The mission of Hope Mohr Dance is to create, present and foster outstanding contemporary art at the intersection of the body and critical thinking.
HMD is art-driven and artist-driven.
A company priority is creating an intellectual commons for artists.
Another priority is equitable artist pay. HMD is committed to fair compensation for artists and in particular to supporting female artists, LGBT artists, and artists of color.
HMD is committed to creating creative spaces wherein all feel welcome.
Curating as Community Organizing: The Bridge Project
HMD’s signature curatorial platform the Bridge Project approaches curating as a form of community organizing to facilitate cultural conversations that cross discipline, geography, and perspective. HMD’s Teaching Artists program brings master artists to the Bay Area to teach. HMD's Community Engagement Residency, part of the Bridge Project,
provides sanctuary and creative opportunity for marginalized artists to create new work.
The Bridge Project “annually recruits the prime movers of American post-modernism in a series of classes, workshops, discussions and public concerts” (S.F. Chronicle). The Bridge Project’s track record of presenting high caliber artists has raised HMD’s profile as a company that does more than present the work of one Artistic Director, but rather serves as a hub for cultural exchange.
The purpose of HMD’s Bridge Project is to:
- Create an intellectual commons for and among artists;
- Promote alliances and relationships among artists;
- Facilitate relationships among artists and activists in the struggle toward equity.
"[HMD]s Bridge Project] fills a critical gap in the artistic and intellectual life of the Bay Area dance community by honoring the past and giving context to the present through its remarkable annual series of guest artists and events.” --Stanford University's Janice Ross
In addition to curating, HMD provides a platform for the creation and performance of Artistic Director Hope Mohr's original work.
Current and past sources of institutional support for Hope Mohr Dance include:
- National Endowment for the Arts
- The Fleishhacker Foundation
- San Francisco's Grants for the Arts
- San Francisco Arts Commission
- Andrew M. Mellon Foundation
- Center for Cultural Innovation (Creative Capacity Fund/Quick Grants Program)
- Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation
- Zellerbach Family Foundation (2009-current)
- William & Flora Hewlett Foundation
- Kenneth Rainin Foundation (NEW grant 2011 & 2016; Impact Track 2016-current)
- Lighting Artists in Dance/Dancers' Group
- Sakana Foundation
- Ford Foundation (Matching Grant Program)
- CA$H/Theatre Bay Area (2009 & 2014)
- ODC Theater (Artist in residence 2012-2015; Company in Residence 2015-current)
Artistic Director Hope Mohr founded the company in 2007 after studying and performing with a number of pioneers of modern dance, including Merce Cunningham, Trisha Brown, Lucinda Childs, and Margaret Jenkins. HMD is a platform for Mohr’s choreography, which takes a “rigorous conceptual approach to fundamental questions about the body in space and time.” (dance critic Rita Felciano). Mohr's work has a complexity and authority that flow from an investigative process in which writing, improvisation and collaboration are central tools.
Since her 1994 choreographic debut in ODC’s Pilot 13, Mohr's work has been presented and/or commissioned by: Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco International Arts Festival, West Wave Festival, Montalvo Arts Center, ODC Theater, Stanford University, Motion Pacific, Lines Ballet BFA Program, and the S.F. VA Hospital’s Office of Patient Centered Care and Cultural Transformation. Mohr has self-presented her work at a wide variety of venues throughout the country, including at the Alvin Ailey Center, City Center and Judson Church in New York; Velocity in Seattle; and The Mouth in Portland. She has taught dance technique and composition throughout the world, including at the Trisha Brown Studios in New York, The Place in London, PARTS in Brussels, UCLA's Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance, and Stanford University.
Hope Mohr Dance is a company in residence at ODC Theater. Mohr is a 2016 YBCA Fellow. From 2012-2015, Mohr was an artist in residence at ODC. She has also been in residence at Montalvo Arts Center (2009), the Interdisciplinary Laboratory in Art, Nature and Dance (2006), Stanford Arts Institute (2015), UCLA's Department of World Arts & Cultures/Dance (2016), and Footloose's Artists in Motion Program (2013). Mohr was a Human Rights Fellow and a Kent Scholar at Columbia Law School.