NEWSLETTER — December 2021


A year-end reflection, one of our favorite times of the year.  

In many ways, 2021 felt like a continuation of 2020.  For every step forward we took, we often felt that three more steps were then taken backward. In another year of uncertainties, we focused our efforts on the digital realm and found that we continued to make an impact in Kern County and beyond.  

A few of our 2021 highlights include the following:

– We supported dozens of Kern County creatives through employment opportunities, grants, and scholarships. One example includes celebrating the return of the 44th annual Bakersfield Nutcracker accompanied by the Shafter Symphony Orchestra where we supported their performances through a KDA grant award.

– We moved forward together and explored the evolution of our social and cultural humanity through our unity classes. We were guided through constructive conversations while providing a safe space for delicate communication during our six-week Moving Forward series. We listened. We learned. We grew.

– We welcomed home a super star and gave her a stage to do what she does best, DANCE! Swan Lake LIVE, featuring Tiler Peck and Roman Mejia, at the Historic Bakersfield Fox Theater was a magical moment in 2021 that we will never forget.

– We recognized the class of 2021 and their valiant efforts of navigating uncharted territory during their final year of high school through Seniors MOVE.

– We produced 10 films encouraging the world to read through dance with Books in Motion: DANCE + LITERACY and experienced 5,142 of watch time minutes from people all over the world.

– We gave away a free month of dance classes at a studio of the winner’s choice and helped to make dance dreams come true during our annual National Dance Day celebration. 

– And we inducted our newest inductees into the USA’s most prestigious honors society for dancers who excel in artistry, leadership, and academic achievement!

To date, we’ve served over 60,000 people through our programs and have been honored to be recognized in many ways, including our fifth Beautiful Bakersfield Award nomination and our second California Arts Council grant award. 

As we close 2021, we celebrate the steps we took together to move forward in many meaningful ways, but we also acknowledge that there is much more work to be done. We thank you for moving with us and are most thankful for your continued support. 

In the spirit of dance. . . 

Andrea Hansen, M.F.A.

KDA President

MOVING FORWARD: 6 Engaging Session for Unity – Winter 2021

Kern Dance Alliance was proud to announce a continued partnership with Cultivating Better Tomorrows, a Woman and Minority owned Business with a passion for advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the performing arts community. KDA and Cultivating Better Tomorrows launched Moving Forward: 6 Engaging Sessions for Unity, a six-week series that focused on an array of different topics on Fridays beginning January 22 @ 12:00 PM PST via Zoom. 

Led by creatives, including Erica Lynette Edwards – a ballerina with the world-renown Joffrey Ballet for 15 years, Moving Forward explored the evolution of our social and cultural humanity with the intent to learn together. These impactful sessions supported authentic growth for individuals and companies. Cultivating Better Tomorrows is known for their safe, interactive, and judgement-free learning spaces. Moving Forward was free and open to all members of the community to join the conversation as we move towards a more inclusive future. Moving Forward was graciously funded by Chevron. 

January 22- MOVING FORWARD: The Power of Shared Language

January 29- MOVING FORWARD: Listening with Purpose, Compassion, and Empathy

February 5- MOVING FORWARD: Racial Equity: From Heroes Then to Action Now 

February 12- MOVING FORWARD: Intentionality

February 19- MOVING FORWARD: More than Words

February 26- MOVING FORWARD: Community Circles

SWAN LAKE LIVE from the Bakersfield Fox Theater – March 26, 2021

Kern Dance Alliance was proud to sponsor Live from the Bakersfield Fox: Swan Lake Act II Pas De Deux Featuring New York City Ballet’s Tiler Peck and Roman Mejia on Friday, March 26 at 6:30 pm PST. Following the live stream performance was a Q&A session with Ms. Peck and Mr. Mejia moderated by Kern Dance Alliance President, Andrea Hansen. In collaboration with the Historic Bakersfield Fox Theater and Channel 23ABC, Swan Lake was available via 23ABC’s OTT/APP stream and on the 23ABC Facebook page. 

Choreographed in the 19th century, Swan Lake is a tale of forbidden love in a magical setting danced to the melodic music of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. Live from the Bakersfield Fox: Swan Lake showcases the famous Act II Pas De Deux where the Swan Queen, Odette (played by Tiler Peck), and Prince Siegfried (played by Roman Mejia) meet for the first time in the enchanted forest. The performance delighted audiences with the most technical movements performed effortlessly by today’s most famous ballet dancers. 

It is no secret that the pandemic has greatly impacted the performing arts sector. Theaters across the country have gone dark, including the Historic Bakersfield Fox Theater. Performing artists have been without work, and communities have lost the opportunity to see live shows. According to a Californians for the Arts survey, 72% of performing arts organizations terminated paid staff, and 50% terminated contractors. With reopening guidelines still in limbo, KDA, the Fox, and 23ABC worked to fill the void by bringing live shows back via streaming capabilities until theaters are permitted to operate at full capacity once again. 

While the effects of the pandemic have been detrimental, there is a silver lining! Swan Lake marked the first time Ms. Peck danced on the Fox stage. Ms. Peck reflects on her feelings about her Fox debut, “I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to perform all over the world but have always wanted to perform in my hometown at the Fox Theater! This will be my first time dancing on the stage, and it means the world to me because Bakersfield is such a part of who I am. It’s where I was born, where my family lives, and where I first started learning how to dance. While most stages and theaters have been dark during the pandemic, it feels fitting that one of my first times performing live onstage again will be in my hometown!” Her Swan Lake partner, Mr. Mejia, also commented on this opportunity, “It means a lot to me to be performing at the Fox theater during these difficult times. It’s been a very long time since I’ve danced on stage or with a partner, so I am truly grateful for this opportunity.”

Swan Lake had a successful debut on the evening of the live stream.

On Facebook:

  • Total Reach: 3,428
  • Total Impressions: 3,454
  • Likes, Comments & Shares: 672
  • Post Clicks: 1,467
  • Clicks to Play: 513
  • Total Views: 3.3K

On 23ABC App:

  • At 6:30 p.m. 799 people reacted to the push notification
  • At 7 p.m. 805 people reacted to the push notification
  • At 8 p.m. 493 people reacted to the push notification
  • At 9 p.m. 424 people reacted to the push notification
  • Total direct app opens: 612
  • Total indirect app opens: 2,954

 *Direct opens occur when a user opens your app by directly responding to a push notification by swiping or tapping on the notification. 

 Indirect opens mean the number of opens that occur both directly and indirectly as a result of a push notification, minus the baseline opens that would be expected anyway. Every open that occurs soon after a push is a potential influenced open, whether it is the direct result of a push or not.

Swan Lake LIVE continues to be available online and can be viewed at

Seniors MOVE– Spring 2021

Kern Dance Alliance announced a new project, Seniors MOVE- a montage music video featuring high school seniors moving and grooving across Kern County. Seniors MOVE was designed to recognize the class of 2021 and their valiant efforts navigating uncharted territory during their final year of high school. Kern County high school seniors were invited to submit videos to KDA wearing their school logos and showcasing their best dance moves to be featured in a video with other Kern County high school seniors. KDA encourages the use of movement and dance to promote positivity, and the nonprofit organization is excited to give seniors a platform to display their talents while offering Kern County more ways to celebrate the class of 2021 after a year of quarantine.

High school seniors had a difficult year. They have had to master new technology for learning and cope with the stress of not having their caring educators nearby to help them through difficult and unprecedented times. Students have missed opportunities for camaraderie, including some of the most treasured senior-year moments like prom, athletics, senior awards, and many more. With in-person graduations after a year of being in school online, KDA felt it was imperative to create a campaign to celebrate the success of those whose high school memories were greatly affected by the pandemic.

“To the class of 2021: You have prevailed through many struggles in the last year, and you deserve to be recognized for your amazing achievements.” – Riley Thompson, KDA Board Member, BHS Class of 2021, Seniors MOVE Coordinator

Seniors from Bakersfield, Liberty, Centennial, Independence, and Stockdale and High Schools participated in this special project. 

The Seniors MOVE video was produced in collaboration with KDA 2021 Student Intern, Victoria Marchetti, and can be viewed HERE.

GIVE BIG KERN- May 4, 2021

Number of Donors: 35

KDA raised $3,017.00 with 35 donors via 38 gifts. 2021 gifts equated to the MOST we have ever raised since we began participating in Give Big Kern 5 years ago!  KDA hosted a 24-hour social media Give Big Kern campaign to encourage donations. 

BRAVO to all that donated, liked, clicked, and shared – we are humbled by your bighearted ways!!

STATE of the CITY Music Video – June 23, 2021

Kern Dance Alliance called for dancers and movers of ALL TYPES to be featured in the State of the City music video presented by the Mayor’s Office and the Greater Bakersfield Chamber. 31 dancers representing dance organizations across Kern County showed up a the Historic Bakersfield Fox Theater on June 23 to show off their best moves and represent the best of the city!

The State of the City was televised on July 17 on KGET, as well as on the Chamber’s social media platforms.  The annual State of the City Forum is one of the community’s marquee business events. This event features Mayor Karen Goh and other city leaders providing insight on top issues facing Bakersfield, progress that has been made over the past year and where the city is heading in the future. 

The State of the City music video can be viewed HERE. 

Books in Motion: DANCE + LITERACY – Summer 2021

  • 5,142 of watch time minutes from people all over the world Books in Motion Views
  • 1000 Craft Kits Distributed
  • 1000 FREE Books Distributed
  • 300 hours of film editing
  • 145 minutes of streaming Books in Motion® films
  • 86 social media posts
  • 55 dancers
  • 10 films
  • 7 dance organizations
  • 5 sponsors
  • 4 dance celebrity readers
  • 3 location partners
  • 1 production company

Kern Dance Alliance, Kern County Library, and Kern Literacy Council  launched a digital version of our annual summer reading program, Books in Motion®: DANCE + LITERACY. As the pandemic limited opportunities for in-person experiences, the organizations pivoted to continue to bring beloved children’s books to life through digital dance performances. 


Throughout the summer of 2021,  Books in Motion films were released online to inspire children to read through dance! Featuring beloved children’s books like the Pied Piper and Groovy Joe’s Dance Party Countdown, Books in Motion films included a narrated performance of a book and choreography children could learn to promote the book’s theme. Additionally, the films  featured a craft session to promote literacy goals via role playing at home. Finally, children were able to pick up a FREE book and a craft kit from Kern County libraries including Arvin, Beale, Delano, Kern River Valley, Ridgecrest, Taft, and Tehachapi! 

Books in Motion was produced in conjunction with Dance Camera West, a Los Angeles based production company specializing in creating dance for film. Dance Camera West was contracted to work in Bakersfield in the spring of 2021 where they filmed Books in Motion at various locations including The Historic Bakersfield Fox Theater, Kern County Museum, and The Padre Hotel. Books in Motion was directed by Kelly Hargraves, produced & edited by Amber Patee Adams, with director of photography by Ethan Sigmon. The films featured seven Kern County dance organizations including the Bakersfield City Ballet, DanceNation, DAT KREW, Heather Benes and the East Kern Ragtag Revels, McLaughlin Dance Collective/Civic Dance Center, Polynesian Spice, and Spotlight Dance Academy. 

Books in Motion is made possible by generous support from Chevron, the Robert Grimm Family Foundation, 23ABC, Kern Family Health Care, and the Arts Council of Kern. 


  • “Groovy Joe’s Dance Party Countdown” by Eric Litwin, art by Tom Lichtenheld, with permission from Hachette Children’s Group, performed by McLaughlin Dance Collective / Civic Dance Center and produced by Brian and Kristen McLaughlin. 

  • “Hip Hop Lollipop” written by Susan McElroy Montanari & Brian Pinkney, with permission from Schwartz & Wade Books, performed by Spotlight Dance Academy, and produced by Dance Camera West. 

  • “Hip Hop Lollipop” está escrito por Susan McElroy Montanari y Brian Pinkney, con permiso de Schwartz & Wade Books.and produced by Dance Camera West. 

  • “Froggy Goes to Hawaii” written by Jonathan London, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, published by Puffin Books, featuring Polynesian Spice, and produced by Dance Camera West. 

  • “The Pied Piper of Hamelin” written by Robert Browning, illustrated by Kate Greenaway, published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, featuring Heather Benes and the East Kern Ragtag Revels, and produced by Dance Camera West. 

  • “Hip Hop Lollipop” by Susan McElroy Montanari & Brian Pinkney, with permission from Schwartz & Wade Books, performed by DAT KREW, and produced by Dance Camera West.

  • “Groovy Joe’s Countdown Dance Party” by Eric Litwin, art by Tom Lichtenheld, with permission from Hachette Children’s Group, and performed by DanceNation and produced by Dance Camera West.

  • “Ballerina Gets Ready” by Allegra Kent, illustrated by Catherine Stock with permission from Holiday House Publishing, featuring Bakersfield City Ballet, and produced by Dance Camera West.


New in 2021, Books in Motion also included a celebrity reader series featuring professional dancers that have authored children’s books. New York City Ballet principal dancer and Bakersfield native, Tiler Peck,  joined the lineup on July 7, 2021 at 1:30 pm PST where she and her Broadway star co-author, Kyle Harris, read their children’s book, Katarina Ballerina. Ms. Peck also tought basic movement and participated in a Q&A.

Additionally, “Boys Dance!” written by John Robert Allman and featuring American Ballet Theater Principal Dancer, Calvin Royal III, was read LIVE on Zoom on Friday, July 23 @ 10:30 am. John Robert Allman lives in New York City, where he works in marketing for television and theater. He is the author of A is for Audra: Broadway’s Leading Ladies from A to Z (2019), one of NPR’s “Favorite Books of 2019,” B is for Broadway: Onstage and Backstage from A to Z (2021), and two children’s dance books in collaboration with American Ballet Theatre, B is for Ballet: A Dance Alphabet and Boys Dance! (both 2020). 

Calvin Royal III began his formal dance training at the Pinellas County Center for the Arts in St. Petersburg, Florida. He was a finalist at the Youth America Grand Prix Competition, and was awarded the Ethan Stiefel Scholarship to train at American Ballet Theatre’s (ABT) Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School in 2006. Royal joined ABT II in 2008, ABT main company as a member of the corps de ballet in April 2011. In September 2017 he was promoted to Soloist and in September 2020 Royal was appointed Principal Dancer. He has soared across stages worldwide with ABT in productions of Swan Lake, Manon, Fancy Free, Apollo, and was slated to debut as Romeo in Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet alongside ballerina Misty Copeland at the Metropolitan Opera House in May 2020 before the pandemic hit. Royal has been featured in works by Twyla Tharp, Christopher Wheeldon, Alexei Ratmansky, Kyle Abraham and Wayne McGreggor, and was nominated for numerous awards including the Clive Barnes Award, the winner of the Leonore Annenberg Fellowship a $50,000 grant to further his artistic development. Royal was the July 2020 cover star of Dance Magazine and has been featured in global campaigns for GAP, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Target, Ralph Lauren, Canali, starred in the 2019 Pirelli Calendar alongside Misty Copeland, and named the 2020/21 Artist-in-Residence at the Vail Dance Festival in Vail, Colorado. 

The celebrity reader series was available for free on Zoom and participants had to RSVP for the event at 


Bakersfield City Ballet is Bakersfield’s premier pre-professional ballet company. Their mission is to inspire and enrich our community and foster a love for the arts in youth through dance. As a pre-professional company, BCB serves as a stepping stone between studio training and a college dance program or professional contract. Their annual performances provide a live artistic cultural experience for our community, with an emphasis on classical and contemporary styles of dance.  Bakersfield City Ballet  is committed to making dance accessible to the widest possible audience through annual performances, educational programs, media, and other outreach efforts. 

McLaughlin Dance Collective is a brand new company directed by Kristen McLaughlin. The company started as a way to guide Bakersfield dancers towards their dreams, give them an opportunity to share their gifts with their community, and bring joy to Bakersfield through community events. Civic Dance Center welcomes dancers of all ages and skill levels to come and share in the joy, learning, and development of dance. There are many classes to choose from, as well as many talented, professional, and knowledgeable instructors to teach them. 

Polynesian Spice is a family owned and operated group that has been bringing island entertainment to Bakersfield for over 20 years. Their mission is to share their appreciation and love of the culture, songs, and dances of the Pacific Islands. As a halau (Hawaiian dance school)  comprised of family (ohana) and Polynesians at heart, their goal is to preserve and exhibit the authenticity of the Hawaiian culture and dance by sharing their Aloha Spirit throughout the community. They offer classes for all ages. They hope you will join them for a culturally educational experience and a fun way to exercise!

Ever since its grand opening in 2011, Spotlight Dance Academy’s main goal has been to provide quality dance education and a positive outlet in children’s lives at the lowest cost in Kern County. SDA takes pride in being a “non-traditional” dance academy, specializing in hip hop, jazz funk, Latin rhythms, and musical theatre dance. Ran by husband and wife team Sharida Rejon-Rodriguez and Bertin Rodriguez, SDA enjoys training and inspiring the next generation of performers.

Founded in 2014, D.A.T Krew (Dance Art Talent) Corporation is a non-profit organization whose goal is to inspire today’s youth through art and expression worldwide. It serves low income, underprivileged and at risk youth who represent our world today. In addition, DAT Krew is dedicated to saving the lives of today’s youth by providing a domain of tranquility which we believe is the cure for depression and mental illness.

Heather Benes has been creating dance experiences in East Kern and the Antelope Valley since 1985, when she directed a full length Nutcracker ballet for Cerro Coso Community College. She opened Mojave Movement Arts Center in 1993, offering classes in ballet, jazz, and tap for students from Ridgecrest to Pearblossom. She also directed the dance program at the Palmdale Playhouse from 1999 to 2018, creating such works as The Snow Queen, Hansel and Gretel, The Pied Piper, Little Red Riding Hood, and several abridged versions of the Nutcracker. She earned an M.A. and an M.S. and has taught dance and dance-related subjects at a number of colleges and universities, including California State University, California, University of Kansas, University of California, Irvine, and Scripps College. During the Covid restrictions, she has been teaching private and semi-private classes at the OneCore Dance Studio in Rosamond. Ms. Benes has been a member of KDA for 6 years and a previous participant in Books in Motion. Heather Benes and the East Kern Ragtag Revels are excited to participate in the 2021 Books in Motion program!

DanceNation offers a variety of classes to all ages and levels. Styles include ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop, lyrical, musical theater, acrobatics, turns & technique, stretch & conditioning, pointe, choreography, competition team and showteam. DN empowers dancers to explore their creativity, build confidence and advance to their fullest potential in mind, body and spirit. They strive to inspire the future of our studio and community by setting high standards for all faculty, dancers and parents while making life-long friends and families.


We are so proud to continue to offer this program so that children may find a love for reading and dance! – Andrea Hansen, Kern Dance Alliance President 

One of the most valuable gifts you can give to your child is the ability to read. The ability to read unlocks the door to success in nearly all aspects of life and provides a lifetime of opportunities. Grow, dream, learn, laugh, experience, READ. Come check us out! – Sherry Wade, Kern County Library Regional Supervisor 

Reading aloud daily and the number of books in the home are two key factors in school success. Kern Literacy Council applauds all the partners in Books in Motion for keeping kids reading and dancing this summer. – Laura Lollar Wolfe Kern Literacy Council Executive Director 


Books in Motion is geared for children in the early literacy stages (K-3rd grade) and is designed to tap into their imagination and encourage them to read. For some, reading is a concept that is too foreign to understand due to age and brain development. Books in Motion will bypass this intangible feeling by allowing children to see the magic of a book laid out with real characters coming to life. Children do not have to read the words – they can read the dancers’ movements to understand the story. By tapping into curiosity, children are motivated to explore literacy, which leads them back to the written words that brought the book to life. Books in Motion has reached over 6000 children and has given away nearly 3000 free books since 2017. 

  1. Create motivation and interest in reading- The Books in Motion bibliography taps into curiosity via dance performances. . . children will be motivated to explore literacy, which leads them back to the written words that brought the book to life.

  2. Create motivation and encouragement for movement through dance – Children learn choreography to reinforce their critical thinking of the story.

  3. Cover Common Core State Standards in Reading Literature for grades K-3rd grade- Books in Motion text covers Common Core Standards for Reading Literature including but not limited to: Ask questions to demonstrate understanding of a text; recount stories from diverse cultures; determine the central message and explain how it is conveyed through key details; describe characters in a story and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events.

  4. Instill a sense of connection and ownership of reading through listening and viewing of stories- Children dance choreography corresponding with the Books in Motion text. Children produce art reflecting the session’s teachings. Children take a free Books in Motion book home.

  5. Foster creative abilities of youth through cultural arts learning- Books in Motion supports literacy development through unified thematic experiences of dance, crafting, and story-telling.

  6. Activate Youth Voices- Books in Motion actives youth voices during the craft session with children speaking about the book and creating a craft that coincides with the session’s teachings.

  7. Critical Thinking- The Books in Motion evaluation promotes critical thinking by asking questions about the book.


BIM was viewed by people of all ages. Survey results are, of course, reflective of those who took time to fill out the separate online survey link, and may not be representative of the entire viewing population.  However, we review every single response and take the feedback to heart!  Our key takeaways from the survey are that we introduced people to new books that they loved, and the dance and book were their favorite part. 


Number of respondents: 16 surveys, reflecting +33 viewers

Average age of children watching: 5.6 years old

Gender of children watching was ⅔ female

68% of respondents were inspired to read!

Question reponses:

Did you know the story before you saw this performance?

Knew it and love it: 12.5%

Knew it: 12.5%

Didn’t know it: 75%

After seeing the performance do you feel like you know the story?

Know it and love it: 75%

Know it: 18.75%

Know it and didn’t like it: 6.25%

Don’t know it: 0%

Did today’s performance inspire you to read?

Yes: 68.75%

No: 12.5%

N/A: 18.75%

What was your favorite part of the event?

Book/Dance: 75%

Dance Lesson: 6.25%

Craft: 18.75%

Sample feedback:

Books, dancing, and crafts are the best way to spend a summer day!

Thanks for all your work! Enjoyed watching each of the shows! AMAZING!

National Dance Day – September 18, 2021

In collaboration with the American Dance Movement, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, and the Kennedy Center, Kern Dance Alliance celebrated our national dance holiday with an online dance party and giveaways on Saturday, September 18, 2021. 

In honor of National Dance Day, KDA made dance dreams come true. KDA encouraged dancers to dream big and submit their wishes via the following contest rules: 

  1. Tell us your dance wish and why it is so important to you by commenting on this post, tagging us in a story, or emailing us at
  1. If you are posting your wish on social media, be sure to tag @kerndance and use the hashtags #kdaNDD2021 and #NationalDanceDay2021.
  1. All submissions must be posted by 11:59 PM PST on 9/18/2021.
  1. KDA will be selecting multiple dreams and making them come true! So join us in celebrating National Dance Day and tell us your dream.
  1. KDA will announce the Dance Dream Giveaway winners the week of 10/1/2021.

KDA awarded two dance dance dreams:

  1. Two leotards were gifted to a young Kern County dancer.
  2. A master class with a famous dance instructor was gifted to a Kern County dance educator. 

NHSDA Induction Ceremony – December 19, 2021

KDA in celebrated our newest National Honor Society for Dance Arts – NHSDA / Kern Dance Alliance Secondary Chapter inductees during a luncheon at Bakersfield Country Club on December 19, 2021! Riley Thompson and Noor Elkereamy were accepted into the USA’s most prestigious honors society for dancers who excel in artistry, leadership, and academic achievement! 

Riley Thompson is a graduate of Bakersfield High School and a current freshman at Cal Lutheran where she is studying musical theater and dance. She is the youngest board member to ever join KDA, a consistent volunteer for community service projects, a honors student, and just recently completed her first college dance concert. 

Noor Elkereamy is a student at Stockdale High School, a principal with the Bakersfield City Ballet and a studies dance with Civic Dance Center.  She spent last summer training at the School of American Ballet in New York City.  She is a regular volunteer with KDA, a GATE student, and was most recently seen on stage as the Sugar Plum Fairy in the annual Bakersfield Nutcracker. 

KDA Community Grants + Scholarship Program

KDA was pleased to award the following grants and scholarships to deserving Kern County dance artists and organizations:

DAT Krew – Generał Operating Support

Bakersfield City Ballet – Choreography Conference 

Shafter Symphony Orchestra- Bakersfield Nutcracker

 Beautiful Bakersfield Awards

Kern Dance Alliance was humbled to be nominated in the 2021 Beautiful Bakersfield Award’s Arts and Culture category. This was the fifth nomination for KDA since 2016.  It is an honor to serve Kern County and an even greater honor to be nominated in a category with those that consistently enrich our beautiful city! 



California Arts Council Grant

Kern Dance Alliance received a $15,000 grant award from the California Arts Council as part of its Arts and Cultural Organizations General Operating Support program. 

The California Arts Council announced 441 grant awards totaling $13,046,887 in project and operational support for nonprofit organizations and units of government throughout the state of California. KDA was the only arts agency in Kern County to receive an award and they will use the award to support their ongoing programs and services aimed at providing social, emotional, physical and financial support for creatives  and the greater Kern County community. This is the second time KDA has been awarded a grant from California Arts Council since the organization’s launch in 2015.

Assemblymember and Vice Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee, Vince Fong, has been instrumental in assisting KDA by approving arts funding in California. “All California Arts Council grant applicants must demonstrate local legislative support. KDA is fortunate to have the support of our local legislators, including Assemblyman Fong, who votes for arts funding to positively impact the creative economy in California and Kern County.” – Andrea Hansen, President of Kern Dance Alliance.

“The California Arts Council is proud to support the work of Kern Dance Alliance, and to recognize their resilience and dedication during this unprecedented time,” said California Arts Council Executive Director Anne Bown-Crawford. “We look forward to the opportunity to bring even more support to the field in 2022, with two grant cycles and much more funding available, thanks to the Legislature’s boosted investment and belief in arts and culture as a means for positive social change.”

To view the official California Arts Council award announcement, please visit



Kern Dance Alliance is an organization that emphasizes the importance of dance in our community. KDA is constantly evolving and adapting to its community, creating programs fit for all kinds of people allowing them the chance to experience the magic of dance. I’ve enjoyed my time as a Student Intern, working on projects such as “Seniors MOVE” and can’t wait to create my own program someday. Even in the hard times we face today, KDA is fully invested in the development of dance arts in Kern County. The impact my KDA experience provided did not only affect me but my community as well. – Jack Bellue, 2021 KDA Student Intern





Kern Dance Alliance has shown me how important the arts are to Kern County. The organization’s mission to foster the arts in our community is truly incredible. Having the opportunity to be involved as a student intern for KDA has given me the chance to participate in the many events Kern Dance Alliance has created for Kern County. From experiencing behind the scenes of “Books in Motion” to projects such as “Seniors MOVE”,  I love being apart of the positive impact Kern Dance Alliance is to our community. I am lucky and honored to have been apart of this memorable year with KDA. – Victoria Marchetti, 2021 KDA Student Intern


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