SUSAN MILLARD SCHWARZ, lyric mezzo soprano

Liz Lerman's Critical Response Process workshops

Liz Lerman’s Critical Response Process, A Tool for Action in the Arts and Beyond.
Four steps for feedback on anything you make, from dance to dessert  (co-authored by John Borstel) 

 Adapted by Susan Millard Schwarz for Ohio Alliance for Arts Education and VSA Arts Ohio Artist Workshop March 19, 2012  

INTRODUCTION:  What is the Critical Response Process ("CRP" or "Process")?
Liz Lerman’s Critical Response Process is a widely recognized method that nurtures the development of artistic works-in-progress through a four-step, facilitated dialogue between artists, peers, and audiences.   

Developed 20 years ago, CRP is embraced by art makers, educators, and administrators at theater companies, dance departments, orchestras, museums and more. CRP deepens dialogue between artists and audiences; it enhances learning between teachers and students. By extension, it has proven valuable for all kinds of creative endeavors, work situations, and collaborative relationships, from kindergartens to corporations.

Why should I know about CRP?
You, as an artist or creative worker, should know about this process if…

  • You ever find yourself in a position to critique or comment on someone else’s work;
  • You would like to receive useful feedback on your own work;
  • You have felt dissatisfied or alienated by your past experiences with critique for your own work or someone else’s;
  • You have experienced artistic feedback as vague, confusing or irrelevant to your needs as an artist;
  • You ever feel encouraged to explore your own solutions to problems in performance, and someone else usually is trying to help you “fix” them;
  • You want to have better conversations about art-making, in general.

Who is Liz Lerman?
Liz Lerman is a dancer/choreographer and founder of the Dance Exchange dance company in Washington, DC in 1976.  She has been the recipient of numerous honors, including the American Choreographer Award, the American Jewish Congress “Golda” Award, and Washingtonian magazine’s 1988 Washingtonian of the Year. In 2002 her work was recognized with a MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellowship, and she has also been awarded the National Foundation for Jewish Culture’s Achievement Award and honored with induction into the University of Maryland’s Hall of Fame.  Her work has been commissioned by the Lincoln Center, American Dance Festival, BalletMet, the Kennedy Center, and many other organizationsThe Dance Exchange is a professional company of dance artists who create, perform, teach, and engage people in making art.  Ms. Lerman was Resident Artist at Harvard University.  Most recently, Ms. Lerman accepted a faculty position at Arizona State University, at the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

How is Susan involved with Liz Lerman's Critical Response Process? 
During my tenure at the Ohio Arts Council, I had the privilege of being introduced to Liz and her life-changing work.  Since then, I have carried the torch for her wonderful Critical Response Process by facilitating workshops for other artists.  I participate in ongoing training to hone my skills as a CRP Facilitator with Liz, and with John Borstel at the Dance Exchange in Washington, DC.  I have conducted workshops for classical singers through the Opera Columbus education program, for  teaching artists of VSA Arts Ohio, in collaboration with the Ohio Alliance of Arts Education, for arts educators at the Arts & College Preparatory Academy in Columbus, OH, and for dance artists on the roster of central Ohio's Greater Columbus Arts Council.

For further information about CRP, or about hosting a workshop,
call or e-mail Susan Millard-Schwarz at 614.499.4132 or