Deborah Builds a Bridge!

Dance-theatre artist, Deborah Black, launches a campaign to fund new writing.

Support Deborah’s Indiegogo campaign here.


Deborah is writing a book and needs your help to make that possible.

I am building a bridge between writing and performance.

This includes paying my writing teacher and paying for travel to attend residencies and conferences. I am searching for support from my community for these expenses.

Once the bridge is built, I will see my my writing published, my teaching business strengthened, and performances produced.



A fork in the road

Wait, back up. Deborah is writing a book? Isn’t she a dance and theatre artist? Yes, she is writing a book. She is an interdisciplinary artist and writing is at the root of all her creative practices. 

For those of you who may not know me, I grew up in the mountains of conservative, rural Western Pennsylvania, in a place known for its coal mines and Steelers fans. Through a series of events, I fell in love with art and wanted nothing more than to become an artist. 

And it happened. Over 20 years ago I moved to New York City to get my BFA in dance at New York University. I performed in my own work and with choreographers all over New York. I moved to Europe, taught in the Netherlands, and toured with theatre companies through Belgium and Norway. 

I come from a rather specific and timely point of view. I am a bridge already and my book reflects this and its complexity. My work as an independent artist is the research of story -- my story, the story of a divided America -- and how I can put that back into my dance and theatre. 

My performing arts education was steeped in creating abstract, non-linear, non-narrative work. Getting story into my work will be meaningful to many people who are experiencing a divide of values within themselves, their families, and their communities. 

Writing this book is an important step in that process.

Please consider a donation. Your support will have ripple effects for my career and quality of life for years to come.


Building the Bridge

I’ve been offered several opportunities to expand my craft and expertise. They will also help me to develop partnerships and collaborations along the way.

1. I am half-way through the second draft of my memoir, "FORK". This is in large part to my teacher Chris Wells who I have been working with since 2017. I would like to hire him to work with me 1:1 so I can go deeper into this craft and learn more about getting my work to an editor and publisher.

2. I teach and practice Mary Overlie’s Six Viewpoints. Basically it’s is a method to lead artists into greater awareness and the ability to work with more complexity. I am one of twelve artists to be selected to work with Mary Overlie in Spain this summer. Mary is retired, and it would be an opportunity of a lifetime to get to talk about her work and how I am using it to write this memoir. Because I am!

3. An important part of this process is taking all I start to notice through my body (memory, thoughts, sensations, emotions) and translating it into language. I am directly grappling with this alongside poet Alyson Hallett. We have been invited to present our research at the BodyIQ conference in Berlin, Germany in November. Our collaboration has been key for translating the Viewpoints and embodiment into language and I have seen a huge change in my writing since working with Alyson.

4. Finally, I have been invited back to the International Interdisciplinary Artists Consortium (IIAC) in Massachusetts this August. I will be teaching a workshop entitled Becoming Known: An experiment in creating from text. This opportunity brings me full circle where I put all that I have been learning and practicing about the body and language back into performance.

The give...

I have two goals - the minimum of $4214 and the stretch of $7066. I’ve set this campaign up for the minimum goal which will allow me to go on with all the opportunities I’ve already committed to. The stretch will provide 1:1 tutoring with Chris and an artist residency in Berlin. No matter how much money I receive from this campaign, I will continue with my work. Every dollar will help me sustain my creative practice. 

1. Working with Chris costs $75/month for a group class and $250/month for 1:1 sessions. So my minimum goal to get me to the end of the year is $525 and a stretch goal of $1750. 

2. The residency in Spain with Mary Overlie will cost $1280 for the flight and residency costs. 

3. I need $1225 to attend the BodyIQ conference in Berlin. This covers travel, and a weekend of lodging and food. The stretch of $2295 adds an important one-month residency and food expenses in Berlin.  

4. IIAC in Massachusetts is a subsidised residency and teaching opportunity. It will cost me $365 for the week-long residency, food, and travel costs. 

5. Indiegogo charges fees, so I've included $311 in the minimum budget and $523 for the stretch.

6. And I will have to pay taxes on this money, so I'm adding 15% for that as well - $508 and $853, respectively. 

7. Any additional funds raised will go directly into the scholarship fund for my 12 - week Virtual Viewpoints course. I usually give out $200+ of scholarships to artists every year. 

...and the get! 

I am offering a lot of perks including:
 - original art and poetry mailed to your door
 - creative consultation services 
 - an advance copy of the memoir

What happens after I build the bridge?

1. The mentorship I receive will go right back into my own work of teaching The Six Viewpoints and guiding other artists. Here’s what a recent student has said - 

Deborah is a gifted and compassionate teacher. Her teaching and direction is clearly defined and she executes it with clarity and precision in a very heart-felt sense. The Viewpoints concepts were presented in very grounded and practical examples. And I appreciated the ingenious creative exercises and humor! This workshop helped me immensely in developing a deep connection to presence and gave practical tools useful in art making and everyday life. — Maryanne Chaney, dancer, teacher, choreographer

2. A published chapbook by Alyson and I + more writing and movement workshops

3. Laying the groundwork to fully realize an autobiographical performance I have been working on since 2014. 

4. And of course, the guidance to finish the memoir, find a publisher and release it into the world. 

Why is this important? 

We are living in a moment in time where the truth doesn’t seem to matter. We are watching democracies fail and fascism rise. Historically, art matters in times like these. Being in our bodies is a radical act. Telling our stories is a radical act. Freedom takes daily diligence to maintain for each and every one of us. The more artists there are, researching the depth of the human experience, the stronger our democracies will be. The more beauty there will be to ease our suffering and reconnect us to what matters. 

And as I said above - I am a bridge between rural and urban America and Europe. My story offers a specific and complex point of view on this contemporary moment. The work I am doing now will have a many trajectories for my career and how I offer it to an audience - much like the prongs of a fork :) 

Please consider supporting an independent artist. 

Because art is oxygen, art is freedom.

And we can all help to create it. 


Risks and Challenges

This is the beginning of a new era of my creative life - a fork in the road, so to speak! I’ve worked as a dancer, theatre-maker, teacher, costume designer, and Broadway seamstress. Although I have been writing for a long time and have written for the stage, I have never written a book. This project will probably take a couple of years to get to a publishable place. If you donate, I will keep you updated on how it is all going! 

I am 100% committed to this journey and what finishing this book will mean to other artists. Your support in these early days will help me secure more funding and opportunities in the future.  

Other Ways You Can Help

If you've read this far and really want to donate, but just don't have the cash, I (totally) understand. Please send my campaign to someone who you think would support a project like this.

Or perhaps you have some frequent flyer miles to spare? 

Or a spare room to host me for a writing retreat? 

And, of course, I would be honored if you shared this campaign on your social media. 

Thank you!

(If you'd rather send a check or make a bank transfer, that's fine too. Just send me an email - - and we'll get it sorted.)