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PR- 055-06
February 16, 2006


Dance New Amsterdam Becomes the First Major Non-Profit Cultural Organization to Re-Locate to Lower Manhattan Post 9/11; New Center Will Attract More Than 10,000 People Annually to Dance Classes and Workshops Offered in Its New 25,100 Square Foot Space

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate D. Levin today were joined by Charles Wright, the Executive Director of Dance New Amsterdam, to cut the ribbon and officially open Dance New Amsterdam (DNA) – an expansive new facility for the arts at 280 Broadway in Lower Manhattan. DNA is one of the City’s foremost dance service organizations, providing training and performing space for dancers of all ages through classes, workshops and performance programs. Founded in 1984, DNA is the first major non-profit cultural organization to relocate to Lower Manhattan since September 11, 2001. Mayor Bloomberg was also joined by Council Members Alan Gerson and Domenic Recchia for the opening.

“Our plan for rebuilding Lower Manhattan includes developing spaces for the arts in order to create a thriving cultural community,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “We can build commercial spaces and residential developments, but without the arts, a community is not complete. Dance New Amsterdam brings a dynamic element to one of the City’s fastest-growing neighborhoods and will offer thousands of New Yorkers the opportunity to express themselves through creative dance. I’m proud to welcome Dance New Amsterdam to its new home.” 

“This project is extraordinarily meaningful to the neighborhood, to the dance community, and to New York City’s entire creative sector,” said Commissioner Levin. “DNA has long been an outstanding organization providing diverse and publicly accessible cultural programming to beginning, emerging, and established dancers. With its spectacular new space, DNA is now also a pioneer in strengthening and expanding New York City’s vibrant non-profit cultural community throughout Lower Manhattan.”

The City, through commitments from the Department of Cultural Affairs, the City Council and the Manhattan Borough President’s office, invested more than $2 million in the renovation of the 25,100 square foot facility. Designed by R.M. Kliment and Frances Halsbad Architects, the new space includes a black-box theater; studios for classes and workshops; rehearsal space for DNA’s productions and its Artist-in-Residence Program; administrative offices; and student and faculty facilities.

“With this new space, we can fulfill our mission and support dancers with the best training, performance opportunities and place to create and experiment,” said Charles Wright. “This could not have happened without Mayor Bloomberg and his Administration, which has supported us not only with money, but with the understanding of the needs of the arts community and what it has to offer the City.  Mr. Mayor, you have no idea what this means to us having you here.  All dancers thank you!”

For 21 years, Dance New Amsterdam has supported New York City’s diverse dance community by providing a dynamic environment for dance education, creation and performance. DNA offers classes, workshops and performance programs in a wide range of dance forms to both professionals and non-professionals that are led by internationally established dance educators. DNA also supports the creative exploration of emerging and established dance artists and choreographers through public performances produced and presented by its own Evolving Arts Theater. DNA’s relocation from its significantly smaller space at 451 Broadway will allow the organization to better serve its community of over 10,000 artists, students, choreographers, and audience members.

Founded in 1984, DNA (then the Dance Space Center) built its initial home out of a 15,000 square foot burnt-out loft space in the then-deserted SoHo area. When rent increases forced the organization out of its home at 622 Broadway in 1999, DNA established its current facilities at 451 Broadway as a temporary location. This interim space reduced DNA facilities to 10,000 square feet, forcing the organization to squeeze most of its program offerings into two-thirds of its former space. The move to 280 Broadway will allow DNA to again offer its full program of classes and performances in greatly expanded facilities.


Stu Loeser/Virginia Lam   (212) 788-2958


Sara Rutkowski   (Cultural Affairs)
(212) 643-6690

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