KDO’s Commitment to Community Engagement: Since its founding, KDO has kept an inclusive, holistic, and diverse understanding of community as one of its core values. We know that to best serve the children of Indianapolis through dance, we have to not only be an active member of the communities in which we have programming but a member that seeks to work alongside other community partners to help uplift their work and the communities they serve, even if they are not direct beneficiaries of KDO’s programming.  Over the past ten years, KDO has worked hard to live up to this vision and has cultivated many different community partners with sustainable, long-term relationships.

A Renewed Emphasis on Community Engagement: As we enter our next decade of KDO, we seek to further our community engagement to better respond to the needs of the communities we serve and to become an even more active member of Indianapolis, a city that is constantly and creatively working to reinvent how we build and define inclusive, active, and healthy communities. Placing greater emphasis on community engagement will allow KDO to bring awareness to its programming and mission throughout Indianapolis area schools, advocacy groups, communities, businesses, and potential volunteers. This awareness will allow KDO to grow and impact meaningful change to those they serve – children and their communities – while simultaneously better assisting the efforts of other community organizations and entities who are seeking to make a difference in the lives of all Indianapolis residents.

How will KDO Best Engage the community?  KDO has recently created a new Community Engagement Coordinator position within our administrative team, dedicated to developing and executing KDO’s community engagement strategies.  What will unite these efforts is a mission-focused approach to building positive, sustainable, and mutually beneficial connections with various stakeholders across all of the communities impacted by KDO. Through the consistent, careful, and thoughtful process of building and strengthening community relationships, KDO hopes to further maintain an active presence in the Indianapolis community and demonstrate how it can meet the needs of the community at large. Due to the wide range of people served through our programming, we know that KDO’s community engagement will entail many different types of programming, relationship building, and interaction. However, some examples of what this may look like are as follows:

  • Development of “KDO Community Days” to bring the joy of KDO to residents where they are at
  • Expanding partnerships with local community centers and other community-focused organizations
  • Increasing creative collaborations with local artists and arts organizations
  • Providing KDO Pedagogy workshops for local educators and administrators
  • Developing more relationships with local businesses and philanthropists
  • Diversifying KDO’s roster of partner schools
  • And more!!

KDO Community Engagement Vision Statement: Please check back soon to see KDO’s NEW Community Engagement Vision Statement, which we plan to develop in consultation with our various community partners over the next few months.

How to Get Involved:  If you have ideas on how KDO can best engage with the Indianapolis community, reach out to KDO’s Associate Director, Community Engagement & Programming, Dana Vanderburgh, at