Pre-Conference Events



The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond

Undoing Racism Workshop
Wednesday, June 7 | 9am – 4pm | Kansas City Ballet- Todd Bolender Center for Dance and Creativity


Through dialogue, reflection, role-playing, strategic planning, and presentations, this intensive process challenges participants to analyze the structures of power and privilege that hinder social equity and prepares them to be effective organizers for justice. The multiracial team of anti-racist organizers/trainers come from years of experience with civil, labor, and welfare rights struggles, educational, foster care, the arts, social service and health reform movements, as well as youth and grassroots community organizing.

Registration is closed for this event and will not be available onsite.

Learn more about the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond here.



AXIS Dance Company

Integrated Dance Focus Group Meeting
Wednesday, June 7 | 12-4pm | Kansas City Ballet- Todd Bolender Center for Dance and Creativity


Through the generous support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, AXIS Dance Company is partnering with Dance/USA to host a pre-Conference session for artistic leadership from integrated dance companies in the U.S. AXIS Dance Company Director, Judith Smith, and National Arts Consultant, Jennifer Calienes, will guide participants through work sessions aimed at refining program concepts for an AXIS national Artistic Advancement Platform that emerged from the May 2016 National Convening on the Future of Physically Integrated Dance in the USA. In this session, participants will explore potential commissioning and exchange programs devised to elevate artistic practice in the physically integrated dance community by leveraging resources and sharing best practices.

The pre-Conference session is by invitation only.

Learn more about AXIS Dance Company and national advocacy work here.



Black Archives of Mid-America
Gray Family Foundation Alvin Ailey Archival Collection

Wednesday, June 7 | Time 2 – 4pm
Black Archives of Mid-America | 1722 E. 17th Terrace


Visit the Black Archives of Mid-America to discover the rich history Alvin Ailey and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Kansas City! Join Allan Gray, collection custodian and personal friend of Alvin Ailey, to learn more about the collection of Alvin Ailey papers, including personal notebooks, calendars, and correspondence as well as Ailey’s book library, newspaper clippings documenting the company’s travels and performances, and other items chronicling Ailey’s career and the growth of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

Alvin Ailey (1931-1989) was one of the seminal figures in American choreography in the twentieth century. Ailey founded the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1958. What started as a small group of seven dancers grew into a large, carefully managed, internationally known and celebrated company. As Ailey began considering a second home for his dance company, Kansas City civic leaders and arts organizations actively encouraged him to consider Kansas City. The Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey, founded in 1984, serves as the official second home to the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

The mission of the Black Archives of Mid-America in Kansas City, Inc. is to collect, preserve and make available to the public materials documenting the social, economic, political and cultural histories of persons of African American descent in the central United States, with particular emphasis in the Kansas City, MO region. Black Archives of Mid-America is an educational resource and provides access to its collections for research, exhibition and publication to honor our community heritage and to catalyze public awareness.

Registration is not required for this event. To join us, please travel to the front entrance of the Black Archives any time between 2pm and 4pm to learn about Ailey’s legacy in Kansas City from Allan Gray and view the items in the collection.

Learn more about the Black Archives here.