teach and dance together today, the field center will continue to pursue and explore new ways to create support networks for working artists of all identities and experiences.
As we develop our programming for our very first year, we look for new paradigms around living and making work together, exploring reparation inside of our cost structures and asking ourselves to interrogate the hierarchies and systems that have been so destructive to so many for so long and to look toward rigorous new spaces for 'us' by 'us' that can exist inside the rich and fragile U.S. arts ecology. We look forward to sharing actions on these fronts in the coming months.
It is an indigenous-led movement with implications throughout north america/turtle island and beyond.
This movement creates guidelines and protocols for how organizations and individuals can:
Investigate what the relationship [with the land] is
Return state lands and access to lands to native peoples
Live as simply and sustainably as possible
Reject notions of extractive economy, reject commodification and exploitation of land
Physically and materially return that which has been stolen, but also a return spiritually and mentally
Support kinship with the earth, fulfilling our role as stewards of the land
The purchasing of land and property is very strange. The shadows of capitalism and colonialism can often make the process itself feel complex and troubled, and the associated costs often make it prohibitive for those without direct access to capitol. It is vital that we acknowledge and remember that much of the property land and territory for sale in this country was forcibly stolen from Native tribal peoples. The genocide and forced migrations/imprisonment of those native peoples throughout the us/turtle island was done in order to provide land and territory for colonists and 'settlers' from Europe and to harm and disenfranchise the Native populations. It is vital that we not just remember but that we engage with those histories.
Following the lead of many Indigenous and Native American led efforts we are committed to engaging in restorative and reparation-based work around Land Back and access for Native people's, knowing that if we proceed with care and a sense of stewardship we can find new ways to do things together.
The field center is currently in talks with the local Elnu Abenaki around our iteration of land-back and land acknowledgment over the coming year. We are committed to working together to find ways to do these things that are helpful, restorative and also economically feasible and we look forward to sharing developments on this work as it unfolds.
The field center is located in what is now known as Rockingham/Bellows Falls Vermont near the village of Bellows Falls/ Kitchee Pontegu [Sokoki-Abenaki Band + Pannacock territories].
It is home to 50 acres of pine and birch forest rising up from the banks of the Williams River and is used by bobcat, coyote, bear, turtle, moose, frog, deer, rabbit, fox, weasel, turkey, mice, porcupine, hawk, eagle, weasel, owl, beaver, muskrat, woodchuck, raccoon, opossum, skunk and vast communities of animals, plants and trees.
We acknowledge that these were also the primary tribal lands of the Algonkian speaking Abenaki [Abenqui], one of the five nations in the 'Wabanaki Confederacy' 'People of the Dawn' or 'Easterner'.
These people lived, hunted and farmed on and with this land, throughout what is known today as Vermont , for nearly two thousand years before their land was stolen and they faced genocide through waves of European colonialism from both the united states and Canada.
This land and the spaces inside of it were built through and inside of that experience and by those forces.
We encourage you to connect with these people! They are still very much alive and active in the area and we invite you to learn more about them and their lives today. We have provided links below to our local tribal networks.
We also strongly encourage you to seek out and connect with the indigenous communities around you as a practice, regardless of where you live, to learn about them and to listen to them and to support them. Engaging with, amplifying, and prioritizing voices from North American Indigenous and First Nations people is an essential part of the ongoing reparations
and healing work that is necessary in this country. Here is a map to help you find and acknowledge the tribes in your area.
We work to remember the true histories and realities of the spaces and places we live and work in and to integrate these truths, no matter how painful and to acknowledge our complicity and our power in making positive change. We are currently in the process of constructive a permanent, physical land acknowledgement at the field center.
The field center enthusiastically complies with state standards around accessibility.
Our front entrance is equipped with a ramp for those who cannot use stairs or use wheelchairs.
We have two gender-neutral bathrooms on the ground floor, one of which is wheelchair compliant and all our dining, dance and ground floor entries are accessible.
We have four bedrooms that are accessed without stairs and one of those is equipped with a bathroom with grab bars, cushioned toilet seat and low shelving.
We continue to look for new ways to increase access and ease for all around life at the field center.
For a more detailed breakdown on accessibility at the field please see our life at the field page