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August 3, 2017

DDC, DCLA Break Ground on New Dancewave Studios in Gowanus, Brooklyn

Dan Leibel

Brooklyn, NY - New York City Department of Design and Construction (DDC) Acting Commissioner Ana Barrio and New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl this morning joined Councilmember Stephen Levin, Assembly Member Jo Anne Simon and Brooklyn Deputy Boro President Diana Reyna to break ground on new studios for Dancewave dance studio.

The $4.8 million project at 182 Fourth Avenue is being managed by the DDC for DCLA, and will provide a space more than triple the size of Dancewave’s current studio, delivering a 3,600 square-foot, state-of-the-art dance center for community members to empower themselves through physical activity and personal expression.

rendering of Dancewave’s new studio space
An artist’s rendering of Dancewave’s new studio space, which will be able to accommodate over 130 people

“I’m very pleased to join our partners in government and our friends at Dancewave to mark the beginning of a great new cultural project in Brooklyn,” said DDC Acting Commissioner Ana Barrio. “The Dancewave studio will be a community asset that entertains, inspires thought, and strengthens mental and physical health. The new space will accommodate more people and performances, allowing Dancewave to grow and thrive. We look forward to completing the project next year.”

“Dancewave’s vital, inclusive dance training programs touch the lives of thousands of residents and students of all ages each year,” said Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl. “We’re proud to join our partners in the City Council and Borough President’s Office to invest in this expanded home for Dancewave, helping to grow this extraordinary arts group so it can bring the transformative impact of dance to even more New Yorkers.”

Founded in 1995, Dancewave is an educational nonprofit focused on personal development through dance. Dancewave projects that it will serve over 5,000 young people per year through its school, pre-professional dance companies, arts in education outreach programs, summer camps and special events after the new space is completed.

Two new dance studio spaces will be built, giving Dancewave the option to convert them into one large performance area when necessary. The new studios will include an acoustic barrier wall, a built-in reception desk and new restrooms. A new floor-to-ceiling glass partition will be installed so that parents can come watch and enjoy their children as they dance. Brand new sanitary and water piping will be installed, as well as a new sprinkler system to enhance fire safety. Electrical upgrades, including a theatrical lighting system, will also be included in the renovation.

The new space is designed to LEED Silver standards to help meet New York City’s commitment to sustainable building practices and the Mayor de Blasio’s 80X50 initiative. The upgrades will outfit the studio with high efficiency HVAC equipment, and lighting. The design also allows for an abundance of natural light to illuminate the space. Additionally, a bicycle rack will be installed to encourage sustainable and active transit.

“Breaking ground on our new home in downtown Brooklyn/Gowanus is a milestone event in our history as a community focused arts organization”, says Diane Jacobowitz, Dancewave’s Executive and Artistic Director. Looking ahead, Jacobowitz envisions the new Dancewave Center as “a dance and community venue that will offer classes for everyone, with space for performances, readings, lectures, artists talks and community events – transforming this organization into an important creative hub for the cultural life of the area.”

“As an advocate of education and early childhood issues and a proponent for the arts, I’m proud to have Dancewave in the 33rd District. Dancewave has continued to change lives at the center on 4th Avenue and in public schools throughout NYC. The new Dancewave Center will allow for a larger reach throughout Brooklyn and NYC, and I am thrilled to play a part in Dancewave's growth,” said City Councilmember Stephen Levin.

“On behalf of 2.6 million Brooklynites, I salute Dancewave on the groundbreaking of the new community arts center,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. “I commend Executive Director Diane Jacobowitz, the board of directors, and staff for their contributions and dedication to the cultural arts as well as the enrichment of our young people. Brooklyn is the creative capital of New York City, and the new Dancewave Center will be a shining addition to one of the most vibrant arts communities in the nation.” 

“I am thrilled to support Dancewave’s new facility,” said Assembly Member Jo Anne Simon. “I was proud to sponsor a bill to assist Dancewave’s access to capital so they can expand bringing dance arts to many who would not otherwise have access to arts education. Dancewave’s work bringing dance education to children with autism in public schools and to children with significant disabilities is awesome. This groundbreaking is a longtime coming and I could not be happier for them as they begin to work on this new and inclusive facility, adding to the unique culture and artistic community of Gowanus.”

The expected completion date is slated for late fall 2018. The design consultant for this project Studio Joseph of Manhattan, and the contractor is XBR, Inc. of Queens.

About the NYC Department of Design and Construction
The Department of Design and Construction is the City’s primary capital construction project manager. In supporting Mayor de Blasio’s lenses of growth, sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living, DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings such as such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts, new or upgraded roadways, sewers, water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $15 billion portfolio, DDC partners with other City agencies, architects and consultants, whose experience bring efficient, innovative, and environmentally-conscious design and construction strategies to city projects. For more information, please visit