Pentacle has been a beacon of light and hope for Eryc Taylor Dance both before and throughout the pandemic. As a leader in the Arts Administration field, Pentacle provides invaluable support and guidance for nonprofit organizations in the performing arts community. Pentacle helps organizations pinpoint and implement sustainable goals to help companies sustain and even scale operations.
As recipients of Pentacle’s services, ETD wanted to catch up with them to hear more about the organization, their top tips for building a thriving organization, and their predictions on the future of the performing arts.
Tell us a little bit about Pentacle.
For over 40 years, Pentacle (Dance Works, Inc.) has worked hands-on to grow, strengthen and support the careers and organizational infrastructure of a broad range of performing artists/companies. At its core, Pentacle believes in the unique and critical role the artist-citizen plays in our democracy and that art and artists inspire people in many communities to understand, articulate, and attain their highest aspirations for the world. As a responsive and trusted partner, Pentacle collaborates with performing artists to design and provide unique and robust programs of support at critical stages in their careers, with particular attention to equity and inclusion by offering new models of support and mentorship to underrepresented artists and cross-sector partnerships in multiple communities across NYC and the U.S.
How is Pentacle helping artists build more sustainable organizations?
Pentacle helps artists build more sustainable organizations by offering services and programs created in direct response to the ever-evolving needs of the performing arts community. Our Artist Services empower artists with the tools they need for success through such offerings as Fiscal Sponsorship, Bookkeeping, as well as our Administrative Support Program, which allows artists to select services over the course of a year that best fit their needs and, when bundled together, provide an affordable and efficient way for artists to build capacity and enlarge the scope of their business and artistic activities.
Our Education & Outreach In-School, Community, and Career Development programs cultivate the next generation of arts leaders through structured programs that give access and exposure to young people through dance-related experiences such as movement classes, internship hours, professional development training, mentorship, and a peer network of colleagues in the field. Additionally, we provide artists with much-needed administrative support through our Career Development programs while bringing more skilled and knowledgeable arts administrators into the field.
Pentacle’s booking staff has been helping our Roster artists to develop new virtual offerings with presenters such as multimedia lecture demonstrations, movement workshops, and short films in addition to their regular touring projects for the upcoming season. Community Engagement has always been an important component of the Roster artists’ activities, but now, more than ever, we are making every effort to continue building connections with audiences and communities through the virtual realm.
Through Pentacle’s New Initiative nextSteps, we will be able to offer individualized administrative support services to the arts community regardless of geographic location, time availability, education, or economic means. As an online platform, nextSteps will artists and organizations will have access to a relevant and up-dated collection of FREE resources, including topical articles written by Pentacle staff and outside professionals; direct links to information from other organizations in the field; and easy-to-use, downloadable form templates such as budgets and boilerplate contracts. We are proud to not only be observant and attentive to the needs of the field but ever-adaptive in our capacity to embrace new opportunities in support of our artists and organizations.
What are your impressions of Eryc Taylor Dance, and how does it feel to help organizations like ours through these challenging times?
Pentacle was impressed by Eryc Taylor Dance’s commitment to building a sustainable company through strong foundational infrastructures. With each recommendation we made to ETD, we worked closely together in an efficient and collaborative manner. It has been our pleasure to be able to offer financial management assistance through our Financial Urgent Care program to such artists as Eryc Taylor Dance, as we know how important these kinds of support and resources are for artists and organizations, especially as they continue to face the COVID-19 pandemic.
What are the biggest challenges you foresee the performing arts industry to overcome in the next five years? And where do you think we’ll be this time next year?
We foresee live performances being the biggest challenge for the performing arts industry in the coming years. We have also seen many members of the performing arts community relocate from New York City during the pandemic. This time next year, we hope that artists will be able to perform live in venues, and audiences will be able to go enjoy these performances safely. We also foresee virtual performances and programs improving in quality and growing in quantity, allowing a wider range of audiences to participate in the performing arts. We plan to use this time to continue to adapt and create sustainable opportunities for our artists and organizations.
What are three must-do tips/ advice for a nonprofit for organizations like ETD for the remainder of 2020-2021?
Use this time to organize your financials; develop a clear bookkeeping system; prepare and analyze your financial statements; create a system for managing cash flow; audit your expenses to see if you cut down on costs.
Stay up-to-date on COVID-related funding available for nonprofit organizations and apply for these opportunities.
Diversify your revenue streams; get creative, and keep COVID & post-COVID in mind while brainstorming and implementing these ideas.
Anything else you’d like to add? Social media, email, contact information, quotes, moto, etc.
Our mission is to design and provide unique and robust programs for performing artists at critical stages in their careers. At the same time, Pentacle enriches the cultural landscape through cross-sector partnerships in multiple communities across the city of New York and the United States.
Since 1976, Pentacle has been a model in the arts administration field, enabling performing artists to focus on what they do best—create art and engage with audiences.