TMP loves Boise-March 2012

Trey McIntyre Project is currently in the midst of a six-week U.S. tour, performing in Chicago, Hawaii, Florida, Boston and more. In May, TMP will embark on a four-week tour of China, the Philippines, South Korea and Vietnam as one of four U.S. dance companies selected to participate in a cultural exchange that brings dance to different regions of the world as part of DanceMotion USAsm, a cultural diplomacy project initiated by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Even with the international travel, TMP is focused on engaging with their home town of Boise. That’s why TMP created the Boise Bright Spot Project, a creative placemaking endeavor made possible by the NEA/ArtPlace grant. The impetus behind the Boise Bright Spot Project is TMP’s belief that creative involvement and partnerships within the community — with non-profits, businesses, government, hospitals and individuals — bring art to the everyday, inspire individuals and breathe new life into Boise. The project is spearheaded by TMP but is a collaborative effort that includes other non-profits, businesses, hospitals, government and more.

ArtPlace spoke with TMP Executive Director John Michael Schert and asked him about the rewards and challenges of collaborative partnerships.

ARTPLACE: Do you have partners on the project?

SCHERT: TMP partners with a variety of organizations in Boise to implement the Boise Bright Spot Project, ranging from St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital, to visual artists, to coffee shops, to the City of Boise, to Boise’s Basque population. TMP believes wholeheartedly that true innovation only happens when creativity is cross-disciplinary, so we are constantly seeking new, like-minded partners in other fields and mediums.

ARTPLACE: What is the toughest thing about collaboration?

SCHERT: Collaboration does not have to mean compromise, though it always requires giving of yourself. From a purely logistical standpoint, finding the time to communicate with and spend time with collaborators is always a struggle.

ARTPLACE: What is the most rewarding thing about collaboration?

SCHERT: Two people or two organizations coming together to create something greater than just the two parts combined is a beautiful thing. Reaching new audiences, showing new facets of who you are, and creating a product through the collaborative process is extremely rewarding.

ARTPLACE: What advice would you give to those having trouble making a collaboration work?

SCHERT: If you find yourself spending too much time working to create a collaborative product that in the end is less than what you could have created on your own, it is OK to let the collaboration go. It is not enough to say, “We collaborated!” It has to be great.

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