The Lively Foundation is recognized by the State of California and the Internal Revenue Service and a 501(c) (3) not for profit organization, since 1984. As a non-profit Lively has never taken a political position or used our programs to endorse any particular political program. Not once. Not even a little. Supporting the US Constitution, however, is not a political position as all American citizens and political leaders of every party are working to protect the Constitution and further its values. Therefore the following statement is not political speech at all; it is American speech.
From its inception, The Lively Foundation’s performers have come from myriad different backgrounds. Seldom, maybe never, have the dancers in the company had grandparents or great grandparents who were from the same continent, let alone the same country. Similarly, as Choreographer and Artistic Director, I have used ideas, themes, movement styles, and especially music from myriad sources: African; American folk, jazz, classical; Arabic; Chinese; various European classical, popular, and folk sources; Indian; South American; even more. I have worked with these gifted individuals and the beautiful, interesting, inspiring music and other resources because they are good, not to make a point, not to earn a grant, only because they are good.
Neither The Lively Foundation nor myself as its Artistic Director will ever limit our work to any one resource or style for our art or for our artists. It is impossible to dictate our creativity or with whom we will work. It is, in fact, Un-American, and neither The Lively Foundation nor I will stoop to align ourselves to someone’s requests or demands. If I had been willing to do that in previous circumstances The Lively Foundation surely would be better funded but it would not create such first rate art as it does.
Leslie Friedman, Artistic Director & Vice-President