An upset mother said her daughter was told she was unable to apply for Richmond’s new Arts Village because dancers are ineligible. However, the City of Richmond has clarified that this was misinformation.
More than 20 artists from different disciplines have moved into Richmond Arts Village, which provides living and studio space for professional artists at reduced rental rates. Seventeen more units will be available by the end of the year.
However, resident Shelley Ann told the Richmond News that when her daughter Samii called in to enquire about the project, which now has musicians living in it, they were told dancers were ineligible to apply due to “noise concerns.”
“When we first learned about the artist residences, we were quite excited about the idea of having studio space at home – as finding studio space for her (Samii) to practice is challenging and expensive,” said Ann.
“We immediately looked into applying...I was flat out told that dance was not included due to noise concerns regarding music disturbing others. I was definitely given the impression that only ‘quiet’ arts were welcomed.”
Ann said Samii has danced in Richmond since she was four, participated in numerous community events and has won national and world competitions.
“And (she) is not considered an eligible artist deserving of a studio space – or even given the chance to apply?” asked Ann.
However, Liesl Jauk, manager of arts services for the city, said dancers and musicians are “definitely acceptable.”
“The eligibility does not exclude dancers, although the cement floor and small area would likely preclude using the unit as a rehearsal space,” said Jauk in an email.
“It is unfortunate that she received incorrect information from someone.”
She suspects that the information was given by someone from the development company, who manages the applications, as there was some confusion near the beginning of the process.
“We hope that she applies again when the nearby development arts (units) are made available, which we hope is before the end of the year,” said Jauk.
She added that amplified music is prohibited in those units in order to not disturb other residents.