P.S. 314 – Dance Theater of Harlem Case Study Interview

A Conversation with Anna Glass from Dance Theatre of Harlem |
Overcoming Obstacles to Promote Dance and Engage the Community

Can you give me a brief overview of your company?

Anna Glass: I am the Executive Director of the Dance Theatre of Harlem. We are a professional dance company, a school, and we also conduct community engagement work in New York City and throughout the nation.

Can you describe your role and how it fits into the company?

AG: I manage everything. I oversee all the operations of the institutions, from fundraising to strategic planning. It’s all encompassing.

How is the structure of the company?

AG: We are a small organization. We operate as a family, truly as a startup. We are a transitioning organization. We have a lot of people who have been at the institution for a long period, as well as individuals who have been here for short periods of time. But overall, I think everyone that is here is committed to the mission of the institution. And that is what connects everyone.

What challenges does your company face?

AG: I would say that a lack of resources is a constraint for the institution. That’s definitely an issue. And capacity is an issue we face as well— insufficient capacity.

What are the institution’s short-term and long-term goals?

AG: Short-term, I think, is to sufficiently have the staffing in place, in order to have the institution move forward. I think long-term is to build a more stable institution that is deficit-free.

How did you hear about P.S. 314?

AG: I’ve known Pi for a very long time. I’ve known her for work. I reached out to her for support. Pi’s know-how. She has a particular way about her work, how she works. And I think really, it was just trusting that she understood the challenges and the things that we want to accomplish. There wasn’t a huge learning curve with her. She really understands the field and understands the challenges of being a non-profit.

How did P.S. 314 improve your institution?

AG: By providing structure to manage the challenges. There were challenges that we were facing and sometimes they felt insurmountable. But she has a way of breaking down those challenges into manageable tasks. That was a huge improvement- being able to successfully tackle those issues. P.S. 314 is a group that delivers on the results. For me, they really made everything better. Pi is able to do that in a really succinct and focused manner. She is able to get to the source of whatever the issue is and strategically and creatively come up with solutions.

“P.S. 314 is a group that delivers on the results. For me, they really made everything better There were challenges that we were facing and sometimes they felt insurmountable. But Pi has a way of breaking down those challenges into manageable tasks. That was a huge improvement- being able to successfully tackle those issues. Pi is able to do that in a really succinct and focused manner. She has a particular way about her work, how she works. And I think really, it was just trusting that she understood the challenges and the things that we want to accomplish. There wasn’t a huge learning curve with her. She really understands the field and understands the challenges of being a non-profit. She is able to get to the source of whatever the issue is and strategically and creatively come up with solutions.”