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Tannery World Dance & Cultural Center

Organization Mission

Tannery World Dance & Cultural Center (TWDCC) facilitates a working home for professional world & contemporary dance artists, while providing dance education that is committed to access, equity, and excellence.

As TWDCC fosters artists to develop a broad base of professional work, financially support themselves, and forge new ideas through community support and conversation, audiences watch, engage, and learn from performances, curated festivals, artist talks, and dance classes.

We are an anchor for:
1) healthy classes (dance, fitness, mental health and wellness, with partnership with SC County Health/Parks);
2) resources (we reallocate funding from grants to students and families in need, and to artists);
3) community engagement (free community events, partnerships and events with other local nonprofits and cultural arts organizations, sponsorship of local initiatives/events)

The Big Idea 2024:
Sustaining Access, Equity, and Excellence

We have great news! We are working with the support of Santa Cruz Economic Development (SCED) to break ground in 2024 on a new building on the Tannery campus that will house the TWDCC Studios. Currently, we serve 6,500 community members each year through our programs and operations, with scholarships to 20% of our youth students. The new building will enable even more community engagement with youth and adult classes, performances, and community events with two 2,200-square-foot dance studios, restrooms, a small office, and a lobby.

The City Manager successfully applied for a grant to fund a large portion of the construction of the Tannery World Dance & Cultural Center Dance Building, and this completes the city’s overall vision for the Tannery Art Center (it was converted from the Salz Tannery to an arts and affordable living center), according to SCED director Bonnie Lipscomb. We are hopeful that donors to Santa Cruz Gives will set us up for success.

In Santa Cruz, you don't see many Black/mixed-race kids; but when I'm at the studio and see so many around me that look like me, it helps me feel at home and helps me feel safe. In society, I see all these rich, White successful people, but I don't see many who are like me represented in a positive way. When I see amazing, powerful women like Micha, Cat, and Angela [TWDCC Directors/founder] it's inspirational and makes me feel like I can achieve that some day.

Eva Diop, 15-year-old TWDCC dancer + 7-year scholarship recipient