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Working together with -> WomenArts , Performance Lab Berlin gathered materials and statistics for the open discussions which took place as part of SWAN Day Berlin 2008. We wanted to present the public with as accurate a picture as possible of the current state of "Women in the Arts".


Some interesting facts:

* A study done by the New York State Council on the Arts in 2003 showed that from the 2000 theatre pieces which were presented in the U.S. in 2001 – 2002, only 17% were written by a woman, and only 16% were directed by women**.

* It is undisputed that women far outnumber men in the field of dance. However in the year 2000, 13 of the 18 grants awarded to modern dance choreographers by the US-american National Endowment for the Arts went to male choreographers. The men were awarded a total of $200,000, with an average grant of $10,000 per male choreographer. The women were awarded a total of $45,000, with an average grant of $5,000 per female choreographer**.

* We did some research of our own and took a look at the programming of a very prominent theatre here in Berlin; of the 14 works being presented in the main theatre in October 2007, there was not a single play by a female playwright, and only one of the 14 pieces presented had been directed by a woman. In the smaller associated theatre there was only one female director whose work was being shown, and only 2 of the 16 plays being presented were written by women. Flyers from other well-known theatres in the city produced similar results.




In light of these facts we explored the following questions:


* Why are there so few women in leadership positions in the arts? What factors are at play?
* What effect does it have that the vast majority of the representations we see of women, whether on stage, on TV or in films are actually written and directed by men?
* Pina Bausch and Sasha Waltz are two notable exceptions in dance in Germany, and there are of course others. Such examples can serve as role models and create hope that the situation is improving - but do such exceptions lead us to think that equal representation and equal pay for women in the arts is no longer a problem?
* What strategies can be employed to create more public awareness for this issue?
* What strategies can female artists use to get their work presented and paid appropriately?



We encourage you to get involved: -> contact us if you would like to gather your own statistics, suggest strategies or topics for the discussions, or become a sponsor of the next SWAN Day Berlin.




** We would like to thank WomenArts for their important advocacy work. For more statistics and information please visit: -> www.womenarts.org/advocacy/EmploymentIssues.htm


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