Tick, tock, tick, tock...

So, we're at 67 days until the start of our project, and it's really amazing all that we are getting accomplished so quickly!  With the one notable exception of the day to day schedule... =(  It is coming along well, but the inherent logistics of starting somewhere, taking photos, driving (charging everything while in route, posting content, sending out updates, coordinating with the next location, getting coffee) then arrive at the next location, more photos, then upload, emails, pay bills, sleep, shower, do it again... it's complicated!  But it's gonna be so cool, and we can't wait to work with all the amazing talent we have been introduced to!

We are a couple of weeks away from making our first round of cuts from the 2500-ish submissions we have received to be a part of this project.  As there will be lots to do in getting everyone ready for participating in this, we have to put a line somewhere!  So on May 24th, we will begin reaching out to all the folks we want to get more info from.  From there will be final selection, and then the contracts, model releases, schedules, and all that good stuff. 

There is still a ton of support we need, in many areas!  If you would be interested in helping us out in getting this project up and running, drop us a line with how you think you can help.  We've had some wonderful companies step up and help us with this, and we still need a bit more.  You can email us at info@danceatusa.com, or reach us at the contact page here on the site.

As we close in on the two month mark, we could not be more excited about the start of this incredible journey.  Come be a part of it, as we Dance Across the USA!

Our first hiccup, and some amazing news!

82 days to go!!!  So exciting, and lots going on!  In the past coulee of weeks, we have received almost 2000 submissions from dancers all over the country to be a part of this historic project!  Blown away!  Also, slightly overwhelmed... =) If you are considering submitting to be a part of this, you still have plenty of time!  We have had a range of dancers from 3 to 67 years old apply, men and women, ballet to ballroom.  We love it!  

Of course, any project like this is bound to have a few obstacles to overcome.  Our first was that we were denied permission to use our preferred Alabama location, the USS Alabama.  So, we must now find an alternative location.  While it would be entirely possible for us to "ask for forgiveness, rather than permission", that goes against the spirit of the project.  There are MANY photographers who scoff at the law and just do whatever they want, and think that makes them edgy.  But if you do it the right way, you can get a lot farther, and even have people help you make your amazing art!  

So while we search for a new Alabama location, the rest of the project keeps moving on.  We have gotten samples for book bindings, paper types, and cover styles.  We're progressing on the permits for our locations, where necessary.  We are finishing up the calendar so we know what days we are at each location.  And we're working out the gear list on what it will take to make my trip be as efficient and comfortable as possible.  Our van,  #themightbuford, which we will be using for this journey, will be outfit will everything we need.  Right now we are exploring the pros and cons of solar power vs a van powered solution.  Photos to come of Buford once he gets his new clothes!

So, everything is moving along.  Thanks again for the outpouring of interest, as we prepare to Dance Across the USA!

Best,

Jonathan

More good news, and more sponsorships!

I've spent the week in St. Louis, and have come away with some more exciting news for the project.  I now have a publisher interested in the book, and they are creating a proposal for how they would like to work with us on this project!  Which there is still much to be decided upon, this is a MASSIVE step in the right direction!  Also, I've secured financial backing (actual, tangible money!) from a couple of sources, the largest being the Ann Carroll School of Dance in Franklin, TN!  We further have made an agreement for some additional equipment to be loaned to us for this project, with the actual announcement coming once the papers are all signed, and such.

Such a great week!  To top it off, a giant in the photographic field, Mr. Skip Cohen has become aware of us, and will be working with us to help get this project off the ground!  Mr. Cohen was the former president of Hasselblad Cameras, WPPI, and Rangefinder Magazine, among so many other cool things.  He is an author, educator, and so much, much more.  There is a lot coming up in the next few weeks, and some super cool stuff in the wings.  To learn more about Skip Cohen, you can click on this link - SKIP COHEN UNIVERSITY

More to come in the next little bit, but there are still so many steps to go!

WOOHOO! THE NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION IS ON BOARD!!!

Doing a ginormous project like this takes a ton of planning and a great deal of involvement with other groups and organizations.  A massive part of this project is linking with the National Park Foundation, which is the official charity of America's national parks.  There are still contracts to be signed, but we have come to an agreement that will allow us to work together on this amazing adventure! 

As we move closer towards our launch date, start to look for cross-promotion between us and the Park Service as well.  We will then have official permission to use their logo on our site and the book, as well as the ability to donate $1 from the sale of every book back to the National Park Foundation.  We are still on the search for an arts charity to also donate to as part of this project.  So if you know of a great nationwide arts charity that promotes arts education in ALL art forms (dance, photography, singing, music, painting, etc) let us know so we can see if we can work out a partnership.  

I hope you all have an incredible day!

The work continues...

Large scale projects like this require a great deal of fanning and coddling to get off the ground.  We are doing simulteneous work on our logo, sponsorships, permitting, licensing, route details, lodging, and much, much more.  This is all the not-so-glamourous background work that must be done to have the exciting portion come off without a hitch, as much as it can.  While there are a number of folks and business who are fans of the "It's better to ask for forgiveness than permission," we believe you get much farther by doing this above board, with permits and permission in hand well before we arrive to create the art which we do.

Very soon we will open up the sign up boards for people who want to work with us on this amazing project.  We hope to find dancers near our intended locations who wish to come join us in this history-making endeavor.  So if you happen to be anywhere near one of our stops, or feel like traveling to one of them for this amazing opportunity, make sure you sign up so you can be considered!  Thanks for all the contact we have received so far about this project, and we look forward to getting this project off the ground.  Thanks! 

Still working on the site...

A project like this one, until it is actually underway, ends up getting worked on in all the in-between time.  We were just in NY photographing a group of dancers, as well as another session in North Carolina, and are now back in Florida processing images and delivering orders to clients.  In between that, we are filling the rest of our days with work on this site, the logistics of the trip, soliciting sponsorship and funding from corporations and individuals, and all the other little details required to launch this project.  Quite literally, we are simply willing this project into existence.  We need quite a lot of support to get this puppy off the ground, and if you might be interested in seeing how you can help, feel free to reach out and contact us!  You can email us directly at info@danceatusa.com, or by filling out the Contact Us form on this site, HERE.  Thanks for your support! 

The journey of 16,701 miles begins with a single step.

Yep, that's the MINIMUM distance we will drive over the course of the Dance Across the USA project.  But to even get to the point where we start that drive, there are 1000 things to do.  Basic logistics, route planning, sourcing dancers, getting permission and permits where needed, raising funds, signing up co-pilots, etc.

Where we are now is the very, very beginning.  As you can see, we are just beginning the build of the website, which will grow as time goes on.  As we get to each location, we will upload images and behind the scenes videos as they are created, so you can see the art as it is made.  

Once we have completed our journey, we will create a photo book with all the glorious, final images.  No doubt there will be a few surprises, many challenges, and a ton of amazing stories that we will share along the way.  If you would like to help us out in reaching our goal, click on the Donate button here below.  Please and Thank You! 

 

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