“The Downtown Dance Collective was an incredibly supportive and inviting space to start a summer dance festival. As the DDC’s Director, Heather Adams has an attitude of “anything is possible” and that perspective is so necessary when taking a risk to start a new project. The DDC also served as the financial safety-net for the festival, putting the project into the community regardless of outcome.  The DDC was also a wonderful space to host an event focused on bringing together various, often disparate, communities of dancers to take classes, create new works, and celebrate this vibrant art form.” Laurel Sears, 2014 AIR, Mountain Dance Festival Founder

Laurel Sears, 2014 Artist In Residence
Photo Credit: Hayley Bea

In 2011, we launched AIR, our Artist in Residence program to sponsor developing performers . The artists create work to be performed here at the DDC.  We provide access to rehearsal space, lighting and audio assistance, marketing, and of course, the venue to perform.  Projects must fulfill 3 components – the work must be collaborative, the work must be original (or a reworking of an existing idea), and has to culminate in at least a 1 hour performance.    The artists must submit a proposal to the DDC’s Executive Director and go through an interview process to be accepted to this program.  Email heather@ddcmontana.com if you are interested in being a part of this program.

Every writer, director, writer , musician, dancer got their start somewhere.  Someone was willing to give them an opportunity, and open the door for them to freely explore, create and write.  It’s  true that only the lucky few “rise to the top,” but its this type of opportunity that allows brilliant moments to appear and careers to be born.  Artist Residencies also nurture an entire arts community:  We take a risk when we attend a show by a new artist we haven’t heard of. We learn together while taking this risk what we like, what we don’t like, and become better arts audiences in the process. If you’re  a developing artist yourself,  viewing work of peers can be profoundly beneficial to growth.

Audiences who crave something fresh or new…audiences who are willing to join in the experiment and support the development of quality contemporary performances in Missoula will enjoy what these performers bring to our local arts dialog. We urge you to become a DDC member so you can get discounts on these shows (and classes, too) and your membership fee of just $25 per year helps us fund programs like this one.

Become a Member Here!!

Since inception , we have had 16 Artists in Residence and 17 AiR Productions.  Each of these artists received an AiR Award for either $1000 or $2000 in space and resources.

Joy French – Crack and Yoke – January 2011

Lizzie Hatfield and Andy Meyers – Alice in Wonderland – May 2011

Ashley Griffith and Tyler Knapp  – Demosthenes Theme – July 2011

Tricia Opstad – A Convention – August 2011

Jes Mullete and Joy French – The Reason for the Chair – August 2011

Kate Morris – Venn Diagrams – October 2011

Colin Ranf and Michael Becker – Murmur – April 2012

Jes Mullette – The Reason For the Chair – August/September 2012

Elizabeth Pertis, Charissa Bowditch, Taryn Quayle – 2000 Too Many – May 2013

Teresa Waldorf – Wonder of the World – September 2013

Leah Joki – Prison Boxing – October 2013

Laurel Sears – Mountain Dance Festival – 2014

Kate Jordan & Bruno Augusto – An Evening of Stories – 2016/2017

Drew Nagy – Unexpected Wish – July 2017

Sean Kirkpatrick – [title of show], A Literal Garbage Fire – 2018

Matt Loehrke – The Monkey Queen – 2019

Arielle Nachtigal & Scott Hamilton – Songs for a New World – 2019