Dance Theater Workshop (DTW, www.dtw.org) has announced the first recipients of its newly created Outer/Space initiative, a program to subsidize artist rehearsal space in the outer boroughs of New York City. The 2001 grant recipients are the Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance (BAAD!), Spoke the Hub, Topaz Arts Inc., Triskelion Arts, Union Street Dance, and Williamsburg Art Nexus (WAX).
Because of NYC's inflated real estate market, many Manhattan-based dance and rehearsal spaces have been forced to relocate or close down. Cropping up in their place are a number of studios in the outer boroughs, most of them independently managed by artists. This past fall, DTW developed Outer/Space to assist artists who manage dance spaces in Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island, in an effort to encourage these spaces to stabilize, grow, and offer affordable space to the dance community. This is the first year for these awards, which DTW intends to award annually. Funds for this program were made possible by the New York City Council.
In February 2001 DTW sent out a call for proposals and received an enthusiastic response. A panel comprised of artists who currently manage well-established spaces was asked to review the proposals, conduct site visits, and recommend final selections. The panel consisted of HT Chen (Mulberry Street Theater), Gina Gibney (Studio 5-2), Alvan Colon-Lespier (Pregones Theater), Veronique Le Melle (Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning), and David R. White (DTW). In late April DTW awarded $30,000 in funds with grants ranging from $3,000-$7,500 to six organizations. DTW looks forward to the program's continued encouragement and support of arts in the outer boroughs.
Construction of the raised dance floor at BAAD!
Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance (BAAD!) is a joint project of Bessie Award-winning dancer/choreographer Arthur Aviles, his company Typical Theater, and the Point Community Development Corporation. In 1998, the project converted 3,500 sq. ft. of raw warehouse space in the legendary American Banknote Building into a workshop/rehearsal and performance space.
Spoke the Hub (www.spokethehub.org), in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn, serves as a base for working artists of all disciplines. The space offers a 1,500-sq.-ft. studio for rehearsals and performances and is host to a variety of classes, workshops, and festivals.
Topaz Arts Inc. (www.topazarts.org) is a non-profit multifaceted arts center located in Woodside, Queens. It occupies 2,500 sq. ft. of warehouse space and aims to provide artists with an ecological, affordable oasis for dance, audio, media, and visual arts.
With the grant, Triskelion Arts will be able to fund further renovations.
Triskelion Arts, managed by the five members of the KICK/STAND Company, opened its doors in October 2000. Located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the facility offers 1,300 sq. ft. of studio space to local artists at affordable rates. In the coming months, Triskelion is slated to undergo further renovations to accommodate low-tech performances.
Union Street Dance, based in Park Slope, is home of the Eva Dean Dance Company, and provides rehearsal space for other performing artists. It offers its 1,000-sq.-ft. studio at reasonable rates and also administrates a space grant program which awards free rehearsal time to selected artists for the creation of new work.
Williamsburg Art Nexus (WAX) is a multidisciplinary arts facility with a fuly equipped professional theater available for rehearsals, visual art exhibits, and performances. The space has already served hundreds of artists since its inception just one year ago.
Photos courtesy DTW.