2021 is our BIG year, because it is our 20th anniversary celebration. This year we aim to share our history, our impact, and the ways the world has shifted over the past 20 years. Mostly we will be looking forward to a brighter and stronger future. We have big plans for when we can come back together again.
This past year has been extremely vulnerable for me and many others. In January 2020, we had plans that quickly changed. We’ve seen the inequities in our society in overdrive. The heart of the world is exposed. The world is crying, and we need to come together to heal. I’ve been stuck creatively. When the stages closed, I felt I lost my voice.
The growth of CDE has a parallel journey to mine as an artist, which of course it should. I am the founder; I started the organization when I was 26. It's been on-the-job learning since the beginning.
In 5 years I’m going to be 50 with a 5 year old. I recently read an article that talked about women and motherhood. One thing that I can say is that my timeline in life is mine and not someone else’s. In my 20’s, I was starting a career and an arts organization. I didn’t have any money, and I was healing from trauma. In my 30’s, my career was finally going places. I was traveling, teaching, and performing. I was also in a dark place, stuck in a bad relationship and trying to understand the death of my father and Multiple Sclerosis. In 2012, I declared a new life start, just as the Mayan calendar was starting again.
I needed to stop comparing myself and Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble to others. I had to create my own path. Listen to my intuition.
Turning 40, I felt pushed creatively and emotionally, and change was happening. It wasn’t until an unexpected pregnancy at 42 that the thought of having a baby clearly entered my mind. It was a journey to have a baby. I’m working on losing the weight and getting my body back into shape. Would it happen faster if I was 20 or 30? Sure, but I would not be the person I am today. I will be a better artist, parent and human by understanding my path and timeline in life.
I guess what I’m trying to say, especially to those who are also trying to figure it out for themselves, is learn from others but do not follow other people’s timelines. Create your own. That's what I did, and that's how we are here celebrating 20 years of this company.
Over the next couple of newsletters and through social media posts, I will be sharing our history, artistry, and programming, and the evolution of artists connected to CDE. Stay tuned to our social media for more. Make sure you are on our email list to be the first to get all the exciting upcoming news.
Executive Artistic Director and Founder
photo by Matthew Gregory Hollis