Lane Harwell, Executive Director, Dance/NYC
Huff Post, Posted: 05/14/2014
There are lessons for the creative sector in the story of 280 Broadway, whose new tenant, Gibney Dance, opens its doors to the community to shape the future. In a real estate climate where too many are losing space and reporting escalating costs -- real threats to creative life -- some, like Gibney Dance, are making solutions.
The first of the lessons I offer here is the value of community engagement. As examples, opportunities for 280 Broadway are generated by the testimony of artists previously displaced by its closure in the fall of 2013 and new ideas brought forward both online through a Community Idea Portal and ongoing community forums. For example, see this video of a welcome session co-hosted by Dance/NYC.
For those focused on future space solutions, there is power to be leveraged through local community organizing--perhaps especially in non-Manhattan geographies, where increased attention by our sector, and all New Yorkers, is needed.
Second, there is a lesson learned from "'We Make Do' More Time Is Better, But Budget Is King,'" an Exploring the Metropolis study on dance rehearsal space commissioned by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Crucially, the study recommends shifting focus away from new construction to expanding use of existing facilities. Such is the case with 280 Broadway, which in its new incarnation makes use of previously occupied dance work, training, rehearsal, and performance space.
Third, there is a lesson about efficiencies of scale, achieved at 280 Broadway through synergies with Gibney Dance's other spaces at 890 Broadway. Beyond administrative and cost savings, the expanded Gibney Dance can offer space and programs to better support artists and organizations along the continuums of creative process, from rehearsal to performance, and of career and institutional advancement, from emerging to mid-career.
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Tammy Hampel (Isaacson)
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