Sarah Wilbur's new book connects NEA arts funding policies to dance organizational ideals

funding bodies book jacket

Assistant Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Sarah Wilbur, has recently published her first book through Wesleyan University Press. 

Funding Bodies: Five Decades of Dance Making at the National Endowment for the Arts is the first scholarly manuscript to focus on the shaping influence of federal dance funding on the working livelihoods of three generations of US dance artists. Drawing upon archival documentation of NEA narratives, program eligibility guidelines, and standards of evaluation as well as testimony from past and present insiders, Wilbur's work theorizes endowment as an economic and practical struggle by people with differential power and competing investments in production and professionalization of dance. With a wealth of detail and previously untold stories, this institutional history brings clarity to the complex processes that underlie the continuing struggle to achieve equitable resource distribution and parity of opportunity in American dance. 

The book was released in October and is available in hardback and paper back the press and local retailers. Funding from Duke University Libraries made possible a free e-copy, available through a creative commons license here


Book Talks

Sarah Wilbur continues to present aspects of the book by invitation, including these recent and forthcoming engagements:
  • New England Foundation for the Arts/NEFA Regional Dance Development Initiative/RDDI New England Now Summit, October 1, 2021
  • American Studies Association Annual Conference, October 14, 2021
  • Dance Studies Association Annual Conference, Rutgers, New Jersey,  October 15-17, 2021
  • American Society of Theatre Research Annual Conference, San Diego, CA, October 29, 2021
  • University of Texas at Austin Cultural Policy Seminar, November 10, 2021
  • Coloquio Ecosistemas en la Danza. Encuentro National de Danza annual conference in Mexico City, November 19, 2021

Official Book Launch

Forthcoming January 2022 (via ZOOM)