“Take a moment to think of someone who has been a positive role model at some point in your life.” This prompt begins the first episode of “Gibney Cares,” a new podcast that takes listeners on a mindfulness-centered journey. Hosted by Gibney Company Director Amy Miller, the podcast draws from the organization’s decades of community action programming to present “Take Care Cards.”
The inaugural podcast, which is only 1 minute and 39 seconds long, urges listeners to repeat the following phrases:
“I have seen strength in others.”
“I have felt strength in myself.”
“I can show strength for others.
Building on Gibney’s mission to “not only cultivate the next leaders of the field, but to provide an example of the relevance of artists in our society,” the podcast aims to give listeners of all walks of life tools for dealing with difficult moments like these.
Meet GIBNEY CARES, with Company Director Amy Miller. As we all navigate this difficult time, Amy will share recordings…
“As Gibney has responded to COVID-19, our first priority has always been to maintain a meaningful connection with our community and provide support for the many people we serve in whatever ways we can,” the organization said in a statement. “The ‘Gibney Cares’ podcast emerged out of a desire to offer online encouragement to our dance, arts and social justice communities by sharing self-care practices that will help us more mindfully navigate our rapidly shifting landscape.”
Since its launch in mid-March, the “Gibney Cares” podcast has released four episodes, all of which can be accessed on the podcast’s page.
Gibney, like nearly all organizations in New York City, has closed its doors for the foreseeable future. In the meantime, they’ve aggregated a list of COVID-19 resources for the community. The list includes information for how to “Stay Engaged” (online classes and performance streaming services), “Get Support” (fundraising, financial and mental health resources) and “Advocate & Organize.” Dancers can continue to access a host of classes through the Gibney Online Studio.
The organization also launched an interview series, titled “Artists Reach Out: reflections in a time of isolation.” Hosted by Senior Curatorial Director Eva Yaa Asantewaa, the platform is meant to introduce readers to a community of Gibney artists.
“In this time of social distancing, we are called to responsibly do all we can to safeguard ourselves and our neighbors,” Asantewaa said in a statement announcing the series. “It is, literally, a matter of life and death. But there’s no distancing around what we still can share with one another — our experiences, thoughts, wisdom, humor, hearts and spirit. In some ways, there are more opportunities to do so as we pull back from everyday busyness out in the world and have time to honor the call of our inner lives.”
She continued: “So, let me introduce you to some artists I find interesting. I’m glad they’re part of our beautiful community, and I’m eager to engage with them again (or for the first time) in years to come.”
Founded in 1991 by Gina Gibney, the organization’s CEO, the outfit has been a leader in “Making Space for Dance,” as they put it. They’ve done this through Gibney Centers in downtown Manhattan, Gibney Dance Company and Gibney Community Action, a program that uses dance to help heal and empower survivors of violence. Learn more about Gibney in the video below.
Top Image: Gibney dance studio. Photo: Samantha Siegel.