Anne Bluethenthal: From the Tenderloin to El Salvador: Community Practice, Historical Memory, and the Slow Art of Belonging

In 1984 Anne Bluethenthal created ABD Productions, a multicultural, multiethnic performing arts company committed to inspiring social change through the arts. She troubles the paradigm of Western dance with content-driven choreographies that face difficult issues of the day with eloquence and passion. Bluethenthal’s work grows from the belief that relationships are the first site of social change. After three decades of building a repertoire of original works, Bluethenthal initiated the Skywatchers program in 2011. Rooted in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District, Skywatchers is a mixed-ability, community-based performing arts ensemble of Bay Area artists and Tenderloin neighbors committed to leveraging arts for justice and equity. Their work emerges from the issues and urgent concerns that animate the lives of ensemble members, most of whom are subject to conditions of housing insecurity and disenfranchisement.