"For me, this "yard" would be a playground without walls, a place to explore, experiment, and construct. A place of possibility, joy, love, anger, frustration; a place of mutual stimulation, sharing, testing; a space in which to come together and to be alone." - Patricia N. Nanon


Patricia Nanon

Patricia N. Nanon supported the creation of modern-dance works as the founder and director of the Yard. Ms. Nanon graduated from Bennington College in 1944, performed with the companies of the modern-dance pioneers including Hanya Holm and Doris Humphrey. By the late 1940s she was active as a producer; she directed the Choreographers’ Workshops with Trudy Goth, presenting contemporary-dance premieres, including her own work.She also choreographed pieces performed in New York theaters and for a weekly television series.

Although she had emerged from mainstream modern dance, Ms. Nanon was open to new currents and conceived the idea of a resident summer community similar to writers’ colonies. In 2003 she told The Vineyard Gazette that her idea had been “to support, nurture, create and perform.” Emphasizing both process and performance, she added, “Many places are workshops and don’t support creation and performance.” Among the choreographers provided with stipends, a place to live, rehearsal space and other facilities for a month at the Yard have been Susan Marshall, David Dorfman, Doug Varone and, through a more recent affiliate-artist program, companies like Urban Bush Women.

Ms. Nanon retired as the Yard’s artistic director in 2004.

bio sourced from nytimes.com