We had the good fortune of connecting with Christopher Scott Caldwell and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Christopher Scott, how does your business help the community?
One COMMUNITY at a time! Ovations Global Network harnessess the creativity and resources of prolific leaders, activists, and investors to positively impact of the state of the world as we know it. As our network grows, so does our reach. By generating a platform for today’s essential voices and brilliant minds to pro-actively connect and create, we are serving humanity. The Network embodies the best and most transformative benefits of artists collaborating. Our legacy is a portfolio full of groundbreaking endeavors that catalyze social equity, world class education, healthy bodies, and a deeper sense of humanity. We have a robust history of collaborationg with iconic performers, choreographers, educators, and curators who are committed to using thier “dance gifts” to shape the future. We do what we do as a direct response to the struggles we’ve experienced, the diverse communities that comprise The Network, and a deep calling to seek and incite joy and healing through the arts. For the record, we believe everybody and every body deserves to dance! Further more, that music and dance traditions imbedded in our collective origins and migrations bind us, and make a party of our differences. Ultimately, our impact is rooted in our stance that together through our art we can spark presence in the mind, body, and spirit of those around us. Cut through our collective ignorance, and leave a kinder, more sustainable, and art filled planet for generations to come.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My dance art is going through a delicious evolution at the moment. I took six months recently to essentially be still, pull back from my normal bustle and reflect on the chaos we are all enduring. During this period of retreat, It was abundantly clarified that I am not interested in capitalizing on division, bodies, cultures, and dollars. This was extremely liberating to the artist in me. I was able to relinquish the need to keep up with the Joneses. Exploring my creativity and intentions behind my goals without the limits of having to be the best, make the most, or do it first has led to some meaningful revelations lately. I’m thankful for the shift. This has also been extremely liberating to me as a black queer man. I think having to maintain business relationships with institutions that foster oppressive structures was hurting me. Giving systems like that access to my art, businesses, and talent is suddenly unnaceptable, as a result, I have done some reevaluating of my professional relationships, and made significant adjustments. It has ultimatley made my creative process freer, more focused and better effective. One of the more powerful characteristics that sets me apart from others is how intersectionality has impacted my mind and therfore my artistic choices. When I consider the implications of growing up as a Black and Cuban queer male in the 90s, in a home stuck in the 70s, with a Jehovah’s Witness father, and practicing Buddhist mother, I feel like I can attest to a shift in the aesthetics the world seems to crave and identify as “art.” Particularly coming from the communities I epitomize. I see the African roots inherent in forms like jazz lost on most generations of young dancers. I am living witness to a global bite of trends and vernacular taken from underground gay urban dance cultures brought to the main-stream with no regard for the struggles of the queer populations who gave life to them. I also note the tragic and collective shift in “normalcy“ induced by the current state of affairs in the US. As a personal reaction, for the last decade my art has been a contemporaneous response including but certainly not limited to the founding of Ovations Global Network INC, our resident dance company House of Ovations, LGBTQIA+ Safe Space Initiative: What The Punk, and South Florida’s Drum and Dance Folklore series. I got to where I am today on the backs of the thousands of individuals who have spoken life to my dreams since the beginning. On the backs of the traditions embedded in me through ancestry, and on the backs of two outstanding parents. If there is one thing the world should know about my art, my brand, and my story, it’s that, at my best, I am a function of our collective prescence. A vessel for creativity that comes through me and not from me. My art, is the vehicle through which I attempt to take responsibility for my own contributions to the worlds chaos, to my local community, my body, and our planet. My sincere hope is, that those experiencing my art are inspired to do the same.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Hmmm. Well considering COVID-19 truth is, my friend and I would be spending a lot of time at the house engaging meaningful tête-à-tête, eating and prancing about. However as it relates to this question, I would consider a picnic at the beach, (I love Delray Beach personally). Stroll or two at the parks in Palm Springs! An evening of fashion and fierceness at the Norton Museum. And some soulful social distancing at the local Drum Circle. Outside of that, let’s be honest… Stuffing our face with our foodie favorites, and lots of laughter! #CanIGetAnAmen!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
We would like to dedicate our shout out to the thousands of movement practitioners, dance enthusiasts, and dance activists who comprise The Network. Without your fearless participation, and beautiful dancing, Ovations Global Network would not have the privilege of doing our work. Your are the heart and soul of this organization, In Deep Gratitude, OGN Team
Other: House Of Ovations website: https://www.houseofovations.org/ What The Punk LGBTQIA Safe Space website: https://www.wtpunk.com/
Katrina Lathrop Photography Heather Coronel Photography Mitchel Zachs